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The Pilen Story

Louise Avander

Starting from scratch

he seed that would become Pilen started to grow when Pilen's founder Martin Avander was a boy. He often pondered over how to make his own bicycle better and keep it from rusting. Among his friends he became known as the boy who repaired bikes in his dad's garage. In the 1990s with his brother Henrik, he started a company making bicycles inspired by the indestructible Swedish army bikes. However the business grew too quickly and lost its distinctiveness. The brothers moved on, and Martin took the dream of creating the perfect bicycle with him.

A true family business

1998 Martin met Louise from Västervik in Småland and together they started Pilen Cykel AB. The factory was opened in Målilla, where Martin had spent many wonderful summers at his mother's family farmstead. At first it was hard for Pilen and bicycle manufacturing was combined with moonlighting as a German teacher, mushroom sales, tractor driver and peddling of used army bicycles at markets and squares. It was a simple but rich life that still leaves its mark on the design and construction of the stylish and functional Pilen.

Small-scale and cordiality

As the reputation of the Pilen’s fine qualitiy spread nationally and internationally the business picked up and gained good momentum. One of the stainless steel linchpins of Pilen's success story is the custom production line – built by the Avander’s entirely on their own and still constantly improved. Pilen has only a few employees and everyone in the company is able to accurately assemble a bicycle in every detail.

Today Martin, Louise and two employees manufacture 2 000 bikes a year .The customer can choose the colour scheme and components to suit their taste. Martin and Louise have fulfilled their dream – a small factory in Småland producing quality bicycles that speak to the heart. And there is always more room on our saddles and in the warm community of merry Pilen owners which grows with every passing year. Welcome!