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Amsterdam Bicycle Company: A Review

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Amsterdam Bicycle Company: A Review

Old 04-02-22, 03:59 AM
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Ratspeed
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Amsterdam Bicycle Company: A Review

This matter has been settled between the buyer and the seller. Thank you to all those who tried their best to offer positive and productive ideas and/or criticism for the situation. But I'm sorry, the amount of dogpiling happening in this thread is turning quite toxic to allow it to continue. In the interest of keeping peace on the forum, I'm retracting the post.

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Old 04-02-22, 06:24 AM
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I think you are asking too much of the system. Work face to face with someone who fits and or builds bikes if you want a custom; or shop extensively if you want to try something off the shelf.
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Old 04-02-22, 06:47 AM
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tl;dr.

I always love it when people create bf accounts just to ***** about someone or something, and then never come back to contribute something positive to the community.
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Old 04-02-22, 08:33 AM
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Well I bought an Omafiets from Amsterdam and also dealt directly with Steven. I found the whole experience extremely positive and the bike is top notch in everyway. I too had a few questions and always got prompt concise replies from Steven as well as his two slight change suggestions for the build I was thinking of. He was totally right on both points. Of course I did do plenty of research on my own before even approaching them. I strongly endorse the company, Steven, and the product without any reservations.

Somewhere around here I have a indepth thread on the bike and the whole experience. I actually hopped on it again this morning to run down to the store real fast. They are amazingly good bikes for what they are and I have no doubt this bike will outlive me. The bike came with a large zippered bag containing quite a few tools and they also emailed me PDF manuals for all the serviceable parts on the bike like the brakes and IGH.

By comparison, I bought a Pashley Guv'nor from a U.S. dealer about a year earlier. No where near the steller communication on that purchase like I got from Steven. The Pashley came in just fine but the buy experience from Amsterdam and Steven was just soooooooooooooooo much better.




This is quite a beautiful beast also!
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Old 04-02-22, 09:02 AM
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Found my original thread on this purchase:

Dutch Azor Bike - Order and Bike Review

I'll also add that if you look at the reviews of the company pretty much anywhere you will find a preponderance of positive reviews, many calling out Steven directly for his great customer interactions.
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Old 04-02-22, 09:40 AM
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While not a bike, it is often a car, I fine it amazing that I know more about the product than the person selling it. Like you I research down to the last detail what I want, and it is often very hard to get a salesman on board with that exact product. Good luck.
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Old 04-02-22, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
much too long
What I got out of that is that you were unreasonable and the people you were dealing with including "Steven" were doing their best to help you out. I just have to shake my head if you are only coming to these forums to complain about them.

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Old 04-02-22, 11:33 AM
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IMO Steven went well beyond the point where I would have told you “I can’t help you.” The acronym PITA comes to mind.

TL/DR: it looks like you’re venturing into unknown territory and expect someone else to sort all the details to your complete satisfaction. I know of no scenario where that’s possible.

And for the record, the bikes you’ve mentioned and Steven himself are very well regarded. I would say welcome to BF, but something in my gut tells me we won’t be hearing much from you.
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Old 04-02-22, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Peruano View Post
I think you are asking too much of the system. Work face to face with someone who fits and or builds bikes if you want a custom; or shop extensively if you want to try something off the shelf.
Yes agree. He should talk to a custom framebuilder. He's tall, heavy, and wants what is (bizarrely) these days an unusual riding position. It would be a fun project for a custom builder.
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Old 04-02-22, 05:10 PM
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Old 04-02-22, 06:35 PM
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Old 04-02-22, 06:41 PM
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Old 04-03-22, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
Aren't Dutch Omafiets, Opafiets and kruisframe Pastoorfiets known for their upright riding position? I thought that's what characterized them? I can't link it yet due to lack of posts, but Not Just Bikes' YT video "Why Dutch Bikes are Better (and why you should want one)" talks specifically about this. They're very common in Netherlands.
Yes, and Dutch people are enormous. So it was definitely the closest match. But I agree that 330lb is probably too much weight for an omafiets. An opafiets with double-oversize tubing and two top tubes might be a good way to go.
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Old 04-03-22, 03:05 AM
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Old 04-03-22, 05:59 AM
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Basically, if your emails were as verbose and insistent as your OP, I would definitely see why he would decide a sale to you wasn't worth the trouble. He answered your questions, and you wanted to argue with him when you didn't like the answers. Seriously, if you crack a frame because you exceeded the weight limit, do you really think he's going to endorse welding it and riding it again? How many different ways are there to say "I think a 55 is going to fit you, but if not I have nothing for you"? Basically, you were expecting the customized service available in Europe from a distributor who has nowhere near that capacity in the US.

BTW, the Azor rep was just being polite, she didn't want to say you were being unreasonable and that doing business with you isn't worth the trouble.

