Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Do you commute or run errands with a dutch style bicycle? (upright style)

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.
View Poll Results: Do you own a dutch style bike? If so, how do you use it?
I own one
25.00%
I do not own one
31.67%
I would like to own one
18.33%
I wouldn't waste my money on one
18.33%
I use it only for commuting to work
1.67%
I use it only for running errands around town but not for my long commute
6.67%
I use it for a mix of commuting and running errands
33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

Do you commute or run errands with a dutch style bicycle? (upright style)

Old 07-18-10, 07:07 AM
  #1  
macteacher
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Suburbia, Ontario
Posts: 882

Bikes: Specialized FSR

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Do you commute or run errands with a dutch style bicycle? (upright style)

Im just wondering how many of you commute with a dutch or english style upright bicycle. Are upright bicycles worth it here in the western world where many of us live in the suburbs, far away from short urban centres or places of employment.

I have a pashley (review coming in a few weeks). its a great bike to run errands with, but not the best commuter if I am in a hurry.

So...how about you? Do you have a vintage/upright dutch style bike? If so, how do you use it? For what purposes?
macteacher is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 07:21 AM
  #2  
Doohickie
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,721

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 42 Posts
I've ridden my Raleigh DL-1 to work when my commute was 7 miles, but haven't attempted my 17 mile commute on it. I use it for day touring (i.e., leisurely rides of about 30 miles) and quick trips to the store.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 07:24 AM
  #3  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,870

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2274 Post(s)
Liked 1,348 Times in 824 Posts
I'd love one for the style element, but boy, are they heavy and slow (based on my rental experiences in Amsterdam). Hoisting one of those things to hang up in the garage would be a PITA, too. And hills? Ugh.

But they look nice!
chaadster is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 08:27 AM
  #4  
CitiZen
3speed
 
CitiZen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 128

Bikes: Breezer Citizen

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
macteacher asked:
"Are upright bicycles worth it here in the western world"

Don't even doubt it! Dutch style/upright/internally geared hubs/whatever term you want to use, those are the bikes of the future. Just look at the rest of the world!

And yes, they are just as practical in the USA. Racks, lights, fenders make a bicycle beautifully functional for any use except time trials.
CitiZen is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 08:38 AM
  #5  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,731
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked 144 Times in 100 Posts
My favourite commuter is a drop-bar hybrid with racks and fenders. I think I get the best of both worlds with this bike. I have a SS raleigh city bike too, but I'm unlikely to take it on anything over 3 or 4km unless it's to somewhere I can't secure the bike.
clasher is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 01:02 PM
  #6  
FunkyStickman
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 Centennial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
I'd rock one. Doesn't have to be low-tech, either.
FunkyStickman is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 03:03 PM
  #7  
kludgefudge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 437

Bikes: late 80's bianchi campion d'italia, early 90's trek 2100, early 90's shogun selectra, mid 90's aluminum marin xcMTB, dept. store grade but upgraded columbia double eagle tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I voted based on my "beater" bike, an old raleigh "monger" frame I built up for the purposes of short rides (under 5 k usually) into the city, out at night in town, etc. without having to worry about anything too much. It's not exactly a "dutch bike" as it is a 21 speed derailleur bike (guess what: makes sense for easy riding in hilly areas). but it IS upright, with the bars about 4 inches above the saddle, and big tires. basically all parts on it excepting consumables are from the dump.

I have a bridgestone RB-1 set up for commuting/brevet duty for my longer commute that I get the most miles on, plus a couple of other drop bar bikes, but for a short trip utility beater, I like an upright. partly just cuz it's a nice change, a different riding experience.
kludgefudge is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 05:27 PM
  #8  
Julie Bee
Junior Member
 
