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BikeSkirt » Blog Archive » Dutch Bike lust
October 16, 2009

Dutch Bike lust

By Elisa | 11 Comments »
Copenhagen Cyclery

Copenhagen Cyclery

While in Chicago, Dottie was kind enough to take me to Dutch Bike Chicago and Copenhagen Cyclery.

I’ll take one of each, please.

We have no Dutch bike shops in Alabama, and I am not sure we even have anywhere that sells Dutch bikes here.  So I was really excited to get to see and ride these wonders on two wheels.  I was not disappointed…at all. Despite the rainy, cold day I had a wonderful time.

Tiffany's makes bike racks?!

Tiffany's makes bike racks?!

First stop was Copenhagen Cyclery where we met up with Braxton and Ashley (also from Al), who were in town simply to test ride a Velorbis.  Phil at Copenhagen was friendly and knowledgeable.   We all took turns test riding the Scrap Deluxe and it was so comfortable and surprisingly fast and nimble.  I will be honest…I was never sure that a Dutch bike was my style, as I like speed and agility.  I was proven wrong on this bike.  The balloon tires were cushy but fast and wow was it pretty!  While not riding or admiring, I was listening to Phil rave about Chicago and the great people and neighborhoods.  I picked up a great handmade wool cycling cap, Dottie got a seat rain cover and we all fell in love with the bikes.  They did not have a Leikier in stock, but I am intrigued by the design and concept. After spending about 2 hours in the shop, we moved along to our next Dutch bike stop…

Copenhagen Cyclery

Copenhagen Cyclery

Velorbis

Velorbis

Ashley and Braxton test riding

Ashley and Braxton test riding

Dutch Bike Chicago. As soon as we walked in the greeted Dottie with a “Hey there, what will you be test riding today?” It was awesome.  We pretty much rode every bike in the shop.  My personal favorite was the Workcycles FR8.  Rode smoothly, quickly (do you sense a theme with me?) and could carry anything.  They had one with 3 kids seats on it!  It was hard to leave this one behind.  I also test rode a Bakfiet, Gazelle Toer Populair, and a Gazelle Chamonix Pure.

Dutch Bike Chicago

Dutch Bike Chicago

The Chamonix Pure was really interesting, as it is a more “modern”, light and quick take on the Dutch bike.  Aluminum, with adjustable handlebars that can go from low, mustache like state to a more upright classic Dutch bike placement.  It was a pleasant ride, a bit bumpier than the others, but much quicker.  I think that if I were to try to “go Dutch” in Birmingham, this may be the choice for me.

Workcycles FR8

Workcycles FR8

alternative to the mini van?

alternative to the mini van?

For a more thorough review of the Gazelles, check out Dottie’s write up on Let’s Go Ride a Bike.

adjustable handlebars

adjustable handlebars

I had a great time and everyone was kind and willing to answer questions, raise the seats and let me take them all out for a test ride.  Braxton ended up ordering himself a Scrap Deluxe and I have been dreaming about that bike and the FR8 since I returned home. I was taken with how utilitarian yet beautiful they all were.  Here you see pretty bikes…that don’t carry much.  To see bikes used as child carriers, grocery getters, beer holders and the like was refreshing.

Who needs a car?!

Who needs a car?!

Who knows; maybe a Dutch bike is in my future.

Thanks to everyone at Dutch Bike Chicago and Phil at Copenhagen Cyclery.  You guys made my trip enjoyable and memorable.  If you are in the area (hell, even if you aren’t) go by and check out these shops and bikes.  You won’t regret it and will come back looking at bikes in a whole new light.

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Comments

11
  1. On October 16th, 2009 meligrosa said:

    wow this is awesome!!
    thanks for sharing the report and experience with us. I love all kinds of comfy bikes. I admmit dutch bikes are awesome, but because I ride my french mixte, before I really saw many mixtes at all around SF, I’ve gotta say that motobecane from the 70s rocks OUI OUI <3

    cheers and luv from sf /xo.meli

  2. On October 16th, 2009 Cosmo said:

    I love when people who haven’t ridden dutch bikes before test them and like them. It makes me feel happy. Though I am jealous that you’ve gotten to test the Velorbis and Azors. That FR8 is starting to grow on me.

  3. On October 17th, 2009 wle said:

    chicago is flat
    birmingham isn;t going to be dutch [ie heavy bike]-friendly

    you think red mountain is steep NOW??!!

    add about 25 lbs and get back to me..:)

    wle.

  4. On October 17th, 2009 cloudsofviolet said:

    I’m from San Francisco, and I’ve seen people ride old 3-speeds and “Dutch bikes” around here, so it can be done. Perhaps it is more of a determination issue on hills?

  5. On October 18th, 2009 wle said:

    red_mtn + dutch_bike == “character_building”
    :)

    wle.

  6. On October 20th, 2009 Hannah said:

    By “Dutch bike” do you mean any classic European bike? Because Velorbid bikes are from Denmark, not Netherlands.

  7. On October 20th, 2009 Steven Vance said:

    I love the Fr8.
    Still figuring out if I should get one or not.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesbondsv/3831394382/

  8. On October 23rd, 2009 gwadzilla said:

    I have total Bakfiet Envy!

    I need one…
    I want one…
    and well I have a friend who has agreed to help me make one
    okay… I am going to help him make one with parts from some of my old bikes

    http://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/2009/10/adam-and-his-box-bike-his-mix-and-match.html

  9. On October 24th, 2009 Frank said:

    ’Dutch bike’ is a term that refers to the specific style and features of this type of classic bicycle – it’s where the origins come from but they have been widely produced and used throughout Europe for years and are enjoying a revival. They can be from anywhere, not just Holland. I love the Danish Velorbis bikes – http://www.velorbis.com/ – great look and a really smooth ride.

  10. On October 31st, 2009 Micah said:

    I just got an e-mail from Copenhagen Cyclery that my Scrap Deluxe is arriving Monday. I think I’ll be the first person in Philadelphia to have one, and I can’t wait.

  11. On November 26th, 2009 Anney said:

    Which Velorbis lady frame size did u test, the 20″ (51) or 22″(56)? Still don’t know which one to choose so i was wondering just how roomy they feel and if you felt a drastic difference between the two.

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