Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kronan Classic 3-Speed

Knonan Classic. Available in the U.S. through Kronan's website for $600 + a $47 flat shipping rate. Kronan's motto: "Fall in love with your bicycle again."

H/T Drunk And In Charge Blog for bringing this bike to our attention.

Also, some sweet pics from Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Specs:

Wheels: Miche, aluminum
Rear hub: Shimano 1-spd or 3-spd SRAM T3 Spectro
Chain: KMC 108 links
Crankset: Shimano steel 46T
Pedals: Aluminum spindle
Tires: 50 psi; 26" tubes
Saddle: Cushioned w/ vinyl upholstery
Rear light: Darkness & motion activated. .06 watts. Stainless steel cover & cage
Front light: Front wheel generator - 6 volt, 3 watts
Brakes: Drum brake SRAM T3
Luggage carrier: Painted steel w/ 2 chrome spring clips & pump holder. Pump included!
Bell: Stainless steel w/ Kronan logo
Fenders, chainguard

Comments?

24 comments:

Barry said...

They've been talking about this bike on BikeForums the past few days, with someone implying that it's poorly made and dangerous. But there was no facts about this provided. Does anyone know the scoop?

Also is the frame hi-tensile steel?

Freewheel said...

Barry, there's a mindset among some on the forums that if it costs less than $1,000, it must be poorly made. Not true. I could say more, but I'll leave it at that.

Here's what Kronan's website says about the frame: "The frame is made of rustproofed steel, with some particularly exposed parts galvanised."

MB said...

Just looking at that bike feels like a workout.

henry Cutler said...

Kronans look great but they are very poorly made. If there's any rustproofing on them I can't imagine where it is. They rust fast and hard all over. Also all those accessories are actually made too thinly from cheap material so the kickstands break, carriers fold, fender stays bend etc. Many bike shops in Amsterdam specifically refuse to repair Kronans because they're so much trouble.

The Kronan is actually a poor copy of the old Swedish military bike. The Monark Balloon tire bike made in the former Kroon factory in Vansbro, Sweden is the real thing. That's a nice, sturdy bike.

I'm no snob; my shop sells thousands of utility bikes for not so much more than the price of a Kronan. We sell mostly our own WorkCycles and Azor but the city bikes from every major Dutch/Danish/Swedish manufacturer are of much better quality than the Kronan.

jlpicard2 said...

What would be better in the same or cheaper price range in the USA? Maybe the Kronan is the best in it's price range in the USA. Has anybody owned one?

Traci said...

i've been salivating over this bike for some time and posted about it on my blog. i received a few comments from people here. i've tried for weeks to reach the u.s. distributor but no one answers my emails. too bad.

dafew said...

I have read all the comments regarding the poor quality of the Kronan. I have had my Kronan for about a month now and have to say it did come with a few problems out of the box. Non of the problems where beyond the scope of an entry-level bike mechanic... trueing wheels, adjusting gears, etc.

Regarding the rust-proofing issue... who cares? This bike could start rusting now and still be structurally sound 50 yrs from now. My 60lbs of ductile iron is going nowhere fast.

Since I have gotten my Kronan dialed in it has been a dream to ride. Sure it could be lighter, it could have been well adjusted upon my receipt, but I view bike ownership as a relationship.... I am much happier with the Kronan having had to spend a week or so getting to know it.

Bottom line... if you want a pristine,light,maintenance free bike get something else. If you want a tank that will require a little tinkering in exchange for 1940ish old-world style the Kronan is for you.

baddog8it said...

"my shop sells thousands of utility bikes for not so much more than the price of a Kronan."

I've looked at the names mentioned in the above post, and all of them appear to be approx three times the cost of the Kronan. That's not my definition of "not much more..."

Steamguy1 said...

I've had a Kronan for three years and have no problems with rusting. The bike gets used in many kinds of different weather but is garaged after being out.

I got it because (like some folks mentioned) everything else is hyper-expensive(!!!).

I got mine because I live in a rural area, and wanted to have something for utility to get down to the end of my dirt road in any weather. Look, I am not 'made of muscle' and I just wanted some exercise. The bike is heavy, yeah, but it takes the beating just fine. I grew up riding a Schwinn from the era when a bike like that weighed the same as the Kronan.

So what if I have to adjust it a bit from time to time? I don't know about the other person, but I have other things to do with my money than worrying about spending it on some dream-machine bike that I'm afraid to leave out in the rain. Or be paranoid about some jerk stealing it.

The bike is a thing of beauty in its utility.

Bas said...

I've owned a Kronan Klassik for some 6 years.
This bike looked great and was a great, smooth ride.
This said; Kronan's are not the rugged indestructable tanks people would like them to be.
After two years, the rim of my rear-wheel literally split in half.
Kickstand wore out and dragged across the street.
The carrier isn't (sideways) stable under heavy loads because it is fastened by flat strips in stead of tubes.
Chrome (what's left of it anyway) is totally speckled and rust made gigantic holes in the fenders.
A beauty while it lasts.

