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Old 06-28-19, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Groningen
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Bikes: Gazelle rod brakes, Batavus compact, Peugeot hybrid

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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I did commute on my Gazelle. Put close to 1000 miles on it, before I relegated it to grocery getting role.

My 12-mile round trip commute can be brutal on a Dutchbike, because you're sitting bolt-upright on windy days. So I lean forward against the wind, and my elbows are completely bent. My lower back gets sore and achy, if there are many windy days in a row. Dutch bikes are if you have to start and stop alot, you'll feel it. Just have to accelerate slower than you normal would compare to a 20 pound roadbike. It feels like a Cadillac.
- One technique to lower wind drag is to fold your arms and lean on the handlebars, which is perfectly safe on a coaster brake.

- I doubt they are really harder work up to 20-25 km/h. The upright position also influences which muscles are used and which aren't. For me it all comes from the thighs and buttocks, which are relatively well developped and quite anaerobic. I don't waste energy on upper body movement and spinning a lot, I ride in 3rd gear all the time, execpt the first yards after a stop, a few hills here (no, the Dutch city I live in isn't entirely flat) and head wind over 4 Beaufort. 4 Beaufort is normal wind here. I can average 20 km/h that way without breaking a sweat.

I don't believe it's as much the bike's weight, which is little part of the overall weight, but the rotation of the heavy steel wheels that help it keep momentum once up to speed with small inclines or gusts of wind. The weight works both ways, but if you work against it is going to be hard work. Accellerate slow and keep a steady pace. The geometry also helps going in a straight line, which is of course the most efficient. I've had a light hybrid with flat bars and it certainly felt faster, but not less hard work for the same speed.

The fully enclosed chaincase is the greatest thing on a Dutchbike. I never once lubed my chain. The dealer told me not to touch it unless it starts making noise. It is still super quiet. It is heavily greased from the factory. And it's been over 5 years and I leave the bike parked outside overnight 365.
I don't know all the different types of fully enclosed chaincases, but usually you can open a tiny bit and lube the chain by turning the pedals. But it doesn't need be done often because the oil stays on it and keeps doing it's work quite long.

There is quite a bit of rust inside the frame tubings. But these things are so overbuilt, that I think it would take many more years of living outside to kill it.
I know pre WWII bikes for Indonesia got a special tropics treatment on the inside of the tubing, but this wasn't necessary at all for the Dutch climate.

There is a US company that sells a cheaper Dutch bike...I think it is the Azor 3-spd...for under a grand.

Personally I think, Dutch bikes are over priced. I think it has something to do with Euro tariffs that keep Chinese bikes out of Europe. Because Euro have no real competition, they jack up their prices. The consumer suffers.
Azor is manufactering the bikes for Workcycles to, they are obsessed with durability. They can last a 100 years and on that website they are only slightly more expensive on that website than in the Netherlands. Azors are an excellent deal here, they are in about the same price range as Gazelle and Batavus but much better build and often better thought through. They are handbuild, in the Netherlands, and usually made to order fully customized through a LBS. They can get very expensive with Rohloffs and wooden fenders and stuff but they don't cut corners on quality with the reasonably priced.

The company's philosophy was to build bikes again like they used to be, very robust, very reliable and very durable, which the main Dutch brands forgot about somewhere in the 80's. A modern Gazelle Tour Populair, the classic model, is overpriced and especially in the US. But around a 1000 dollars for a bike that your grandchildren can use is not overpriced. That's how it got the name 'oma'-bike, in the 80's after decades of sportier models girls started using the pre WWII bikes and 50's bikes from grandma's (oma) house after she stopped cycling or passed away (in the Netherlands there's usually not much time in between). Probably because they were reliable and gave them a more elegant posture, the boys soon followed because the geomotry suits a manly nonchalant posture too. And not giving a **** about your bike is cool too, so old and 'it was just laying around' was perfect.

Originally Posted by Harhir View Post
Yes they are heavy. Mine is like a tank. Everything is made from steel including the fenders. And with 3 speeds it requires some good legs when going uphill. The enclosed chain guard is cool but a "pain in the rear" when you need to remove the rear wheel. Since the wheel slides in and out from the back you need to take the chain off the sprocket which requires to remove the chain guard first. Meaning fixing a flat does require some significant labor. At least on that old clunker I have. But I still like it. It looks kind of cool.
You don't need to take the wheel out to fix a flat. You don't even need to take the wheel out to change the tyres, there's a tool for it that spreads the stay enough to pull the tyres through after you've undone the wheel at the opposite side of the chain case.

Especially the cloth chaincases aren't suited for taking apart a lot, especially when it's not done with a lot of care. If you don't take it of very carefully it will not go on as tight as it was, and when it's not tight it will start wearing out.

To answer TS question. Yes I commute on a Dutch style bike, a Dutch bike in fact. It's 1978 Gazelle Impala with rod operated drum brakes and SA 3-speed. I bought it a few years ago for a 100 euro's, it was unrestored, pretty much untouched even allthough the front wheel was trued off centre, with marks of a big blow to the rim. The tyres looked original but where worn and it was clearly used quite a lot and not stored inside all the time. I rode it 30 km home without an issue and didn't do any work on it other than changing it to battery lights, a better O-lock and retruing the wheel until the (Sturmey Archer) drum brake broke last year. The chaincase had to come off, for the first time appearently, repaired a cut in it with some tape and saddle stitched the cloth back on it's rubber fitting. Part of the metal frame of the chaincase was rusted, but nothing to worry about. The rear rack has rust on it, probably because of a load that scratched the paint deeply, but it will still carry an adult. That's a proper Dutch bike.

I'll probably sell it on or give it away soon, because I'm going to make an offer for another 70's Gazelle. It's 66 cm instead of this 65, it's a bit more upright and 'less sporty', and it's a shade green instead of brown which I like better.
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