The lack of an appropriate dirt and street frame leads to the first prototype of today‘s RUFUS frame. Made of Reynolds top of the line 853 air hardening tubeset, the frame features a unique geometry with ultra short chainstays. The design is essential: no gears, no disk brake.
Due to the growing interest among local riders and friends, the first RUFUS frames are built. For this reason Jochen Forstmann establishes his company giving it the brand-name LAST. Furthermore, a single-speed hub and a BMX sprocket are developed and produced, both using the revolutionary strong 7075 aluminum.
In spring 2002, Jörg Heydt and Jochen Forstmann develop the HERB downhill frame. Riding the first prototype, Jörg Heydt wins several national league races and becomes 1st overall in master class.
The company LAST, Forstmann amp; Heydt GbR is established. The production of HERB downhill frames and our new EXIT frame, which is intended for dual slalom and bikercross, begins. The LAST team with Carlo Dieckmann, Jörg Heydt und Jochen Forstmann is founded. Jörg Heydt becomes 1st overall in Germany‘s national series again and Carlo Dieckmann wins the Christmas Jam in Basel (Switzerland) on his RUFUS.
Our production grows and we arrange our first stock. Carlo Dieckmann gives proof of his all-round qualities by finishing second at the Dirtmarshal Contest (France) and Dirty Weekend in Plymouth (England). At the Slopestyle Contest in Saalbach he was among the top ten, riding a HERB and gets 7th at the Ride to the Lake, being the best placed hardtail rider.
The LAST Forstmann amp; Heydt GbR becomes LAST International Limited. For Germany, Austria and Switzerland G&S Distribution is the distributor in charge. Rhythm Imports becomes Australia distributor for LAST.
LAST team rider Benny Strasser (Germany) finishes his season becoming vice national champion in junior class on a HERB DH bike. First prototypes of the HERB FR freeride frame are built and consecutively tested. Behind closed doors the LAST single speed hubs are developed and tested. Mangasports is established to distribute LAST products in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Riding his third year for LAST, Benny Strasser (Germany) becomes national downhill champion in junior class on a HERB DH bike. LAST participates in a trade show for the first time; at the Eurobike – the worlds biggest trade show for bicycles – we present the newly designed RUFUS frame and the single speed hub set ZAKK/CARMEN. The hub set sets an unreached standard with regard to weight/strength ratio, used materials and design. With distributors in France, Spain and the UK, Last becomes a Europe-wide distributed brand.
The year starts strong with new distributors for Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Russia joining our distribution network. During the Eurobike trade show we show our new single speed TEAM WHEELS, which are a collaboration with Atomlab. These are the lightest wheels for dirt and street riding.
Early in the year we launch the production of the latest HERB DH, version 4. Later on, this frame gets our first ever featured product in the DIRT 100 – the hundred best mountain bike products. At the Eurobike trade show we show the final versions of our freeride and all mountain full suspension frames. Julien Gelot with his company Cyen Bicycles becomes our new French distributor. UK team rider Harry Molly becomes stronger and stronger and wins more than a dozen of races. Hendrik Tafel wins the overall at Germany‘s biggest skate park contest series, the Homegrown tour. Joerg Heydt, co-owner of LAST bikes, wins the European DH Championship in the 40+ category. Jonas Berndt, young trail rider from our local trails joins the team and kills it with his smooth style.
The launch of the FR and AM frames stands out this year. The Media are impressed with the unique feel and performance of the bikes. The HERB AM is tested and described as “the fastest 140 mm trail bike on the planet” by the DIRT magazine. We start to sell the first complete bikes. The team goes strong with Harry Molloy now riding in senior category and participation in the whole World Cup series. Distribution-wise we concentrate all our activities in Germany under the LAST brand name. A nice end of the year was the selection of the HERB AM as featured product in the DIRT 100, where the hundred best mountain bike products were selected.
During the year we push the development of the new enduro fullies and test the prototypes. We experiment with different linkage rates for the bikes featuring 160 and 180 mm travel and develop lighter tube sets.
The HERB 160 and 180 frames go into production. They share the same main frame and swing arm. Differences are created by using a different rocker arm. The 160 mm version focuses on efficiency and feedback from the ground. The 180 version is more supple and forgiving, making it a comfortable long travel enduro which is fully capable of freeride stuff. In late 2012, Patrick Rasche starts riding the first prototypes of the new downhill rig, the HERB 204 (V5), on Canadian ground. Together with our long term team rider Hendrik Tafel we start to design a signature dirt jump an street hard tail frame, the ICE.
The ICE, Hendrik‘s signature frame is finished and marks the introduction of some new manufacturing technology. It‘s our first frame with investment cast dropout, that save some serious weight and allow a clean design including the chain tensioners. Based on the same technology we introduce the TREMONIA, which is a bike designed for 4X. With the 2013 season starting. Joscha Bazynski becomes team manager for our growing team of enduro, downhill and 4X riders. Aiko Göhler establishes himself as one of the best German 4X riders and has some great success on the TREMONIA. Patrick Rasche continues his Canada trips and together with the Elflamingo crew films for the “Say Cheese” movie.
Our team grows to 25 riders. New to the team is dirt jump kid Erik Fedko. Patrick Rasche continues to film with the Elflamingo Crew for their new All in One video. We start the development of the next generation enduro bikes.
Bernd Schachermeier becomes part of our team with a permanent employment and takes over the team management for the new season. Team rider Aiko Göhler wins the 4X-World Championships in Val di Sole on our TREMONIA steel hard tail. We are so stoked to see one of our riders wearing the rainbow jersey for the next season. COAL prototypes see the light of day. We are on Kickstarter: With the FASTFORWARD our new enduro hard tail for 29 and 650+ wheels made of tough 4130 steel.
Our product development starts from our own riding experience. The desire for a different hard tail frame made me start the company. Today we join our experience with modern product development technologies to bring you high quality products. Testing is a very important part of our product development, be it on the test bench or on the trail. Over the years we have developped our own testing procedures, as well as our own criteria for good testing results (number of load cycles, amplitudes, …). If a product is critical for fatigue, we will test samples from each production run. I don´t want to go into greater detail, but please keep in mind that we do our best to bring you tried, tested and reliable products. Of course this will result in a different price tag than a product taken from a far east bicycle catalog, stickered with some brand name. We have in mind that you want to ride your bicycle and not work on your bicycle. Ride on Jochen
TragWerker – A second life for heavy load and air cargo belts.
Kore – the nicest stems and handles bars for our bikes
Mount Three – bike clothes for individualists
Urge – helmets with destinctive style
Alexrims – world leading bicycle rim technology
Sram – every bike component you need
Befablogsen – bike adventure stories
Manfred Stromberg – photography
EFBe – bicycle test laboratory
Hase Bikes – different bicycles
Schwagrowski – professional protection for your teeth
Sven Quadlieg – visual communication
Florian Schütte – web programming
Christoph Fein – photography
Paul Masukowitz – photography