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Old 06-15-08, 02:08 PM   #1
VintageRaleigh
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Dutch bikes... trip to Sweden/Denmark...

Alright. So it's the trip of a lifetime. This year I got to choose basically anywhere in the world I wanted to go- once in a lifetime opportunity- and my Dad and I were going to be there. Without hesitation I said Sweden, I've wanted to go to Scandinavia for forever. So anyway, to make a long story short my sisters heard the idea and now it's turned into a full family (three sisters, Mom, Dad) tour of Sweden, Norway (maybe), Denmark and Finland this summer (End of June to mid August). Before I lose you this is the biking part- I'm a three speed bike guy. I've loved Raleigh's forever and have pretty much maxed out the number of vintage English bikes I can handle.

So here's my plan. I'd like to buy a Dutch or Swedish bike. Kronan, Velorbis, Batavus (though that's pointless because I can get one in Toronto) whatever... I can't make up my mind. I'm thinking I'll spend $1500-1700 Canadian and send it home. If I can go cheaper, bonus, I can spend the rest on tourist t shirts. Does anyone have any suggestions? Where in Copenhagen or Stockholm can one find a Velorbis or Kronan bike? Is that enough money or should I bring more? I'm happy to go used, too... because I'm going to ride this bike once I get it home but new would be fun too because then I could choose a few options.

Anyway I thought some people on here might have some suggestions being the informed crew you are... also any other suggestions for the trip would be appreciated (pretty sure Velorbis are made in Germany... but maybe a Kronan factory tour?)

Also, I've heard that in Denmark you can still get new (but made in Asia) Raleigh Tourist and Sport models, three speed- the whole bit. Anybody have any experience with these bikes? (I mean the new ones, as I said I eat-sleep- and breath the classics)

So if anybody has any suggestions about bike stores, places to buy new and used, factories, brands, things to do in these foreign places... please let me know. I'd like to make the most of my time there. Thanks, Ben.
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Old 06-15-08, 06:50 PM   #2
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Don't have any answers to your questions...but I would shoot an email to the guy that blogs Copenhagen Girls on Bikes He is very happy to help anybody that is coming to visit.

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Old 06-15-08, 07:16 PM   #3
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Check on costs to ship or bring a bike before planning to do so- can get expensive, maybe not compared to the trip, but compared to the bike.

I don't know what the state of Raleigh is, or what Raleigh products are actually sold. However, classic Raleigh-style bikes are made under a multitude of other brands, and that may be what you are thinking of. See here, for example:
http://www.yellowjersey.org/EASTMAN.HTML

I was reading a while back about one of the Dutch companies, and it turns out their frames are actually made in Turkey. So don't assume a "Dutch" bike is actually made there. If there is enough value added, the frame can be imported and the bike is still considered to be "made" there.
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Old 06-15-08, 08:18 PM   #4
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I have worked on several "Dutch" bikes. Cheap frame, heavy steel wheels, off brand hub, built in lock that will only stop those so weak they cannot pick the bike up. Meh. Save your money and get a vintage English three speed. You will be far happier with the result.
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Old 06-16-08, 04:07 AM   #5
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I have worked on several "Dutch" bikes. Cheap frame, heavy steel wheels, off brand hub, built in lock that will only stop those so weak they cannot pick the bike up. Meh. Save your money and get a vintage English three speed. You will be far happier with the result.
Want to provide us with brand names? "Dutch" bikes covers a lot of territory. It would be like saying all Schwinn bikes are crap...

There are plenty of reputable brands of bikes that fall in the Dutch Bikes category. FWIW I have seen a Henry Cycles bike and they are better built than a lot of the old Raleighs. IMHO Raleigh's QC went to hell after about 1968 or so.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 06-16-08, 04:37 AM   #6
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It'll be a lot cheaper to take the bike on the plane with you, so you might want to focus on finding a shop in the city you are departing from. Shipping a bike will cost you hundreds of euro, plus import duties, customs brokerage, and GST.
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Old 06-16-08, 04:43 AM   #7
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Try checking out the Bikeforum's Classic and Vintage section.
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Old 06-16-08, 02:56 PM   #8
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Look at a Taarnby Eagle City 100,
I believe they are still made in Denmark.
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Old 06-16-08, 06:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies guys!

Here is what I know

Raleigh- made in Asia, but only retailed in Denmark of all countries. Probably identical bikes sold under different names everywhere else... anyway here is the website

http://www.raleigh.dk/Default.aspx?I...ProductID=2168

I can get a Flying Pigeon from New York for $400 bucks, or as StephenH mentioned, the Indian variants as well are available. However, on the distributor's site for the Indian model they openly acknowledge the inferior quality... and for $400 I could buy another nice Vintage Raleigh.

