German Motorrad

Lohmann Bicycle Engines

A Brief History of the Marque

Lohmann-Werke AG, Bielefeld. 1949-1953

Lohmann built 18cc two-stroke diesel auxiliary bicycle engines.

The Lohmann company was founded in 1892 in London by the German-born Karl Lohmann to manufacture bicycles. Just a few years later he created a second company in Bielefeld, Germany, a town which was fast becoming a major centre for bicycle manufacture, and by the early 20th century he was selling all manner of related bicycle components in Germany, England and elsewhere in Europe, in particular Perfecta acetylene lamps which he manufactured.

The London address was 35 Great Eastern Street, but the British assets of the company were forfeited during the Great War. Karl Lohmann died in 1916, and his family redeveloped the German branch of the firm, extending into leather products for which they had built a manufacturing facility producing saddles, luggage and related bicycle components.

In the 1930s, with Germany extending its military, the leatherworks was in full swing producing military uniform fittings, along with motorcycle saddlebags.

The factory suffered extensive damage during the air raids of 1944.

In the late 1940s the firm began developing a two-stroke diesel clip-on bicycle engine, and the Lohmann Type 50 cyclemotor became a very good seller. The 18cc engine was briefly used by the British firm Britax, and agencies were established in Switzerland, Italy and Spain. However, with falling sales in the cyclemotor sector, production ceased in the late 1950s.

Notes Postwar address: Lohmann Werke AG, Bielefeld W. Rathenau-Strasse 56

Sources: Mark Daniels "Life in the Slow Lane", et al .

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