Monday, March 21, 2011

Bike of the Day - Linus Dutchi

Spring is here! Told you I'd be back. I probably won't be able to keep up the posting fervor of last fall, I'll try to find a more manageable pace. No time for photos today but I hope to get out there this week.

Warm day today in DC, though historically we bounce around anywhere between cold rain and warm sunshine between now and May. Spring and fall in DC are second to none, though while fall seems to linger forever, spring too often can be a little twitchy then jumps right to oppressive summer.

Guess it means it's that bike-buying time of year. We know you're thinking about it. When I was in the market a few years ago for my first bike in ages, the Electra Amsterdam was the only Dutch-style bike available around here. Meaning a true upright ride with a chainguard and fenders, not so much to ask, right?

The city's bikescape has definitely changed somewhat for the better, though still too many bikes of the brutally functional variety out there for my taste. Linus bikes, including the Dutchi 3 (shown) are sold at Bicycle Space downtown. I've been seeing some around. I don't know how durable they are but they're attractive, seem to have the geometry right (though not as upright as the Electra), and I recall they're not terribly expensive.

The Bike Rack at 14th and Q Streets can get you on various Batavus models, though you'll need to ask, they don't keep many (sometimes none) in stock. Brands like Schwinn and Globe and even Trek have been getting into the upright game too.

Other suggestions? Or hey, for a mere 75 bucks per year of course there's always the mighty Capital Bikeshare, heading into its first spring bloom.


  1. Hey, I'm really liking your blog, thanks! I live in Pittsburgh, but I'm in DC a lot, and it looks like my best bet for getting a new upright bike is in DC. Where besides The Bike Rack might I find uprights by people who know what an upright should be (that is, not Trek) and who (still) make bikes that last (that is, not Schwinn)?
    Thanks! Kathryn

  2. Hi Kathryn, thanks a lot. Batavus is well known for their enduring bikes, and I think The Bike Rack is the only DC dealer. They don't always have them in stock, you might talk to them, they could order you something.

    Also WorkCycles seems a good bet but not sure you can get them in DC. Maybe Bicycle Space or Bike Rack could order one, they are probably the best places generally. The Linus bikes from BS don't seem like true uprights but are vaguely Euro-ish ;).

    My Electra is not bad, it's smooth, but it would be tough on Pittsburgh hills. Not really because it's heavy and slow (the way it should be ;), but the slight rearward shift of the seat puts your feet closer to the ground but makes for not as efficient pedaling, I think.

    To me there's no one really pushing the upright bikes in DC with true energy and expertise. In NY you'd have a much easier time shopping for a Dutch bike.

    Hope that helps, good luck!

  3. Thanks Bill!

    You're right, I'd have a much easier time in NYC or Chicago shopping for a Dutch bike. Maybe I should just make a trip, but it's such a pain when I'm already in DC every few months.

    You're also right about the hills here, which is a problem. Mainly where I'd be riding on a daily basis is relatively flat, but the "relative" will really get to you after a long day of work. My bf has been pushing a road bike with a more aggressive riding style and lighter frame for this reason, but I'm remaining stubborn. I'll just get something with 8+ gears. There's not much ground he can really stand on, as his road bike is a fixie.

    Thanks again, I'll give the Bike Rack and Bicycle Space a call and see if I can avoid a trip to Chicago or NYC.

    Thanks again!