Kronan- I've heard horror stories about their quality, but I do believe they're the prettiest... someone has to agree with me on that. Apparently Curbside, Toronto's big Dutch-bike store dropped them they were so bad

That's also a good point about taking the bike on the plane home... I think we're leaving from Helsinki Finland... but I'd have to check that. In any case, if I find exactly what I'm looking for anywhere else I guess I'll just have to live with shipping... maybe I'll see if I can get quote beforehand.

Batavus, as I said I can get at home as well as Velorbis which I might just end up doing. On the Velorbis website they are quite clear about insisting on European sourced parts, and have photos of their frame building in Germany. As for Batavus I know they're 'built' in Holland or Denmark I forget but as for where the sum of their parts are 'made' I'm unsure. Truthfully I don't want to sound biased, I have nothing against a Turkish frame but I think I will wait until a go to Turkey before I buy a Turkish bike.

Interesting point about Raleigh's QC plant... I have a '72 Sport (pretty much the last year for that model I think) with quality I am quite impressed by. Personally I prefer it to the '51 from Nottingham I've got in the garage but I guess that's dependant on model/condition

Skeppshult and Taarnby are two companies I've never looked into before. I'll have to give them a closer look.

Another thing I don't want to overlook is the possibility of a used bike. If you know of any in these cities that would have an interesting selection just to browse I'd appreciate that as well.

Anyway thanks alot guys for your suggestions and if you've got any more keep 'em coming! I email the guy at the Copenhagen Bikes blog and I'm crossing my fingers for a reply. If he doesn't respond I'll understand, I'm sure having such a popular blog floods the author's inbox...
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Old 06-17-08, 11:21 AM   #10
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Ref: Raleigh QC. AFAIK The Sports was continued well into the 1980's, I believe the last ones to roll off the Nottingham line were around 1984? They continued for a bit longer with frames made in Taiwan. Interestingly enough I have a bare bones Sports that was built in the early 70's that was made in Malaysia under license. The hub is undated, it came with Endrick style rims, no head light bracket, and the plastic Brooks mattress saddle. Quality was pretty decent. I also have a 1972 Superbe, the paint job on it is not of the best of quality, the fork tubes to crown welding is marginal, other than that it rides like a Raleigh.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 06-17-08, 05:03 PM   #11
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That's very interesting... and the bike was made in Quebec? When do you think they started making the frames elsewhere?
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Old 06-17-08, 10:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Want to provide us with brand names? "Dutch" bikes covers a lot of territory. It would be like saying all Schwinn bikes are crap...

There are plenty of reputable brands of bikes that fall in the Dutch Bikes category. FWIW I have seen a Henry Cycles bike and they are better built than a lot of the old Raleighs. IMHO Raleigh's QC went to hell after about 1968 or so.

Aaron

Sorry, purged them from my mind like an 80's pop song. Dutch bikes do cover a lot of ground, but in thirty years I have yet to see one that was not at WalMart level(Some were pretty pricey as well. There was a ladies step thru that after import cost the customer about $1200(she claimed) it was a piece of ****. If I ever have a decent one show up I will try to revise my opinion in the hallowed halls of bike forums. It will be between the, "LBS sucks threads" and the "I don't know how to fix....." threads.
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Old 06-18-08, 03:17 AM   #13
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That's very interesting... and the bike was made in Quebec? When do you think they started making the frames elsewhere?
Ooops QC=Quality Control...and Quebec


Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 06-18-08, 04:27 AM   #14
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Swedish Crescent makes 3-speed bikes as well. As do the Finnish Tunturi and Helkama. Most if not all the frames of these will have been made in Taiwan, though.

On a side note, you say you're probably heading back home from Helsinki. Crescent, Tunturi and Helkama would be readily available here, saving you the hassle and expense of hauling them through half the Nordic countries. I don't think I've ever seen Batavus or Velorbis in bike shops here. Kronans are somewhat available, at least their sturdy Army bikes (I believe those are single speed).

If you end up hauling the bike, I suggest you take the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Ferry-hopping and biking is popular here, they have reserved spots on the car deck for bikes and I don't think it costs you anything extra.

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Old 06-18-08, 04:12 PM   #15
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Ooops QC=Quality Control...and Quebec


Aaron
Hahaha ohhh I thought you were referring to their Waterloo Quebec factory...
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Old 07-03-08, 12:59 AM   #16
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It's past late-June, so I'm guessing you're already started, but here's a good place for used bikes in Copenhagen:
http://www.brugtecykler.dk/
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