Inspired by Copenhagen Cycle Chic

The Dutch Bike

De Nederlandse fiets

The Dutch Bike – Zahid Sardar

In decades the design of the most popular bike in the Netherlands has hardly changed. The Dutch love the simplicity, the upright position and the everlasting steel frame of their bikes. Now that cycling becomes more popular in other countries, the Dutch omafiets and opafiets gains popularity all over the world. In the book ´De Nederlandse fiets-The Dutch Bike´ design critic Zahid Sardar describes the history of the traditional Dutch bike and looks at the new trendy versions of the bike by Dutch designers. A great and easy to read book about Dutch cycling culture and design.


Origin of the Dutch bike
Did you know that the design of the ‘Dutch bike’ actually isn’t Dutch? The Dutch got the design from the French vélocipède and the English Rover bike. At the end of the 19th century bicycle production increased and Dutch brands like Burgers, Fongers and Union where getting bigger and bigger. The import of cheap steel from the US and the fast industrialisation in Europe turned the bicycle from a product for the elite into a product for huge parts of the Dutch population. Many women cycled too and the design of the bike was adapted to women with long dresses cycling (‘the looped frame’: the omafiets).

De Nederlandse fietsDe Nederlandse fiets - Zahid Sardar

Dutch design: new trendy bikes
The traditional omafiets and opafiets might be the most common in the Netherlands, but there are also many new designs on the market. It becomes more and more trendy to have a cool and special bike. So Dutch designers started to make new bikes, often based on the traditional design, experimenting with materials, position and colours. Popular ones at the moment are amongst others the urban Vanmoof bikes, the wooden Bough Bikes and Urban Arrow, an electric-assist cargo bike.

Dutch Design bicycles

Dutch design: Urban Arrow and Van Moof

– Order a copy of the book The Dutch Bike at Nai Publishers

4 responses

  1. thank you ..

    December 14, 2012 at 15:18

  2. Andrew

    Does this book investigate the biomechanics of the Dutch bike, and how the body position determine the effort of the journey. Thats why cycling culture is so frantic in other countries because the sell nearly only sports designed bikes. Many people do not understand the connection between design and effort.

    December 14, 2012 at 18:38

  3. I just bought this book 🙂 Can’t wait till it arrives. I have a tag attached to my dutch bicycles when I leave them outside so people can read because they are always gawking at them.

    December 18, 2012 at 18:32

  4. Pingback: Leggy Sunday « Amsterdam Cycle Chic

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