I don't even think that shipping a bicycle via a freight company would be too expensive (compared to their state post services) - it would just take a few months.
is the oldest continuously operative bicycle company in the British Isles and specilizes in transportational, rather than recreational, cycling. If I know that, then anyone who presumes to set himself up as an expert in utility cycling should know it.
And, by the way, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are our friends.
Last edited by Elkhound; 09-29-08 at 08:22 PM.
As the thread starter I thought I'd update you as to which direction I went. This past Sunday I purchased an Azor Opa from Dutch Bike Co. Chicago at their recently opened store. I was in Chicago through Tuesday and was able to commute into work with it on my first day back today.
$1500+ is obviously a lot of money to spend on a non-performance oriented bicycle, so I did not plan on purchasing unless I was absolutely blown away by one of the bikes. Upon arriving at the store I was able to take a glimpse at the entire Azor line, a Velorbis Churchill and also the Retrovelo brands.
The Velorbis Churchill (a Danish designed bike built in Germany) was completely unimpressive. The finishing was half-ass and there were raw screw ends protruding from the frame. The chain guard and rack were flimsy after market pieces and the bike was expensive. Yuck. I would not recommend the Velorbis line.
The Retrovelo bikes are beautiful and just scream quality throughout. However, the $2100+ price point and the lack of a fully enclosed chain guard were deal breakers for me. If I was in the market for a stunning fair weather bike, I think it would be a great option.
Ultimately the Azor/Workcycle bikes were the best match for me. The classic Dutch styling was too much to deny. The quality of the lugged frame and its components really are top notch. While not a fast bike, it is super comfortable and stylish. The Secret Service was a bit quicker and nimble (great feeling ride) but I picked the old style Opa for the thicker tires and beefed up frame.
The bike really turns heads in downtown Minneapolis which is mostly dominated by mountain bikes, road bikes and the brakeless fixie couriers and posers. Fortunately Minneapolis is a fairly flat town. Getting this bike up even a moderate incline is hard and I will have to work on not wanting to get everywhere fast. The upside is that the bike is a great workout and built to last.
This is truly a dream bike to own.
If I lived in a fairly flat part of the world, an Opafeits is probably what I would go for as well.
I'm thinking of buying an Azor and am curious on how it handled your Minneapolis winter...since I in Minneapolis, too!
As for heavy bikes, I ride an old Schwinn 3 speed and have found that the extra weight of the bike has strenghtened my legs to the point that most hills are no problem. I often commute 13 miles with it and it doesn't take that much longer than my sleek Gary Fisher.
I'll keep an eye out for your Azor, around town.
I've heard many good things about Koga-Miyata: http://www.koga.com/us/bike.asp?coll...id=&id=9296247
These guys make glorious handmade frames/bikes in salty, snowy New England http://antbikemike.wordpress.com/boston-roadster/
Other than those, the european models have already been discussed...........
By the way, why the hell would you want to ride such a slow, heavy bike?
Vaterland 3 speed purchased new in Germany for DM400 (approx $200).
Calvin 3 speed (Beria) manufactured) purchased new in Germany for about DM600 (approx $300).
Ragazzi 7 speeds purchased 2 new units for DM268 each (man's and womans model).
Zero Seven 7 speed purchased new for 560 Euro (approx $500).
I laff at Internet "experts" quoting the Conventional Wisdom .
"I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Lou."
I-L-T-B -- 560 Euro for the Zero Seven is closer to $775 USD. I don't know about the Deutchmark anymore. Isn't Germany on the Euro? Salud!! -- Z.
Plus get some personal enrichment rather than enrich a U.S. LBS or distributor with inflated prices for "Dutch" style bikes.
2 grand for a heavy, nice riding cool looking bike?
Must be nice to have that kinda jack to piss away.
I suppose if I had ridiculous amounts of throw away income, the need for a short easy commuter in street clothes and I gave two $hits what everyone around me thought about what I was riding, I might buy one of those tanks.
Actually, I'd probably just ride an old no suspension mtb with fat slicks and put a strap around one leg of my dockers.
Interesting how I see someone here pointing out the stylishness of these admittedly beautifully made bikes, then refer to others as posers.
From what I've read here, euros aren't dumb enough to do it because they can purchase similar rides for reasonable amounts.
I've got about 20,000 all season miles on a German Kettler Silverstar over eight years. I've replaced the sidewall dynamo with a hub dynamo and the plasstic saddle with a Brooks B67. Other than rust on the rear fender, it's held up quite well.
http://www.gazelle.nl/assets/Product...mfort_2009.pdf It is twice the bike being pedaled by the US LBS's as "Dutch Styled Bikes" at far higher prices.
If you bring the bike back to a non EC country you probably could get the Value Added Tax (approx20%) refunded by doing some paperwork.
See http://www.gazellebicycles.com.au/pr...ic/impala.html for more info in English.
Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 07-07-09 at 10:05 AM.