Rog's Pony Bicycles

You don't have to look far in Ljubljana to find inspiration to write about Rog, the old socialist bike manufacturer. Rog was formerly based in a big factory by the Ljubljanica river, now a budding cultural centre and host to many an underground party, concert and dance production.

Rog factory's vital statistics:

- 7000m²
- Produced bikes from 1951-1991
- The 'Rog' brand name sold in 2004 for €210,732.77
- Opened as cultural centre in 2006
Relics of old Yugoslavia, Rog bikes are still all over the place in LJ (local slang for the Slovenian capital). You can hear varying degrees of metallic rattling emanating from these hunks of stainless steel, and of course the unmistakable trill of their antique - and more or less obligatory - bells. The point is, there are actually still loads of the older models trundling around Ljubljana's cobbled back-streets and major thoroughfares, which, 18 years and counting since the factory closed, only confirms the communist engineering ethic: 'build it like a tank' - build it to last. 
Perhaps Rog's most cherished model, the Pony, with its dinky frame and comically undersized wheels, is definitely the cutest. You see everyone, from petite female students to lanky businessmen in three-piece suits to centenarian grandmothers, perched on their springy seats. You see these prancing Ponies in every colour, sometimes having been painted over numerous times. Ljubljana’s somewhat endemic bike theft is also the reason why little Ponies can be spotted with enormous chunky-steel chain locks. This goes to show their rising cult status - it's only a matter of time before they are reproduced in a less authentic, and of course less cool, form. Back in the day there was even a motorised, 'ekspres' model!
To give you, the reader, something useful to take away from all this, we have come up with some appropriate advice for acquiring and maintaining an original Rog Pony.
Now pay attention...
Repair a Pony!

Probably the only way to legally get a Pony nowadays is by finding a dusty old forgotten one in a dusty old forgotten corner of a garage. This being the case, it will more than likely need some kind of repair. The most common faults are brakes, chains, gears and bent wheels. If you don't get it fixed at a 'kolesarski servis', take the spare parts you need from another old bike! If it's a Rog the parts will be the same or similar. Simply replace the missing or old and broken brakes/chain/gears/wheel, with old but working equivalents.
Tools you will need: spanners (7mm, 10/11mm and 12/13mm), flathead and crossed screwdrivers, hammer (for replacing handle-bars/seized on parts). As for the tyres, leave that to the professionals.
How to avoid theft

Once you have your newly-acquired Rog Pony on the road, make sure you keep it! If you live in Ljubljana this means buying a mid- to high-range lock. Under no circumstances leave it at the train station, outside a club or in Metelkova overnight (having staggered home oblivious that you had arrived by bike). Too many have fallen to the drunken student (or otherwise) mobs of Friday and Saturday night, to be left tragically on the ground, handlebars the wrong way round, wheels bent in half, pathetically still clutching the lamp-post they remain locked to.
How to cover up theft*

If you're the kind of person who preys upon these helpless little Ponies on a Friday night in Metelkova, or you just can't find one in a dusty old forgotten corner, you're gonna have to cover it up when you steal one. This can only really be done one way: a paint job! Some choose to spray their frame in multi-luminous shades, others just carelessly brush on silver without even taking the wheels off to avoid spillage. Either way the lack of Rog/Pony stickers/signs on the bike is a sure giveaway.
At the end of the day, there are still enough of these little beauties around to warrant leaving it in its original state, hoping that the previous owner didn't spot you running away with it in the first place!
So there you have it. With many of the old work-horses still going strong (in some form), we can safely say, ''Rog bicycles, not so Pony after all!''

* Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and done solely for entertainment purposes. In Your Pocket in no way supports, condones or encourages theft of any kind.


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I bought a Rog bike during my travels in Slovenia for... a bottle of wine! ;) It has some rust residue that needs to be cleaned, but i already took everything apart and started to restore it. I need Rog logo, one with high resolution would be super-cool - anyone, anything? :)
Found a Pony but it doesn't have any gears or brakes, it has a backwards pedal system. Should I buy it?
Does anyone of you know the phone number of the rog factory in Ljubljana? I need to call them
Serbia, Zrenjanin
my bike broke down so I took my father's old rog pony out of the garage. It's about 25 years old but I'm telling you it looks like brand new! I find it super cool now! I'm not even going to give a try repairing my other bike. :)
ben stubbington
canada (ontario), sault ste marie
i got my pony from a garage sale for free and my wife wont ride bikes with me anymore....lol but i still love it even my boys laugh ....lol could any one help me get the original bell n light so i could make them laugh even more ... ;) thanx
canada british columbia
i have and rog pony bicycle for sale in canada .. for restoration or parts. if interested please mail punx_a_passion84@hotmail.com for more info or pictures
BA, Sarajevo
Hello I m from Sarajevo and find story here about my favorit bike PONY Rog.I vas trevel with my Pony Rog 5000 kilometersall ower Bosnia for the past 11 years. My first PONY Rog was by to me my father 1979.
canada, toronto
i picked up a pony which was left discarded..who knows how long..against a railing in a shopping mall's loading dock only because i liked the look of it. it needs some work the chrome is not the best but the markings and paint(blue) is still in reasonably good condition. now that i know the history it'll be a great conversational piece after i've restored it to working condition and riding around toronto. it could even turn out to be a chick magnet.(haha)i do have a question for anyone in the know...how do i tell what year it is?
florida, usa , deerfield beach
rog pony 3 speed for salesouth florida561-742-2823pretty good shape125.00
Serbia, Jagodina
Hi.Does anybody knows where can i fing original parts and stickers for Rog-Pony bike? Pony`s back on the road
Albania, Tirana
I have a white Pony and its a really cool bike. Maybe it isnt beautiful like the BMX, but its a really fast and strong bike and i can also do tricks with it
Canada, London
just bought a red rog pony at a thrift store for $13. best bike I've ever had...I ride it every day!
I just found one in a garbage container. I took it home, put new tires on it and now she works beautifully! I didn't even know what I had until I found this article!
Pat Phillips
England, Norwich
My brother and I had brand new blue and green Rog Ponies in the late 1970's, bought from Ipswich. We toured East Anglia for a week on them. Good job it's almost flat! My brothers frame hinge fell in half going down a small hill but dad fixed it with a rock. I am now 42 and wish I still had it!
dayanira reyes
california usa, pomona
i just purchase a 1985 rog folding pony bike for 112.00 dollars. It is a very nice bike
Will Dunn
Slovenia, Ljubljana
Ahh yeah, we stand corrected!
.si, LJ
You wrote that "it's only a matter of time before they are reproduced", but it's wrong... it WAS only a matter of time, check Rogo-šport...(I see I'm not allowed to post links... so go to their website > Kolesa > Mestna > page 2 > Pony)There was also an article in Žurnal24.
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