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Dutch Bicycles

Old 01-19-20, 07:49 AM
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Dutch Bicycles

I happened upon a reference to Dutch style bikes and started reading on line material about them. For no particular reason other than a general love of bicycles I am attracted to bikes I see from Amsterdam Bicycles, actually made in Holland.

I am no expert on components or bike geometry and I am curious if there are any bikes sold by major American bike companies that would be virtually the same thing. I looked at Giant, Trek and Specialized so far and to my uneducated eye do not see anything like that. My interest in major US companies is based only on the convenience of getting warranty work done at a LBS.

I am thinking I could just take a comfort bike and add a Brooks saddle, fenders and a rear rack and the only thing lacking would be the internal hub gears, but that would itself be a big difference, not that I have ever ridden an internal hub gear bike.

Any comments on what makes a Dutch bike a "Dutch Bicycle", and what major bike brand might be similar?

This kind of bike would be for slow, sight seeing rides with my wife on paved bike paths. Well, that's the theory anyway; actually it would just be to have an excuse to get another bike and something about the Dutch bikes intrigues me.
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Old 01-19-20, 09:24 AM
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Downunder we have Lekker who offers Dutch style bikes.

Some have IGR some have Derailleurs or even gates drive. The main draw of "Dutch" is a city bike for all seasons commuting, so fenders & Dynamo lighting is key... often also an onboard lock. Racks and baskets are handy and for ladies a skirt guard at the rear.
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Old 01-19-20, 10:05 AM
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Thank you Tamiya. Sounds like a Jamis Commuter might be similar.
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Old 01-19-20, 10:43 AM
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Typically more for daily transport--as an alternative to a car--they're heavy, expensive, and made to work for decades and spend their lives outdoors with minimal maintenance. They're more business than pleasure. Probably not ridden more than a few miles per trip.

https://www.workcycles.com/
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Old 01-19-20, 10:47 AM
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Pashley also makes traditional roadster type bikes. They have dealers in the US
​​​​​​https://www.pashley.co.uk/international-dealers.php
https://www.pashley.co.uk/bikes/bicy...er-classic.php
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Old 01-19-20, 01:23 PM
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This guy gets the idea.

Basically they are still very close to the English designs they were based in the early 1900's. Since then typical Dutch has been the cloth full chaincase, focus on rust proofing and low mechanical drag, high and wide handlebars for comfort of a very upright riding position, better vision and restricting the exercise to the legs, and extra tubing as in cross frames and double top tubes. Geometry keeps them in a straight line easily. Fenders, lights, bottle dynamo and reflector, bell, a rear rack that holds a passenger and an O-lock have been standard for ages. The luxury models typically had a Sturmey Archer IGH allthough there have been Dutch designs and drum brakes, rod or cable operated. Yes, it rains quite a bit here.

Recently Dutch bikes have become less durable, with the exception of Azor (/Workcycles) from the video, that's a relatively young manufacturer that wanted to offer old fashioned reliability and durability again. Front racks are now often standard, there's wider aluminum tubing and fat tyres, more often IGH's (shimano) and no more rod brakes. Lights are battery or hub dynamo and the O-locks have a insert cable. Other innovations are the front rack that doesn't turn with the wheel, a stop to prevent the frontwheel swinging, double kickstands, child seat mounts and gear shifter protectors. Don't think anything other than the bottle dynamo is taken off, but chainguards are more often used instead of full chaincases. I wonder if that will stay now the skinny jeans fashion is ending.

The archetypical Dutch bike is a black single speed coaster brake step through with a crescent upper tube that used to belong to someone's grandma in the fifties or even thirties. Hence the name 'oma' which means grandmother. It's an English design from 1904 if I remember correctly, but they got popular among the kids in the 80's again when their grandmaothers died and they turned out be very well made, made girls look elegant and boys look cool. There's something with the geometry that makes them one size fits all. There are 12 year old girls riding them who are 5 inches short of touching the ground when seated, and guys over 7foot. There's company who leases bikes, for about 15 euro's a month you get one and if there something with it like a flat tyre, they come and swap the bike for a fresh one. These are allmost all this model, but they don't feature a rear rack, most likely because taking a passenger would wear them out faster (allthoug people sit on the front racks). They have a blue front tyre and all kinds of colours otherwise the customers wouldn't recognize their bike from the other swap bikes.

