Why should I go for a Dutch bike?

Our Bikes: Made in The Netherlands 

Like Swiss watches, Italian shoes, and Belgian beers, some countries are renowned for their exports. Say the word ‘Dutch’ and a number of things spring to mind; windmills, clogs, tulips, cheese, canals, and, of course, bicycles!

With more bicycles than people, and as many as 59% of urban journeys made using pedal power, it is safe to say that the Netherlands is home to a mature cycling culture. What is noteworthy about this culture is the fact that, by and large, people tend to ride the same sort of bikes. And what sort of bikes do they ride? Well, Dutch bikes of course!

Dutch bikes are synonymous with an upright, comfortable and casual riding style, as well as with the low-maintenance simplicity that gives them tremendous utilitarian appeal. Practical features like mudguards, lights, locks, and racks are all incorporated into the bike’s design, and because of this their overall cost is kept to a minimum. To help highlight their benefits, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten reasons to go for a Dutch bike – enjoy!

A typical Dutch city bike can do more than you might think
 

  

  • Dutch bikes are designed to be convenient: Rather than requiring you to adapt yourself with specialist clothing and aftermarket safety equipment, Dutch bikes are designed to fit around you as you are. For example, many bikes in our range have step-through frames for easy-mounting, and mudguards in case it rains. They also have enclosed gears, chains, and brakes, substantially reducing the need for maintenance. Puncture-proof tyres, integrated lights and locks, kickstands, and pannier racks are considered standard equipment, and not items that need to be purchased separately. 

cycle london, cargo bicyle, utility cycling, daily commuting

  • Dutch bikes are inexpensive as a form of transport: Per mile travelled only walking is cheaper! On average, a bicycle will cost between 3-7p per mile, compared to 20-40p per mile for a bus, 20-60p per mile by train, and 30-150p for a small car. No fuel, licence, insurance, MOT, or Vehicle Excise Duty is needed to ride a bike, and this not only saves people money but also removes a lot of the red tape associated with using the roads. Good-quality bikes represent a strong, long-term investment as well, and don’t depreciate in value to anywhere near the same degree that motor vehicles do. Parking is never a problem either, as every lamppost is a potential (cost-free) parking spot! 
  • Dutch bikes work all year round: With enclosed brakes, drivetrain components, and weather-resistant hardware, Dutch bikes are designed to be ridden throughout the year. 

air pollution

  • Dutch bikes are built for life:  Buying a well-made and versatile Dutch bike represents a long-term investment in sustainable transport, and one that can see you through many different phases of life. Whether you’re a student with a tonne of books to carry, a young adult transporting furniture home from Ikea, a new parent with a little passenger to carry, or a retiree pootling to the allotment, a reliable Dutch bike is always a useful, accessible, and low-impact way of getting around.
 
  • Dutch bikes are highly versatileDepending on which of our Dutch bikes you choose, it could be possible to adapt it for a wide variety of tasks. If you want it to be a simple commuter, then perhaps a rear rack is all that you will need. If you want to ride it all year round, mudguards and lights might also be welcome additions. Need to do some shopping? Just throw on some panniers. If your family should grow, adding a child seat or two is not a problem. Need to shift some serious cargo? Fitting an ultra-strong front rack is so simple that it can be done at home with little more than a spanner. With electric Dutch bikes becoming increasingly affordable, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you are now able to do on two wheels. The versatility of our bikes is definitely one of their best features.

utility bike, cycle london, bike local buy local

  • Dutch bikes are good for you and the local economy: Riding a bike is a low-impact form of exercise, and for trips to the local shops it’s ideal. Even if an individual can’t necessarily commute via bike, the EU-funded initiative Cyclelogistics[2] concluded that over 90% of all grocery trips could be made via bicycle. People who shop by bike buy locally, and so urban centres benefit and regenerate after many years high street decline. With their ability to carry heavy loads, Dutch bikes are ideal for local shopping trips.
  • Dutch cargo bikes are commercially viable: From the perspective of our commercial clients, cargo bikes have huge potential. The study by Cyclelogistics[2] estimates that 51% of all urban goods-related motorised trips could realistically be shifted to cargo bikes. On that front, DHL has replaced 10 percent of its Dutch fleet (33 vans), with cargo bikes, saving themselves more than £300,000 per year, and saving the planet more than 152 tons of CO2 per year.
     

[1] The study conducted by In-Car Cleverness concluded that the average driving speed within 1 mile of London city centre was just 5.13mph, and within 5 miles of the city centre still only 8.34mph. Even a loaded Dutch omafiets can maintain a higher average speed than this in an urban environment.

[2] The study can be found on the Cyclelogistics website (http://cyclelogistics.eu/), but a more interesting analysis of the data was done by the Copenhagenize team (http://www.copenhagenize.com/2013/10/the-massive-potential-of-shifting-trips.html).