= My aunt's used "standard style" $200 bike in Sweden is functionally better than even a $3000 Rivendell. Full dynamo lighting, fenders, weather agnostic drum brakes, integrated lock, 26"Big Apples, weatherproof saddle, luggage, racks, and a kickstand. Zero talisman parts. =

Of course I'm posting this as a mildand know a lot of the components arelike the post and pedals and crank. But the base bike is practical. You buy it and add aesthetics and replace components as they wear out or you want something fancier

I love beautiful bike parts Butcheap components are almost always totally fine. Only issue I've had was with a$15 seat post and cheap brakes can be sketchy

But I rode a lot of 60s and 70s bikes I dug out of the trash in college. Lol
In five years those cheap pedals will no longer turn, and they will be rusted in place. Had it happen so many times. But honestly those pedals last super long given how cheap they are

The only downside I've found with those cheap parts are the weight. Other than they're great and cheap to replace. It can be cheaper to just store donor bikes but I don't think my wife agrees to a bike graveyard instead of a garden
Honestly it’s a very elegant and purposeful bike with no compromises in my view. Even those pedals - probably soft on the feet and don’t rip shins. Perfect for casual intensity riding

That's the vibe. This brand, Skeppshult is like the Buick of Swedish bikes. It's old fashioned and conservative. Time tested ideas. It works. Brand new it's just south of about $1000. Spending $1500 for a non e-bike is pretty normal too but this is an example of an everyday quality bike in Göteborg

She bought it used. A good deal. I follow the used Stockholm bike market on IG for fun and $300 gets you a fully serviced bike over there with lighting and all the accessories. It's quite common to see a 1940s bike with a modern Shimano or Spectro drivetrain

Amerika is the land of aspirational vehicles. Ia Daihatsu three cylinder with a five on the floor in the 90s and people made fun of it till theyit. It was absolutely delightful and did exactly what you needed a city car to do. That's why that format car is popular globally. But the carpool lane up the street is like 20% new Ford Broncos with thekit when none of those cars will ever see a gravel driveway. Also the Porsche sport sedans and even the Teslas that have more acceleration than a sane person needs. Aspirational nonsense. Race cars are cool. I'm a member of a motor museum, I love to look at crazy fast dangerous cars. But if you're not racing, use the appropriate vehicle. Same thing happens with bikes. And people end up with miserable machines for their purposes. Aunt's Skeppshult is an absolute dream to ride at 10mph to the fish church in Gothenburg for some mackerel and a tricked out mountain bike or ubergravel machine is not

Not sure why people act like these sorts of bikes are unique to Europe. I got my wife a similarly spec'd Aluminum Diamondback fromfor $200 in 2011. (no dynamo and capiters rather than drum brakes)
Had bought it intending to replace with XT as parts failed, but it's honestly not needed anything other than a better saddle when we first got it. She still uses it to get around Brooklyn. Agree that this layout is great for city riding

Not sure why people act like these sorts of bikes are unique to Europe

I think it is more that these are/were like 80% of ALL bikes in Nordics, or at least in Finland. Everyone from men to women and kids used them

Nowadays things are a tad more varied, but proper mummopyörä (grannybike) can't be beaten

Me and my brother did a bike hike with ones when we were in scouts. Even with a backpack it was smooth asand no aches at all

They truly are the queen of bikes
Of course one needs to find an actually old bike, I find them to be in very good condition even after decades of hard use. They don't do bikes like that anymore

Even their tires roll so well and are seemingly indestructible

Even with one gear they are a joy to ride from hills to flats. Perfect balance imo. Not the fastest but not too light either

I love love love those bikes and I want to get one someday just for everyday biking

I'm in the US, and I scored a budget bike that originated from Germany for $60 a while back

Nothing on it is particularly incredible, but it has a dynamo hub, solid nexus 3 speed with pedal break, fenders, and just freakin' works

I wish bikes like this were common here
Pro tip on the Shimano sg3c41 if you wanna service it: the right bearing retainer in the driver takes 8 7/32". Replace easily with 10 looseand your drive side is 25% stronger. The ring bearing behind the cog AKA the freewheeling bearing and the bearing on the brake side both run on very narrow races and shouldn't be replaced with loosebut they're 10/11each in the retainer already. All the grease in the hub for the bearings and brakes can be replaced with Stay-Plex red which is high temperature grease and cheap. Just wipe it down first, no reason to degrease totally as the factory grease is cross compatible. Hit the planetary cogs with some grease too. Wipe off the three sets of pawls and give those pivots a drop of heavy oil like Phil's. This makes those cheap hubs nuclear blast and hurricane proof. They're really marvelous. Had a play with one recently and remembered that the brake engagement is a Sachs and Fichtel roller clutch design as opposed to a taperedclutch. It's such a brilliant little marvel of engineering that's far more interesting than most bike things that are usually talked about

That's the thing, all the elements are in there to make a cohesive useful machine. Aspirational bikes tend to be terrible at what they aspire to and what they're actually used for. I became aware of this when I was about 10 years old or so during the end of that 70s and early 80s bike boom where everything had to have drop handlebars. And all those handlebars came with those turkey lever extensions because nobody actually used the drop handlebars as drop handlebars. They would have been better off using the same handlebars that your average 1971 Schwinn suburban came with. A sort of funny exception to this are the city bikes I saw in Sweden at the height of the mountain bike craze where the importers and sellers didn't really know what to do with them so they just put fenders and generator lights on them like everything else and they ended up being pretty cool

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