I'm a city rider who switched to an upright Dutch bike last fall and have been loving the big behemoth ever since. And I thought my steel mtb was heavy, ha! These days I spend most of my time riding around the city commuting to work year-round, out on errands, and around with my family. I also have a 6 year-old stepson with Cerebral Palsy who learned to ride a bike last summer. I write a blog about city biking, family biking, and adaptive biking too, and try to keep a fairly up-to-date section on adaptive cycling resources.
Hello there! Sorry it's taken me a bit to respond. A Dutch bike is a style of city bike, or upright bike made in the Netherlands. They're generally step-through bikes with a loop frame. Here's a link to a resource page on my blog about Dutch bikes.http://dingdingletsride.com/dutch-bikes/. ( I write about Dutch bikes, city bikes and adaptive bikes). These days 'Dutch bike' is often used to refer to the style of bike, not just those that are made in Holland. My bike is a WorkCycles Oma. Batavus and Gazelle are also well-known, well-built Dutch brands that are available in the US. Velorbis is a a Danish-German bike maker that manufacturers gorgeous bikes in the same style, and Pashley is the classic British version of these loop-frame style bikes. These are big (28-inch wheels) heavy, steel-frame bikes that are make for city riding in flat cities. They can transport a ton of stuff, and have full fenders, chainguards and skirts guards to keep the mud and water off of you as you wear your everyday clothes when riding one. These are not fast bikes by any means, and can be a pain if you have to lug your bike up and down stairs in the city -though they are made to sit outside all year long, as they do in Amsterdam. I did a lot of research and decided this was the bike for me, and it may sound cheesy, but I can't believe how much I love this bike and how much fun it's been to ride it - even through the winter. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Your blog is awesome! I'm a fellow Chicagoan as well and love seeing the city through a cyclist's perspective.
I just started commuting 2 months ago on an old specialized rockhopper I picked up for $100. Its a bit small for me so I'm trying to research for a dream bike now that I've had some experience. There are so many types of frames it overwhelming. Any advice on how to pick the right one? What is the best way to test ride, at a store or random craigslist postings?
Another newbie Chicagoan here! MsDing, do you read Let's Go Ride a Bike? It's a bike blog written mostly by a Chicago woman (there's another writer I think in Tennessee) who rides dutch style bikes. She takes nice photos too. Only problem is she makes me feel pretty frumpy because she always looks nice even riding in winter.
Thanks for the compliments on my blog. If you are really researching bikes, start with what do yo want it for? Are you going to race, ride off-road, ride across the country, or ride to work and in/around the city. Figuring out what you're likely to do with your bike will help you narrow down your choices. I have a 2o year-old mountain bike that I rode for years. Then I decided that I didn't want to have to plan my wardrobe around my bike, worry about getting dirty when I wanted to ride to work or out with friends, and that I wasn't riding 25 miles at a time anymore. That drove my selection process for my current Dutch bike. Start there, then pay multiple visits to your local bike shops and test ride bikes, ask questions, etc.
Oh yes, I do read Dottie & Trish's blog - Let's Go Ride a Bike - great blog! I discovered it when I was doing research for my own bike purchase. Since then I've met Dottie and generally get to catch up with at our regularly schedule Women Who Ride brunches and happy hours. Have you come to one yet? You should join us! Check out our group on thechainlink.org for more info! You shouldn't worry about feeling frumpy - it's hard to look super awesome in the winter. Check out Dottie's blogposts on the winter brunches or mine.. we were all bundled up pretty well.