I went to my local bike shop to buy a basket over the weekend and saw the newest arrivals from Denmark. Velorbis bikes. (Insert oooooh here.) Had I known that my local bike shop was ordering in a selection of Velorbis bikes, I might have held off buying that Van Gogh bike.
The Danish Velorbis bikes are a little statelier and come with higher end components such as:
- Metal pedals with rubber treads (not plastic pedals)
- Leather Brooks saddle, handlebar grips and mudflaps
- Dynamo-powered lights
- Spring that keeps your handlebars from twisting when parked (a problem with double leg kickstands as they lift your front wheel off the ground)
I admit, I felt some buyer’s remorse over the Van Gogh bike. And the Velorbis accessories are very beautiful. Pricey, but beautiful. Like that basket. It’s enormous.
That being said, my Dutch Van Gogh bike is sturdy and well built featuring:
- A hefty metal frame (40 lbs of bike!)
- Upright parallel style handlebars (some call this style “sit up and beg” riding)
- Traditional rear double kickstand
- Battery-powered headlamp and rear light
- Plush but low-end saddle
- White tires with a (new-to-me) presta valve
(You can read James’ post about the anatomy of a Dutch bicycle.)
But I couldn’t have a step-through Dutch bike without a front basket. It just seemed wrong. How would I carry cheese? Think of the cheese! So, off I went to the bike shop to put the finishing touches on the new bike. It turns out, installing a basket designed for a North American bike on a Euro-style bike requires a bit of extra work.
The basket I selected has a metal frame and attaches to the front wheel via metal support legs. Now, these Dutch bikes are big. They are a one-size-fits-all type of jobbie with the seat and handlebars being all you need to adjust. The metal supports for the basket I chose weren’t long enough to reach from my “sit up and beg” handlebars to the wheel.
It carries beer. It looks cheery in the rain. I love this basket.
With some serious intervention from my bike shop, they managed to find a spare set of longer metal supports and make new clips for attaching them to the basket. They understood that I was not only going for the function of the basket, but the “look” too. And no one appeared to think it was ridiculous. This is why it is good to have a good relationship with your bike shop. They’ll help you figure out a way to make your bike work. They even found a similar style front headlamp to mount on the handlebars since the original needed to be removed to accommodate the basket.
In fact, I think I have out-Dutched my original “social dreambike”. Back in 2000, I rented a Batavus in the Netherlands. It was nice. But twelve years later, this is nicer.
Now , if someone could just carry those kicky colourful bungees for the rear rack, I’d be set.