I don’t know about you, but I had not realised that the first two products produced by Opel were sewing machines and then bikes, before cars came along. And they were pretty successful at the bike manufacturing, which Adam Opel started in 1886, going on to complete their 1 millionth bike in 1926. Adam’s 5 sons not only grew the business to become the world’s largest bike factory at that time, but were also successful cyclists, with 3 of the sons becoming state champions, and August Lehr winning a World Championship on an Opel bike.
They then decided just before the war to sell off the bike manufacturing and concentrate on making cars, later becoming part of General Motors.
Early post war, Georg von Opel, the grandson of Adam, founded Opelit GmbH, which made boats and other sports goods. Now the great grandson of Adam has continued the dynasty and returned to the history of bike making, with a range of Opelit bikes – “Brand New Tradition” being their catchphrase.
They have a substantial proportion of the components coming from Germany, with experienced suppliers such as Bosch, but also bringing in well known international brands such as Shimano. Their focus, they say, is on modern, long-lasting products, with a good price/quality ratio, and stylish design.
The range includes road bikes, mountain bikes, commuting and touring bikes. You can use Google Chrome to translate their German website for details.
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