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  1. #1
    Senior Member djkenny's Avatar
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    What is the best quality Dutch Bike?

    Does anyone know WHICH Dutch commuter bike is the best built?


    Pashley, Jorge and Olif, Gazelle, Azor, Batavus... ???


    I have been picking up that the Azor and Gazelle models are the Bee's Knees as of so far...although mentioning of Batavus as a best all around value that will hold up just as well.


    The Secret Service Azor model caught my interest for being a little bit sportier (lighter, tighter geometry with smaller tire thickness). Not so sure if it is as elegant as the traditional models, however.


    Main keys that I am seeking are:


    Lasts forever and a day with lowest possible maintenance

    Rust proofed pieces throughout

    Comfy for my injured back

    Fully enclosed chainguard

    The headlight and rear lamp powered by an internal front hub

    Best possible quality made rear rack (maybe the front one many Dutch people tend to use)

    the nifty rear white colored fender




    Brakes & gear combos I am still a little less sure of?


    The 7 spd models tend to have a drum style brake of some type up front? Good for all weather? & have a coaster brake.

    The 8spd (likely my 1st choice) has the drums or similar and they usually refer to this bike as top of line "deluxe"

    Then you have the 3spd, and at a grand for the bike anyway...I tend to think it would be best value to go for the 7 or 8 spd.

    If the bike itself is of high quality, despite lacking a few items like more gears and the "hub" generator light, I cannot help but find the Jorge and Olif "Scout" attractive with a more reasonable $500 price. Still rust proofed and commute ready. Maybe 3 spds would do the job. Even outlast the other Nexus 7 and 8 spds?

    Researching, researching...

    Thanks,

    Kenny
    Last edited by djkenny; 10-05-07 at 03:40 PM.

  2. #2
    nashcommguy
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    My first choice would be the Quitmann Big Apple Rohloff. http://www.quitmann-ms.de/eng/big_apple.html

    Not sure if it's Dutch or German, but I love this bike. I think it's about 2000.00US though...maybe more.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lot's Knife's Avatar
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    Love 'em all, but I'd go with the Gazelles because their fender flaps are as big as pingpong paddles.

  4. #4
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    Koga Miyata do some lightweight, high tech interpretations of the classic Dutch roadster.

  5. #5
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    I'm with MichaelW. Koga Miyata makes THE best bikes in the Netherlands, hands down. It makes a Gazelle look like a Wallymart bike (and my wife has a Gazelle, so I can assure you that a Gazelle in itself is a great bike)
    You may have to wait for your long lost millionaire uncle's inheritance to be able to afford one though, because they are pricey. Take a look at this one: http://www.koga.com/nl/bike.asp?coll...=66&id=9941829. How many bikes do you know that cost about $19,000?

    Duppie
    Last edited by duppie; 10-06-07 at 10:04 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rick Smith's Avatar
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    The Azor I picked up in July and have put over 1,000 miles on has continued to impress me each day I saddle up. The Dutch Bike Company put it together around the traditional Dutch frame.

    Here's a response to your requirements checklist:

    Lasts forever and a day with lowest possible maintenance: I've cleaned the chain twice in 1,000 miles, moved the rear hub back once to account for chain stretch around the internal hub, and that's it.

    Rust proofed pieces throughout: I haven't had the ride long enough to say. Edit: You;d have to ask the Dutch Bicycle Company...

    Comfy for my injured back: ahhh...

    Fully enclosed chainguard: no go, but obviosuly could be added (Velo Orange sells a nice one or you could go for that Hebie glide)

    The headlight and rear lamp powered by an internal front hub: check (Lumotec front headlight - super bright - and an LED back light in the fender)

    Best possible quality made rear rack (maybe the front one many Dutch people tend to use): solid as a rock - carries a Rivendell Paladin loaded to the gills, tent, sleeping bags and other camping supplies without complaining (maybe 40 lbs?)

    the nifty rear white colored fender : check (see pics below)

    And here's where you can see shots of my Azor 108:

    http://www.cyclofiend.com/cc/2007/cc...smith0907.html


  7. #7
    Senior Member djkenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Smith View Post
    The Azor I picked up in July and have put over 1,000 miles on has continued to impress me each day I saddle up. The Dutch Bike Company put it together around the traditional Dutch frame.