So in a 100 years we've gone from this:




To this:





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Old 01-19-20, 03:25 PM
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Wonderful information, thank you. The more I read and see photos the more I realize I have absolutely no practical use for a bicycle like this. Yet, the more I read and see photos the more I want one.
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Old 01-19-20, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by spinconn
Wonderful information, thank you. The more I read and see photos the more I realize I have absolutely no practical use for a bicycle like this. Yet, the more I read and see photos the more I want one.
Me too, but I'm surrounded by steep little hills--ravines, actually--and the curb weight of those beauties starts at around 45 pounds. I think after the first ride I'd be leaving it unlocked and hoping someone steals it.

Just try to forget about it.
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Old 01-20-20, 07:34 PM
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"Kind of similar"?
consider an Electra Townie, D7?
laid back comfortable and upright seating - similar to Dutch bikes,
also more pragmatic.
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Old 01-20-20, 08:00 PM
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A few years ago I found a Gazelle Tour Populair on Craigslist and bought it for my wife for casual rides around town. They are probably fine for short distances, but she hated it. Rode it exactly one time and told me to get rid of it. Luckily I was able to sell it for what I paid for it.
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Old 01-20-20, 10:22 PM
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https://www.walmart.com/ip/Huffy-26-...?selected=true


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Schwinn-H...teal/45089324?


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Huffy-Nel...-26/844867253?



https://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Hyper-...ike/801855176?



