The name Black Iron Horse is inspired by 18th century Vesterbro in Copenhagen, where our shop and workshop is located. Back then a number of inns and taverns where located in the area, and furthest from the center you would find the inn “Sorte Hest” – Black Horse in english. The original building from 1771 still stands today.
At “Sorte Hest” farmers and travellers were able to spend the night and enjoy a drink – with a dramatic view nonetheless. Back then, on the opposite side of the road, lay Vesterfælled where the beheaded and quartered bodies of counts Struensee and Brandt were put on public display for two years after their execution in 1772. This is where – under far more peaceful circumstances – you will find our workshop today.
This is the environment that gave our first bicycle, produced in 1996, its name: “Sorte Jernhest”. Here the blacksmith Lars Leikier received a grant to develop a new type of bicycle from neighboring Carlsberg Brewery. The result was the now famous Leikier-bike. Two years later Lars unveiled his latest creation, when he and his partner launched the rear-wheel driven cargo bike. The design was unique, allowing sharp 180 degree turns, and maneuvering a cargo bike was no longer inhibited by the weight of the cargo.
Black iron horse
The unique rear-wheel control system is now almost 25 years old, and has proven to be more than viable. Leikier has welded thousands of bikes at the workshop in Vesterbro, and his first creations are still out there driving around the streets and roads of Denmark. Today the bikes are fitted with the latest in modern technology, and the design has been significantly upgraded, making the bikes lighter and more elegant without compromising the original rear-wheel driven control system that make the bikes so easy to drive. The upgrades also meant that we changed our name from “Sorte Jernhest” to Black Iron Horse.