The odd thing to me is why he assumed he had caught you buying through an alias. Reno probably seemed small enough that he didn't think it was a coincidence. Obviously, he decided he had told you "no, we can't help you on those terms" and decided you don't take "no" for an answer. He probably owes an apology to your friend, but frankly, I think you were being so unreasonable that he doesn't owe you the time of day.
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Old 04-03-22, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
I apologize. I didn't come here to complain needlessly. I came to ask if anyone else has had a similar experience.

Since it seems past experiences were positive, that suggests this may be a kink in Azor's new sales workflow when they introduced the new configurator tool in 2020. I don't think the 3rd party dealers are prepared to handle the change, and Azor should fix things.

Azor advertises highly customizable bikes. In 2016, Azor released a YT video called "Het Azor systeem; design your own bike," where they describe:
  1. choosing a parts kit
  2. filling out an order form
  3. selecting a frame that matches the kit
  4. then adding optional items
It sounds like everything was handled centrally through Azor. Part incompatibilities were probably sorted out prior to forwarding the order to a 3rd-party dealer, but Azor's new tool changed the workflow entirely. The new flow leaves it all up to the tool, but there are flaws and bugs in it, so human intervention became inevitable in my case. Azor removed their email address from the site, so that puts the responsibility of dealing with these bugs onto their 3rd-party dealers.

For example, some part descriptions say "test" on them. The red incompatibility "question mark" info button stopped functioning a couple weeks ago, leaving the newbie customer clueless why a part doesn't work. When I configured my bike, it took lots of deductive reasoning to determine some problems. Other conflicts had no apparent logical cause, (such as a rear fender suddenly going incompatible when a Bafang ebike assist battery was introduced, yet was compatible with the Shimano battery). Possible bug? No way to tell without asking. Therefore, I don't think I was unreasonable for addressing these questions to the dealer.

For a new prospective bike owner, this was daunting. I depended completely on the expertise of my salesperson. Without a store to walk into, complex email tag with someone several time-zones away was the only recourse. I think this is a major problem and needs to be worked out.

I think it would be better solution to return bike configuration support directly to Azor. That way if any flaws are discovered (which I did find and report a few) they can be handed swiftly to their web developer. 3rd-party dealers shouldn't have to deal with bug reports.

All these technical issues aside, Amsterdam Bicycle Company is a single person working form a home office in a Dutch single-family dwelling. The US office is staffless and based in Delaware. It does not have a shopfront. It has no phone number. As U.S. demand for Azor's highly customizable bikes continues to climb, I don't think he will be prepared for the challenges. I'm not putting the blame entirely on Steven; Azor needs to work out their kinks; but I still think it was horribly out of line for Steven to bait and switch my friend, accuse me of creating a false identity, and suddenly be expected to accept a bike with no warranty, or lose over $100 in processing fees over a cancellation refund which my friend did not even initiate, all because of a salesperson's frustration. That does not seem like acting in good faith at all.
I still don't see any problems from Azor's end. I used the Configurator tool just fine to order mine. In fact that's how I started my work with Steven. I built the one I wanted in the tool and then reached out to Steven on it. The part I wasn't sure about was correct gearing on the chainring. He steered me to another different sized chainring that would better match the 8 speed IGH. That predicted a different chainguard which he also identified to me. But I am well versed in bikes. You don't really seem to know what you are talking about with bikes so ordering online probably isn't your thing. Go to a LBS and get someone to hold your hand through the process isn't a bad thing. Most of us have been there at some point in out life.

Be honest and ask yourself why so many others have been able to order from the Amsterdam Company just fine while having positive interactions with Steven. Your answer may lay their versus trying to keep passing the blame off to others. Just speaking honestly and bluntly.

Oh, and I just went back over right now and used the tool to build another bike. Seems to be working just fine. I will say you have to pay attention as some times it lags a bit when you make one of your selections. Let the decision actually show up on the displayed build bike before you try to move on. It tells you when a selection isn't available or won't work either. Seems pretty simple and efficient to me.
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Old 04-03-22, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
All these technical issues aside, Amsterdam Bicycle Company is a single person working form a home office in a Dutch single-family dwelling. The US office is staffless and based in Delaware. It does not have a shopfront. It has no phone number. As U.S. demand for Azor's highly customizable bikes continues to climb, I don't think he will be prepared for the challenges. I'm not putting the blame entirely on Steven; Azor needs to work out their kinks;
Apparently, it's one guy trying to sell these bikes in the US. He's not an official representative of Azor.

If Azor wanted to sell bikes in the US (and deal with warranties there), they be doing it very differently.

Azor doesn't need to "work out their kinks" for selling bikes in the US because, as far as they are concerned, they don't sell bikes in the US.

Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
As U.S. demand for Azor's highly customizable bikes continues to climb, ...
Is there increasing demand? Seems like a very niche market.

Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
but I still think it was horribly out of line for Steven to bait and switch my friend, accuse me of creating a false identity, and suddenly be expected to accept a bike with no warranty, or lose over $100 in processing fees over a cancellation refund which my friend did not even initiate, all because of a salesperson's frustration. That does not seem like acting in good faith at all.
This does seem a bit odd but maybe we haven't heard all of the story.

