Veeno headbadge


1908: Pieter van der Veen Rzn., who had come to Bedum to take care of the bicycle repair acivities at coppersmith Bodewes, starts his own business in a barn at the backside of his home. Here he manufactures the "Bedum" bicycle, works as a coppersmith, and sells, repairs, nickel-plates and varnishes various parts.


old Veeno badge

1911: Although initially called "P.van der Veer Rzn., coppersmith and bicycle manufacturer", the company for the first time has a real brand name: the "Bedum" cycleworks. In 1912, a new "Bedum" bicycle would set you back Hfl. 40,-, one year warranty included.

1917: Van der Veen builds a new factory at the Noordwolderweg, the Veeno cycleworks. The name is the contraction of Van der Veen and the extension "o", for the use of the name Bedum was no longer permitted because of its geographical origin. The name had to consist of five letters considering the reserved space on all parts. This new building features nickeling and enameling equipment, a sandblowing machine, an automobile and engine repair shop and a warehouse. Furthermore, cars can be hired "for rides".


1920: The company is converted to a public limited company, the "N.V. Rijwielenfabriek Veeno".

1921: Veeno makes six different (ladies' and gents') models: Express, Luxe A, Model A, Model B, Model C1 and Model C2). The company's capacity is enhanced this year, as in 1928, 1930, 1939 and 1957.

1923: Veeno introduces the model Truck.


Veeno advertising sign


1931: By starting up their new modern chroming installation, Veeno is able to deliver all nickel-plated parts in chrome. From approximately 1933 onwards, so-called 'Priests-bicycles' are available. This is a ladies' model with a frame longer than regularly, so that nuns and priests can ride a bicycle without being bothered by their robes.

In the thirties, transport tricycles appear for the first time. There are four varieties: bare (just the chassis), open, with a closed box, and optionally even with an auxiliary engine.


Veeno delivery tricycle

Veeno delivery tricycle, basically of the same type like the Danish "Long John".
This bicycle features "Tors safety forks", a special Veeno construction.
The number of built bicycles of this type is probably very limited.


New in those days were the Tors and the Holfa ("Hollands Fabrikaat" = dutch made) model.

1940: In a letter to their customers Veeno politely requests to order as little as possible. Of course, this has everything to do with the war. Like any other company, Veeno has trouble finding material. In this period, the entire factory is looted by the German occupying forces.

1953: R.J. van der Veen, the founders' son,  becomes a co-director of Veeno.

1958: In the anniversary year, P. van der Veen Rzn., the 73 years old founder and director, deceases. Of course, the planned festivities are cancelled because of this sad occasion.

Productionswise the sixties are Veeno's best years. Veeno has a very strong reputation and their bicycles sell very good all over the Netherlands. At this time, more than 100 employees are contracted and output is about 10.000 units per year. Well-known models are Rocket, Spirit, Veenolita and Toer Populair.

     But soon Veeno encounters financial problems, just like most of the other players in the bicycle industry. At September 24th, 1965 a moratorium of payment is granted to Veeno. In 1966, the number of employees is down to approximately 35.

1967: This rescue operation fails as well. On february 10th, 1967 the 'N.V. Rijwielenfabriek Veeno' is declared bankrupt.



Veeno Tors

Veeno with Tors-forks

The trade mark Veeno is taken over by Rijwielfabriek De Wilde in Nieuwe Niedorp, along with the names Veenolite, Tors, Rocket, Holfa and Truck. This framebuilder is declared bankrupt by the end of 1977. Van der Sluis company in Surhuisterveen takes over the rights, but that company bankrupts after a fire in 1982. The remains are taken over by Rivel in Surhuisterveen, which in turn is taken over by Union.

Although Veeno wasn't a big bicycle manufacturer, the good quality of their bicycles is unquestionable. Some details from the fifties and sixties show that it was a rather conservative manufacturer.

     For example, they kept making bicycles with the solid 45-mm Thompson bracket (Gazelle is the only one who used this bracket even longer on their carrier bicycles). The fork with closed pads (eyelets) can be found on Veeno bicycles until 1960(!). Finally, until approximately 1960 Veeno almost only made roadsters (28 x 1 1/2") instead of the cheaper smaller wheel-sizes.


Frame numbers

As far as my information stretches back, Veeno used only one series of straight forward numerical frame numbers, increasing until app. 240,000 in 1967.



Almost all information about Veeno is provided by T.J. Matthijs from Bedum. He is a collector of documentation and commercial material about Veeno, such as folders, pins, transfers, calendars, enamel boards etc. If you think you might have or know something interesting for him, please phone him at 0031-50-3014870.

Translation by Dirk den Hamer. Thank you, Dirk!


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Copyright by Theo Matthijs and Herbert Kuner, 1999 ...
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Last update: 17/12/2014