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Anyone Commute on a Dutch Style Bike?

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Anyone Commute on a Dutch Style Bike?

Old 07-04-19, 03:19 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
Admittedly, I was trying to be clever with that response. What I was trying to say was that, usually, when we think of someone being "into" something, whatever that something is, we're referring to a recreational/enthusiast/hobbyist sort of thing. And then there are those who utilize that same thing as a true way of life that is so ingrained in them from a very young age, so part of their culture, that they hardly think of it in any way except as an integral part of their life, in a practical kind of way. They are not "into" it as we usually use that term, instead it is simply part of their life and it always has been. That's how I imagine the vast majority of Dutch style bicycle riders think of bicycles and riding them. I might be wrong about that, but that's how I have imagined it, and it has always impressed me.
I think you're completely right about that. It's so normal that hardly anyone pays attention to it, it's in a blind spot. 'We' have to be reminded regularly that it's not normal elsewhere. There's the odd group of foreign cityplanners studying the infrastructure, or a fresh foreign student beeing escorted off the highway, or a foreigner mentioning it. Then we go 'oh yes, they don't bike over there ' and instantly forget about it, it's so normal that the idea that it's something special internationally just doesn't stick. I've been reminded hundreds of times but only a few years ago it finally stuck, but if I tell my neighbours or friends here that our hometown is really a cycling city they go 'Oh really, I didn't know that'. It's not like the Dutch are unaware of the world outside, they typically do two or three foreign vacations a year. But it's not that they notice the lack of bikes in those foreign countries, it's more like 'I don't have a bike with me so I can't ride'. They just return home and jump on their bike like it's nothing special again. It's not a difference that gets registered as such. For me it's more an insight about normalcy and what it does to perception, than an insight in cycling.

I don't think the percentage of people that are into bikes is really different, it's the number of people that are not into bikes but do cycle a lot that is a huge difference. But the people who are into bikes are often into the full chaincase fully equipped bikes too. Especially the chain case is a pain for C&V people. Most won't last 50 years and the rest of the bike does, replacements are usually in the wrong material and the wrong colour, even when it's black. A lot of black pre-WWII chaincases (and coatguards) are in a material that ages spectacularly and those are really copheted and hard to find.
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Old 07-04-19, 10:27 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Thousands and thousands of Dutch people do.
On my 20 km commute along a canal between Rotterdam and The Hague (with a 50% chance of headwind) probably about 60% ride Dutch 3-speeds and singlespeeds with the rest being road bikes, touring bikes and a handful of high-speed pedelecs.
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Old 07-04-19, 10:55 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
Has anyone ever made these out of lighter frame materials, such as titanium or aluminum? Or even higher grade steel that can be butted? Seems like you could still have considerable hauling strength on those for less weight, though I suppose they'd cease to be "bomb proof".
Koga-Miyata used make a lighter weight chromoly model in the form of the RoadAce (I have one) and there are even years that used their splined and butted FM-1 tubing if I recall correctly.

EDIT: Their 1996-1997 SilverAce had an FM-1 frame, just before they switched to aluminum. This was with a Shimano Nexus 7 and weighed about 17.8kg.


But nowadays your best bet would be to get a Pashley Guv'nor and outfit that one with fenders and such since they make them out of butted Reynolds 531.

Last edited by JaccoW; 07-05-19 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 07-04-19, 03:02 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Koga-Miyata used make a lighter weight chromoly model in the form of the RoadAce (I have one) and there are even years that used their splined and butted FM-1 tubing if I recall correctly.

But nowadays your best bet would be to get a Pashley Guv'nor and outfit that one with fenders and such since they make them out of butted Reynolds 531.
Cheers; does the Guv'nor still have the same frame angles, or is it more aggressive?

Realistically, I'm just too danged short to ride one of these - my inseam is 28", which is like a 18 frame size.
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Old 07-05-19, 04:03 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
Cheers; does the Guv'nor still have the same frame angles, or is it more aggressive?

