Kronan the Barbarian

1 Nov

Assembled! (click to enlarge)

I’ve been looking around at various options for a utility bike – something to handle load-hauling, grocery-getting, pub-going, bike-path-cruising, picnics, and other short trips in street clothes where speed isn’t a priority.

I considered building up a Velo Orange Polyvalent, or picking up a Workcycles FR8 or a Civia Loring, but I wanted something less expensive. I looked at a KHS Green, a Linus Roadster and a Public D1 – but none of them seemed particularly suited to hauling a front load.  Converting an older mountain (or even road) frame was a possibility, but finding something suitable (for the right price) proved more difficult than I anticipated. Workcycles produces some suitable options, but then I encountered the bike pictured above: Based on a design by the Swedish Army, the Kronan resumed production at first in Poland, and more recently in Taiwan. Bicycle Fixation posted a well written review of this model (aptly describing it as a “muscle beach cruiser”), so when I saw that they were on sale (20% off), I ordered one.

I assembled it today and had a quick ride up and down the street (my cold precluded me from taking it further) – the low pressure 650b tires (weirdly, the tubes have Woods valves!) eat up pot-holes amazingly well. The carrying capacity should make “car-free” life a lot easier…despite it being a single speed and weighing in at ~55lbs+

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4 Responses to “Kronan the Barbarian”

  1. Jaime November 1, 2010 at 8:57 PM #

    55 lbs, wow! That brake seems a little lacking for such a heavy beast. It looks indefatigable.

    • cyclingasmetaphor November 1, 2010 at 9:31 PM #

      Coaster brake in back and a drum brake in front – stopping power seems adequate so far, though I may change my mind the first time I go down a steep hill with a heavy load 🙂

  2. Toppsymd November 26, 2010 at 8:36 AM #

    Kronan is a (ex) Swedish army bike, had one 84-85 during my years in the army. Not to be Confused with Swiss army that is an other country all togehter (Like comparing USA and Brasil) and while they might have bikes it wont be Kronan.
    I know that Ms Palin don´t know the difference between North and South Korea, however as cyklists I have higher hopes. 🙂

    • cyclingasmetaphor November 26, 2010 at 1:09 PM #

      Wow, it appears that I was so pleased with my poor pun (on the idea of a Swiss Army Knife) that I transposed countries. Indeed this is a Swedish design! 😳 😕 😳

      Can you tell me what tasks you used yours for during your time in the army? By any chance were you in a cykelskyttebataljon? It’s hard to imagine a bicycle in a combat role…

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