What is a Dutch-style bicycle (and why are “Omafiets” so popular)?


MAMILLAS: middle-aged men in Lycra. Not caught in the crosshairs of a Discerning Cyclist piece. But it is necessary to give a pivot to the axis on which the activity of cycling revolves.

This race has borne the brunt of the grievances and grief of other road users. Sometimes to a large extent. Sometimes without reference to the Highway Code and legislation.

While they probably just stay in shape, their full kit and kaboodle can include the more expensive and fragile road machines and their camouflage looks best on rural or minor roads.

But look around you. The veins of the urban branches that run through our towns and cities are being oxygenated not only by those perceived as a kind of crisis of the Middle Ages. The streets are filled with more and more machines built for the function, assembled by people going from A to B, with friends, or for work, or to beat the bulk.

From freight bikes driven to school or by advanced courier companies and even plumbers. Hybrid bikes, once bought as a weekend runner, but now full of suitcases and fenders / fenders or a luggage rack to get to and from work. A quiet revolution is taking place. Simple, utilitarian and egalitarian bicycles are back.

The origin of the slow return of the masses to urban cycling for the masses is driven in part by the world around us: dwindling resources, climate crises, and the people we seek, while preserving personal spaces and freedoms in a changing world.

Our best are making our roads safer. Bicycle lanes and roundabouts are designed to support and remember two-wheeled transportation.

We have long looked across the North Sea to the shallow plains of the Netherlands to guide and inspire us to ride a simple, free horse. Because? Because the Belgians and the Dutch have taught us and can continue to teach us the beautiful tranquility linked to the flow and dynamism of their traveling cities. With positive results for health and happiness.

The outstanding (we will not say brilliant) example of the functionality of cycling is presented in the form of a Dutch-style bicycle. A simple product built to last and to work in all conditions and not require or insist on Lycra.

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What is a Dutch style bike?

Something of simplicity designed for the pursuit of cycling in a socially inclusive upright position on a machine that is easy to assemble or disassemble, providing relative comfort through a softer, wider saddle while protected from some of the greasy elements and chains and grease.

It has a frame that can be “passed”, unlike the diamond frame of a man model, this design originally allowed women to easily assemble even if they wore dresses or later wore skirts.

It has a protector that covers the upper third of the rear wheel (between 9am and 1pm) which has been specifically designed to prevent parts from slipping into the rear.

Why are Dutch bikes called “Omafiets” (grandma bikes)?

Although the name has its origins in the 70’s, the machine it refers to has changed little since the time of World War I. The memory is of the Dutch who saw their older relatives still with this type of bicycle that went out of style elsewhere in Western Europe.

The ‘textbook’ Omafiets bike has the character we have already described, but on a technical level it will include a single-speed gear, 28-inch / 635C wheels, a black box and mudguards. The back of these is painted white in the lower third. The chain is also fully covered. They often have a built-in dynamo to provide lighting.

The frame is made of steel and is heavy. Weights with accessories included can exceed 25 kilograms. The driving position created by a raised handlebar and a long stem that attaches to the headphones is comfortable and friendly – it’s hard to be aggressive with a grandmother’s bike.

Why are upright bikes popular in the Netherlands?

Vertical bikes are firmly in the Dutch DNA. The benefit of a long uninterrupted history with cycling is that it limits fashions and fashions. They have never gone out of style. Longevity means there are millions of them. The vertical style allows more visibility of the rider and the rider.

They offer a lot of flexibility and comfort. It is not uncommon to see a passenger sitting through the racks behind the designated bike racks. You can grab an umbrella (after examining all safety considerations!) And change gear. Many have mountain-style brakes so you can brake by pedaling backwards.

Are Dutch bicycles good?

If something is so universal, free of class distinction and unchanged for years, then it must be good. It meets the criteria of comfortably taking a simple, reliable and, hopefully, cheap and easy to maintain means of transport. They are sociable and a way of life.