Realistically, I'm just too danged short to ride one of these - my inseam is 28", which is like a 18 frame size.
That would be a ~48cm frame size... yeah that's tricky. Smallest size I've seen is a 52/54cm frame for the ladies model and children's versions usually don't come in lightweight models like that.

The Guv'nor is an English pathracer so angles are very slack with a longer wheelbase so they ride better on rough terrain at speed and for longer day rides. It's going to be a lot less upright than a Dutch omafiets.

Just to add. In 1982 Koga-Miyata had these two models with double butted Hi-Manga Miyata tubing.


Koga-Miyata Silver-Ace AL. Aluminum on most parts. 16.8 Kg all included.


Koga-Miyata Silver-Ace ST. Stainless steel on most parts. 17.2 Kg all included.

Last edited by JaccoW; 07-05-19 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 07-05-19, 07:51 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Koga-Miyata used make a lighter weight chromoly model in the form of the RoadAce (I have one) and there are even years that used their splined and butted FM-1 tubing if I recall correctly.

EDIT: Their 1996-1997 SilverAce had an FM-1 frame, just before they switched to aluminum. This was with a Shimano Nexus 7 and weighed about 17.8kg.


But nowadays your best bet would be to get a Pashley Guv'nor and outfit that one with fenders and such since they make them out of butted Reynolds 531.
I like that snail eccentric rear axle adjuster. I can't say I've ever seen one on a bicycle before.
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Old 07-05-19, 11:56 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I like that snail eccentric rear axle adjuster. I can't say I've ever seen one on a bicycle before.
Nor have I outside of these brochures.
I believe it is a Koga specific thing.
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Old 07-05-19, 09:45 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
That would be a ~48cm frame size... yeah that's tricky. Smallest size I've seen is a 52/54cm frame for the ladies model and children's versions usually don't come in lightweight models like that.
Cheers; as memory serves there are a few in 26" wheel sizes that work based on stand-over height. I've another more practical bike in mind for the near future but maybe someday!
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Old 07-08-19, 07:39 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Dutch "style" dont feel the same.

To get the authentic style feeling, it should be:
  • very heavy
  • lugged steel frame
  • bolt up right posture
  • full chain case
  • 635mm wheel
  • metal fenders
  • rear rack strong
  • very slack seat post angle
  • very slack headtube angle

Kickstand?
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Old 07-10-19, 08:38 PM
  #35  
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Lots of great info in this thread!

My wife and I as well as several of our neighbors ride Dutch bikes for all of our commuting in Minnesota. We also have a collection of extras for friends to use when they're visiting us. My wife rides a Workcycles Gr8. I ride a Workcycles Opafiets most of the year but stick studs on an Omafiets for winter. We also have Gazelles, Batavus, Fietsbabrik and a couple of others. We have two bakfiets, one from Bakfiets.NL and one from Workcycles.

More on Dutch bikes: City Bikes | LocalMile

IIRC the Workcycles Secret Service is Al?

Typically flats are easily repaired by pulling the tube out, patching, and sticking it back in so no need to remove the tyre or tube. The spreaders @Stadjer mentioned work well when needed. Some Workcycles such as the Gr8 have a removable triangle on non-drive side that makes life a bit easier.

Flying Pigeon are amazingly poor quality. Once you find all of the parts not shipped with it and fiddle with adjusting things it's not awful but not nearly as smooth and easy riding as a Workcycles or Azor.

