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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 10-04-07, 11:08 AM   #326
v1nce
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Good points. The Azor i sell are 65% 7 and 8 speed models, but i am partial to the SA AW 3 speed hub. But yes it is true, The Netherlands is flat.
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Old 10-04-07, 12:33 PM   #327
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West Virginia is not all that exceptional in the US. The Appalachian mountains are not very tall, but they have very steep grades (in some places, there are roads exceeding a 20% grade), and extend from Maine down into Georgia. That said, I know it's possible to get fit enough to manage a single speed on a typical moderate grade (5%) for the area. Also, most large towns are built on a flatter area, either a valley floor or a broad mountain top. Flatter means "you do not automatically have to face a 5% grade if you wish to go to the grocery store", not flat. If you're traveling between towns or live outside of a city core, odds are good that there will be at least one or two moderate grade hills on your route.

. . . .

It's too bad there aren't more English and Dutch style bikes making use of 7, 8 and 9 speed internal geared hubs available in the US. For the average rider, a 7+ speed internal hub with the lowest gear set at around 20 gear inches (50cms) should handle most steep grades. There will still be a suitable gear option for flat terrain, and well... you'll go fast downhill no matter what. I was always more concerned with not going *too* fast and with not overheating my brakes. It's not a good idea to speed on a bike; it means drivers think they're going too slow.
Thank you. At last somebody who seems to be living on the same planet I am on.

The 7 to 9 internal-geared hubs I have read about, but not experienced, as the LBS does not carry any in stock (although they are happy to order almost anything); they sound attractive, though.

I haven't mentioned, as it is a little unusual, but my reluctance to get off and push the bike uphill is partly due to my plantar fascitis, calceal spurs, and Achilles tendenitis which make walking painful; cycling does not hurt, though.
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Old 10-04-07, 12:54 PM   #328
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It's too bad there aren't more English and Dutch style bikes making use of 7, 8 and 9 speed internal geared hubs available in the US. For the average rider, a 7+ speed internal hub with the lowest gear set at around 20 gear inches (50cms) should handle most steep grades. There will still be a suitable gear option for flat terrain, and well... you'll go fast downhill no matter what. I was always more concerned with not going *too* fast and with not overheating my brakes. It's not a good idea to speed on a bike; it means drivers think they're going too slow.

The Dutch bikes I bring to Vermont are 8 speed Nexus.
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Old 10-04-07, 12:56 PM   #329
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Thank you. At last somebody who seems to be living on the same planet I am on.

The 7 to 9 internal-geared hubs I have read about, but not experienced, as the LBS does not carry any in stock (although they are happy to order almost anything); they sound attractive, though.

I haven't mentioned, as it is a little unusual, but my reluctance to get off and push the bike uphill is partly due to my plantar fascitis, calceal spurs, and Achilles tendenitis which make walking painful; cycling does not hurt, though.
See my reply below.
I've been impressed with the 8sp Nexus, even riding hills on a Bakfiets.
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Old 10-04-07, 02:30 PM   #330
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See my reply below.
I've been impressed with the 8sp Nexus, even riding hills on a Bakfiets.
I've heard that quite a bit from many sources; I hope I get a chance to test-ride a BF some time.
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Old 10-04-07, 02:48 PM   #331
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I haven't mentioned, as it is a little unusual, but my reluctance to get off and push the bike uphill is partly due to my plantar fascitis, calceal spurs, and Achilles tendenitis which make walking painful; cycling does not hurt, though.
Ah....(sound of penny dropping).... now I understand why traditional push bicycling wouldn't appeal to you. I walk with a stick myself, but I find having a bicycle to hang onto is just as good as any walking stick. I must say however that since I returned to bicycling my general health and fitness has greatly improved. My bicycles are my freedom machines and I love riding them.
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Old 10-04-07, 08:32 PM   #332
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Yup. I know they exist. But they're not something you can walk into any bike shop and buy, and that makes me sad. And finding one used is very rare. At least now I live someplace where people think a 5% grade is steep. I find this concept deeply confusing but it means a 3 speed hub will cover quite a lot of my needs .

Oh and Elkhound, there are some things that can be done to make walking more comfortable for you. If I try to walk any distance without my orthotics, my feet, calves, knees and hip are very unhappy with me (I've got a bone deformity in my feet, and a rotated hip, and a bunch of damage relating to them). Correctly fitted orthotics will help the planar fascitis. I know tendenitis is also treatable. Treatment may not make walking pain free, but it can make life much better. It's also worth being very picky about shoes. The right shoe makes a lot of difference to my comfort.
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Old 10-04-07, 09:32 PM   #333
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I own a very old 'Holfa' by 'Veeno' Dutch bicycle; - it's only a single speed, but I love it. I purchased it here from a young Dutch couple who had brought it with them when they came to live in New Zealand. It had been in their family from new and had been originally purchased by their uncle during the early war years.
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Old 10-04-07, 11:05 PM   #334
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It's not English but it is a 3 speed... I just finished the preliminary test build and rode it home from the shop and have to say I'm loving my new triple.

