are a number of manufacturer that have made armybikes that was given names
( see pictureprofile ) and
Sweden have had some trouble in finding bicycleparts in first and second
world war, most of the parts had to be made in Sweden. At least it was
so from 1920´s until the end of 1970´s. The Armybike have to
be made so different parts can be replaced with pieces from older or newer
bikes. Most of the older bikes is therefore often a mix of parts from different
bikes, allways painted in green so no part can shine in the dark, exept
the lampsglas for safety on roads. All this mix of parts makes it hard
to find out how old the bike is, but there are allways a framenumber that
can give us some clue.
Nyman opens 1873 a medical Instrumentmanufacturin on the street Dragarbrunnsgatan
25 in Uppsala. From around 1880 he begin to repair bikes. During
1888 he made his first bike, a highwheel, sadly Anders died the year after,
only 49 years old. His widow took over and continue with the company until
1893 when the firm were passed on to their sons Adolf Fredrik Nyman and
brothers expand to a new shop at Dragarbrunnsgatan 28 and reconstructed
the company to A. F. & J. Nymans instrumentmakeri och velocipedfabrik.
Only 10 velocipedes was made during 1893 – 1894 and these was given the
name Hermes. Allready 1895 they bought a new shop where they also
sold imported bikes. Members of the highweel society got 10% discount on
repairs from A.F. Nyman on Dragarbrunnsgatan 25 & 30. During 1896 they
made around 100 velocipedes.
was now growing with the bikes rising popularity and had 48 employees in
1898. They want to expand and needed money so they reconstrukted it again
and went to the stockmarket in 1899 and renamed it to Aktiebolaget Nymans
verkstäder (AB NV).1900 the real factorymanufacturing of bikes started
where they made ca 500/year around the century. Every year more bikes was
made in 1905 they made around 2.500 bikes and 500 bikes as parts for other
to make by themselves.
25 maj 1910 fire struk the shop at Dragarbrunnsgatan 10 in the middle of
the season. The company made at this time their own bikes, tyres, tubes.
They also made repairations, painting, nickleplate and sold bikeparts.
After the fire they concentrated their business to bikemanufacturing and
sold the bikeparts, inventory and the rented lokals to their competitor,
Frame-manufacurer Josef Eriksson who had a manufacturing on the same street.
Between 1910 to 1920 the production of bikes expand, up to around 24 000/year
the last year. Allready in 1919 NV opened their first branch office in
the 1920's NV lost their main figures. Adolf Fredrik died in 14/6 1921
and his brother Janne died the 20/7 1923. Still the company continue the
manufacurer in Stockholm, Crescentmanufacturer A. Lindblad, had in 1929
negotiate of a joint venture and in 1931 a deal was settled between the
companies where the produktionen quickly went to Uppsala the same year.
With Lindblad the NV got the agency of Torpedohubs from Fichtel & Sachs
AG (Torpedo). Lindblad continue as a salesorganisation and the bikes were
made in Uppsala by NV. A part of the advertisement was the participation
in racingevents and roadraces was popular attractions where NV now served
two teams, the Red Hermes-racers and the Yellow Crescent-racers.
capacity was huge and NV took over the manufacturing1933 of Vega-manufacturer
Östergötlands Velocipedfabrik in Linköping. To preserve
the different bikes identity NV carefully used different parts on the details
as frameornament and crankwheel among others. Even the popular mascot on
the front mudguard in the 1930's was different. Hermes had the wellknown
head of the Greek god Hermes in profile with his wing-helmet as a mascot.
Crescent and Drott had their "Lady sitting in the crescent moon" in profile
and Vega got an indian head with feathers and all as a mascot.
the 1930's the times were good and NV reached 1 million bikes in 1938.
In 1939 NV took over the bikemanufacturing from Stockholm-manufacturer
bicycleadv. / racer
) with their renown Nordstjernan-bikes(North star). Exept the competitions
the branch offices was importent windows to the public and was at this
time 12 in different larger citys in Sweden; as Malmoe, Stockholm, Gothenborg,
Linkoeping, Karlstad, Oerebro, Vaesteraas, Sundsvall, Lulea, Falun and
companies that had been bought and joined to NV worked earlier as free
salesorganisation, but become a closer part to the main company in 1941.
