edited July 2019 in Rad Culture


Elsewhere, mechanic Johann Puch learned much about mechanical design and production machinery while working as a locksmith in southern Austria. After the military service, in 1885 Puch moved to Graz. In 1888, he was employed as a bicycle mechanic by the company of Albl & Co in Graz, Austria. On February 2, 1889, Puch asked for permission to establish his own bicycle repair shop, but the permit was rejected due to a regulatory conflict.

In 1891 Johann Puch introduces a new idea! In September 1889, the directors of the company agreed to issue permits, so Puch could build his small shop on Strauchergasse 18 in Graz, Austria for repair and manufacturing bicycles. In 1891, Puch officially registered his company as "Johann Puch Erste Steiermärkische Fahrrad-Fabriks-Aktiengesellschaft" (First Styrian Bicycle Factory Corporation) based in Graz. It also becomes part of the stock exchange with shares being officially released.
Puch immediately sold his new bike under the trademark "Styria Räder" (Styria Wheels), to the Austrian Imperial Family's patrons. In addition, these bikes are exported to other European countries. „Styria Räder” (Styira Wheels) becomes the main source of bicycle production within the company.

Most important production centers are:
● Graz
● Wiener Neustadt

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the famous Steyr Daimler Puch Werke AG consortium, which get’s it’s name only after the I. World War. The Austro Daimler Puch Company was formed in four cities, namely Wien, Graz, Steyr and Wiener Neustadt. The Steyr brand car is introduced in 1915!

The name „Waffenrad” was used in 1895 for the first time and became a brand being registered between 13th August 1896 and 3rd September 1896. In the late 1920s we already find Waffenrad having it's own marketing in newspapers adding the addresses of special Waffenrad selling shops across Austria. The ball bearings for most of the modells were produced in the German Industrial Heartland, mostly in the factory of Schweinfurt, Bayern (Bavaria).


This factory was bombed by allied air raids during the II. World War (August 17, 1943), but is still a place of significants for Waffenrad enthusiasts!


Waffenrad is not only limited to Europe as this qoute from an Indonesian research site is showing u sin detail: „Steyr Bike from Austria is estimated to be sold in the Netherlands Indies (now Indonesia) around the early 1900s. In the city of Medan, this Steyr cyclist is a bicycle agent named W. Cornfield and C. Blooker Thzn.”


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