5 Reasons You Should Ride Like The Dutch

5 Reasons You Should Ride Like The Dutch

The Dutch are famous for their cycling culture and bikes are ubiquitous across the country from busy cities to the bucolic countryside. There are a lot of reasons bikes are so popular in the Netherlands: good cycling infrastructure, famously flat landscapes, and classic Dutch sayings like “you’re not made of sugar, you won’t melt”, which speaks to a certain willingness to ride in less than perfect weather conditions. Let’s see why Dutch bike are so popular.

We have discovered there are a lot of benefits to riding like the Dutch, and it all starts with the concept of a Dutch bike.

What is a Dutch Bike?

The Dutch may not have invented the bicycle, but a visit to the Netherlands will quickly prove that the Dutch invented and continue to perfect cycling culture. Bikes are everywhere, and riders take all shapes, sizes, and ages. Biking is in Dutch blood!

All Dutch-style bicycles share a few unique qualities designed to make cycling practical, enjoyable, and above all, a regular part of life, from work to the weekend. Here’s what sets Dutch bicycles apart from other bikes…

1. Step-Through or Low-Step Frame

Most traditional Dutch bikes feature a low, or step-through-style frame, which allows for easy mounting and dismounting as well as a comfortable, casual upright riding position. The design of these popular bikes is especially useful for riders who carry cargo, ride in more formal or rigid attire, or pedal routes where stopping is frequent.

2. Dutch Upright Bicycles

The upright seating position of the Dutch bike is an unmistakable feature and one with many rider benefits, including.

  • Weight shifted onto the legs and hips, reducing pressure on the neck and back, creating a more comfortable ride.
  • Visibility improved for the rider, not only in the immediate vicinity but also in the distance, as the rider’s sightline is extended.
  • Sitting up taller allows the rider to be more easily seen by motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists.

3. Fully Loaded and Ready to Ride

Dutch bicycles typically come with everything a rider needs including a headlight, tail light, bell, storage rack, kickstand, and rear-wheel lock. The bikes are very utility-driven and designed to meet (nearly) every possible need a person might have, and also reduces the demand for car-based trips and errands.

They make great city bikes! The rear rack is especially handy for carrying cargo or attaching additional accessories like panniers or even seats for small children.

4. All-Weather Features

Weather, in the Netherlands, ranges from summery to snowy, with salt-tinged air present in every season. With this in mind, Dutch bikes are designed to suit all weather conditions, with a few special features. These include:

  • Front and rear fenders
  • Skirt and mudguards
  • A covered chain guard
  • Using rust-resistant materials like aluminum

These high quality features not only protect the bike from the elements, but they also help keep the rider clean and comfortable, and able to wear regular clothes while biking, even to the office. The Dutch have another saying, “dress for the destination, not the ride” and this ethos becomes immediately apparent when you visit. You’ll see people dressed up, dressed down, to the nines, and in their jammies, all riding bikes. It’s easy, practical, and above all natural to do in an environment that has put the bike first and developed the best bikes for doing all the activities of daily life.

5. Ride Like The Dutch, Even on Hills

The Netherlands are famously flat, and for this reason, Dutch bikes are typically on the heavier side. They are also typically single speed bikes or bikes with limited speeds. Bikes like this can be challenging to ride in places with more gradients. This is where the wonders of modern technology come to the rescue…hello, ebikes!

Electric bikes have revolutionized the way people get around and opened up the possibility of cycling to a much wider audience. Many of the typical concerns and obstacles have been reduced or alleviated, from worries about being able to keep up with traffic, to fitness fears, to comfort in the saddle. Taking all the great qualities of the Dutch bike and then supercharging them with the power of a dependable, durable, and natural-feeling motor creates the ultimate ride experience.

It’s Dutch with a modern twist. Manufacturers like Royal Dutch Gazelle are combining their years of expertise with top of the line technology to bring the best of both worlds into one bike, or an entire fleet of bikes. Even the Dutch themselves are getting wise to all the perks of ebikes, and it’s common to see them more and more on the streets of Amsterdam, the cycle paths of Utrecht, and the bicycle highways of Nijmegen.

Final Words

So what are the five reasons you should ride like the Dutch? Comfort, convenience, durability, and quality, and if you’re open to embracing the latest technology, ease in the form of an ebike. If you want a bike that not only does it all, but also makes the simple act of cycling feel like a luxury, consider a Dutch style bike.

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