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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-09-08, 11:50 AM   #26
bikinpolitico
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EDIT: OOPS, just saw he already posted about that here. Sorry.

In case anyone is interested, my co-author at AustinBikeBlog owns an Azor Secret Service and did a review here: http://austinbikeblog.org/?p=449

Here also wrote about how he came to decide on the Secret Service here: http://austinbikeblog.org/?p=332

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Old 09-09-08, 12:48 PM   #27
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I'll third the Gazelle Impalla as a really nice bike. I found a used one for my wife for $200 a few months ago, and she's totally loving it. I've only ridden it a few times while making adjustments for her (and trying to get a 2nd key made for the wheel lock--no luck, though), but I'd say that it feels incredibly solid. This one is used, great.

Other than a Brooks B67s I just slapped on there, it looks like this:

As for Breezer bikes, we both had Breezer Freedoms, and she hated hers. If you're looking for truly upright to help your back, the Breezer is still quite forward-leaning if you have back problems or wrist problems, etc. It's no road bike, but it's no Dutch bike geometry-wise, either, without doing a lot of modifications. I still have my Breezer, but it's been relegated to a snow/ice/bad weather bike while I spend most of my time on an 8-speed IGH Electra Townie or an old Miyata Touring Bike.

If you're really looking for the upright geometry without the Dutch bike prices, I would recommend checking out the Townies, too. They're quite upright, much lighter than a Dutch bike, and you can get the "commuter" model that has hub generator lights and a decent rear rack. I'm honestly not such a fan of the retro-futuristic "look" of the Townies, but I went with it because it seems very solidly built and had the 8 speed IGH I was looking for in a bike with upright positioning. If I could've gotten another Dutch bike for me for the price of the Townie, though, I'm sure I would have gone that route instead.
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Old 09-09-08, 12:52 PM   #28
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PS: It sounds like Electra is realizing how much the Townie series has in common with Dutch bikes in terms of function. There are some sneak peak pictures of the upcoming '09 models on this blog: http://blog.centurycycles.com/2008/0...neak-peak.html

Some of those new front racks remind me a lot of the utility/function of Dutch bikes and English roadsters, or the US-made bikes like the racks you see on A.N.T. bikes, etc. I still wish they went with classier color schemes, though.
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Old 09-09-08, 03:02 PM   #29
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I am glad to see this thread continuing. I want to keep up on what bike manufactures are doing both here in the states, and over seas to create a truly utilitarian and comfortable upright bike like the Dutch models. Dutch or not...I am still intrigued.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:51 PM   #30
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Dutch bikes can now be imported into the U.S. You can order the Gazelle Impala from Bikedock.com and the Gazelle Toer Populair can be ordered along with other Dutch bike brands from Bikes4free.nl.

I have to report an update: you may be able to order a bike from Europe but its prohibitively expensive to ship one. The fees are usually more than the bike is worth. Thus, its still more economical to fly to Europe and take the bike back with you by air. There is no way of getting around the fact that its just not worth the while for shipping companies to transport a bicycle from across the pond for a reasonable fee. We'll just have to wait for European brands like Gazelle, etc. to acquire a North American distribution network.

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Old 04-29-09, 08:46 PM   #31
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What's the critique on the Electra Amsterdam Original 3i?
I'm desperately searching for a Dutch style bicycle. I currently live in Toronto and I'm moving to Scotland soon for university and need a bicycle for means of transportation, groceries, ect. So clearly being North American, I know nothing about bicycles. All I know is that it needs to be decently light weight (35 pound range), withstand rain, sufficient carrying space, and of course stylish.

Is it really worth traveling to the Netherlands and purchasing one there? I cannot drop 1500 dollars Canadian on a bicycle..
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Old 04-29-09, 09:02 PM   #32
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"That is a really cool bike. (The Pashley Guv'nor) Of course, with a little patience and luck on the eBay, you could find a very nice steel roadie frame and build up that bike for much less than 800 GBP."

Will steel roadie frames take the wide tires?
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Old 04-29-09, 09:43 PM   #33
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Avalon, check out Curbside Cycle in Toronto. They carry Batavus 3 speed, for about $800 Canadian. It's about 5-7lbs heavier than 35lbs though, but it's a basic ride and go bike.

They also carry other euro brands like English Pashleys and Italian Abicis(which is a rare brand in NA as well).

I looked into Electra Amsterdams, too, but they felt flimsy to me. They are certainly relatively light though(and the Original doesn;t have a rack) but I never had good experience with Electra accessories before(again, they felt cheap and plasticy).

For a hundred or so dollars more for a comparable model(Classic 3), I decided to get the real thing which is made in Holland vs made in China for Electra.

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Old 04-30-09, 12:01 PM   #34
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http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/guvnor.html

this is a stylish bike. Wish i had the bread for something like this.
+1 I want one!
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Old 04-30-09, 12:24 PM   #35
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I will most definitely be heading down there as soon as I can to check out the Batavus Old Dutch. I think I've fallen in love with that bicycle! Thank you so much!
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Old 04-30-09, 02:16 PM   #36
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Oh if you're heading to Scotland soon, I suggest waiting until then. You will have WAY more choices being in Europe and it will probably be cheaper.

Check out the European sites of these euro-bike makers and see if they have any dealers close to your resident in Scotland. They most certainly will and most will have the classic euro city bike as a floor model instead of a special order(although Curbside Cycle has them as floor models as well!).