The differrent profiles become weeker and a smaller part in the marketing
from now on. Expansion and bigger salesfigurers was a result of the
need for fuel-free transportation, and even if there was a need for material,
the number of employee rose to 3 times bigger, 1 300 people worked in Uppsala.
The german hub-manufacturer Fichtel & Sachs AG was engaged in german
warindustry and become a target for the allied troops, that in the end
of the war did serious dammage to the factory. Because of the trouble to
get the hubs a separate company, AB Torpedo NV, was created for a licenced
manufacturing of theese hubs between 1947 to the beginning of 1950's.
closer bonds between the 4 companies was marketed in 1/6 1947 when the
company changed it's name to Nymanbolagen AB with a new logo, a shield
divided in 4 squares red/yellow to symolize the 4 brands Hermes, Cresent,
Vega and Nordstjernan. Also with the letter N in a central possition. The
racers connected to the different brands had to get used to Nymanbolagens
concentrations in Crescent as the racerbike. Harry Snell become a year
later world champion on a Crescent 1948. Soon after that the first "Världsmästarcykeln"
(Worldchampionbicycle) was born (a bike most of the swedes remembers today
since Crescent used it still in the 1970's). Allreade 1948 a new and very
small company joined the 4 when Aktiebolaget Velocipedaffären Viktor
become a part of Nymanbolagen. They sold the brand Hinden with parts from
1950 Nymanbolagen had 1 600 employees and manufactured almost 1 bike/minute
during the beginning of the 1950's. The production was 150 000 bikes, 15
000 motorbikes and bikeparts to a 100 000 more bikes. The good times was
shown in the catalog with a large number of accessories and different gears.
One of theese new accessories was Nymodyn, a dynamo integrated with
the front hub together with the front hubbrake. Something Shimano manufatured
today, but the idea is older. Sturmey-Archer manufactured a Dymohub allready
1 juli 1952 Swedish law was changed and a motor on a bike without drivers
licence was permitted and started a new era, the moped. Nymanbolagen and
their competitors sold so many of theese popular mopeds that the bikesales
was shrinking. Also the competition in motorbikes had effect on the bikes
where most companies offered a cool bike with speedwaylook.
expansion never stoped so 1956 another manufacturer joined Nymanbolagen,
M. Berlin & Co with their brand Apollo. From 1959 the news of
a decal called pepita was given to Crescent and are still a part connected
to the brand Cresent.
biggest competitor, the manufacturer Monark, was allready a huge stockholder
when the plans of a fusion was announsed and the deal was set in 14/6 1960
and the fusion happened allready the 1/9 same year. The joined companies
now got 5 000 employees and president was the Monark-boss Tage Warborn.
AB become the new name of the company where the manufacturing of bikes
was concentrated to Monark's hometown Varberg. A deal was made with Husqvarna
in 1/9 1961 where Husqvarna exchanged the bike-, hub- and mopedmanufacturing
with Monarks chainsawmanufacturing. The date 12/3 1963 was a sad day, it
was the date the last bike was manufactured by Nymanbolaget in Uppsala.
Allmost 10 years later the manufacturing of the bicycle Fram moved to Helsingborg
and since then the nickname "Cykelsala" only lives in our memory.
is one of the oldest companies in Sweden and the factory was founded 1697.
As a specialist in iron and steelproducts they manufactured a number of
different products during the past 300 years. Sometime in the beginning
they got the name Husqvarna vapenfabrik (Husqvarna weaponfactory). Around
1850-80 and forwards other ithems like sewingmachines become their backbone,
but also cooking ithems, stowes, and other iron products that could be
needed in a complete home.
1897 they slowly started a production of bicycles. Rather quickly they
become popular since Husqvarna allways manufactured quality products. Soon
the need was bigger than they could deliver so the manufacturing of bicycles
took larger and larger space in the crowded factory. Allready in 1905 they
speek of themselves as the biggest manufacturer of bicycles among the norther
countries. They allready had a good salesorganisation spread in every capital
city in the north, so the bikes were sold even outside Sweden. The bicycles
together with the sewingmachines become the new backbone.
was making bikes for the general public and didn't focus on the racingscene.
