Scandinavian commuter bikes

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A reader, Paul, sent me an email pointing out three interesting Scandinavian bikes. The first two were new to me, so I want to pass them along.

First is the Tunturi Chat (pictured here). The text on the website is in Swedish, so most of you will probably not be able to read it, but the site is worth checking out. The bike is a simple one speed and it has a lock cable integrated into the frame (it is the loop that is visible at the end of the top tube). A rack and basket are optional accessories for this bike.

Next is the Helkama 101i, which features a hollow cast magnesium frame. It looks like a pretty interesting design with two cast halves mechanically fastened together. The frame looks very clean with all the cables inside. Magnesium is incredibly light compared to other structural metals with a specific gravity of about 1.7. The material has its drawbacks, as anyone who has broken a Kirk Precision frame can tell you. According to “Bicycling Science”, magnesium has a low tensile strength and a modulus of elasticity that is about 1/5 that of steel. The old Kirk frames have a reputation for being brittle, but I would guess that the clamshell design of this Helkama bike creates a stronger frame than those lightweight Kirk thin girder frames.

Last is the Z8 frame from Skeppshult. This one has been around a while, but it is still worth mentioning. I would be interested in riding one to see how much suspension the twin small diameter downtubes provide. Check out the other bikes on the Skeppshult site if you aren’t already familiar with them.

Photo from the Tunturi website

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 4:19 am -  Reply

    I just found your blog and read the post about the bike in the DWR catalog. You said that people don’t usually keep their bikes in their dining room… I thought I’d mention that I have my two mtn race bikes in my dining room, and 4 other bikes, including various road and cross, in the living room. And that’s not counting what’s in the basement.

    And I’m a female, which I imagine makes it a even a little more unusual… just thought I’d point out that while it’s true that most people don’t keep bikes in their dining rooms, many bike geeks do!!

  2. James October 11, 2007 at 6:43 am -  Reply

    I said that kind of jokingly though it is true that most people don’t even keep their bikes inside.

    I have eight bikes in the house right now, so, like yours, they spill into several rooms. Most stay in the bike room most of the time, but a couple are in our guest room now.

  3. bikesgonewild October 12, 2007 at 2:53 am -  Reply

    …it’s funny in a way…to those of us who ‘know’, it’s perfectly normal cuz each bike represents something we’re intimate with…

    …to the casual rider or the non rider, we’re all certifiably ‘nutzoid’…

    …those poor deprived fools will never understand our beautiful obsession…

  4. Uncle Bob October 19, 2007 at 6:53 am -  Reply

    That “Chat” is an interesting design. Curious to see that European manufacturers produce small-wheeled bicycles that are not folders. Coincidentally I visited the Schauff web-site this morning and ran across their “La Luna” design under “City” bikes”.

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