We have been producing original bicycle trailers since 1972 and cargo bikes since 1984. Our goal to flood the streets of Copenhagen with cargo bikes has become a worldwide trend. Today, we live and breathe to produce good products. It is a business, but the concept and energy originate from the interest in producing and developing fantastic and solid products with an eye to safety, quality, durability and honesty.
We always strive to comply with the highest requirements, and if legislation or regulations change, we naturally always comply as best as possible. Christiania Bikes has a very simple policy, and it is expected that both employees and business partners follow the same direction when working with Christiania Bikes. This means that you always strive to be respectful and honest, treat everyone with respect and comply with all laws and conventions.
Our production is more than 5000m2 and consists, among other things, of unique production processes based on more than 40 years of experience.
The frame is welded and/or soldered together from quality steel/aluminum profiles and steel pipes. The frame is then painted, powder coated or chromated and varnished. The wheel fittings and steering gear are welded precisely in our welding robot and then quality checked. All our steel frames are produced here, along with our steering gear, wheel fittings etc. All steel parts are galvanized in Denmark in a black finish.
Our production of wheels takes up more than 500m2 and we use the latest and most advanced wheel machines. The hub is placed in the hub machine on a conveyor belt, after which each hub is automatically filled with spokes. The hub is placed in the center of a rim and is braided and tensioned semi-automatically. The wheel goes through a tightening machine to ensure that each wheel is perfectly created.
The timber comes from European FSC-approved forests. The fact that the forests are FSC approved means that the forests are environmentally friendly. Among other things, there are no more trees felled than the forest can reproduce, and care is taken to preserve the forest’s ecosystem. The box is made of seven layers of plywood made of timber from these forests and is particularly water resistant.
Our plywood is made from high-strength birch. It is cut in Denmark by CNC machines based on our drawings. The plywood is then treated with weather-resistant oil and is finally hand-built into different types of boxes as desired.
Our story begins at Christiania, an old military area in Copenhagen. The military deserted the area in 1971, and it became occupied by autonomous people, who named the area Christiania. I/S Christiania Smedie was founded in 1972 by Lars Engstrøm, along with his friends Jesper, Kjeld and René. The four friends began producing wood-burning stoves from old oil barrels and steel sheets, which they transported from surrounding scrap yards using old wartime cargo bikes.
Right from the start, Christiania chose to be a car-free district. Not having a car meant having to think of other means of transportation to carry wood, gas tanks and children. I/S Christiania Smedje began producing the, now well-known and robust bicycle trailers, which, after initially being produced on old bed bases, were developed and put into production. The bicycle trailers became an important means of transportation in Christiania and also an important product for the Smedjen. Over time, the demand for bicycle trailers also grew outside Christiania, and production was refined, among other things, with the purchase of new materials. The groundwork was laid for a small business, which was officially registered in 1978.
Within a few hours of the same day, Lars received an order to make more Christiania bikes. I/S Christiania Smedje produced 50 Christiania bikes in the first year. In the following years, the interest in Christiania bikes slowly started to spread to the rest of Copenhagen.
MOVING TO BORNHOLM
In 1989 the production moved from Christiania to Bornholm. The founders, Lars and Annie, had always liked Bornholm, and along with others from Christiania, they moved to Bornholm. This was partly because it was a cheap place to start, and partly because it was a good place for their children to grow up. With the help of friends and family, a small production took shape on an old farm. This place was used for production, but was also where the family lived for several years.
At the time, there were not many who believed that cargo bikes could replace the car in Copenhagen as well as in other cities. But both Annie and Lars believed that cargo bikes were the future. At the time, the goal was to offer an alternative means of transport to the car in Copenhagen, and that the cargo bike would become the normal form of transport throughout Denmark. Throughout the 90s, the company grew and the Christiania bike became a normal sight in the street scene in Copenhagen – not only for families, but also for business use. As demand increased, surrounding farmers began to participate in production. They produced handmade wheels, stitched fairings and other parts for the bikes.
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT
As the bicycle trailers became more and more popular, Lars and Jesper began to focus on new products. The Pedersen Cykel had always fascinated Jesper, and he began producing his own, improved version of the Pedersen Cykel. Meanwhile, Lars was preparing a birthday present for his girlfriend, Annie, who had always wanted a race bike. But Lars had a different bike in mind.
In Christiania, transporting children using the bicycle trailer had become a normal way of transporting one’s children. Lars had the idea to improve that form of transport; Instead of having the children placed behind him in the bicycle trailer while driving, Lars had intended to move the trailer to the front of a tricycle. Not only was it a safer way to have the children with you, because you always have direct contact with them – it was also a more cozy way.
On May 16, 1984, Annie received her birthday present. Annie thought a race bike was inside the large gift wrapped in paper and a red bow. But instead, the first Christiania bike was launched. The pioneering function was to be a family bike with an improved means of transportation of children, both in terms of practicality and safety.
ICONIC DANISH DESIGN
Since then, Christiania Bikes has experienced great growth, developed new models and improved the current models with associated equipment. A milestone for the company and the founders was receiving “Klassikerprisen” in 2010/2011 from the Danish Design Center. This award is only awarded to Danish products which have remained almost unchanged for more than 25 years. The Christiania bike has been given Danish design status and is in league with other award winners such as Lego, Carlsberg and Royal Copenhagen.