    Here's a response to your requirements checklist:

    Lasts forever and a day with lowest possible maintenance: I've cleaned the chain twice in 1,000 miles, moved the rear hub back once to account for chain stretch around the internal hub, and that's it.

    Rust proofed pieces throughout: I haven't had the ride long enough to say. Edit: You;d have to ask the Dutch Bicycle Company...

    Comfy for my injured back: ahhh...

    Fully enclosed chainguard: no go, but obviosuly could be added (Velo Orange sells a nice one or you could go for that Hebie glide)

    The headlight and rear lamp powered by an internal front hub: check (Lumotec front headlight - super bright - and an LED back light in the fender)

    Best possible quality made rear rack (maybe the front one many Dutch people tend to use): solid as a rock - carries a Rivendell Paladin loaded to the gills, tent, sleeping bags and other camping supplies without complaining (maybe 40 lbs?)

    the nifty rear white colored fender : check (see pics below)

    And here's where you can see shots of my Azor 108:

    http://www.cyclofiend.com/cc/2007/cc...smith0907.html

    That is a lovely bike. No doubt at all.

    I am looking for more tradtional form with the albatross bars and a Brooks or leather, or water proof saddle.

    I forgot about the kick stadn that is placed under the bike to aide in loading or placing a child in a seat.

    Boy, there is so many neat little pieces to these bikes that I forget to list them all.

    Does anyone know, with the exception of obvious lack of range, if the 3 spd bikes such as the Jorge and Olif Scout are just as relaibel as the 7 and 8 spd nexus units?

    Also wondering, with the exception of being with a few less "thrills"...if the frames and wheels, etc are of the same caliber of quality as Jorge and Olif's higher line models?

  8. #8
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    djkenny,
    Seems like you really want a Dutch style bike, not necessarily a Dutch-made bike. In that case my vote goes to the Jorge and Olif.
    Let me point out a few things (born and raised in the Netherlands myself, I feel I have some authority on this subject)
    1. It only comes in black. Any other colors are considered sacrilege
    2. You should order the 'Oma fiets' whether you are a men or women. In the Netherlands you will see a lot of men riding step thru models, because it just adds to the comfort.
    3. About the white fender. It is not unusual for these bikes to have a handpainted job on the fender. If you really want to go with the pristine fenders, I see that J&O has them on their higher end models. Maybe they can get you one of those fenders?
    4. Once you get the bike, you HAVE to take somebody for a ride. Just let your passenger sit on the rack, with both legs to on side. If you want to to be truly Dutch, have your passenger hop on while you are riding. It requires a little skill, but it looks very cool if you can do that.

    As to your question on quality, and having never seen one, I will assume that their quality is good, but they are definetely not lightweight. Materials tend to be oldfashioned (steel instead of aluminum, etc) but tried and true.

    Good luck
    Duppie

  9. #9
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    Which Dutch Bike is Best?

    Realize I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but as an owner of an Azor Opa, a Batavus Favoriet, and a Pashley Sovereign, I thought I'd weigh in in favor of the Azor as an everyday bike. It's a heavy beast, which really smoothes out the ride, and it just feels sturdier than the Batavus. (I got the Batavus for sentimental reasons, having ridden one when I was in school in Amsterdam way back when, but the Azor is my go-to bike for regular use...) As for the Pashley, it's just too darn pretty to take out, especially in the winter when the streets are a salt-strewn mess.

    I'd like to pick up a Gazelle Toer Populaire when I'm in Holland in May, but getting it back across the pond would be a huge logistical hassle.

