The Gym Wheel (aka German Wheel) was invented in 1925 by Otto Feick in Schönau an der Brend. The son of a blacksmith, Feick was inspired by the memory of an event from his childhood in Reichenbach, when he had tied sticks between two cartwheel bands that his father had made and rolled down a hill.
He filed for a patent as “wheel-gymnastic and sports equipment”. He had invented the wheel in Ludwigshafen am Rhein ca. 1920-1922, on the grounds of the VSK Germania, a sports club, of which he was the founding chairman. The patent was issued on 8 November 1925; the name “Rhönrad” has been registered and protected since 1926 (“Rhön” is the name of the mountain region where the wheel was invented).
Modern gym wheel includes three competitive disciplines: straight-line, spiral and vault.