My one criticism of the frame construction, is that while there are details such as a braze-on for the front wheel stabiliser spring, there are no braze-ons for the shifter cable and it is attached along the down tube with black clips. Why not add a couple of braze-ons here?
Malilla." The word pilen means "arrow" in Swedish. The bicycles are designed and assembled in-house, with the frames built in Taiwan to their specifications.
here) will work with the Pilen rack.
An optional front rack is also available with the Pilen (shown and reviewed here), but I opted not to install it. This front rack felt excessively heavy, and at 47lb the bicycle was already borderline too much for me to handle without it. I was also told that installing the front rack scratches up the head tube and headbadge, so all in all it did not seem appealing. For all of my needs (workbag, grocery shopping, and the occasional transport of boxes and bulky packages) the huge rear rack was sufficient.
Compared to traditional Dutch bikes or English Roadsters, the Swedish Pilen's geometry is not quite as relaxed, and its handlebars are considerably less swept back - positioning the cyclist's hands almost straight in front of them, mountain bike-style. This makes the handling both more controlled and livelier, with the cyclist's weight more evenly distributed between the front and rear of the bike. While I like the lower positioning of the handlebars, I would prefer it if they had more sweep to them - but this is a matter of personal preference.
wrote earlier about all the different things people mean when they describe a bicycle as "stable," and the Pilen is pretty much all of them. It does not want to go down, no matter what - a factor that can be especially important to novices who are worried about faltering at intersections in traffic.
The one size only 56cm lady's frame is best suited for taller women, which is good news for those who have been unable to find step-through frames in larger sizes. The heavy-duty tubing and wheels are designed for carrying serious weight, which is great for heavier riders and for those regularly traveling with the bike fully loaded. No bicycle is for everyone, but I think the Pilen fills a niche that needed filling: It is a hard-core, elegant transport bike whose mountain bike-ish handling should be inherently familiar to a North American cyclist. Though I would have liked to see a full chaincase, dressguards and a dynamo-powered tail light on the Pilen, it is otherwise fully equipped for daily transportation. Having housed it outdoors for the duration of my guardianship, I can attest to the bike's resistance to the elements and its general durability: There is not a scratch on the powdercoat and the components are free of rust.
Last month I hosted a contest to give away the Pilen to one of my readers, and the winner should be receiving the bicycle shortly. I wonder what she will think of it, and how her impressions will compare to my pragmatic and romantic musings. Many thanks once again to Will of BoxCycles for the opportunity to get to know this bicycle, and for so generously donating it to be given away.