Generally a proper Dutch upright is more efficient than other bikes up to about 15-18 MPH. See link above for more.
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Old 07-31-19, 07:31 PM
  #36  
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I didn't do that but I really want to get an experience of that type of riding, I think it's enjoyable.
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Old 08-07-19, 10:07 AM
  #37  
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As mentioned above I do have a Dutch Gazelle. But my main commuter bike is similar to a dutch bike. It is an upright steel commuter bike. It was sold as a City/Trekking bike. 700c wheels, 3 speed internal hub with 7 speed derailleur, steel frame, semi enclosed chain guard, fenders, racks, ... 25 years old and still strong. No rust.
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Old 08-07-19, 12:11 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Harhir View Post
As mentioned above I do have a Dutch Gazelle. But my main commuter bike is similar to a dutch bike. It is an upright steel commuter bike. It was sold as a City/Trekking bike. 700c wheels, 3 speed internal hub with 7 speed derailleur, steel frame, semi enclosed chain guard, fenders, racks, ... 25 years old and still strong. No rust.
Dang, an actual Hybrid drive!
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Old 08-08-19, 01:01 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
Dang, an actual Hybrid drive!
Was called the Fichtel-Sachs 3x7. Later the SRAM 3x7 which then morphed into the SRAM dual drive.
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Old 08-08-19, 08:52 PM
  #40  
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British, not Dutch. But as others have pointed out, they are genetically linked. Mostly stock 1966 Raleigh Sports, seen here in NYC’s Central Park with some groceries on my way home one spring day. It’s a great commuter: sturdy, allows me to wear my work clothes and just looks classy.
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Old 09-08-19, 07:49 AM
  #41  
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I recently bought this and have been trying to commute on it. It's '99 build with Shimano Nexus7 hub, Sturmey drum brake in the front and a rollerbrake on the rear. Great shape. I oiled and repacked the hub and oiled the chain.

The commute is 10k each way, mostly flat. Sometimes I want to "step on it," but the opa bike won't let you. It's for going leisurely places at leisurely paces. Gazelle put the handlebars way back, you can't really stand up on it or move your weight ahead of the seat much at all. It's a smooth and pleasant ride, just not a fast one.

The old Suburban is the better commuter. The lower and more forward geometry lets you put your weight over the pedals, stand up and drop the hammer.

What would you do with this Gazelle?
  1. Sell it, look for a drop-bar road bike.
  2. Install a longer stem, move the bars forward, try for more of a "roadster" geometry similar to the Suburban.
  3. Install drop bars, and probably a longer stem, make a "tulip burner." :-)
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Old 09-08-19, 03:29 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by jpc2001 View Post


I recently bought this and have been trying to commute on it. It's '99 build with Shimano Nexus7 hub, Sturmey drum brake in the front and a rollerbrake on the rear. Great shape. I oiled and repacked the hub and oiled the chain.

The commute is 10k each way, mostly flat. Sometimes I want to "step on it," but the opa bike won't let you. It's for going leisurely places at leisurely paces. Gazelle put the handlebars way back, you can't really stand up on it or move your weight ahead of the seat much at all. It's a smooth and pleasant ride, just not a fast one.

The old Suburban is the better commuter. The lower and more forward geometry lets you put your weight over the pedals, stand up and drop the hammer.

What would you do with this Gazelle?
  1. Sell it, look for a drop-bar road bike.
  2. Install a longer stem, move the bars forward, try for more of a "roadster" geometry similar to the Suburban.
  3. Install drop bars, and probably a longer stem, make a "tulip burner." :-)
That seat tube is so laid back, which puts the cranks so far forward . . . I don't know how drop bars would work comfortably.

Maybe put on a handlebar with less sweepback and adjust the stem as needed?
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Old 09-09-19, 11:19 AM
  #43  
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I don't like riding bikes like these but to each his own. Lots of people in my neighborhood put them to good use, and I'm happy to see that. They are practical and even stylish. Mine is a bicycle-dense neighborhood (West Villlage), and many of the apartments are small. Not only that, many of the buildings in my neighborhood don't have elevators, so people have no choice but to leave their bikes outside overnight. With this, I get to see a lot of what people are riding. There are many styles of bikes, and English and Dutch uprights are pretty popular, more than the old American style.
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Old 09-09-19, 08:02 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
That seat tube is so laid back, which puts the cranks so far forward . . . I don't know how drop bars would work comfortably.

