How to buy a Dutch bicycle? Where can you get one and what should you look for? In this article I will tell you how to get the perfect Dutch bicycle for you.
Dutch Made Bicycles Or Chinese Dutch Bicycles?
You have two choices when it comes to getting your bicycle: getting an authentic Dutch brand or a cheaper Chinese one.
The best Dutch brands are Gazelle and Batavus. There are others too such as Pointer and Cortina. They are made with the small details in mind such as nice-to-have accessories. They are also built to last, at least in terms of the frame and the main fittings such as the pedals. They are not, however, immune to rust!
Chinese-made bikes are much cheaper and can be had for closer to the €100 mark. They can be found at large markets or even many bicycle shops that stock Dutch-style bikes. One of these bikes will give you a year or two of good use before you start to get all manner of different problems occurring simultaneously.
Where To Buy A Dutch Bike?
Your best bet is to look online for suppliers of Dutch bicycles. I could not recommend a particular store because it depends to a great extent on where you live.
Unfortunately, Dutch bike manufacturers do not accept orders from overseas. But what you can do is to check out the web sites of the main companies and find out who their distributors are. This way you can buy your bicycle from people who know what they are talking about, having gone to great lengths to become an official distributor.
Alternatively, you can visit The Netherlands and buy your own bike there. Many bikes sold are second hand but I don't recommend buying such a bike as some of the parts could be close to the end of their life and you may find it hard to find good replacements back home. Unless you plan on trashing it within a year or two then I strongly recommend buying a branded, original and new Dutch-made bicycle. By the way, it is quite easy to check your bike into the hold but check with your airline first.
Things To Check Before Buying Your Dutch Bicycle
Dutch bicycles are unlike mountain bikes or racing bikes. Here are some things you need to check or consider before parting with your cash:
- Do you need built-in dynamo lights or would you be happy mounting your own (even if only cheap LED keyring style lights.
- Are you going to get hand brakes or pedal brakes? If the latter, are they legal to use on the roads in your country?
- Do you need bungee cords for the rear?
- Do you need a front fork including a crate/basket?
- You may wish to have a steering lock mechanism for convenience.
- Dutch bikes use a different type of connector on the air pump. Do you have the right pump/connector at home or can you easily get one? If not, I suggest buying one at the same time as you get your bike.
- Do you prefer a Ladies style frame or not? Personally I do, even though I'm a guy!
- Consider what kind of seat you want. It could have suspension if you want it. Do you need it to be cushioned or are you happy with a hard seat?
- Do you need three gears or are you happy with the default single gear?