I'll have to take some pics in the daytime...


Kuwahara Cascade 3 speed conversion
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Old 10-05-07, 01:18 PM   #335
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How much where those wheels? I've been thinkin of a three speed I could guiltlessly ride in rain and snow. My new wheels are mint, and I can't bear getting them wet. My utility bike has become a fair weather utility bike.
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Old 10-05-07, 01:49 PM   #336
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Does anyone know WHICH Dutch commuter bike is the best built?

Pashley, Jorge and Olif, Gazelle, Azor, Batavus... ???

I have been picking up that the Azor and Gazelle models are the Bee's Knees as of so far...although mentioning of Batavus as a best all around value that will hold up just as well.

The Secret Service Azor model caught my interest for being a little bit sportier (lighter, tighter with smaller tire thickness). Not so sure if it is as elegant as the traditional models, however.

Main keys that I am seeking are:

Lasts forever and a day with lowest possible maintenance
Rust proofed pieces throughout
Comfy for my injured back
Fully enclosed chainguard
The headlight and rear lamp powered by an internal front hub
Best possibly quality made rear rack (maybe the front one many Dutch people tend to use)
the nifty rear white colored fender



Brakes & gear combos I am still a little less sure of?

The 7 spd models tend to have a drum style brake of some type up front? Good for all weather? & a coaster.


The 8spd (likely my 1st choice) has the drums or similar and they usually refer to this bike as top of line "deluxe"

Then you have the 3spd internal hub, and at a grand for the bike anyway...I tend to think it would be best value to go for the 7 or 8 spd

Nexus and Sram combos seem to be the option on most of the brand Dutch cycles mentioned.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:30 PM   #337
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Does anyone know WHICH Dutch commuter bike is the best built?

Pashley, Jorge and Olif, Gazelle, Azor, Batavus... ???

I have been picking up that the Azor and Gazelle models are the Bee's Knees as of so far...although mentioning of Batavus as a best all around value that will hold up just as well.

The Secret Service Azor model caught my interest for being a little bit sportier (lighter, tighter with smaller tire thickness). Not so sure if it is as elegant as the traditional models, however.

Main keys that I am seeking are:

Lasts forever and a day with lowest possible maintenance
Rust proofed pieces throughout
Comfy for my injured back
Fully enclosed chainguard
The headlight and rear lamp powered by an internal front hub
Best possibly quality made rear rack (maybe the front one many Dutch people tend to use)
the nifty rear white colored fender



Brakes & gear combos I am still a little less sure of?

The 7 spd models tend to have a drum style brake of some type up front? Good for all weather? & a coaster.


The 8spd (likely my 1st choice) has the drums or similar and they usually refer to this bike as top of line "deluxe"

Then you have the 3spd internal hub, and at a grand for the bike anyway...I tend to think it would be best value to go for the 7 or 8 spd

Nexus and Sram combos seem to be the option on most of the brand Dutch cycles mentioned.
If we are talking new, Azor is the most durable, no question. However that extreme durability also means that the weight is the highest. Remember, Azors come in 3 levels of durability and 'luxury'. If you want something that could last forever go for the Heavy Duty.

Batavus and Gazelle are very good bikes but overrated these days when it comes to durability. Azor is the only one who makes them like the other brands used too. The SS is good but not as durable as the heavier old skool counterparts. As for the carrier, the best and beefiest one is standard on the Heavy Duty. However Azor does a lot of custom stuff, you could easily a SS with a heavy duty rack and anything else you like. The other two are not Dutch but Dutch style. Great bikes but not as durable i think.

Hubs, definately go 7 or 8 if you are buying new. I am not so impressed with the S-Ram 5 or the Torpedo 3. I think the 7 is very good, the 8 even a little better.

Most new Azor's use a Rollerbrake (though Drumbrake is an option) i am most impressed with the Rollerbrakes, great for all kinds of wheather, very durable, good stopping power. Basically it is a much improved version of the already good drumbrakes. The Hub dynamo is very nice.

If you have any more questions (perhaps when you have narrowed down the choice) ask away. I am not on the forums very often but often enough.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:14 PM   #338
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" How much where those wheels? I've been thinkin of a three speed I could guiltlessly ride in rain and snow. My new wheels are mint, and I can't bear getting them wet. My utility bike has become a fair weather utility bike."

I found my wheels at the community shop I volunteer at and traded a vintage SA wheelset for them... the rear was already built using a Shimano 333 hub and a Mavic dw, eyeleted wheel and the front is a new Vuelta dw and eyeletted wheel that must have been donated from one of the local shops...it needed some work before I could use it as the dish was way out.

Since I am the resident wheel guy correcting the build on the Vuelta wasn't too hard and all the rear wheel needed was a little bearing adjustment... the 333 isn't the best hub and I think I'll look at getting a Nexus 7 speed and lacing that to a new high quality rim.

Other than that...the cost of my new bike was 0.00 as I traded in a bunch of decent parts and had some of the other bits to finish the build.