All of the above are currently available, NEW, single speed, coaster brake, traditional Dutch style cruising bicycles.
They are nice looking. They represent an excellent bargain at their current retail prices, as they are durable and ride well.
These bicycles are simple.
The ONLY major concern is that YOU WILL NEED TO ADD GREASE TO THE THE BOTTOM BRACKET (crank bearings), AS THEY DO NOT COME WITH ADEQUATE GREASE FROM THE CHINESE FACTORY (usually with no grease at all !!!) AS GREASE WOULD ADD TOO MUCH TO THE UNIT COST OF SAID BICYCLE!! The assemblers DO NOT grease the bicycle when assembling it at the store. Failure to GREASE the CRANK BEARINGS will result in lots of noise within thirty miles of riding and probable destruction of the Crank Bearings within about 150 to 300 miles, possibly sooner, maybe longer, but likely sooner if bike is exposed to very light rain, or any water at all. The crank bearings for the ONE-PIECE ashtabula american style crank are very simple to CHANGE OUT or GREASE. They are also so simple to deal with due to the caged bearing design. The replacement caged bearings are less than $7 each. However, if you choose to ride on without grease or with a damaged, "bad" bearing, you will score and ruin the races, bearing cups. Again, you can buy the two cups and two crank bearings in an entire replacement set for about $20 total or slightly less from sellers on the web, ebay and amazon. There is nothing that would require a local bicycle shop's technician! Absolutely nothing!!
The bicycles with the ONE PIECE american style crank and a single speed Coaster brake CAN BE EASILY SERVICED BY ANYONE WITH MINIMUM KNOWLEDGE OF USING TOOLS AND JUST TYPICAL TOOLS THAT MOST EVERYONE ALREADY HAS IN THEIR HOME TOOL BOX.
Obtain a USED copy of "GLENN's COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL (c) 1973 approx 8 1/2 x 11 softbound approx 340 pages---------you can find copies at all times from the ultra-huge mammoth used booksellers on Ebay for between $3.50 with FREE SHIPPING to $5.50 with FREE SHIPPING. There were probably 3/4 of a million copies sold during the years from 1973 to 1978, so there are no shortage of copies and most that you'll find from those mega booksellers are ex-library books-------there is no need to pay more than $6 with Free Shipping. Yes, you might have someone that has their old copy listed for a ridiculous price, but there are certainly others there in the $4 with free shipping range from the ultra-huge mammoth used bookdealers, if you simply look.
Hey, it is easy to dimiss these bicycles from Wal-mart because Walmart sells them, but they are decent enough bicycles for a single speed, coaster brake bicycle.
Sure, the chrome on the handlebars, and crank, and fenders if applicable is POOR compared to anything from the Seventies or earlier. You can if you wish as many folks do, swap the handlebars for a handlebar from a 1970's era SCHWINN COLLEGIATE/SUBURBAN/BREEZE/SPEEDSTER/RACER or from a 1960's era SCHWINN COLLEGIATE/BREEZE/CORVETTE/RACER............. etc there are many other models too............Schwinn had the best Chrome plating, thus their handlebars are the best used value and the typical "7881" handle bars have a great comfortable shape..................to identify them, these bars will have SCHWINN along with 7881- year,
for example 7881-67 from say a 1967 Breeze or whatever, and 7881-75 would have been from a 1975 Schwinn Breeze or collegiate/suburban or whatever.....
You should also plan to replace the PEDALS on these NEW bicycles with the ONE-PIECE CRANK from Walmart with the Reproduction "Krate Bow Style" Pedal which is a quality repro of a very nice style of pedal for 1/2 inch---One Piece Cranks.............those repros can be found from web sellers for approx $18 with free shipping.
Now, that Hyper brand bicycle seen above has a Three piece Crank and requires 9/16" pedal size. You will need a specific tool to service the bottom bracket on the three piece crank HYPER branded single speed coaster brake bike that Walmart has. You can buy this bottom bracket tool for between $6 and $10 typically from any one of the US based or China based bicycle parts sellers on Ebay and Amazon. YOUTUBE has several great user filmed videos that show you how easy it really is.
Sure, you have about three times as many videos that show you but they are not the best, poorly narrated, poorly filmed, have poor explanation, profanity, etc.....
A single speed Coaster brake bicycle is so simple that as they said in that old tv ad, ----"SO SIMPLE THAT ANY CAVEMAN CAN DO IT".
Look at it this way, there is nothing wrong with simplicity, and there are no laws saying that you cannot own a simple bicycle along with your lightweight high tech speed machine. You can also go Vintage and USED with coaster brake cruiser simplicity. They are so simple to get them back on the road. The advantage that you have with these NEW Wallyworld single speed Coaster brake bikes in the $100 or so price range is that you have very nice new paint and new tires/tubes and wheels and new seat. Now, sure, the seat may or may not be comfortable to your liking, but for the $100 or so level, you do get a great value and a very decent bicycle IF one makes certain to grease the crank bearings.
Sure, some folks will say that you only have essentially one frame size to choose from, but the seat post height can be adjusted and the quil stem can be slightly adjusted for height, such that these bicycles will fit nearly everyone between 5 feet tall and 6 feet one inch tall..............fit on an UPRIGHT CRUISER Dutch style bicycle is much easier to accomodate on these UPRIGHT riders rather than the critical fitting that one needs on a RACING BICYCLE WITH DROP BARS.
You don't need a LIGHTWEIGHT bicycle to cruise at a comfortable SLOW Speed. The bicycles mentioned above are very good bicycles for doing just that and they represent extraordinary value for anyone seeking such a bicycle. You likely will not ever need any assistance from your Local Bicycle Shop as these bicycles are so simple that anyone can do everything with just direction from a book or YOUTUBE and simple tools one may already own.
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Old 01-21-20, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn
The ONLY major concern is that YOU WILL NEED TO ADD GREASE TO THE THE BOTTOM BRACKET (crank bearings), AS THEY DO NOT COME WITH ADEQUATE GREASE FROM THE CHINESE FACTORY (usually with no grease at all !!!) AS GREASE WOULD ADD TOO MUCH TO THE UNIT COST OF SAID BICYCLE!! The assemblers DO NOT grease the bicycle when assembling it at the store.
WalMart assemblers have neither the skill, nor the tools, nor the time to open the bottom bracket and/or hubs, and/or headset to ensure sufficient grease is present.

That said, WalMart assemblers tend not to use grease in other places, where it would be trivial to add as they assemble the bike; e.g. seat posts, stems, and pedals. Failure to grease those parts during assembly means future service will be difficult or impossible.

Bottom line: you may get what you pay for in a WalMart bike, but nothing more.
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Old 01-21-20, 11:12 AM
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One of the things that makes a Dutch bicycle is that the parts are all completely interchangeable with each other, which makes for easy maintenance. Try that with your modern bike. We have so many 'standards' now that I think the term standard is coming into disrepute.
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Old 01-21-20, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston
A few years ago I found a Gazelle Tour Populair on Craigslist and bought it for my wife for casual rides around town. They are probably fine for short distances, but she hated it. Rode it exactly one time and told me to get rid of it. Luckily I was able to sell it for what I paid for it.
One time? If you're riding upright you're using your muscles differently.