Julie Bee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a single-speed (looks like this but maroon: https://jotbicycles.blogspot.com/2010...r-curiser.html) that I use for my very short commute (about a mile). I'm from suburban Chicago, which is pancake-flat, and moved to Lynchburg, Va., which is very hilly. It's such a cute bike, and I like being able to ride to work in a long skirt, but it is waaaay too heavy for this area. I'm saving up for a new bike...
Julie Bee is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 05:35 PM
  #9  
JeffC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington DC Area
Posts: 195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a 3 speed IGH Breezer. I mainly use it for a short commute to the subway (about 1.5 miles) when I wear my work clothes. Sometimes I will take it on my longer commute (11 miles) all the way to work and then shower at work. While not as fast as my other bike on the long commute which does have some hills on the way back, it is still adequate. If I suspect it may rain that day, I will ride the Breezer since it is to clean. I also use it for errands. It is a very practical, easy to maintain bike. With a wide sprung Brooks saddle and 2.0 plush Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires it is stylish and bomb proof.
JeffC is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 05:39 PM
  #10  
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,694
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 54 Posts
I ride a Kettler German bike on a 20 mile daily commute. I have a trailer for shopping. It has the convenience and reliability of a car. Unlike a car, one can actually find a place to park it at the destination.

Paul
PaulH is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 06:35 PM
  #11  
trailz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 130
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
I love to run errands on my 1972 Hercules 3-speed. Henry's got a Topeak rear rack with a wald folder, so I can't use him for my big grocery runs. Still, for the 2-4 mile runs for miscellaneous items, he's fantastic. Last Sunday we rode a full 32 miles on one errand. He was a pleasure to ride the entire distance. What a pal. (We rode 16 miles, picked up a 10lb anchor, then rode home;-)
trailz is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 10:38 PM
  #12  
macteacher
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Suburbia, Ontario
Posts: 882

Bikes: Specialized FSR

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Well...thanks for the responses. I am a bit confused though by the poll #'s. If only 6 people own an upright bicycle how can 8 people use it for mixed use????

I ride my pashley just around town. I've tried taking her on long commute's, but the ride is much slower.
macteacher is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 11:07 PM
  #13  
gna
Count Orlok Member
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,710

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Raleigh DL1, Schwinn Winter Bike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked 93 Times in 49 Posts
Originally Posted by macteacher
Well...thanks for the responses. I am a bit confused though by the poll #'s. If only 6 people own an upright bicycle how can 8 people use it for mixed use????
Sorry; didn't see it was a multiple choice poll.

I ride a Raleigh Sports 3-speed to work and run some errands on it. I enjoy riding it.
gna is offline  
Old 07-18-10, 11:59 PM
  #14  
AngeloDolce
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Delaware
Posts: 340

Bikes: Many English 3 Speeds

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
I have a large number of English 3 speeds, along with a 1960 Dutch Gazelle and a few bikes with derailleurs (Bridgestone MTB, Schwinn LeTour, SuperCourse II).

I find a noticeable difference between the English bikes (Raleigh Sports, DL1) and the Dutch Gazelle.

I use the Raliegh Sports for basically all uses (errands, commuting 15-20 miles total per day, club rides 40-75 miles). The DL1 is comfortable for these uses - errands, commuting. For longer club rides (70-80 miles), it seems a little heavier than the Sports.

The Gazelle has style. It's fine for errands; it's OK for commuting, but a little slower than the Raleighs. It does a little better than the Raleighs in rain with the full chain guard and larger fenders.. I find the Raleigh Sports or Schwinn Racer (1965 single speed) are normal at 35 lbs. Even to me, the Gazelle is heavy. I tried a club ride once (40miles) I wouldn't try it again
AngeloDolce is offline  
Old 07-19-10, 12:20 AM
  #15  
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 8,101
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 10 Posts
The closest I've come to riding a Dutch bike is the new bike share system bikes we have in town now. They're the same bikes the BIXI system in Montreal uses.

Upright, skirt guards, chain guards, 3 speeds, roller brakes, etc. Here's a pic:

They're fine for a couple of miles at a shot. I wouldn't want to ride one on my commute but I fully admit to my roadie tendencies so a large part of that is just personal preference.

As far as whether Dutch bikes are "worth it" or not depends. I think there are people who are enamored as much with the idea of the Dutch bikes as with the practicality of them. But if riding a bike like that brings you joy and you can afford it, why not? Then again, I have the same attitude towards Trek Madones.

I realize that the Dutch have been very successful at getting people to commute by bike and there's a lot we can learn from them and the type of bikes they ride. That doesn't mean however, that it would be wise to adopt the same style of bike everywhere else.

I wouldn't recommend that the rest of the world adopt North American style automobiles just because so many people here drive and we have a lifestyle designed around car ownership.

