I'm in the process of researching a Dutch-style city bike for commuting to work and general errands around the city. My requirements for such a bike are partially practical and partially emotional:
- Full chain guard
- Upright riding position (not hunkered over mountain or road bike style)
- Sealed bearings
- Sealed shifting (3 or 8 speeds)
- Good rust resistance to survive a Minnesota Winter and lots of salt on the roads
- Frame size of at least 61 or 64 cm (24-26") I'm 6'2 with a 34" inseam
- Traditional styling
Initially I was looking for something in the sub $700 category, which lead me to the Electra Amsterdam, the Biria Classic Dutch, or Kronan Swedish army copy. The Electra bike was eliminated because the Amsterdam has been recalled and I used to own an Electra. It's frame was extremely sub par in quality and it had rusted out after one Winter. The Biria has been eliminated because they are sold out until Spring of next year and the Kronan because its frame is too small.
Now I'm looking at just dropping the big bucks on a proper Danish or Dutch manufactured bike. I'm specifically interested in the Azor Opa and Velorbis Churchill.
Are there any other bikes out there that I should be considering? I prefer traditional styling because it reminds me of my days riding around on a Dutch bike in Northern Germany.
Please don't respond with unhelpful comments like "I don't understand why somebody would buy such a heavy/slow/inefficient bike." The lycra/bike courier-poser crowd shouldn't question century old designs from countries that actually ride bikes on a day-to-day basis. They've figured it out long ago and don't confuse utility bikes with sporting equipment.