In May 2005, Karl Schweitzer was a panel member on the Tyrolean Future Strategy Committee. He had an idea: an ultra light power unit for bikes. So the idea was born. It immediately won that year’s Adventure X Business Award. The engineer and entrepreneur worked enthusiastically on the project bringing to bear all his expertise and ingeniuty to further develop the idea. By March 2006 Gruber Assist was ready to bring to the market. The company “Gruber Antrieb GmbH & Co KG” was started up by Karl, with his daughter Monika Schweitzer becoming Manager. As a qualified Business Economist she had a clear business strategy and since 2007 has progressively moved the Gruber Assist Company forward.
What started quietly in the Tyrolean Mountains, established itself in a short time as the new “innovationin ultra light-power” units for bicycles, becoming the overall winner of the 14th “Brand New Awards” at ISPO 2006 in Munich, the biggest Sports Industry show in Europe. It caught the imagination of both press and industry, and laid the foundation for a successful future. Highly intensive development work guaranteed the next step forward.
From May 2008 Gruber Antrieb provides the power unit ready-installed in complete bicycles. Models ranged from the classic comfortable touring bike to the sporting mountain bike. It is now possible, even in the mountains, to cycle with ultra light motor support. The Gruber Assist is the only available light-weight motor. It has a perfect balance point, enabling use of the control/gearbox for the extraordinary demands made by sports cycling. It closes the gap between the classic E-bike and the mountain bike.
A superb development arrived in the spring of 2011. The motor noise of the Gruber Assist 3.15 was reduced. Demand doubled. Manager Monika Schweitzer said: “No-one doubted the innovation and the uniqueness of our power unit, though we probably did lose some customers due to the noise. The new quieter generation Gruber Assist 3.15 is a great step forward. Future research and development is very important in our company. The goal is to reduce the sound and, of course, keep the weight to a minimum”.
The success continued: Eurobike 2011 was a platform for the presentation of the newly branded vivax assist. The focus was on improving the existing Gruber Assist. The result is a completely new product with sensational features – the vivax assist. The developers clearly had many more ideas up to there sleeves and the vivax assist team relished the the new challenges ahead! The vivax assist unit now featured intelligent electronic control with the new high-tech gear and latest generation battery cells.The renaming into vivax drive in july 2014 was the logical consequence of the successful establishment of the brand vivax assist.