What's with the Dutchie's

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mr_eddy
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What's with the Dutchie's

Postby mr_eddy » Sat Jun 07, 2014 23:31 pm

In my travels I have been fortunate enough to visit some great cycling towns and cities either here in the UK or overseas however there is one place that I just find a bit odd - Amsterdam. The city is great and its one of my fav euro cities but unlike anywhere else there seems to be something strange going on - That is to say the suitably named "dutchy bike".

EVERYONE and I do mean EVERYONE ride the exact same bike - Old school step through city bikes with full chain guards/racks/lights with back pedal brakes. Also they all seem to be at least 30 years old ! I get that they are sturdy and reliable and I get that they probably never need fixing hence why they are still around now but where are the new or more modern bikes - Surely people in Amsterdam must be buying them especially given their love for cycling. In all the other places that have lots of bikes that I have seen - Cambridge / Vietnam / Paris / London etc you tend to see a mix of different styles but with Amsterdam they are all black/grey/dark blue and are ALL the same bike !

Make no mistake I am not having a pop at the place - I genuinely love Amsterdam and the people are some of the nicest people I have ever met and any cyclist is a winner in my eyes but I just find it so odd that there are no road bikes or hybrids or BMX's.

Now whilst I was there last time I hired one of these traditional bikes for a few days - It too was very old yet perfectly maintained but I could not help thinking that at least a few people would maybe opt for a different style maybe something faster or lighter (my hire bike must have been around 20kg at least), even the bike shop I hired my bike from only rented old school step through bikes.

Anyone please explain !

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ddraver
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby ddraver » Sun Jun 08, 2014 00:15 am

99% - No one knicks it if it looks like a piece of sh1t

most of them live outside and are only locked up with those wheel locks. To be blunt a nice one just gets 'alf-inched - usually by a drunken lout rather than for the money

Also, remember that recreational cycling is not nearly as popular as it seems. Someone into cycling will keep a nice bike inside and if they take it out for work or similar will lock it somewhere secure and then ride a rubbish one to work or to the pub

the rest of 1% - If you want to ride and do your hair, text, phone, carry a crate of beer, carry the shopping, give your mate a lift on the rear rack, fit a baby seat, carry your sports kit etc etc (all of which I saw daily and were considered totally normal) then there are few better bikes than a Dutch bike

Those reasons are why I brought one back over with me and I use it to ride the km or so to the shops or to the station if I train it into work.
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Rick Chasey
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby Rick Chasey » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:18 am

Think you should change the question around.

Why the f*ck doesn't everyone else ride an Omafiets to do all of their daily errands??

PBlakeney
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby PBlakeney » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:11 am

Why does every one else not ride an Omafiets to do all of their daily errands?
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Dyrlac
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby Dyrlac » Sun Jun 08, 2014 18:03 pm

Because for trips of less than a mile you may as well walk given the faff of one-way systems, traffic lights and parking at your destination and for longer trips they're too slow. Dyr(have spent way too much time on a Boris bike today)lac

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Rolf F
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby Rolf F » Sun Jun 08, 2014 20:25 pm

mr_eddy wrote:Also they all seem to be at least 30 years old !
Now whilst I was there last time I hired one of these traditional bikes for a few days - It too was very old yet perfectly maintained but I could not help thinking that at least a few people would maybe opt for a different style maybe something faster or lighter (my hire bike must have been around 20kg at least), even the bike shop I hired my bike from only rented old school step through bikes.


"Seem" is the operative word. They are often younger than they look. Here is a brand new one with rod brakes! http://dingdingletsride.com/bike-review-gazelle-toer-populair/

As for hire bikes - you might be right. That said, I've hired single and three speed bikes over there (none of them have been particularly old) and taken them on cross country trips - I've managed a good 100km with them. My Strava stats over there are notably poor though. For long rides the Dutch do use normal road bikes.

Dyrlac wrote:Because for trips of less than a mile you may as well walk given the faff of one-way systems, traffic lights and parking at your destination and for longer trips they're too slow. Dyr(have spent way too much time on a Boris bike today)lac


Luckily not all of us are stuck living in London! :wink:

Actually, the problem here is gearing - and weight. Neither go well with the hills. Better off with a traditional UK utlility bike than the Dutch variety.
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meanredspider
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby meanredspider » Sun Jun 08, 2014 20:42 pm

I'd say your average Dammer considers a bike like a pair of wellies - functional but nothing more. I've been out there 8 months now, riding my Brompton and Paddy Wagon SS, and I've never yet been passed. The locals ride at a pace that doesn't get them sweaty (pretty challenging given how humid it is). It's very common to see people texting and emailing whilst riding. If it rains, they ride with umbrellas and capes. As above, you can buy a brand new old clunker. There's an awful lot of bikes left (abandoned?) with flat tyres. There are, apparently, 200,000 more bikes than people. Parking a bike in the city centre can be a right nightmare too. Interestingly, the bike culture leads to many more small shops - especially local supermarkets.
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BigLights
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby BigLights » Mon Jun 09, 2014 08:21 am

let's not forget there aren't very many hills in and around Amsterdam, so you don't really need a light, responsive bike. So why not just go with the flow, make your one purchase that'll last you your lifetime probably, and be done with it. Makes sense to me.

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roger merriman
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby roger merriman » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:10 am

I suspect, MeanRedSpider has it, bikes are seen as simple tool nothing more or less, and one that gets nicked remarkably often.

its not worth having something nice.

jedster
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby jedster » Tue Jun 10, 2014 09:06 am

My wife spent a year at Uni in Amsterdam and still talks about how much she loved her Dutch bike - just really comfortable and practical for utility cycling (she talks fondly of cycling back from the pub while eating a cone of chips and mayonnaise :shock: ). So much so that she occasionally asks for one in place of her hybrid. I do point out that she might struggle to get up our road (1 in 12) ...

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Captain Slackbladder
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby Captain Slackbladder » Tue Jun 10, 2014 09:59 am

Copenhagens pretty much the same.

Slighly OT but the Danish ladies out on bikes are simply stunning, esp over the Summer. :D

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memsley89
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Re: What's with the Dutchie's

Postby memsley89 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:04 am

Captain Slackbladder wrote:Copenhagens pretty much the same.

Slighly OT but the Danish ladies out on bikes are simply stunning, esp over the Summer. :D


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