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Dutch bikes: appliances, not sporting goods

There are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands: 18 million bikes for 16.3 million people. There are less than 7 million cars. The average Dutch person cycles 902km, or 560 miles, per year. In a country where there are more than twice as many bicycles as cars, most bikes are made to get somewhere, comfortably and in work- or formal- clothes.

Now Dutch bicycles are becoming popular outside of their home country. The Dutch Bike Company based in Seattle has seen so much demand, in their 2 years in business, they’ve expanded to Chicago and now New York City.

The concept is simple: they sell bikes for transportation, not sport. Their bikes are big, heavy and comfortable, with names like Oma (Dutch for grandmother) and Opa (“grandfather”). Like most city bikes, they have an upright frame and come equipped with details to keep your clothes clean (a chain case and mud flaps), and to keep you commuting (a bell and a basket).

In this video, David Schmidt and Stephan Schier of the Dutch Bike Company show us their bikes and explain how they’re not selling sporting goods, but appliances.

We also have a video where Schmidt and Schier explain the Slow Bike Movement and the SUV of bikes (the Bakfiets).