Bike factories, forest rides and 2011 Merida models

These were just the red frames, quite a few of them in there actually

Whew, What a weekend! We spent it in a small town of about 5000 people (during the winters) called Hanko. It’s a coastal town by the Baltic sea and it has a brilliant climate and more central European type forests. It also houses Helkama Velox, one of the oldest bike manufacturers and importers in Finland and we got to visit their factory! A post about the factory visit coming next week and we also got to visit their room of secrets and that’s coming next week as well.

Maarten cliffriding a Merida 2011 Twenty Niner

Naturally we got together with our contact in Hanko and he was kind enough to show us around in the forests and streets of the town. Unfortunately we only had one night to spend in there, so we could only go riding twice in about 12 hours – still managing to get about 3.5 hours of ride time. We’ll give you a more detailed story together with gear reviews (which are aplenty).

Maarten fondling the coming 2011 Merida Twenty Niner

The coolest thing in our visit though is the fact that Helkama is also the importer of Merida bikes and gear, and we got to check out their coming 2011 range – and by checking out we mean ride the hell out of them. Many, many pictures and reviews coming next week as well so stay tuned!

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.