Maybe put on a handlebar with less sweepback and adjust the stem as needed?
The seat's at the rear end of its range, so maybe the first step is to move that forward for a $0 data point.

I guess the trouble is this. A typical bike is like this, from aft to fore:

Code:
seat .. crank .......... bars
which lets you shift your weight from the seat to the crank without reorienting yourself too much. Whereas this bike is more like:

Code:
seat ..... crank ..... bars
To put more weight on the crank means relocating your CoG forward quite a bit, putting the already quite close bars right up in your grill.

Moving the bars forward only solves that halfway, I guess. It gives you some room to shift forward, and it's still a big shift.
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Old 09-09-19, 08:11 PM
  #45  
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I used to commute on a three-speed Breezer Citizen. That wasn't quite enough speeds for my geography, though.
Now I'm commuting on a seven-speed Biria. It's wheelbase is longer than the Breezer's, and feels more comfortable.
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Old 09-09-19, 10:42 PM
  #46  
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I used to commute with a fake-o dutch bike - a Public step-through. I found it challenging for my small hills - and actively avoided the larger ones.

Without a long drawn out story - I ended up with a sporty frame configured with upright bars, wide tires, fenders, lights, rack and basket.

Best of both worlds for me. Speedy and practical and comfortable at the same time.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:12 AM
  #47  
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On that Gazelle, I did the basic bike fit process of setting the pedals level and dropping a plumb line from front kneecap and expecting it to land near the pedal axle (ideally.) It fell way behind the pedal axle, like 2" off. The laid back seat tube is doing its thing.

Moving the seat up on the Gazelle, just a couple cm made some improvement. Further would be better, but at the frontmost position, that plumb line is closer and it's easier to put the power down. Another seat with longer rails might get go another cm or two forward.

With the seat forward, those handlebars are real close. This bike needs a stem with some forward reach.
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Old 09-10-19, 03:25 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by jpc2001 View Post
On that Gazelle, I did the basic bike fit process of setting the pedals level and dropping a plumb line from front kneecap and expecting it to land near the pedal axle (ideally.) It fell way behind the pedal axle, like 2" off. The laid back seat tube is doing its thing.

Moving the seat up on the Gazelle, just a couple cm made some improvement. Further would be better, but at the frontmost position, that plumb line is closer and it's easier to put the power down. Another seat with longer rails might get go another cm or two forward.

With the seat forward, those handlebars are real close. This bike needs a stem with some forward reach.
I'm thinking if you're trying to make that Gazelle fit like the bike in that video, you need a different bike.
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Old 09-15-19, 01:37 AM
  #49  
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I had that bike, till it was stolen. It was a great bike to ride. Rock solid and easy on hills. Even though it was heavy, you really did not notice it. Photo was from a few weeks before it was stolen.

I also have a gazelle tour populair from the mid 80's and a Hollandia OPA that has been modified and upgraded. If you are mostly concerned about getting from point A to B then a dutch style bike is the best way to do it. Rock solid construction and the ability to haul makes it the SUV of the bike world. Far better than any american made (or made for the american market) bike.
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Old 09-15-19, 10:56 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by jpc2001 View Post

The commute is 10k each way, mostly flat. Sometimes I want to "step on it," but the opa bike won't let you. It's for going leisurely places at leisurely paces. Gazelle put the handlebars way back, you can't really stand up on it or move your weight ahead of the seat much at all. It's a smooth and pleasant ride, just not a fast one.
You can stand up on it, it just feels more comfortable on a steep incline or hanging against the wind.

What would you do with this Gazelle?
  1. Sell it, look for a drop-bar road bike.
  2. Install a longer stem, move the bars forward, try for more of a "roadster" geometry similar to the Suburban.
  3. Install drop bars, and probably a longer stem, make a "tulip burner." :-)
You can change a bike but not beyond it's basic geometry.
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