    Really, though, you can't go wrong with any Dutch bike (I'm prejudiced, I know), as long as you get it black. Any other color is just wrong.

  10. #10
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texasfietser View Post
    I'd like to pick up a Gazelle Toer Populaire when I'm in Holland in May, but getting it back across the pond would be a huge logistical hassle.
    Texasfietser,
    I did that last year for my wife's bike. I just took it on the airplane as checked luggage. It was a KLM flight and it cost 150EUR. Pretty much hasslefree
    I bought it at this store. They specialize in last years models. I picked up a Gazelle Medeo Trekking there for 40% below MSRP.

    Hope this helps,
    Duppie

  11. #11
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    Duppie,

    Dank je wel.

    Texasfietser

  12. #12
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    I'm immensely fond of my Gazelle Impala, which I lucked upon when a departing grad student was inquiring at the bike shop about how to find a buyer for his when I dropped in. I have nothing to compare it to but it fits your descriptoin except the rear light isn't generator powered - but mine's a 2003 and I believe more recent models are generator powered both ends.
    When I was investigating (and I'd seen one in town and looked before I stumbled into the bike shop) I'd found a post where the rider compared it to a "bike on tranquilizers." Welp, I have to concur to a point. It weighs a lot. Some folks call it the "Gazellephant." However, this has been a good thing when plowing through deep ponds in the road or slush or snow (I put studded tyres on it this winter and the winter has accommodated me by making it worth it for the first time in yhears!) This also means when the temps are in single digits, and road conditions dubious, I *still* generate enough heat moving it to be warm
    It's also just so daggone classy

  13. #13
    Senior Member djkenny's Avatar
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    Batavus

    I did manage to find a apprx 5 year old blue Batavus Navajo on a trip to the bay area. A family from Sweeden brought it over seas. I put it in a bike box and brought it back to Portland.

    It turned out to be around 1 size too large (I am OK on it, but it is pretty snug on the 'package' as I stand over it), and is not an internal hub. The extra gears are OK to have, but a Nexus would really make this bike awesome.

    I was surprised to find that the wheels were single wall on this bike. I guess these more modern interpretations of the Dutch bike are not as bullet proof. Still...it does have a nice riding position, nice ergonomic grips, some well fitted fenders, a cable lock and rear wheel lock (handy), adjustable handlebars, and... isnt a total pig. The front and rear wheels are quick release.

    The ride is nice and the frame appears to be steel. The rear rack is sturdy enough with a set of cables like the Trek L200's I have seen. They were stretched completely out so I picked up some Sun replacements at Clever Cycles in PDX.The tire powered generator light (front and rear) is not that great...loud and has lots of drag. If this bike was my size, I would set up a Nexus 7 pr 8 speed and front hub powered light on it. Totally worth it. For now I just use a Planet Bike light. I replaced the rear wheel with a Sun double wall rim. Sometime I will do the front wheel as well, or maybe sell it for a 17' frame similar dutch bike.

    Hmmm? I wonder if I could locate the frame in my size? Just swap the parts and slap on the Nexus and generator hub for the current lights.

  14. #14
    Senior Member djkenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texasfietser View Post
    Realize I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but as an owner of an Azor Opa, a Batavus Favoriet, and a Pashley Sovereign, I thought I'd weigh in in favor of the Azor as an everyday bike. It's a heavy beast, which really smoothes out the ride, and it just feels sturdier than the Batavus. (I got the Batavus for sentimental reasons, having ridden one when I was in school in Amsterdam way back when, but the Azor is my go-to bike for regular use...) As for the Pashley, it's just too darn pretty to take out, especially in the winter when the streets are a salt-strewn mess.

    I'd like to pick up a Gazelle Toer Populaire when I'm in Holland in May, but getting it back across the pond would be a huge logistical hassle.

