The Pilen Special
Dutch bikes, it turns out, are not just from the Netherlands. “Most people would say Pilen bikes were in a traditional Dutch-style, but this is the kind of bike that’s been produced in Sweden since the 1940s,” says Louise Avander of Pilen, a family business in Målilla, Sweden. The company was founded in 1998 by her husband, engineer Martin Avander, and in the first year it produced 300 frames.
Expansion to Denmark took its production to 1,000, and it’s now exporting globally, but, Louise says: “We don’t want to produce more than 5,000 bikes a year. We want to keep control over the product and the same close contact with our dealers.”
The Pilen Special’s convenient step-through is popular with customers, and the upright stance doesn’t mean clunky or slow: “You can recognise your grandmother’s bike in a Pilen,” says Louise. “But we went through so many prototypes to get the best riding position and to use leg-power efficiently.”
Relaxed, comfortable riding with shopping or a child in tow.
- Carry groceries or mount a child seat on the rack.
- Leather saddle from British brand Brooks.
- Grips are in cork or leather, courtesy of Finnish company Herrmans.
- Sturdy wheels and wide tyres soak up the potholes.
- Chain guard keeps grease away from skirts or trousers.