Facts that would make any bicycle lover delighted
- Frame of TiG-welded chromium-molybdenum steel. Sleek and strong fork in chrome-molybdenum steel with cast crown. Superb quality, strong and very resilient.
- Mudguards and chain guard in stainless steel. Frame height 54 cm.
- All paint works done with nature-friendly and impact resistant Powder coating.
- 28” wheels with double bottomed alloy rim and 2,36 mm spokes in stainless Swedish steel. The rear wheel have reduced spokes.
- Quality tires from Schwalbe with excellent puncture protection.
- Front hub brakes.
- 0, 3, 5, 7 or 9 gears from SRAM or Shimano.
- Front hub generator from Sturmey Archer.
- Most parts in stainless steel or aluminum.
- Our own stable carrier made of steel tubing with stainless steel clamps.
- S-reg registry and exemption from excess if bike gets stolen within a year.
Straight facts about Pilen
Now that we are releasing a new site is the right time to speak freely about some topics that we've come to understand interest people.
Pilen is a bicycle designed by us and we assemble all parts that forms the whole that is Pilen. But we does not manufacture the parts in themselves if anybody believed that. We shall explain why and use an analogy – the cook and his ingredients.
The cook doesn't lay eggs – he makes a good omelette
A good cook chooses ingredients with care and knowledge based on what is available and the nature of the dish he wants to create. A good cook knows what ingredient goes with another and can make them sing together and reach higher than the parts alone. The magic in cooking happens when the cook through the skilled use of good ingredients and craftsmanship creates happiness for palate and eyesight. But the cook doesn't need to lay the eggs himself. This is also true in in making a bicycle.
The hubs are made by SRAM in Germany and Shimano in Japan; Saddles by BROOKS and front hub dynamo by Sturmey Archer in England. Our spoke machine is a wonder from The Czech Republic. The frames, forks and carrier are made by Mr Chen Ldt in Taiwan. The factory workers were all produced in Sweden.
Everybody knows what Shimano is, but what is SRAM?
If we say Sachs there probably rings a bell. Sachs was founded 1887, and became SRAM 1997. Today it's the second largest manufacturer of quality bicycle parts. They have three head-quarters: Chicago, USA; Amersfoort in the Netherlands and Taichung, Taiwan.
Is saddles of leather really that good?
- They are somewhat lighter.
- They are weatherproof.
- They do not require breaking in.
- They are much cheaper.
Leather saddles have only two advantage over plastic:
- They are much more comfortable!
- The are strikingly more beautiful to behold!
The English company Brooks have made real leather saddles for more than a hundred years and they are second to none in quality. Don't be fooled by the fact that a leather saddle is quite hard when new. A real saddle requires care and it takes several miles of riding to break one in. But what you get is a saddle that is gentle to your behind for many a long year.
A real leather saddle forms to fit your rear and doesn't press on private parts. It lessens the risk for sores. A leather saddle breathes and that is very comfortable during the hot summer months. During the wet and cold seasons you must oil your saddle and use a cover.
Authentic Taiwanese Frames?
Swedish TIG and MIG welders aren't more skilled than either German, English or Taiwanese ones. There exists a misguided nationalism in some form of advertisement that is deceptive but not true. Our frames, forks and carriers are welded by a small highly qualified Taiwanese manufacturer.
Frame welding is a very advanced process that requires extended experience and knowledge in the mechanics of materials and there is no way that we could house that level of expertise in our little factory. The quality tapered tubes that is used for the frame is not even available on the Swedish market. So don't be deceived by the classical look of the frame. It's high-technology all the way around.
Is Sven a better man than Chen?
The most important fact is that we have designed the bicycle through extended prototyping of the frame, fork and carrier and testing with or without packing. To believe that a welder is better if he is called Sven instead of Chen is just silly. We leave the plausibility of that matter to your own thinking.
The manufacturing and welding of frame parts in Taiwan gives us a quality frame that we never could have made ourselves and we think is is worth it. Anybody who has given a lift to a full-grown adult on a Pilen carrier can tell the difference between a standard bicycle and a Pilen. Frame, carrier and wheels are more powerful and resilient than you can imagine. Possibly even more so.
More haste, less speed – smoked sausage and elderflower juice
When the invoices from SRAM, Schwalbe, Kinex, Brooks, Sturmey & Archer, Busch & Müller is settled, the factory working expenses are covered and the salaries are paid there remains a few precious hundred kronas in profit. That yield is supposed to cover further development, the very modest marketing budget and once in a while an office and retailer party with coarsely-ground smoked sausage (Isterband) and home-made elderflower juice. But we like it this way and we have a great time in the factory as long as Pilen is as popular as our production capacity.
Soon we've made enough profit to develop and introduce a new model – Pilen Sport, a complement to our classical bicycle.
What, It's all about love?
We know it sounds a bit pretentious, but that is intentional. The people at Pilen sat down and thought long and hard about what makes Pilen special in the way it is made and used. Why do we make a bicycle like Pilen? Well. We like solid things that don't break and works well for a long time. The bicycle in itself is a marvellous invention and we like bikes very much. We love to make things with our own two hands. We enjoy making other people happy. All in all: it's all about love. And we don't even get rich doing it.