A Brief Overview of Dutch Bicycles

All bicycles are currently seeing a resurgence in popularity. This is due to many factors including eco-awareness, health concerns and just finding the joy of bicycling all over again. While people are choosing to trade in their cars for the more environmentally-friendly two-wheelers, governments are also taking notice and implementing more bike lanes and supporting bike-advocacy groups. Of all governments that support bikes, none have been more progressive than those in the Netherlands. All you have to do is go to places like Amsterdam to see just how much the bicycle has taken over. What you’ll also see are the very distinct Dutch bicycles that are different than any other style. These bikes have a rich history and are popular for many reasons. Here is a quick background of the incredibly popular Dutch bicycle.

Omafiets
The Omafiet is translated in Dutch as “grandma’s bike.” This is currently the most popular style for ladies riding in the Netherlands. The bike is traditionally painted black with a step-through steel construction frame. The handlebars are high, which gives the rider a very upright position when riding. The bikes also have mudguards, dynamo lights, a skirt guard and come with just one speed. The bikes are much heavier than traditional bikes found today but are still incredibly popular. Today, the omafiet can be found in many different colors and materials, but the basic look and design has remained the same. The design of the bike makes them ideal for flat cities where commuting by bicycle is the main mode of transportation.

Opafiets
The opafiet is the men’s version of the Dutch bicycle. In Dutch, it translates as “grandpa’s bike.” This bicycle has a similar construction and features, however, it has a “diamond” frame which means the top bar is straight across. This “gents” frame also means the rider is not quite as upright as they would be on an omafiet. This vintage style bicycle is still very popular with both men and women in the Netherlands and around the world.

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Bakfiets
Another type of Dutch bicycle that has become increasingly popular in the last couple decades is the bakfiet. This bicycle is a “box” or “bucket” bike. This type of bicycle features an open or closed box meant for carrying cargo, pets or people. There are many different variations of this bike; some have the box on the front of a two-wheeled city bike while others have them in the back, positioned between the two back wheels of a trike. These bicycles have been around for over 100 years, but just now are becoming popular again due to the ease with which people can transport big loads around in them. They are also popular with parents in the Netherlands who need to take their children to school.

Brands
If you are looking for a vintage Dutch bicycle, you will want to look online for some good deals. Be prepared to pay quite a bit for one though, as these bikes are incredibly popular and tend to go fast. You can also look into buying a new bicycle from companies like Pashley and Velorbis. However, if you are buying new expect to pay quite a bit more. If the price is daunting, think of it this way: this is not just a bike, it’s your mode of transportation and much, much cheaper than buying and running a car. Plus, these bikes are meant to last so you won’t have to worry about it breaking down and needing repairs in the near future.



Source by Belle Cosgrave