    Really, though, you can't go wrong with any Dutch bike (I'm prejudiced, I know), as long as you get it black. Any other color is just wrong.
    Is that model kind of like an Azor Secret Service? The more sporty, slightly lighter, thinner tire azors? I looked at the Standard classic model Azor Opa and the Secret Service. The SS seems to slightly less robust parts in exchange for a little bit more "go". Both had the hub powered lights, middle kick stand and most of the other parts exclusive to these Dutch bikes.

  15. #15
    Seeing things MIKEnDC's Avatar
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    For those that haven't seen this site:

    http://www.balloonbikes.com/en/die_b...kes/kategorie/

    A couple of the bikes that have already been mentioned are there but most have not been. The common thread to all of these is fat tires.

  16. #16
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    As I understand it (not having seen one), the Azor Secret Service is essentially an aluminum-framed version of the standard Dutch city bike, such as the Opa, Batavus Favoriet, or Gazelle Toer Populair. I suppose its target audience is people who want the most of the traditional looks and features of a Dutch city bike but don't want the weight.

  17. #17
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    Back when I was bike shopping seven years ago, I had decided upon the Dutch Gazelle as the best bike. Just when I was about to order one, I came across a German Kettler Silverstar that was already in this country.

    Paul

  18. #18
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    OK, so the Pashley isn't exactly dutch, but its my favorite. Roadster Sovereign.

  19. #19
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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.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rick Smith's Avatar
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    Yeah, I love the styling of that bicycle. Really beautiful. If I ever get a single speed, the Guv'nor would be my choice.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
    My first choice would be the Quitmann Big Apple Rohloff. http://www.quitmann-ms.de/eng/big_apple.html

    Not sure if it's Dutch or German, but I love this bike. I think it's about 2000.00US though...maybe more.
    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.

    Like2Bike

  22. #22
    Austin's slowest cyclist
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    I know this thread is old, but it keeps coming up in searches, so I wanted to add that I just received an Azor Secret Service and have posted a review at our blog, just in case anyone is interested. It's a great bike overall, except for a couple of low-quality accessories.
    Austin On Two Wheels
    The Online Magazine of Austin Cycling Culture

  23. #23
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    Dutch bikes and the US (and all the hassle I went through to get one!)

    (This forum really does keep coming up in searches!)

    Just wanted to share:
    My experience of getting a Dutch bicycle in the US has just concluded after nearly 2 months... And it was worth it. :-)

    Luckily, my boyfriend is Dutch, so on a visit to Den Haag this past weekend (I currently reside in Richmond, VA and Los Angeles, CA), we went to a local bike shop, and I picked out a great second-hand, only a couple years old, bicycle...

    It was a Gazelle Impala and I got it for 325 Euros (about $450 US). They packed it for me for free and since my father works for an airline, was able to check the bicycle in at no additional cost.

    Conclusion: Buying a Dutch bike in Holland is the best option economically and in some ways also in terms of energy/time efficiency. (Not including the plane fare because my flight was free.)

    If I had bought the Batavus Old Dutch model that I had initially intended, I would have saved at least $200 off the price at a US store. (That still means at least $100 off if the airline charges you for it.) Also, if the bike is over 150 Euros, then theoretically you can get the tax back at the VAT counter if you obtain the right receipts and if you are a US citizen (I was running late for my flight and I didn't have a chance to fill out the paperwork for this option).

    Plus:

    -you get to test-ride it there, which is nice.
    -more options! (New and Used)
    -Dutch people are awesome and they definitely know bikes.

    So yes, just wanted to add my 2 cents and if anyone has any feedback about any of this, or the Gazelle Impala I just bought, that would be great!


    (Note: I initially tried to special order a Batavus bike from a shop in Washington DC but it's expensive and you don't know what you're going to end up with. Oh and don't ever go to City Bikes! they took a deposit for a bike they could not get and didn't even bother to tell me they didn't place the order until I called them after the date they said it would be in by!)

  24. #24
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringdangdoo View Post
    http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/guvnor.html

    this is a stylish bike. Wish i had the bread for something like this.
    That is a really cool bike. 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.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  25. #25
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