Vélosophy refuses to reinvent the wheel with the best of basic biking
There’s nothing newfangled about the look of these timeless Swedish bikes – and that’s exactly why we love them
With sustainability continuing to take a hold over modern transport design, there’s something to be said for the simplicity of the humble bicycle. Its timeless functionality is a staple in our urban fabric, and growing annual stats highlight a desire for pedal power over fuel-based options.
The design world is doing its part to encourage sustainable travel, and one young firm is turning heads with its contemporary translation of the bike’s infallible utility. ‘To really say you’ve "designed" a bike, you’d need to do something very special,’ muses Jimmy Östholm, founder of Swedish bike brand Vélosophy. ‘I think what we have done is carefully curate, paint and equip an invention that was made to perfection some 100 years ago.’
Born out of a love for the freedom presented by two wheels, Vélosophy launched in the spring of 2016. It has since released two base models: the Comfort and Sport Editions. The former offers elevated, classic cycling, while the latter is designed to fulfil our need for speed via a horizontal tube at the top of the frame, improving riders’ aerodynamic efficiency. Both, however, are closely related, sporting recycled aluminium frames, vegan leather trim, anti-rust chains and bright, popping colourways.
‘The Vélosophy bike is rooted in the classic era,’ explains Östholm. ‘You’ll find references from the 1920s as well as from the 1980s, but we transfer those influences into a modern context: into something that is bolder and more easily maintained.’
There’s more to Vélosophy than a comfy, good-look ride, however. From day one, Östholm was determined to give his brand ethical purpose. So, via its One for One scheme, Vélosophy donates a bike to a young schoolgirl in a developing country for every bike it sells.
‘It all started when I read an article about how much a bike could mean in the developing world. That a bike in fact could be the difference between coming to school or not, or sometimes between life and death.
‘Learning what I did and piecing that together with reports from the UN, World Bank, PLAN and other global organisations made it clear for me that we could make a real difference. It’s absolutely fair to say that’s what has spurred us on from day one.’
With demand continuing to grow and an eye on the green future, Vélosophy has been investing in further eco-conscious research and development. The brand made headlines earlier in 2019 with its RE:CYCLE Edition, a bike made from recycled aluminium Nespresso coffee capsules. Östholm promises that this is just the beginning, leaving us assured that, every time you mount up, you’re helping the world in more ways than one.
‘We are soon to launch a small but great collaboration. I think it’s a perfect example of how you can do inspiring things to highlight the necessity to think about circularity, recycling and sustainability – yet doing so with extremely small means. Stay tuned.’ §