A love of cycling and the culture associated with it, quick, easy and eco-friendly transport combined with very low maintenance cost, explain why the demand for bicycles in Greece has increased during the last decade.
From the perfect run-around-town bike for grabbing a newspaper or just rolling around the neighborhood to the most promising mountain bike, the Greek bicycle market has it all. Made of wood, prepreg carbon fiber or steel, fitness bikes, tandem, racing, fat bikes, trekking bikes, mountain bikes, pedelecs, junior, folding, e-bikes, fixies, BMX, exclusive, hand-made or even tricycles, bikes of all types “made in Greece”, are available at very competitive prices. Keeping up with new trends and adapting to the times is what successful entrepreneurship is all about, and even more so when times are tough. That is why the number of Greek companies that manufacture bikes in Greece is growing bigger providing a huge variety of products that makes it hard for the consumer to choose one.
On the occasion of the 2nd Athens Bike Weekend (6-7 May) the 24th Athens Bike Ride and the 1st Athens International Criterium that will take place on Sunday 7th May, here’s a brief profile of the most known bicycle brands and manufacturing Greek companies.
Fidusa – Experience the difference of a Fidusa custom bike
Rhodes-based Fidusa was founded by Giorgos Vogiatzis, a former Greek cycling champion. During the company’s 30+years of existence, his handmade bikes have been ridden to victory in more than 275 Greek National Championships in various disciplines. Racing bikes, pleasure bikes, work bikes, travel bikes, sport bikes – what is most important is maximizing rider comfort and performance using the correct frame size. Using the best materials and the latest technologies, Fidusa builds bikes with passion and knowledge, says Founder and Production Manager Vogiatzis. Measure comes first! Using the BikeFitting measurement system and after discussing the client’s personal fit needs, Fidusa will create a custom frame to the client’s exact specification. Then comes creation! The client chooses colours and designs and Fidusa creates its personalized frame. Depending on the intended use of the bicycle, the body type and specific fit needs, Fidusa helps its clients to find their perfect position and advises on appropriate component selection. Finally, the Fidusa Tailor Made is unique and ready to go.
Elektronio – Electronic Tricycles or a new way of urban transportation
“Elektronio Handcrafted Vehicles” was founded in Thessaloniki in May 2015 and is an awarded Greek start up that manufactures premium electric tricycles with special geometry and philosophy. In the centre of Thessaloniki one can visit the “Elektronio Bike Lab & Showroom”, where design electric tricycles are exposed, setting an innovative way of urban transportation. Elektronio first proposal is about tricycles but new propositions of clean technology are to come, adapted to customer desires and needs. The company’s clean tech products comply with the European Directive for electric bicycles. Elektronio also offers a wide range of services, such as bicycle service, bicycle rental, conversion kit services, GPS tracking services and a variety of urban bicycles accessories.
Castor bikes – From furniture to bikes made of wood
In the context of the economic crisis, the need for further development led the managers of a furniture company to the innovative idea of building a wooden frame bicycle of unique beauty. The furniture company “LEKOVITSI BROS OE” was founded in 1958 in Thessaloniki, in the industrial area of Sindos, and counts 59 years of successful history in the furniture business. Steady continuous improvement, major investments in machinery and equipment, experienced and professional staff all contribute to the manufacturing of premium furniture for banks, hotels, shops, theatres etc. When the crisis broke out, innovation was the answer and it came through the idea of building the wooden frame bicycle! It took two years of intensive work and continuous testing in accordance with European standards so that the frame acquired the special Castor identity. Castor wooden bikes have high mechanical strength when comparison to their weight and are not oxidized. They absorb vibration and provide a uniquely enjoyable driving experience. Castor bikes have reached the highest level of technical beauty and uniqueness. As a result of the different colour combinations of wood, each castor bicycle is unique. Castor bikes are fit for any road surface and for all weather conditions.
Gram Carbon – Developing the concept of an engineered bicycle
Athens-based Gram Carbon is one of the few bicycle companies with a composite materials research and development department. In response to the massive bicycle production, Gram Carbon designs and manufactures bicycles based on scientific research. Gram Carbon team specializes in the design and evolution of products made of composite materials. Being cyclists themselves, the members of the company team had an additional motive to get evolved in the cycling equipment design business. After hundreds of tests in tubing shapes and different layups and research on thousands of materials, Gram Carbon bicycles are considered to be the zenith of strength, precision and workability. Gram Carbon manufactures stiff and compliant frames made of prepreg carbon fiber with an aerodynamic and light design. As a result, ride quality is further enhanced with extensive engineering, and riders experience a unique feeling as if the bicycle is an extension their body. Bicycling with Gram Carbon is easy with a long service life.
