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Subject: Bicycle Troops-what is their status
macawman    6/11/2003 6:16:37 PM
Thomas: I've seen photos of Danish troops beside bicycles treking thru the hinterland. I know that the Swiss turned in their 90lb early 20th century bikes for lighter weight mountain bikes in the mid 90's. The question is does the European light infantry still use them or is the a Home Guard issue only?
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ChrisWI    RE:Bicycle Troops-   6/24/2003 4:06:27 PM
thanks macawman
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macawman    Bicycle Troops-electric bikes for combat?   9/12/2003 9:04:06 PM
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Thomas    RE:Bicycle Troops-electric bikes for combat?   9/16/2003 4:11:31 AM
I've seen that. I do not understand the yanks: They work out - no pain no gain - and take their motorised transport to the gym. The point about a bicyckle is it is simple - it does not depend upon supplies and maintainence - it works without 3 men standing by to lubricate it - it is cheap. If you need motorised transport in a bike company, you take a rope (you know. the devise for hanging people) tie one end to an agricultural tractor or whatever - a truck will do if the road can carry a truck - throw the heavy stuff un the flatbed - and tell the fellow to hold on to the rope, then they will be drawn - at a sedate pace - by the tractor, so they don't have to peddal so much. What could be simpler!
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nakito    RE:Bicycle Troops-what is their status   9/19/2003 7:50:34 PM
The US tested a mountain bike for troop use. It was foldable with a Shimano Deore groupo. The bikes performed perfectly except it was found standard mountain bike wheels were too weak to support troops hauling gear, so the wheels were replaced with 48 or 72 spoke tandem wheels. The bike-troops then performed the same mission as standard walking grunts but did so in the time it took the grunts to reach the target. The Army then cancelled the project...
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MikkoLn    RE:Bicycle Troops-Finnish use   9/23/2003 7:22:55 AM
There's a lot of bicycles still in the Finnish army and they are really taken into a good use during service. In wartime situation the former Jaeger units now act as mobile elite or better class units - as they used to be - but nowadays use APC's. However, in a country like Finland bicycle is sometimes much better means of transportation than truck or even APC, as in many places (not to mention remote areas) good roads are rare. Heavy modern organizations can't be moved via small village-roads, or even if they somehow manage make their way forward, in local terrain it's extremely easy to make blockages, set up ambushes etc. It's extremely risky to deploy large valuable troops in restricted open areas with no room to maneuvre - even more today than in the past (russians demonstrated some disastrous examples of this kind of deployment during WWII). In this kind of environment any infantry troops, not considering whether they are elite or conscript status, can make a great use of bicycles if only the distances are short enough (well less than 200 km maybe). The most obvious disadvantage of the bicycle is that heavy equipment can't be carried. But in the circumstances Finnish army uses them, heavy equipment is not necessarily needed. When everything the organization needs (whether it's squad of battalion) is carried by bicycles, it's not dependent on terrain or obstacles in anywhere near the same scale that partly motorized/mechanised units. During my national service we had a couple of big exercices where our company bicycled some 100km during day with all gear and participated battles at night - and everything worked very well indeed. The regular infantryman in bicycles can easily carry his personal equipment and food supplies, with assault rifle and maybe one additional weapon or squad equipment (single-shot at-rocket, at-mine, radio etc.). The only means of accommodation generally needed is a piece of fabric which can be used to put up a tent. Unit equipped in this manner is extremely flexible and maneouverable (though not very fast over long distances). Against infantry and maybe light APC's this kind of bicycle infantry (in Finnish use) trusts in it's knowledge and good use of local terrain and basic combat skills - not in heavy fire support. And against MBT's - well, if you're enemy is dumb enough to haul a few in the area where bicycle troops are deployed, and successfull in doing that, the bicycle troop will be long gone. How about the threat of enemy undirect fire? Always there, but it's not at all easy to locate small units without large equipment from the sea of woods, and generally not at all wise nor effective to deploy barrages or air raids against them (a single one of them is not such a valuable organization). The conclusion - in certain circumstances or in right kind of environment bicycle units can still be prevailing troops.
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Thomas    RE:Bicycle Troops-Finnish use   9/24/2003 2:24:28 AM
Besides forests absorbs artillery fire quite well!
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MikeFX    125lb motorcycle just developed   1/11/2008 6:56:04 PM
The New Zealand Army and now the US Army are evaluating a new special forces / recon motorcycle that's only 125lb total weight, 125cc, 60mph.
At 125lb it can be lifted and manhandled over obstacles like oversteep mountain trails, fallen trees, urban rubble etc, and easily transported on even light vehicles like Humvees, Zodiacs and helicopters.
The consumer website is and CEO Mike Hodgkinson can be contacted at
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FJV       1/12/2008 7:14:07 AM
This blog has a special catagory for troops on motorcycles:


Some forces train for unlikely tactical situations though:

Is a fakir lying on a bed of nails while being used as a ramp really a viable tactic in the field?
What is this used for?">

How often do forces encounter flaming hoops on the field?
Is this a common tactical situation?">

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FJV    Bicycle troops   1/12/2008 7:16:56 AM
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Herald12345    Old post I saw but ??????????????????????????????   1/13/2008 12:25:08 PM

Besides forests absorbs artillery fire quite well!

Hurtgen Forest?

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