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As early as 1885 a pedal cycle club emerged in Nuremberg where the sport of cycling was actively fostered and it was Max Ottenstein, an enthusiastic member of this club, who established his first business dealings in England. At the time, Britain was the world leader in the manufacture of bicycles, but all these enterprises lacked commercial management beyond artisanal production, so in 1886, Max Ottenstein and merchant Max Frankenburger founded the Frankenburger & Ottenstein Unlimited (OHG from German: meaning unlimited company). Then, Max Ottenstein's plan to create bicycle production was born out of his ability to obtain raw materials for bicycles from England through trade.

Max Ottenstein immediately implemented his plan. Next, in a rented workshop in Gleishammer, a suburb of Nuremberg, 20 workers produced the first bikes. After that, the company built a barrier-free site where customers could become skilled in handling the new vehicles safely and proficiently.

In 1888, with the rapid expansion of production, the rented premises in Gleishammer were soon unable to accommodate 150 workers and more than 40 machine tools. At this point, the owner of a large machine shop in Nuremberg bought a large building site on what would later become Ludwig Feuerbach Street on favorable terms and took an equity stake in the company on the condition of providing production premises, which allowed the company to secure production space. The following year, 1893/94, saw a sharp increase in sales for the Victorian company. Then, on 15 November 1895, the company was transformed into a joint-stock limited company under the name "Victoria Fahrrad-werke AG", with a registered capital of DM 1.25 million.