There are millions and millions assembled in the Netherlands by citizens of all shapes and sizes, without state or trial controls. It is not a bad assessment of how well they are perceived by one of the best educated groups of bicycle users.

Dutch bicycles: pros + cons

PROS CONS
Easy to drive with civility and grace You will need to recognize a slower average speed
It is not a slave to weight saving: robust and economical to maintain Not all cities are as flat as Amsterdam or Utrecht and the hills will look harder
Many useful standard features and flexibility It is not effective for transportation or transportation

Frequently asked questions about Dutch bicycles

Are Dutch bikes good on the hills?

Gravity has an annoying habit of holding you back. The single-speed gear and a weight of more than 20 kilos that leads in an upright position pushes the wind against a lot. Dutch bicycles are designed to travel on bike lanes and boulevards in urban centers and can cope with slight elevations.

How long do Dutch bicycles last?

They are not thoroughbred racehorses like road bikes. They drive quietly with gears and brakes hidden from view. There are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands and these machines are not driven intensively. You can store a Dutch bicycle abroad for 20 years.

Are Dutch bicycles heavy?

Most Dutch bicycles weigh more than 20 kilos. The average speed of travel in the Netherlands is about 12 kilometers per hour. A heavy bike explains this. You may need to brake suddenly or make a tight turn at these speeds. Drive comfortably in clothes without showering. How good is that?

Are Dutch bikes better?

Developed countries have looked to the Netherlands for inspiration from infrastructure; the comfort and sociable ride offered by your most popular bike can follow. It’s one of the best ways to get around the city environment if you know that the surfaces of your roads are consistent and you drive with majesty.

Are Dutch bicycles unisex?

Omafiet has a relative in Opafiet (“Grandpa’s Bicycle”). They are basically the same type of bike, except the Opafiet has a crossbar instead of a step bar. However, while many people label passing bikes as “women’s bikes”, Dutch bikes are actually unisex.

Grandma’s bike vs. Grandpa’s bike

How much do Dutch bicycles cost?

You get a second hand machine for £ 150 (~ $ 200). The most sought after brands sell a traditional Dutch style bike for over £ 1,000 (~ $ 1,300). The average price is around £ 800 (~ $ 1000) for a new Dutch bike.

Why are Dutch bicycles so expensive?

An expert cycling audience that averages 1,200 miles a year demands quality and that is what it achieves. They are asked to perform multiple tasks and are created for them. They have to be resilient. They come with many standard accessories. They hold their value well.

The best Dutch-style bicycle brands

  • Gazelle
  • Batavus
  • Pashley
  • Veloretti
  • Azor
  • Burgers
  • Beautiful
  • Amsterdammer


The best Dutch style bikes

The best Dutch bike for less than £ 1,000

Pashley Roadster Classic 3-speed

A machine built to handle Britain’s cobbled roads and the most rugged country streets, equipped with such an elegant and flexible Brooks saddle.

The trip is relaxed for city walks or field trips, with the Pashley equipped with full fenders, chain guards and a coat protector on the rear wheel. Gears and brakes are sealed to overcome time.



The best Dutch bike for less than £ 500

Fabricbike City 7-speed bike

An elegant urban model with an easy frame design for women.

This 7-speed bike features a steel frame with a rear frame to add accessories such as rear baskets and child seats and includes standard front and rear fenders.

This model includes external gears that are wide enough that can help the hills.



Best Dutch electric bicycle

Van Moof S3

The Knight Rider of Bicycles.

The Van Moof S3 must be one of the most beautiful urban electric bikes in the world. It’s just awesome.

It comes in a standard diamond frame shape with next generation technology, motors, automatic electronic gears and even alarms on board.

You can even unlock your bike using an app.



The best cheap Dutch electric bike (less than £ 1,000)

Elops 120E city electric bike

A well-equipped bicycle with electric assistance, accessories and a design designed for short journeys.

It has a solid range of 60 kilometers and takes about four to five hours to charge from full to full, with the motorist being able to choose between three modes of assistance when driving.

Electric city bike of great economic value.

Kevin Glenton
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