It's a heavy bike but I believe the importance of weight is terribly exaggerated. If you climb a mountain of course it matters, but for short inclines it isn't a big deal. I've ridden lighter bikes regularly, never noted much difference other than an uncomfortable riding position and unstable steering. It's just something you have to get used to, than it isn't very different.
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Old 01-27-20, 11:29 AM
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Get a bikesdirect windsor. They cost about 350 bucks and are the functional equivalent to Dutch bikes or old school Raleigh 3 speeds. I have one and it rides absolutely beautifully, it's lightweight and has fenders chain guard and a Flawless Shimano twist Grip 3 speed. It's actually pretty fast. it's geared so that 3rd gear is the cruising gear, 1st and 2nd are to get it up to speed. if I could only have one bicycle this would be it.
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Old 01-27-20, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
Get a bikesdirect windsor. They cost about 350 bucks and are the functional equivalent to Dutch bikes or old school Raleigh 3 speeds. I have one and it rides absolutely beautifully, it's lightweight and has fenders chain guard and a Flawless Shimano twist Grip 3 speed. It's actually pretty fast. it's geared so that 3rd gear is the cruising gear, 1st and 2nd are to get it up to speed. if I could only have one bicycle this would be it.
I took a look and there are several Windsor models, which one do you have?
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Old 01-28-20, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by spinconn
I took a look and there are several Windsor models, which one do you have?
Its the windsor oxford 3 speed basic mixte frame (actually for the GF but I ride it all the time) and they are on sale now for $250.
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Old 01-28-20, 07:47 PM
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Thanks.
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Old 02-24-24, 04:21 PM
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Have you ridden one yet?
I had never done so until visiting Amsterdam last fall. I was skeptical at first, but they are SO fun. Luckily they make them with gears and even electric so those of us who do not live in the flat NE can enjoy riding one!
I hate racing culture. I'm a commuter and love the upright position. I also love lugging cargo. Dutch bikes are awesome.
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Old 02-24-24, 04:42 PM
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Heh--I have a Locomotief Populaire, bought from Jan Rekers Tweewheelers in Hoensbroek, NL with many thousands of miles on it.
Drum brakes, Sturmy-Archer three-speed gears and heavy as a locomotive. It's a complete nightmare to pedal up the California hills, but I still love it. The chain is completely enclosed and that same chain is nearly 40 years old now.
Opafiets are made to last.
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Old 02-24-24, 04:48 PM
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Just FYI the thread is from 2020.
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Old 02-24-24, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Just FYI the thread is from 2020.
That's cute. My Dutch Opafiets is from 1988 and still riding on the same chain.
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Old 02-24-24, 05:27 PM
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The Dutch seem to use bicycles more for everyday transportation with kids and or cargo all on the same bike. So their geometry tends to put you in the more upright sitting position on a big comfy spring cushioned saddle. The very slack seat tube and the slower pace allows for the saddle to be closer to the ground and gives many the ability to stay seated and put both feet on the ground when stopped.

The older style cruiser bikes come real close to being essentially the same. Someone mentioned a Electra Townie, and that is a good example of something close to what you might be wanting. Or are you wanting the things that have the big cargo box in front of the person pedaling the bike?
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Old 02-24-24, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris
That's cute. My Dutch Opafiets is from 1988 and still riding on the same chain.
Even cuter you are either not riding a bike from 1988 or you don't maintain it well or you are dutch and the bike hardly gets ridden anything more than like a mile or two.
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Old 02-24-24, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HMEND
Have you ridden one yet?
I had never done so until visiting Amsterdam last fall. I was skeptical at first, but they are SO fun. Luckily they make them with gears and even electric so those of us who do not live in the flat NE can enjoy riding one!
I hate racing culture. I'm a commuter and love the upright position. I also love lugging cargo. Dutch bikes are awesome.
UmmmÖ.The NE isnít all flat. Far from it. Even NJ and DE have some serious hills.
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