When travelling around the city in street clothes carrying whatever you need, a Dutch bike is a good choice for practical city cycling. Sturdy and easy to maintain, these bikes, created by the Dutch, get you where you are going with a minimum of fuss. With comfortable seats and easy to understand gearing, this is a bike that can last for decades.
About Dutch Bikes
A traditional Dutch bike is an all-around classic bike that is comfortable to ride and has a minimum of extra features. While bicycle companies tend to use terms like city bike or Dutch style to label commuter and utility models, they are not essentially Dutch bikes, but the terms work for making comparisons. Sitting in an upright and comfortable position with a wider saddle is one of the top features of the bikes. You can often find these features in town bikes or town hybrids. Vision is unhampered, which increases safety on busy city streets. Practical and efficient, Dutch bikes are the ultimate in sturdy machines developed to serve a utilitarian purpose.
Traditional Dutch Bike Features
When looking for a Dutch bike, you should look for certain features. The bike should have the chain case or drive case in a full enclosure to keep dirt and water away from the chain and keep grease and grime from soiling your clothing. The hub gears and hub brakes should be internal with the brakes either coaster style or rod and linkage. Vintage bikes should be equipped with heavy-duty steel fenders with fender stays and integrated tail light housing. The frame of the bike should be heavy with a thicker frame tube. Expect to find a steel rear rack and the option for a frame-mounted front rack. Lights should be generator powered and enclosed for safety. With the heavier weight of a Dutch bike, the kickstand should be rugged. The wheels should be manufactured with either stainless steel or double-walled aluminium rims, which allows you to tension the spokes tighter and the tyres to work on a higher inflation pressure. The bike may be equipped with a front basket.
Examining the Bike
Before purchasing a Dutch bike, examine the previously owned or vintage bike carefully for wear and tear. Be sure the tyres have tread and the wear is even. Check the chain and drive case for signs of damage or sprocket wear. Sit on the saddle, your feet should reach the ground easily, and see if the front and rear fenders are even and match with the handlebars. Move the handlebars to be sure they are not loose in their hub and wobbly. The spokes on the wheels should be intact, straight, and firmly seated. When riding, the bike should handle easily, corner well, and the tyres should not grind on the fenders.