Searching for the perfect dutch-style commuter bike- please help!
I live in Washington DC and am currently commuting to work on a Trek mountain bike. I am 5'9" and often have to wear dresses and skirts to work. I would like to get a Dutch or Dutch-style bike, but there are no shops that carry them so I can't test-ride. I want a really smooth, fluid, slow and steady ride. Have to park it outside by day and in a garage at night. I bring a laptop and two bags to work everyday. I have found a shop in New York City that will ship either a Gazelle Toer Populair 8-speed $1299 with roller brakes or a WorkCycles Oma 8-speed ($1599 with roller brakes, steering stabilizer, really good kickstand), OR I could get a Skeppshult 5-speed with a coaster brake directly from the importer (about $200 more expensive). I love the look of the Skeppshult but have yet to find someone who has ridden one. www.skeppshultbikes.com Does anyone have any advice as to which way I should go? My commute is 4 miles, with 0.5 mile on a residential street with a gradual hill, 2.5 miles on trails along the mall and Potomac, and a little on Pennsylvania Ave.
Todd Fahrner, operator of Clever Cycles in Portland is a member here (member name tfahrner) and he sells Gazelles and other Dutch bikes.
He's a super nice guy and even though they are on the other side of the country I'm sure they will be happy to answer any questions you have about specific models.