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Old 06-30-19, 07:27 PM
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Join Date: May 2014
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Bikes: Working on replacing my stolen Soma Buena Vista Mixte

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Originally Posted by jpc2001 View Post
I was looking at Dutch bikes for commuting and decided against it for now. They look practical and beautiful. I'd love to own one and ride it through a postcard from Holland. Would it suit an American automotive-hellscape commute? Maybe?

I value high reliability with low maintenance and the Dutch bikes (and other European town bikes, eg. Pashley) seem to have this all sewn up with their drum brakes and IGHs. I don't mind oiling a chain or patching a tube now and then, but I don't love tearing my caliper brakes and derailers down every year to clean out the winter's grime. Put that stuff in a sealed hub. Sounds great!

So why not buy one? Three reasons, for now anyway:

1. High price in US

2. Sparse availability makes it tough to try before you buy

3. I rode a Gazelle oma bike. Its upright geometry resists standing up on it. Sometimes you need to stand up, to use the knees as a suspension on bumps. Right? Now maybe an opafiets or roadster geometry, a bit less upright, would work better. I'd still like to ride one and find out.

Instead I'm having a shop build a front wheel around a Sturmey drum brake and dyno hub for the daily driver '70s Schwinn Suburban. The stock Schwinn is a mix of awesome and awful. It has a great saddle, very good geometry and ergonomics. Lousy caliper brakes, and the OEM driveline is hot garbage. If the drum brake works well, I'll cold-set the rear dropouts and build another wheel around a modern IGH. The soul of a new machine.
You can also do what I did - get a production frame that is IGH friendly (Soma has some!).

Last edited by jade408; 07-04-19 at 09:19 AM.
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