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Swede Army bike spotted at Nike

Posted by on September 26th, 2005 at 8:08 am

As some of you may know, I have a sincere infatuation with European city bikes. While lurking around the Nike Campus Sunday I came across this fine specimen. (the photo is dark because the sun hadn’t even come up yet!).

LiveStrong Ride with Lance Armstrong

It was being ridden by a gardener who had no idea why I was so fascinated with his bike. It’s from a Swedish company called Kronan. Kronan got their start by building bikes for the Swedish Army 70 years ago and their bikes are made to last. Here’s another shot of it from a different angle.

It had a rod-driven drivetrain (which means it uses solid rods instead of wire cables to shift the gears and brake) and the tires had a serious injection of reflective rubber in the sidewalls.

Now, if only it had BikePortland.org on the downtube…

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  • mamá joey September 30, 2005 at 4:48 pm

    love Kronans! my friend has one and LOVES it. they are as much modern art as transport, like many bikes, of course, but they have that bauhaus simplicity and teutonic solidness… especially those with the ballooon-style tires…

    euro city bikes


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  • Jonathan Maus September 30, 2005 at 8:06 pm

    you’ve nailed it mj. bauhaus and teutonic..modern art. I totally agree!

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  • Jessica Roberts October 1, 2005 at 11:45 am

    Can we post photos in the comments? I’ll give it a try.

    I saw this bike outside of Whole Foods and loved it. Glad to see there are other fans.

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  • Jessica Roberts October 1, 2005 at 11:46 am

    Nope, didn’t post. Here’s a link to the photo.

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  • Photis October 3, 2005 at 8:25 pm

    First I’d like to say that ALL bikes are good bikes. But that being said, I’ve got to put in a warning before anybody runs off and buys a Kronan before riding one. They suck. They do look cool. Granted. And I love city bikes (my personal euro favorite is the fast and sporty yet extremely unsexy old Batavus Barcelona).

    Kronans are very heavy. Shockingly so. And strangely, they’re not built that well. I have many friends in Amsterdam who were given Kronans (by the company they worked for). Not a-one was happy with it. And Amsterdam is flat.

    What Kronans are good for is what they were designed for: strong soldiers carrying very heavy loads is bad weather. If you’re off to fight the Danes, perhaps. But if you’re tooling around the city, no thanks.

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  • […] A few days ago I was hanging out on my street talking to a neighbor. Suddenly, riding toward me on a strange bike with a huge grin on his face was a friend of mine, known as West Cougar. When he got closer, I noticed the bike was a green Kronan (a Swedish military bike similar to the ones used out at the Nike Campus) and I instantly realized why he was smiling. […]

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  • Carl Kamenzind January 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Despite the hefty weight of the Kronan, the funfactor must be tremendous, even when pushing up hill.
    Note that this is not a Swedish Military example, which would never be painted in “shoot me orange” and have reflective tire sidewalls. Instead, this is a knock-off of the real deal. This example is made in Asia(China, I think) an can be bought an a European mall along with the other Asian stuff (I’m resisting calling it crap, OK?) If you want a real Kronan, then the hunt will surely be long and expensive.
    If you want a truely amazing military beast, then strongly consider the MO-05, or MO-93 Swiss Military bicycle. Yes, they are expensive, but you will get tremendous value as you do with any Swiss product.

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