So year after year they were growing and followed the fashion of the time.
They also manufacured bikes for other brands and serve them with their
own special identity as special ornaments, chainwheels, chainguards and
so on. One of the bigger was the brand "Gripen" (i don't know the english
word of the fairytalefigure; eaglehead, lions body with wings, and claws.)
that was actually manufacured by husqvarna but sold by another "manufacturer".
every big manufacturer they give their bikes a wellknown and recogniseable
design and allways tried to improve. Even the smaller details was well
done and of high quality. Between the 1910-40's Husqvarna followed the
fashion. As most manufacturers they too made motorcycles before 1910, often
with foreign motors. In the 1920's the manufaturer Rex (Helsingborg) was
successful with their motorcycles in competition, while Husqvarna started
their breakthrough around 1928 and was since then ranked high in motorcycletalks
until the middle of 1950's. Back to their bikes.
the end of the 1940's they created their own tool-kit holder a the "new"
material called Plastic (not as strong as steel :), and an ergonomical
pedal they called Ortopedal (see homepage). As the time was, they too manufacured
bicycles as the "Light series" with aluminum chainguards, mudguards, bagageholder
and sometimes rims.
the swedish law was changed and a motor on a bike without drivers licence
was permitted Husqvarna made their own moped. It was a good product but
(young-)people find Husqvarna to un-cool, and a real failiur was the moped
version of the popular motorcycle called Silverpilen(Silverarrow) with
a speedwaylook. Totaly obsolete motor and with a leather "chain" drive(
belt ). In the end of the 1950's they had lost all progress to Nymanbolagen
with their popular Crescent mopeds. Back to bikes again.
all manufacurers had their sales droped from the late 1950's and the progress
in being the best manufacurer of bikes was not so interesting anymore.
The family car was the latest thing. Even though bikes still was widely
used, there were too big manufacturing capacity. When Husqvarna got an
offer by Monark (Monark-Crescentbolagen) in 1961 they accepted to exchange
manufacturingithems where Husqvarna exchanged the bike-, hub- and mopedmanufacturing
and got Monarks chainsawmanufacturing. Monark tried to make Husqvarnabicycles
with Monark quality (not so high quality as you might understand), but
people now find Crescent more attractive. Crescent was still manufactured
in Uppsala by the old Nymanbolagen a couple of years(2) as you had been
the sales of Husqvarna droped the interest in Monark-Crescentbolagen of
preserving the name Husqvarna was so low that they stopped making the bike.
The manufacturing of Novohubs proceeded for some year untill 1967(?) but
also the hub was becomming obsolete.
was the real winner since they still today is known for their high quality
chainsaw's around the world. But today not many of theese products are
made in Sweden anymore.
was not only known for a good quality but also for modern, different and
exceptionally good paintjobs. Hermes was a long time the Rolls Royce of
the bikes but in the 1950's Crescent became the main bicycle and Hermes
dissapeared when Monark created the company Monark-Crescent bolagen. In
the 1980's a bike with Hermes-decals appeared, but it was actually a Monark
with another name.
the loss of two big manufacuter there were only Monark left to manufacture
the militarybicycle. When the Swedish Army find themselves with too many
old green bicycles they sold it to the general public who bought them,
unknowing that it's almost impossible to repair the hub. Exept that the
hub is of good quality, the breaks need constanty replacement. Since no
such parts had been manufactured after 1968 there is allmost no-one to
find anymore. I've seen one new in a box during my 15 years in the business.
There are only a few militarybikes that have Torpedohubs whitch you can
find if you are lucky, extreemely lucky. Theese Torpedo-parts is easy to
the Army sold everyone, the public need for this militarybikes was still
high. So someone clever started to sell Chinamade armybikes that later
got the name Kronan which is a nickname for the military in Sweden. The
first years they were nothing else than trash, but year after year they
have become better and more expensive. But still, they are far away from
the real thing.
you can read my quick-translation and Swenglish so you know more about
and a member of the Bicyclehistoric club in Sweden.