Last edited by tjspiel; 07-19-10 at 12:39 AM.
tjspiel is offline  
Old 07-19-10, 07:27 AM
  #16  
khutch
Sumerian Street Rider
 
khutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Suburban Chicago
Posts: 660

Bikes: Dahon Mu P8, Fuji Absolute 1.0

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I claimed to own one in your poll since you seem to be defining the Dutch/English style as an upright riding posture. My Dahon Mu P8 folder looks nothing like a traditional Dutch or English cycle of course but it certainly has an upright riding posture available. It has an adjustable handlebar post that I normally set as high as it will go. I like the upright posture because it is comfortable and gives you excellent visibility for commuting. I ride it on a bike/train commute of about 6 miles, one way. When I got it last year it was my only bike and I could do 25 miles on it without complaints. I can cheat with it though. If I have a serious head wind I just drop the handlebar post all the way down to get a more aerodynamic posture. I got a Fuji hybrid this spring and that has become my main exercise and recreational machine. Indeed it is faster and a big part of that is undoubtedly its lower riding posture. I am still struggling with getting it adjusted to be comfortable on long rides though. The frame geometry on the Fuji is road like, almost identical to some of their road frames in fact. It comes with a flat bar though and that is not comfortable on a long ride because it is so low where the higher flat bar Dahon is fine. A trekking bar on the Fuji is getting very close to what I need so with a few more tweaks I should have it. You can go forever on an upright bike and if you drop your speed slightly it is no more tiring than a road bike posture. It just takes you a little longer. If you look at videos of Dutch commuters on their excellent bikeway system you can see that they move quite slowly compared to the speeds so many commuters here claim to run at. When the weather is cool enough to make it pleasant I can easily push my Dahon along at 18 mph on the flats in the full upright posture. That is well above what Dutch commuters appear to run at. Under the same conditions I can run the Fuji at 21 or 22 mph .

So if speed is your primary concern then upright or "Dutch" style bikes are hopeless. If you don't need to be constantly challenging your personal best then they have a lot to recommend them. They are as useful here as anywhere in the world and a whole lot of North American riders routinely run at speeds where they are not a handicap at all. Dutch commuters tend to travel light and slow from the videos I have seen. Dutch errand runners are often riding cargo bikes and many of them are made with a cargo box in the front. It is not uncommon to see a Dutch soccer mom pedaling one of those with the kids seated in the cargo box, or with it loaded with purchases. If you really wanted a Dutch bike for running errands one of those would be ideal.

Ken
khutch is offline  
Old 07-19-10, 11:15 AM
  #17  
amckimmey
Senior Member
 
amckimmey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 522

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Surly LHT, which I think is an American version of a Dutch/Utility bike. Its rugged and can do everything. I dream sometimes about putting cruiser bars on it and a internal gear hub on it.

Most real dutch bikes are to big for me. I almost bought one, but instead to go with the LHT

I did just get my girlfriend a Linus Mixte, which is more of a french style. We pick it up tomorrow. I kind of wish it was my bike.
amckimmey is offline  
Old 07-20-10, 08:57 AM
  #18  
gna
Count Orlok Member
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,710

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Raleigh DL1, Schwinn Winter Bike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked 93 Times in 49 Posts
Originally Posted by amckimmey

I did just get my girlfriend a Linus Mixte, which is more of a french style. We pick it up tomorrow. I kind of wish it was my bike.
Me too. I'd ride a mixte if I could find one big enough.
gna is offline  
Old 07-20-10, 09:11 AM
  #19  
coffeecake
Blocking your fire exits
 
coffeecake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have been drooling over a Batavus Breukeulen for the last four months or so. Especially when it rains, which has been for the last four months or so. Completely enclosed drivetrain ftw. It would replace my comfort hybrid, and I've still got the xtra for hauling and the touring bike for hauling ass.
coffeecake is offline  
Old 07-20-10, 09:15 AM
  #20  
mikeybikes
Senior Member
 
mikeybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Edgewater, CO
Posts: 3,214

Bikes: Tons

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Breezer Uptown which is pretty much a Dutch style bike, though a bit lighter.

I see nothing wrong with riding one. Mine's pretty heavy with the dynamo/drum front hub and the rack, baskets, etc on it. I have no problems riding it for 5 or 10 miles now that I replaced the saddle. I'm sure I could ride it for longer, though I prefer my lighter bike just to save some energy.


