Everything started with a weight problem...
Early years and breakthrough
The history of Tune begins in 1988. Uli Fahl, born in the Black Forrest, lives now in Munich and works as a chemist for a lubricant manufacturer. He is 35 and on the weekends he goes climbing in the Alps with his wife. He uses his brand new and innovative Kettler aluminium mountain bike to reach the steepest climbing zones. But the MTB with 20kg is far too heavy for Uli and most of the time he is already exhausted after the ride, he needs to save his force to climb, so he starts to experiment.
He replaces all screws with aluminum ones and develops weight-optimized rear derailleur kits. They are well received, but he attracts more attention in the professional world with the super-light AC8 quick release system. Anyone who wants to push the weight of their hardtail below the critical mark of 13 kilos orders from Uli. In 1989, the inventor quits his job, starts his company and moves back to the Black Forest. Uli hires people and continues to develop innovative lightweight equipment..
Hubs and wheels are becoming more and more important. Uli’s credo: “The wheels are the best way to save weight. Due to the rotating masses, every gram of weight saved has a particularly noticeable effect here.” His high-tech hubs, super-light, are ahead of the competition.
In the nineties, a ceramic bottom-bracket was launched, it costs 2’900 D-Mark and was the result of a Tour de France development for Jan Ulrich. This product makes tune more visible worldwide and establishes the company as a premium source for high-end bike parts. Uli launches a new rear-hub weighing less than 100g called the “decibel”, its name comes from the fact that the freewheel mechanism is really loud, almost too loud for a ride through the quiet Black Forest…
Fun and innovative is the best way to describe Uli’s state of mind, later he decides to develop a Rocket Bike equipped with kerosene tanks and a real aircraft turbine to speed up through the mountains of the Black Forest at more than 70km/h. The frame finally broke at some point but the lightweight components still hold up today and can be seen at the HQ of Tune in Buggingen.
tune parts in space on the MIR space station
Lightweight and quality are also of major importance for Space Technologies. In the mid-nineties, the Technical University of Munich developed the “Munich Space Chair” for the MIR space station, it enables astronauts to work precisely and concentrated with both hands without floating away, for this development, based on its own experience, Tune designs and delivers an extra-long quick-release system.
10 tune facts
1. Ulis’ first mountainbike was a Kettler Adventure S. It did not fit in to the plane back from the Cape Verde Islands so he just left it behind him…
2. Tune developed a special bottom bracket for a racer that later won the Tour de France. His initials: J.U. 😉
3. The 15x German National Downhill-champion Marcus Klausmann rides on tune parts since his early days.
4. Tune developed a square bottom bracket with fully-ceramic-bearings. It cost 2’900 DM and was probably the most expensive bottom bracket ever.
5. Tune-jewlery like the derailleur pulley “Click” was the bestseller on the tune booth at the 1995 XC-Worldcup in Kirchzarten.
6. Uli Fahl was invited to the casting of the german movie „Wickie und die starken Männer“ (produced by Michael “Bully” Herbig, a well-known german Comedian and movie-maker). The casting company wanted to cast him for the role of the character “Urobe”.
7. The raw stock for a hubshell of 70g weighs around 1kg.
8. Tune is the only manufacturer in the world that produces a one-piece carbon saddle – the Skyracer. The one piece design eliminates weak spots and enables the ultra-low weight.
9. The spoke magnet Pulsar was our lightest product – weighing only 0,4g!
10. The first tune t-shirts were printed with “Hello” on the chest and “Good Bye” on the back.