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New Dutch style bike - Felt's Verza Regency

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New Dutch style bike - Felt's Verza Regency

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Old 11-27-11, 09:34 AM
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axel
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New Dutch style bike - Felt's Verza Regency

I came across this new bike on the November 16, 2011 post at bikesfortherestofus.com

Here's the product page:http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2012...a-Regency.aspx

If you're into Dutch style bikes this is a pretty awesome offering for $700 that comes in diamond and step-thru frames. It has a full chaincase (appears to be metal), Nexus 3 spd hub, 700 x 36c tires, front caliper brake and rear coaster brake, cup holder, saddle bag, bell, fenders, rear rack, tall stem with swept back handlebars and authentic Dutch geometry with a seat tube angle of 68.6 degrees (men's version). And the men's version only weights 33 lbs.

While it has a rear light, I don't see a front light, let alone a hub generator. Roller breaks would be more maintenance free. But I'd rather have to tune the front brake now and then than have to deal with a gummed up chain/drivetrain. Adding a clip on battery powered front light is no sweat.

Of all these features, the hardest to come by in the US market seems to be a full chaincase and the low seat tube angle. Breezer bikes have full chaincases, but those are translucent plastic and look pretty awful IMO. The Electra Amsterdam does have a metal chaincase and appears to have a low seat tube angle too. So the Amsterdam is the clear competitor for this one. But I like the looks of the Regency more than the Amsterdam. I'm sure in person, some of the parts would clearly be cheaper quality than you'd find on a Workcycles Oma/Opa or a Gazelle Tour Populair, but those bike are over twice as much. The 3 speed hub is efficient and should be enough in most places that are flat to moderately hilly.

What do you all think? Can you name any alternatives besides the Electra Amsterdam that have these features in this bike style for under $1000? I think the Amsterdam weights more. The bike appears to be stylish, comfortable, sturdy and utilitarian, yet light weight, efficient and inexpensive. I gotta find a local retailer of Felt bikes to give it a test ride.
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Old 11-27-11, 07:26 PM
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Interesting bike, and I'd love to have something like that, but Netherlands is flat so that 3 speed hub isn't of much use; I'd prefer not to dismount and walk every time I have to ride up a hill. An 8 speed hub would make the bike much more useful.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
Interesting bike, and I'd love to have something like that, but Netherlands is flat so that 3 speed hub isn't of much use; I'd prefer not to dismount and walk every time I have to ride up a hill. An 8 speed hub would make the bike much more useful.
Agreed. I have to climb on every commute so if I had to choose between this bike and an 8-speed with a plastic chaincase I'd go with the latter for sure. In fact I do have a Breezer w/ plastic case and I'm OK with it.
But if you don't have many hills to deal with the Regency definitely looks like it would be worth checking out.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:29 PM
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Well in New York City, there are some hills but usually they are gradual and not that steep. I often stand on the pedals to help power my way up. My bike has a 7spd nexus which has been 100% problem free in the 1000+ miles I've put on it so far. I assume I'll need to relube it in a year or two. But I feel the 3 spd hubs are probably the most reliable - that's the sense I get. I mostly use gears 4, 5, 6, & 7 on my bike. So on a 3 spd I'd use the 1 for steep hills/or hills when loaded down, 2 for normal start and stop level-ground cruising, and 3 for uninterrupted straightaways and downhills.

I see so many bikes these days that actually do have an 8 or 7 speed nexus hub - which was a rarity just 5 years ago, but even still they almost always are screwed up by the conventional wisdom of North American bike culture which disdains fenders, chaincases, rear racks, roller brakes, hub dynamo generators, built in lights, low seat tube angles, and high swept back handlebars with upright geometry. And many of the bikes that do have many of these features are often only available in smaller size frames intended for women and teenagers.

To me, the comfort of riding upright outweighs the downside of poor aerodynamics. Or rather, the benefit of good aerodynamics is for me - outweighed by the uncomfortable riding position that it requires. And I feel like being hunched over makes you harder to see for cars, which only further begets the need for more speed. But if I ride sitting straight up, surveying the road from a higher perspective and in turn more visible to cars, I don't feel so pressured to have to ride fast just for the sake of not pissing off the cars behind me. Keeping the bike low maintenance by having a chaincase to keep the drivetrain clean and not have to worry about scuffing your pants just abets the overall casual joy of riding a bike.

Being hunched over while adorned in spandex is to me, the antithesis of being laid back on a bicycle. People buy into the mantra of speed over comfort because our impatient culture values speed and quantity, and people buy what's available and are usually too impatient to think about what might suit them better and seek out more obscure alternatives. When I see people riding head down with a helmet, it reminds of a horse wearing a bridle with blinders as it pulls a carriage. When you sit up straight and go your pace it's amazing how much more enjoyment can be found in not having to worry about running in to something that you won't have enough time to react to because of how fast you're going.

Ok, I'll get down from my soapbox now. But yeah, the Verza Regency would be even better if it had a 7 or 8 speed hub option.

Last edited by axel; 11-28-11 at 10:33 PM.
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