Before some of the parts I added on to it. Of course, not true European style as it does have a derailleur.

I use it for commuting, errand running, pretty much everything but long (10+ mi) rides.

Last edited by mikeybikes; 07-20-10 at 09:20 AM.
mikeybikes is offline  
Old 07-20-10, 10:26 AM
  #21  
kire
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't mind a relatively upright position, but what we commonly call a Dutch bike over here is way too upright for me, and usually way to heavy. Somewhere in between is nice (though I currently ride a steel roadbike, with drops). I just can't see myself riding something that weighs in over 35 lbs; besides being heavy to ride they are unwieldy to lift and maneuver.

Also, while I see the merit of IGH, I feel like I am just as well served by a derailleur. I especially could not ride a single speed in the Dutch style... All that weight and no gears to make your ride easier? Maybe it works better when everything is flat, but most of the US is not like that.
kire is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 08:47 AM
  #22  
macteacher
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Suburbia, Ontario
Posts: 882

Bikes: Specialized FSR

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Well I must say for a bike that is used by the rest of the world, especially in hot cycling areas such as the netherlands and denmark, im surprised how so few Bike Forum'ers actually own one. I thought the number would be a lot higher.
macteacher is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 09:19 AM
  #23  
acidfast7
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,543

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 36 Posts
I owned one when I lived in Stockholm (a used Kronan) and is seems like they finally sell them in the states.

https://www.kronan.com/ (that's what I had ... https://www.kronan.com/Cykel)

and now you guys can get them ... finally ... https://kronanusa.com/bicycles.php

to be honest, they're an excellent out of the box option and I highly recommend them for anyone looking at a bike for year-round commuting.

I mean, how can you beat this list:

integrated fender
integrated rear rack (for second person in a pinch or a child seat)
nice baskets
internal rear hub/shifting
"coaster"-style brake (and handbrake now )
chain guard to protect clothing
integrated lights and generator
integrated stand
integrated rear-wheel lock
great seating position
up to 7-speeds

i loved that i could throw my bag on the front or back, attach the generator if I needed a light when it was dark (all winter!), start riding home, and leave it outside the store with the stand/built-in lock when i picked up some food. didn't need to assemble or carry anything else ... no one would steal them because they had a rear-wheel lock welded on, so it was a pain to remove.

kinda heavy, but just what you want in the snow/ice/darkness of winter.

seriously nice bikes ... not used so much in Germany though

edit: Monark makes some really nice stuff as well: https://monark.se

Last edited by acidfast7; 07-21-10 at 09:24 AM.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 02:44 PM
  #24  
fuzz2050
Real Men Ride Ordinaries
 
fuzz2050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I'm soundly in the 'not worth it' camp, but that's just a reflection of my personal taste. They are comfy, but they feel like you're riding a sofa. I may be alone in preferring my bikes to feel like bikes, not furniture.

They are great bikes for a very limited style of riding; if you have a shirt commute, need to carry a little, but not a lot, don't like to go fast, and are unwilling to make wardrobe concessions to practicality, then a dutch style bike may be just the ticket. Otherwise, you would likely be better served by a different style of bike.
fuzz2050 is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 03:15 PM
  #25  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 9,290

Bikes: Kirk Custom 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) on the sale block , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) 80?? SR Semi-Pro 600 Arabesque

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2039 Post(s)
Liked 2,118 Times in 1,198 Posts
I voted yes, and use for commute and errands (commute is 5 mile one way)....

I think this qualifies, in style and intent, if not IGH. It also deals with some issues like weight (to a degree) and speed

It started life as a 12 speed nishiki I bought new in 82. about 2 years ago I dusted it off and rebuilt it. It now sports deore hubs (coldset frame), sram 8 spd cassete, campy veloce crankset, Brooks seat, Nitto stem and bars, cork grips, cheapy sunrace thumb shifters, sks fenders (pic shows planet bike...have to update), performance campus pdeals (spd/platform), wald folding basket, some rack I had around.

Just a stem, brake levers, handle bar and thumbshifters would get the same effect on pretty cheaply.
My Japanese 8 spd


__________________
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
(looking for Torpado Super light frame/fork or whole biked 57,58)


squirtdad is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.