Unfortunately, Austrian bicycle producers are more on the sporty side and don't offer a huge variety of urban bikes -- most of them being either not well-equipped or simply ugly. There are exceptions though. Let's just have a look..
In fact there are only two internationally relevant bicycle producers in Austria nowadays:
KTM builds beautiful road and mountain bikes, but their city bikes are rather ugly. Well, they are quite cheap though, and well-equipped.
Simplon at least has the Kagu that has refreshing colors and balloon tires, but imho the ladies' version looks rather clumsy. The standard version doesn't have lights, fenders nor a rear rack, but it can be attached easily. Simplon bikes are far more expensive, but the quality is excellent.
Beside these two, there are smaller brands like Kraftstoff with their lovely monarchic series -- but again nice bikes without lights, fenders and rack (except the male Siegfried balloon bike). Otherwise I would definitely go for the Sissy although it is pricy.
And there's Steirerbike which builds a wooden bike and some relatively cool, well-equipped and fairly cheap trekking bikes. But I really don't need suspension forks and fat tires in the city..
Furthermore, Team Schmidt builds customized bikes and also recycles second-hand bikes. They make refreshingly many different types of bikes -- road, mountain and urban bikes, fixies, tandems and cargo bikes ;-). MeinRad does a similar thing and rebuilds your own old bike to a new (single-speed) bike.
Ok, I know this sounds like a lot, but most of the companies I only know because I did some research for this article. Unfortunately none of the bicycle producers focuses on urban bikes although there is a high demand for cool such bikes here. I have the impression that after Puch went bankrupt nobody built useful and elegant bikes for the masses anymore :-(.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Le tour d'Autriche
As a saying modified after one of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poems (famous German writer) already suggests,
"Why wander around in the distance, when good things lie nearby?"I'm going to check out local bicycles before getting lost in the international market.