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April 16, 2009



Dutch bikes are heavy and clumsy. Amsterdam is a flat city with mild winters. Not like American cities. And dutch bikes are hard to haul up three or four sets of stairs.


Just bought a 3 speed Dutch style bike that weighs about 50 pounds. Hills are a little tougher then with my road bike but the added security of the upright position vastly outweighs the lack of speed. It is a great feeling to be able to see OVER the tops of cars.

Biking in NYC is tough enough and these types of bike make running errands and commuting to work much safer and biking to the supermarket realistic.

Richard Prouty

My wife has a Dutch style bike, and I noticed the same thing: that sitting upright makes you feel safer and more relaxed. That's what's so great about Dutch bikes: they're as convenient as cars. No silly pants, no massive plastic domes on your head. I just repaired by Bianchi hybrid, so I'm not in the market for a new bike, but my next one will be a Dutch bike.

Electric bicycle

Not only the Dutch but in the less industrialized countries most people ride bikes to go everywhere, to work, to school, and with the ascent of electric bicycles, it will be even easier to go around without taking to much from our body.


My Dutch bike is perfect for my year-round 7 mile Chicago commute!



Riders, not bikes, are clumsy. Dutch bikes are heavy - that's what makes them so smooth and sturdy. Plenty of American cities are flat (Chicago!). Mild winters are not needed to ride a Dutch bike, as they are particularly suited to year-round riding with their enclosed chain, gears, and brakes. I wonder why some people leave negative diatribes all over the internet just for the fun of it.

Richard Prouty

I have a 7.5 round-trip commute in Chicago over curbs and cobblestones. My Bianchi Boardwalk, a hybrid bike that's known for its durability, has taken a beating. I would like to know if Dutch bikes are any sturdier than American-style bikes.


I got a Dutch bike back in June and I have ridden it pretty much everyday for everything from work to shopping at the supermarket (I bought 45 litre panniers for those days I want to carry lots of stuff).

My poor car (which I love, love, love) sits neglected in my driveway. I am finding less and less reason to use my car unless I am traveling long distances or hauling heavy loads.

My roommates who resisted my urging to bike more have started to see things my way. One bought a dutch style bike (upright riding position, rack in the back) and the other one a MTB.

The one with the dutch style bike has found it much easier to start running errands on bike and avoiding use of her car. The one with the MTB has wanted to follow suit only to be thwarted by the realities of using a mountain bike to run errands - no chain-guard so your nice pants get dirty, no fenders so riding on wet streets equals mud on your nice pants, lots of weight on your wrists and hands can be uncomfortable, and no rack in the back to put your groceries on.

I want more and more people to bike because more bikers on roads equals safer roads for bikers and biking is healthier then driving. I also realize it is vital for the future of our country considering the political, economic and environmental costs of fossil fuels. I want more people to realize what I am realizing right now. If you live in an urban area like NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, or Boston (the only ones I have seen and only ones I can attest to) close to 90% of your errands can be performed by bike or on foot.

I think Dutch style bikes, with the upright and relaxed geometry, hub gears with full chaincase, fenders, front and rear rack as well as dynamo powered lights, will make this transition more likely. I have my Biria Dutch bike since June so I can't attest to quality yet (so far so good). I will update on quality as time progresses but in regards to comfort, safety, and utility my dutch bike is much better then my road or mountain bike. My roommate's experience can also attest to that.

I have been an avid bike rider for over 25 years and I have never been more comfortable or more eager to hop on my bike and do WHATEVER then I am now. I will make up any excuse to hop on that Dutch bike and ride around high above traffic and for the most part free from its restrictions.

Get a dutch style bike - it may change your life.

Richard Prouty

I've wanted a Dutch bike ever since I first read about them, and everyone who has commented on my posts loves them.

I'm still torn, though, between a Dutch-style bike and a hybrid, like the one I own. Dutch bikes are so practical for everyday errands and commuting because you don't have to wear any special gear. They're as convenient as cars in that sense.

However, there are lots of bike commuters where I work, and I've noticed that by far the most common bike is a lot like mine: a hybrid modified for commuting with racks, panniers, a more comfortable saddle, etc. Local terrain and weather make a lighter bike more preferable. In Chicago itself, though, Dutch style bikes are more common. There's even a bike shop that specializes in them called the Dutch Bike Company. City commutes tend to be shorter, at least among the people I know, and the heavier traffic makes the slower pace of Dutch bikes safer.

I would be interested in hearing how a Dutch bike holds up over extended use.


I've been riding everywhere in Chicago since I got a dutch bike. It has changed my life.

Truck Rental

Great article! I ride to work on my bike every day0 with the high hills and all! Works perfectly as long as it isn't snowing or raining :) And I get aerobics every day that way- I put of a few kg that way and fell good about myself and the planet :)

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The bikes are are so cool, but also so dangerous, but still, a great phenomenal ride!!!!!!!!!!


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Happy New Year! The author write more I liked it.


Hi Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Many dutch have several bikes. Each for a different use. city bike for errands and going to the city center.
A hybrid for going to work or enjoying a small ride through the country side just to relax.

Personally (not typical dutch perse) i've got 4 bikes.
1) city bike (fixed gear, heavy duty, workhorse)
2) mountainbike (if it's snowing and for sports in fall)
3) racebike (for sports in summer)
4) touring bike (just to relax and go for a nice and quit ride in the weekends)

Because bikes are very cheap it's easy to own several. :)

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One-Way Street [Einbahnstrasse, 1928] was Walter Benjamin's first effort to break out of the narrow confines of the academy and apply the techniques of literary studies to life as it is currently lived. For Benjamin criticism encompasses the ordinary objects of life, the literary texts of the time, films in current release, and the fleeting concerns of the public sphere. Following Benjamin's lead, this blog is concerned with the political content of the aesthetic and representations of the political in the media. As Benjamin writes in One-Way Street, "He who cannot take sides should keep silent."