Kronan USA imports practical classic city bicycles that are based on a solid 1940’s Swedish Army design. Kronan produces their Classic models in single speed and 3-speed versions (and they also have a 5 speed aluminum model). I’ve been reviewing a Kronan Classic 3 Speed bike for well over a month now, so I’m pleased to present my Kronan Classic review.
Kronan sells their bikes exclusively through the web, shipping only to the United States. The Kronan came very carefully packed – make that extremely carefully packed – and probably about 90% assembled. Since Kronan supplies the tools needed, assembly was pretty easy, and mostly consists of simple things like screwing in the pedals, attaching the front fender, attaching the cable on the front brake, tightening handlebars, etc. I had to do some minor adjustments, but these are simple adjustments detailed in the Kronan Classic bicycle manual (which you can view online here). Once assembled, the Kronan has a classic, stately look that takes you back in time. Nice touches like a stainless bell and a license plate on the back add to the overall appearance.
My review model was the 3 Speed, which uses the SRAM T3 Spectro hub that also serves as a coaster brake (for beginner cyclists: if you pedal backwards, the brake is applied to the rear wheel). The front wheel has a SRAM T3 drum brake. There’s also a bottle dynamo mounted on the fork by the front wheel, which you can flip down to touch the tire to generate power when you need to use the front headlight. The rear taillight is battery operated, and has light and motion detection. Last of the amenities, but certainly not least, is a big rack on the back with two spring clips to hold things down.
One thing to note is that the Kronan bicycle uses inner tubes that have valves that are not one of the two common valve types (Schrader and Presta) in the U.S. Instead, the Kronan tubes use Dunlop valves that are relatively rare in the U.S., but more common in Northern Europe and Japan. The Kronan includes both a hand pump that is nicely integrated into the rear rack on the bike, as well as an adapter that allows you to inflate the tires with most pumps that fit Schrader valves (the same size used with car tires).
So how does the Kronan ride? Once you are out on the road, the Kronan Classic bike has a very solid feel – and it should, as its steel frame and all of the accessories result in the bike weighing over 50 pounds. As a big guy myself, I certainly appreciate a solid feel. I also liked the aluminum pedals, which feel much more sturdy than the pedals that come on many bikes these days. Of course, along with the sturdy feel, the weight can make it a bit more challenging getting up hills. While I found that using the lowest of the three gears helped, I really had to stand up out of the saddle and do some heavy work to get this SUV-of-a-bike up some hills that would have been easier with a lighter bike.
But this bike is not meant to be a race bike. On flat land or gentle hills the sturdy Kronan bike, with its cushioned saddle, rides like a comfortable luxury car. This comfort, along with the good puddle protection provided by the ample fenders, make this a good bike for running errands around town, getting groceries, and cruising to coffee shops or pubs. The rear rack is really nice and big, so you can haul a serious amount of stuff! If you need more hauling capacity, Kronan has nice looking baskets and front carriers as optional accessories.
The Verdict: The Kronan 3 Speed bicycle is a comfortable and sturdy bike with all the amenities to be a good practical bike for riding around town.
UPDATE: Currently, the Kronan is no longer being sold in the U.S. Please see our other commuter bike reviews below.
Other commuter bike reviews:
- Schwinn Loop Folding Bike Review
- Dahon Boardwalk Bike Review
- Dahon D7 Folding Bike Review
- Hollandia Opa 28 City Bicycle
- Best Commuter Bikes Under $1000