The lack of an appropriate dirt and street frame leads to the first prototype of todays 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 diskbrake.
Due to the growing interest among local riders and friends the first RUFUS frames are build. For this reason Jochen Forstmann establishes his company using the brandname LAST. Furthermore a singlespeed hub and a bmx sprocket are developped 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 & Heydt GbR is established. The production of HERB downhill frames and our new EXIT frame, which is intended for dual slalom and bikercross, beginns. 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 allround qualities by placing second at the Dirtmarshal Contest (France) and Dirty Weekend in Plymouth (England). At the Slopestyle Contest in Saalbach he places in the top ten riding on a HERB and gets 7th at the Ride to the Lake, being the best placed hardtail rider.
The LAST Forstmann & Heydt GbR becomes the 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 one 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 for the first time at a trade show; 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 ration, used materials and design. With distributors in France, Spain and UK Last becomes a European 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 for the latest HERB DH, version 4. Later on this fram gets our first ever featured product in the DIRT 100 – the undred 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 form 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 is 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.
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
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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