1952 Militarvelo – Swiss Army Roadster
Swiss military bicycles are as well-made as you would expect from the source of the world’s top pocket knife.
There are three brakes as standard on a Militarvelo: on the front is a caliper, and the rear has a coaster brake as well as a cable-operated drum brake.
Chaps in Switzerland have to do national service, and many of them will ride military bicycles at some time. Bicycle soldiers can use their mounts when not on duty, and also have an option to buy their cycles cheaply after their service ends.
With only a few detail changes, this model (the ‘Ordonanzrad 05’) was manufactured from the beginning of the 20th century until 1993, when Condor introduced a new, modern 7-speed version.
It’s not surprising that the Swiss are nostalgic about these machines, and that they have become a national icon.
Since taking these pictures, I managed to find a toolbag to fit to it.
In due course, I’ll take some photos of it alongside the 1949 Condor Herrenrad as it will be interesting to compare it with the civilian version. And I’ll take a few shots of it next to the Mercury Roadster too.