Gazelle, Batavus, Pashley, Raleigh to name a few all have pretty good distribution networks in the UK and are good brands to check out when you get there.
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Old 05-01-09, 04:08 AM   #37
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a dutch style stadfiets would be pretty useless in scotland.
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Old 05-01-09, 09:43 AM   #38
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Oh, man, fully decked out, $4000, nowadays. Plus, of course, you'd want to go over there to pick it up personally, right?

It's a beautiful bike, though.

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Have changed my mind. Because I'm commuting rural instead of urban nowadays 700 wheels and a lighter frame are more in line with my needs. Thus: http://www.quitmann-ms.de/eng/speed.html There's a version w/a Rohloff hub available. It's cheaper than the Big Apple, but not by much. My wife and I are in the planning stages of a Euro cycling tour next year. We may START a/t Quitmann facility...
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Old 05-03-09, 12:50 PM   #39
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Well I'm in St Andrews, a fairly small town. I need a form of transportation so this seems to be the most suitable option.
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Old 05-05-09, 02:15 PM   #40
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What's the critique on the Electra Amsterdam Original 3i?
I have an Electra Amsterdam 3 Classic (2007) and a Koga Miyata Expression LP (2006). One is made is Holland with mostly German and Japanese components, while the other is made in Taiwan with some Japanese and who knows what else.

I had to replace the wheelset on the Amsterdam because I kept popping spokes every few weeks on my commute (now it has beefy Velocity Dyads). At the same time, I upgraded the IGH to a used Nexus 7sp from the original 3sp, and i added a dynamo front hub. The bike came with a coaster brake, which I replaced with cantilever brakes, since the coaster brake scared me a few times. All in all, it is now a nice-looking, nice-functioning bike, now that I sunk another $900 into the sub-$600 Amsterdam. I got what I paid for, though some suggested that the LBS that put it together did a lame job checking out the wheelset (I am too inexperienced to comment about that).

By comparison, the Koga is a far better bike: simpler, more reliable, and more expensive. Is it worth it? All I can say is that reliability is king for me, because lost time due to wimpy, crappy componentry certainly adds up. Will I spend less on my next bike? I hope so, but that is a long way off, since the bike seems to be stout.

-david
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Old 05-05-09, 02:17 PM   #41
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Have changed my mind. Because I'm commuting rural instead of urban nowadays 700 wheels and a lighter frame are more in line with my needs. Thus: http://www.quitmann-ms.de/eng/speed.html There's a version w/a Rohloff hub available. It's cheaper than the Big Apple, but not by much. My wife and I are in the planning stages of a Euro cycling tour next year. We may START a/t Quitmann facility...
Nice bike(s). Go for the Rohloff, if IGHs are your thing (I like mine a lot).
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Old 05-05-09, 03:11 PM   #42
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Old 05-06-09, 07:21 PM   #43
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I ended up settling for a Pashley Princess Classic. I purchased it today and receive it Friday. I don't think I could be more excited haha. Yeah I reviewed the Electra bikes again and they cannot even compare to various brands. I suppose you get what you pay for.
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Old 05-07-09, 05:56 PM   #44
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You might try a folding bike because they often come equipped with fenders, racks, fat tires, internal hubs, and low "step-over" frames, and are much more easily available here in America.
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Old 05-07-09, 08:48 PM   #45
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Did you buy it from curbside, Avalon?
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Old 05-09-09, 09:22 AM   #46
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I did indeed! They were quite helpful.
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Old 05-10-09, 01:30 PM   #47
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Nice bike(s). Go for the Rohloff, if IGHs are your thing (I like mine a lot).
Oh yeah, definately going for the Rohloff. Haven't used IGH very much(I had a Raleigh Sport when I was a kid...got stolen )and don't have one in my stable, but my wife and I agreed the Quitmann Speed w/t Rohloff hub combo would be ideal for our commuting/touring needs for the balance of our lifetimes. Unless we can find something domestic w/a Rohloff, of course. No conversions, though. We want something specifically designed FOR a Rohloff not merely fitted w/one.

Would want her chainring a little smaller than mine for hill climbing under load. Say 36t for her and a 42t for me. But would want both to be fully enclosed. Or maybe a larger cog? Ooops, thread drift...sorry OP
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Old 05-12-09, 08:37 AM   #48
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Oh yeah, definately going for the Rohloff. ...We want something specifically designed FOR a Rohloff not merely fitted w/one.
I shared your viewpoint about looking for a complete bike already equipped with the Rohloff, and quite literally went to this page of theirs, found a few complete bikes in my category of interest, then started searching my location (USA) until I found a dealer with a model in stock.

OTOH, a LBS does mods like attach a Rohloff to a freehub with a derailleur, which in the case he showed me is like having a 9-range Rohloff -- customized, to be sure -- but that client, the LBS owner explained, does long touring trips, and it was a recumbent, to boot. It gave me gearing-range envy.

Cheers,

-david
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Old 05-12-09, 09:18 AM   #49
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I can't believe how expensive these things are. We have here in Chicago a very snoody Dutch bike store where they charge 1800 dollars for Dutch bike. I know my parents had these things in the early 80s, and I'm sure they didn't pay more than 200 dollars.
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Old 05-16-09, 01:21 PM   #50
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A Dutch style bicycle can easily be two grand with suitable upgrades. The days when a bike could be had for under a grand are gone. I sank quite a bit of money into making the Pashley Guvnor over into a roadster. It looks like the opafiets one sees in Dutch bike catalogs. Stately and traditional.
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