I commuted 30 km on the bike today and just love it...the ride and handling are excellent and the 3 speed runs as smooth as silk.
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Old 10-13-07, 09:39 AM   #339
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I just read about half of the pages in this thread, and thought I'd chime in. I've been riding a 10-speed bike I built up for light touring on a frame that Bruce Gordon made for me in 1981, mostly for commuting, and love it still. Recently though, I thought I'd like to have a utility bike to jump on and ride to the store or around town.

I rode an old Raleigh in college, so I looked for one used and found a green '69 Raleigh Superbe in need of some TLC. Since then I've bought 3 more, looking for better wheels and the dynohub lighting system for it. Now I have it completed and though the chrome is lightly pitted, it's clean and in like new condition (except for the character scratches and dings in the paint). I even have the key and love using it!

The second one is a bronze '73 Superbe which I'll take in to work for riding to lunch (when I drive in). The third is a small frame green '69 Superbe that I'll be selling as a set of many good parts, and the fourth is a bronze '73 Ladies Sports in excellent condition (but needs a new shifter cover) that I'll be selling on Ebay in the spring.

I love riding the Superbe. At 37 pounds, who's going to steal it? Having a kickstand is great! Not too heavy to lift onto the train. I wish it was a little longer (I'm 5'11") and had 5 speeds in the hub, but those things matter little compared to the pure joy of riding a bike that reminds me of childhood desires so much.

I recommend that those looking for a nice utility bike consider a resurrected 3-speed from the '60s or early '70s. Let's keep them alive.
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Old 10-13-07, 10:17 AM   #340
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I love riding my Superbe as well... it has to be one of the most beautiful and comfortable bikes I own.

I've really been enjoying my new 3 speed and rode it exclusively all last week and even went on a rather epic ride last night where we even managed to hit some really nice trails.

I was riding with a few fellows who had road bikes and had no trouble keeping up with them (on the road) although they did struggle to keep up with me at times on the road and of course, the trails.

And I found fenders...

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Old 10-13-07, 03:57 PM   #341
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I really like your bike Sixty Fiver. I've been working on doing something similar built around a NZ made Raleigh 'Granada' frame. I've been wanting a bicycle I can ride on some of the trails around where I live, but I don't want to have to find myself the owner of some Star Wars like object covered with flashy zap lightning flash stickers to do it.



I've found a nice ex-MTB wheel with a quick release Altus alloy hub and alloy rim which fits very nicely at the front, but I was hoping to be able to lace the Granada's two speed Sachs coaster hub into an alloy rim. I know this is an 'English 3 speed' thread, but an option on the NZ built under licence Raleighs was the Sachs two speed coaster hub and I'm a big fan of these hubs.
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Old 10-13-07, 04:24 PM   #342
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I don't have any fancy stickers but could not resist the "fukenkarz" sticker I found at the shop... besides that there's a sticker on the downtube that simply says, "one more sticker".

My friend said that when I open my own shop "Fukenkarz" would be a good brand name.

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Old 10-13-07, 04:57 PM   #343
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I don't have any fancy stickers but could not resist the "fukenkarz" sticker I found at the shop... besides that there's a sticker on the downtube that simply says, "one more sticker".

My friend said that when I open my own shop "Fukenkarz" would be a good brand name.



I like that I really do.
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Old 10-13-07, 11:25 PM   #344
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Hee. I want one too. That's great!
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Old 10-14-07, 10:10 AM   #345
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@ Sianelle, are you talking about the 'Doumatic' or a different 2 speed?
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Old 10-14-07, 11:07 AM   #346
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I'd love to find a two speed kicker to build a wheel on... I do have a '51 SA hub with a coaster brake that is begging to be put into a wheel and might tackle that this week.
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Old 10-14-07, 12:18 PM   #347
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An SA with coaster is rather unusual and very nice. Reliable and one less cable on the bike.
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Old 10-14-07, 01:59 PM   #348
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@ Sianelle, are you talking about the 'Doumatic' or a different 2 speed?
Yes it's the Duomatic hub Vince. I think they're teeeerrrrific and I always keep my eye out for them.



http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/20...uomatic-story/
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Old 10-15-07, 02:12 PM   #349
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I see. Yeah i like them, nice gear. I can still get them NOS here in the Netherlands and on occassion find them for free on the street, mostly on smaller wheels, like 20 or 22 inch.
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Old 10-15-07, 05:34 PM   #350
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Yes it's the Duomatic hub Vince. I think they're teeeerrrrific and I always keep my eye out for them.



http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/20...uomatic-story/
Sweet! I have never seen one. I do have a Bendix "kickback" two speed from 1964ish Schwinn, still has the original S-6 rim on it Currently it is mounted on my cruiser for testing, if it works out okay I will lace it into a larger rim. That bike is plug ugly at the moment, mostly stripped paint with a smaller 26x1-3/8 tire on the back and a 26x2.125 white wall on the front

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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?"
_krazygluon
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