Bicycle production & mobility policies: its interplay in Graz

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk at conference or symposiumScience to science


Graz was not only home to a flourishing bicycle industry since the late 19th Century, it also was a car manufacturing city. In fact, the same company simultaneously produced cars, scooters and bicycles. At the end of the 19th Century, Graz was home to a vivid community of bicycle enthusiasts. Members of Graz based bicycle clubs, like Johann Puch, were actively engaged in setting up local cycle production. In this era, the relationship between bicycle pioneers, manufacturers and policy-makers resulted in favourable conditions. During the interwar period, economic conditions were difficult . Nevertheless, the company Puch survived. Despite its economic significance in times of high unemployment, the influence of the local bicycle industry was not strong enough to refute the introduction of a bicycle tax by the end of the 1930s.
Bicycle production peaked after 1945, but faced a major crisis during the 1980ies. The company (then Steyer-Daimler-Puch Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH) was broken up into smaller business units. While car production endured, the gates of the bicycle factory closed for good. Ironically, it was during the darkest hour of the local bicycle industry, Graz enjoyed its most progressive and successful urban mobility policymaking, which earned Graz the reputation of a leading Austrian bicycle city.
Period25 Oct 2019
Event titleNNUAL MEETING SOCIETY FOR THE HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY: Exploring the Interface between Technology Art, and Design
Event typeConference
LocationMilan, ItalyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Bicycle
  • History of Technology
  • Graz
  • Puch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production