Anonymous said...

Kronan isn't operating in the US any longer. Numerous emails to their US website are unanswered, and contacts with their Danish headquarters referred me back to the US website. Eventually one of their Danish staff said the owner of the company would contact me - that was a month ago and no word yet. Terrible customer service, and apparently no interest whatsoever in actually selling bikes. We bought an Electra Amsterdam instead and are delighted with it.

Anonymous said...

Kronan isn't operating in the US any longer. Numerous emails to their US website are unanswered, and contacts with their Danish headquarters referred me back to the US website. Eventually one of their Danish staff said the owner of the company would contact me - that was a month ago and no word yet. Terrible customer service, and apparently no interest whatsoever in actually selling bikes. We bought an Electra Amsterdam instead and are delighted with it.

Anonymous said...

I contemplated buying a Kronan back in 2008 but since I know Swedish and Dutch, took the trouble to look first at what some of their owners had to say about them on blogs (...and much of it was frankly unprintable). Though the concept is a very good one, it appears that when Kronan ran out of genuine military surplus bikes to sell they bought the original M42 design from the Swedish government and went into manufacturing on their own account. But in order to keep the price down to the (unrealistically low)level it had been for surplus bikes, they were forced to outsource to a variety of dubious lowest-bid suppliers in Vietnam, Poland and places like that, with the result that the bikes soon acquired a stinking reputation for frame failures, buckling wheels, rusting etc.

What I did in the end was buy a Finnish Helkama Jääkäri civilianised military bike from Velorution cycle store in London, and I've been delighted with it. Very much the same spec and 1940s appearance as the Kronan, but superbly well-made and reliable as well as being a delight to ride. I've used mine every day since October 2008 in all weathers and never the slightest trouble. Highly recommended.

Ron said...

I emailed their US address with a technical question last week, and received an answer within 24 hours.
Not sure why others are not getting answers, I did receive mine.

Łukasz Kluj said...

I protest against expressions such is 'places like Vietnam or Poland' in the comments above. I'm from Poland and many quality products are produced here, just to give one example - in Poland produced Fiat Pandas are much more reliable that other Fiat models produced elsewhere. What the guy above said what just a primitive stereotype...

Regarding the subject of discussion and the post. It appears that current Kronan is one of those brands that have based their power on heritage and past but have lost the connection to their core values. In this case case it was extremely rugged construction of the bike.

Ron said...

I don't have any experience with products from Poland. I know the MZ motorcycle made in East Germany had a good reputation for quality, along with very unusual design. I did once own a Czech-built Jawa 350, which was cleverly designed and sturdily made of thick and strong metal, and perhaps not the best paint and chrome.
I suppose if a company is taking lowest bids for parts, it really doesn't much matter where they are from...they won't likely be very good. Some of the same issues mentioned with regard to Kronan have also been said about the Chinese "Flying Pigeon" bicycle, which is a similar design built in a different part of the world.
My biggest complaint with the Kronan is that the wheels and tires are non-standard sizes.
The men's model uses the French 650B size, while the women's model uses the 28 x 1 1/2", both available online but almost never in a bicycle store in the U.S.
The difficulty of finding replacement tires and tubes in the U.S. makes the bike impractical for me.
My other problem is that there is only ONE frame size available, and it is smaller than I like. Since I don't like a small frame with a lot of seatpost exposed, I'd probably not buy a Kronan, no matter how well it might be built.
My "ideal" next bike to buy will have a 23" frame, and will have a tire size (either mountain bike 26" or 700C) which I can get in any bike store and many department stores.
At present, I lean strongly toward bikes like the Public, which cost almost exactly the same as the Kronan, and pretty much fits my "ideal" qualifications....
http://publicbikes.com/BIKES

Kronan Inc said...

Hey there everyone. Sorry about the confusion and lack of communication from Kronan in the USA. We are up and running and have been. But, there have been some internal changes recently that may have caused the communication gap.

Any question about your Kronan or how to purchase one in the US please write infous@kronan.com.

Now is a good time to get in touch as we are discounting our stock for the next couple of weeks.

Sincerely,
Kronan Inc.

Anonymous said...

Hello.

By the way, we (Kronan) did put all the Kronans on sale this month. 20% off entire line up. Sold out of a few colors/models, but plenty left. Enter "Summer Sale" in coupon code window when checking out.

If we do say so ourselves. A great chance to get a Kronan at best price ever.

www.kronanusa.com.


Kronan USA

Jim King said...

henry Cutler is full of shit. I've had mine for nearly ten years and I haven't had anything rust yet.

Alex G said...

I've had mine for 10 years. No issues. But I take care of it and do keep in a garage. I'm selling it on ebay - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300799884529

Anonymous said...

I own a Kronan and looking to sell! If ur interested email me at dyhrdcowboysfan@Gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I own 1 but not my type. I'm looking to sell!

threestorks said...

I have a this bike for sale. Rarely used in Baltimore. Guyute74@yahoo.com

King Tam said...

How much for that bike