G.P. Bicycles – Handmade wooden bicycles with a life time warranty
George Panayis built his first handmade wooden bicycle by the end of 2014. Since then he has built 25 bicycles and production has significantly improved. G.P. Bicycles offer with their bicycles a lifetime warranty for the wooden frame. Once the client has decided on the type of the bicycle, Panayis starts building the custom vehicle. Bike components such as wheels, wings, etc can also be manufactured by wood.
Velo Lab Athens – Carry your surf with your cargo bicycle
Velo Lab stands for “Velocipede Laboratory”. This innovative bicycle design and fabrication lab was founded in Athens in 2013 by design engineer Stathis Stasinopoulos. Velo Lab’s early successes are certified by numerousinternational awards and distinctions that made Velo-Lab Athens known to a broader audience. Founder Stathis Stasinos, a cyclist himself, is a design engineer who designs, manufactures and exports handcrafted aluminium folding bicycles, cargobicycles, tricycles, ebikes and fat balance bikes/kid bikes.
Ponero Bikes – Hand-crafted in Rhodes by a former Greek champion
Politis Nektarios is the man behind the doors of the Ponero workshop. He is a former Greek bicycle champion who has participated in international competitions. His hand crafted bicycles are unique and custom made at the Ponero facilities, in Rhodes. He tests the bikes himself in order to assure that they provide the best riding experience one would ask for, professional or not. All bikes come with serial numbers in limited editions. Ponero manufactures a very stiff, homogenous, aerodynamic and light in weight frame. The bottom bracket is BSA English tread 68mm. The handcrafting-painting and decals are also handmade. The handmade frame is made by WLBS (wet laminating bonded system) or HLBS (hot laminating bonded system), which makes every Ponero bike incredibly tough and unique.
Ideal Bikes – More than 90 years in the bycicle industry
Ideal is one of the oldest and most distinguished names in the Greek bicycle industry. Starting with bicycles imports and sales in 1922, the company has applied experience and engineering to improve bicycle technology and performance. Today, Ideal Bikes continues to build on more than 90 years in the bicycle industry, offering a range of bicycles and bicycle components. Ideal brand was introduced in 1955 and since then distribution within Greece and brand awareness has significantly grown. Since 1995, Ideal is the best know brand in the local market with 120 employees and average annual sales 190.000 bikes. Twenty countries currently test the value for money of IDEAL bicycles, with Armenia, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom being among them.
Clermont and Ballistic – Two brands assembled by one of the oldest bicycle companies in Greece
Thessaloniki based Cyclopodilatiki is one of the leading companies in the bicycle business. The right balance between quality and price as well the long term experience are the key elements of the constant growth of the firm. Founded in 1955 at the city of Xanthi under the name by G.V. Giannakopoulos, the company moved to Thessaloniki in 1970. During the 1980s, the company manufactured a complete bicycle and gained excellent expertise and unique experience. Since 1992, Cyclopodilatiki has been assembling all types of bicycles to satisfy the most demanding of riders branding Clermont and Ballistic. Clermont manufactures hard tail Ballistic is a professional bicycle company which was established to produce high-end suspension forks. Thanks to the experience and the technical expertise acquired, they managed to specialize in manufacturing alloy frames and suspension systems. The company focuses on developing new product designs with innovated features and provides support to supply chain management which enables high quality products. Cyclopodilatiki, has represented the Ballistic brand in the Greek market since 2002, promoting Ballistic as high quality bikes at the best price in the market.
Orient – Greek bicycles from Central Greece
Since 1945, Orient has become an innovator in the cycling business. The company began with importing bicycles, spare parts and accessories and their distribution all over Greece. “Kokotis A. Bros S.A.” was established in Larissa in 1987 and has been operating since then as a typical Greek family business. The chief company activity was the assembly and trade of bicycles. Nowadays, the company owns 9.000 m2 of industrial buildings, warehouses stores, offices and show rooms, an automatic French and Italian production line for bicycles and wheels assembly. The company has 48 employees and its annual bicycles production amounts to 66.000. Orient also produces a full range of spare parts and accessories for the after sales market. The company supplies bicycles with the brand name ORIENT all over Greece, through a fully organized sales network with 600 sales points. Orient bicycles are also exported to Europe and Balkans.