May 22, 2020

FIVE FROM FINLAND: Bikes

bikes
These Finnish companies are pedaling fast to get noticed on the global biking scene!
Julia Bushueva

Get rolling with these Finnish approaches to the velocipede.

Many of us may still be facing some serious mobility restrictions amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but, with the weather improving rapidly and the restrictions being gradually eased, the time is coming to dust off the two-wheeler and take it for a spin. These five bike-related Finnish companies are at your service.

Pole

This Jyväskylä-based high-end bicycle producer boasts a growing range of two-wheelers including cross-country, trail, enduro, downhill and urban models. Each goes to great lengths to provide a superior riding experience.

Taking an innovative approach to the industry and willing to push boundaries, the company’s motto is to produce safe, effective and easy bikes.

“We test everything and try to be scientific with product design,” founder Leo Kokkonen informed us. “We are also thinking differently and openly; we have not founded the company on secrets or a simple-minded stubborn way to think.”

Pelago

For Pelago, making stylish city, active and all-road bikes is not just about making money, it’s also about the desire to represent cycling and enhancing the cycling experience for consumers.

Sparked by a passion for cycling and founded in 2009, the company has been expanding steadily ever since with many distributors across Europe and beyond. According to the brand, the “Finnishness” of their bikes is a good selling point as there’s a certain exotic element to owning a Finnish bicycle.

“Whereas cars have been the traditional status symbol, maybe bicycles can be too. They say something about people’s values,” noted co-founder Timo Hyppönen.

Wiilubike

If it can be made out of wood, you can find it in Finland. This applies to bicycles as well, and these wooden city bikes are hitting the streets to promote active lifestyles.

Designed with sustainability in mind, these wood-framed bicycles are a result of several years’ development work that required the efforts of strategic partners from different fields.

“A bike is a universal product. Everyone has some kind of a biking memory,” said Ilari Alaruka, co-founder of Wood Innovations Finland, the company behind Wiilubike. ”It would be a major achievement for us if our wooden bike could get more people excited about biking.”

Revonte

While the demand for ecological transport is heating up around the globe, this Tampere-based startup is set to shake up the industry by turning e-bikes into fully customisable platforms.

Instead of making e-bikes of its own, the company focuses on designing a software-first solution that offers unprecedented options for e-bike manufacturers and end-users alike.

This year, the company’s flagship drive system, Revonte ONE, will be tested with a number of European early-adopter clients to bring industry knowledge into the further product development.

“Our long-term plan is to be a market leader in the business,” stated CEO and co-founder Otto Chrons. “A different thing is how you measure it; I don’t think we’re aiming for the biggest volumes or turnover, but rather a feel or a sense of leadership.”

Yeply

What’s the point of having a bike if it’s not rolling nicely? This fast evolving startup that was founded in 2016 by two childhood friends conveniently brings the bike service straight to your doorstep. Yeply has a fleet of vans transformed into mobile service stations that drive around neighbourhoods in the Finnish capital region, service bikes and return them ready the same day.

What significantly boosts the company’s operational efficiency and makes it very different from the competitors is the specially developed digital platform that records every bike, service and customer, as well as offers real-time insight on the company’s sales and marketing.

“This is a very different approach from traditional brick-and-mortar shops,” stressed co-founder and CEO Tommi Särkkinen. “We like biking, but we also want to create a profitable business.”

Originally published in May 2019. Updated in May 2020

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