Well I’ll be damned, I didn’t think to see this day – especially since I missed the news nearly two months ago when Helkama Velox – one of the few standing Finnish bicycle companies announced the the most successful bike in our nation’s cycling history, the Jopo will manufactured fully in Finland after a jaunt in Asia. The bike has been a part of our heritage since it was first conceived in the 1960’s and has stayed in the top selling lists from there on, selling over 20 thousand Jopos alone per year. That means that more bicycle production power will return to Finland, and that means a better future for Finnish cycling.
Like Volkswagen designed the Beetle to be a car for the common man, the Jopo stood behind the same principles. Even its name is an abbreviation of “Jokaisen polkupyörä”, which means “A bicycle for everyone”. It started the city bike phenomenon properly in Finland with its low design with 20-inch wheels (they tried 22-inchers in the beginning) and the lack of a top tube allowed even better accessibility for users young and old. This year, the Jopo range will expand even more, including a version that has an electric motor to support the rider called the Jopo Electro.
Today, the classic Jopos are collector’s items and there are a huge number of people tuning and maintaining their classic Jopos and meeting in group at least annually to show of their babies to their compatriots. The next meeting is a week from now, 15th of August 2010 – and we’ll be there to record the feelings!