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Old 04-03-22, 02:11 PM
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Old 04-03-22, 03:48 PM
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Rats,

Either ABC doesn't want your business because the guy's a jerk, or you're a difficult customer who is not worth his trouble. I'd say take the hint, but he's not even hinting, he's flat-out firing you. And if he's wrong about the alias order, why would you ever want to do business with him?

Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
My heart is set on a kruisframe Pastoorfiets...
And there's a problem. With internet commerce, we are able to research a product in deep detail and then it has to be that one and no other. Find another bike to buy.

...it seems all the Dutch bike importers are in Canada.
So take a trip to America's top hat, buy your bike, have it shipped and be done with it. Because you have your heart set on it, and Stephen won't sell it to you. Bon voyage!

I wish you well.
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Old 04-03-22, 04:32 PM
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You are plain too heavy for the bike and that’s why they won’t warranty the bike for you. You should just take the deal Steven offered you and buy the bike without warranty.
The chance of you breaking the bike is very slim. And whatever small issues arise you can either get it fixed at your local bike shop or by yourself.
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Old 04-03-22, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
Incidentally, I really want to say, I am hoping in the future for more positive discussion on bike issues. If all works well, and I can find a Dutch bike importer willing to make a few grand on a sale, I would love to show off the product once I receive it and give a review!
Everything you posted in this thread boils down to one thing.
You appear to be the worst possible type of consumer imaginable and did not even deserve the time and effort spent on the part of the rep/company.
So many examples of this in your amazingly verbose posts but one of the most telling is your belief that because you are spending a lot of money you should make the rules.
It doesn’t work that way.
No matter how obsessive you are.
SMH
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Old 04-04-22, 01:02 AM
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Old 04-04-22, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
I appreciate that input! My heart is set on a kruisframe Pastoorfiets, and I am continuously losing weight. I've already lost 15 pounds in the last two weeks. I'm down to 343. Amsterdam's website stated it was good for up to 330lbs. But yes, thank you so much for giving me a general idea. I wish there was a local dealer in the US. Even a used bike would interest me, but it seems all the Dutch bike importers are in Canada.
I guess another option is just go to the Netherlands and buy one there. That way you can try them out and make sure you get one the right size that feels good.

This was my take on a modern "rad yet trad" Dutch-style build:

Show us your builds

But this was for a very light rider. The bike is extremely comfortable and she covers long distances on it. But that kruisframe design does look kind of cool!
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Old 04-04-22, 05:32 AM
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“When is the last time you went into a Best Buy, bought a pair of headphones, and a salesperson said, "You get no manufacturer warranty because I said so. I think you might break it!"

Another one of your false premises.
You chose to not deal with a retailer that you can just walk into.
You chose to deal with an overseas niche company.
You are also splitting up incidents and your huge list of issues an in effort to garner sympathy.
It’s disingenuous and doesn’t change the fact that you appear to be an obsessive and entitled consumer in way over his head.
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Old 04-04-22, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
As for me, as I explained, I am rapidly losing weight. At the time I approached Amsterdam Bicycle Company, I was 358lbs. His website states the bike will take 8-10 weeks to arrive. In the last two weeks I have managed to drop 15 pounds. At this rate, assuming I were to make an order today, I would be down 60 lbs by the time the bike arrives—well below the max weight capacity for an Azor kruisframe.
This whole thing would have been much easier if you already at your target weight (congrats on the loss, btw).

Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
I have a 30 year old, slightly rusted Specialized steel-frame bike. It's a simple diamond-shaped frame. It didn't break. In the unlikely event it does, I would take it to a bike welder to have it fixed. The same goes for an Azor steel frame. Clearly.
​​​​​​This is much, much less practical than you imagine.

There are no "bike welders" in the US anyway. You'd have to take it to a custom builder.

Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post

As my friend exclaimed to Steven, he cannot risk having an item shipped internationally and arrive damaged with no recourse. This is a $3775 item, and I can fully understand my friend's concern.

When is the last time you went into a Best Buy, bought a pair of headphones, and a salesperson said, "You get no manufacturer warranty because I said so. I think you might break it!"
It's a $3775 item that Steven is going to get a small part of. The issue with your friend is a little weird but it's likely a consequence of dealing with your over-persistence in a nonnative language.

Your $50 pair of headphones isn't being bought from a foreign country after suggesting there a reasonable probability you are going to break it.

Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
Of course not, but Steven also does not have the authority to alter the terms of a warranty for a bike he did not manufacture; for a company he is not an employee of; for a bike that does not belong to me; or threaten to issue only a partial refund if my friend does not accept those conditions of a sale that has already been completed. Absolutely unethical, and probably illegal.
You actually have no idea.

Azor doesn't officially sell bikes in the US. They might not warranty bikes in the US at all.

Steven may provide some sort of warranty on the bikes he sells. Likely, with the expectation that it would be very unlikely that would ever be needed.

You come along giving the impression that a warranty would likely be used. He's seeing your sale as losing him money.

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