Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Batavus in the USA: The BUB

Batavus has been making bicycles in the Netherlands since 1917 and they know a thing or two about making bikes for the city. Dutch bikes are different from the typical Trek Hybrid here in the US. The drivetrain is hidden away behind chaincases and hubs so that they don't rust when left out in the rain. The metal parts are all treated to withstand the weather. Brakes are typically coaster or drum, so that they're not affected by bent or grimy rims. Most have a rack on the back that can hold an extra passenger. Oh, and they are mostly black and all pretty heavy by US standards (40lbs+).

In recent years Batavus has hoped to capture some of the export market by making bikes with wider appeal. Some, like the Breukelen, are Aluminum-framed modern interpretations of the more classic bikes like the Old Dutch. The BUB is a different animal because it doesn't try to look like any bike you've seen before. Oh, and it costs about half of the typical Batavus.

What makes the BUB so special by US standards?
  • It has a cool paperclip-shaped frame that has won the prestigious iF Award
  • Well, if you needed to Google "iF Award" like me then let me just tell you that it makes Aluminum tubing look really good
  • It comes with a wheel lock for dashing into your favorite Kebab place for carryout
  • You can get it with front/rear lights and front/rear racks
  • The tires are big and wide but it's not for beach cruising
  • You sit upright to see over the backs of bent-over fixie riders ahead of you.
  • You're tempted to add reflectors to the bike because of the cool colored plastic bits they offer
  • It costs $600 and it's not made in China
You can get a BUB this spring at your local Batavus Dealer. If you actually have a local dealer with Dutch bikes you are incredibly lucky. So head to your local Clever Cycles, or Renaissance Bicycles or Copenhagen Cyclery or Bikes@Vienna and give a Dutch bike a ride.

4 comments:

Dottie said...

VERY interesting! Thanks for writing about this - it's the first I've heard about the bike.

bicyclemamy said...

dagnabit! i already tricked out my trek or else THIS would be on my list for sure! very nice...

fairjosette said...

I'm not a big blogger, so excuse me if I'm not supposed to ask, but what do you guys think of this bike (esp. the brake system) for towing a 'halvsie bike' trailer with my 4 year old. I want to go back to bike commuting, but on the weekends, it's all about the kid...and the Batavus looks up my alley for just about everything...

Tom said...

Dottie, how do you go from "not hearing about the bike" to giving one away on your blog the next month? Impressive! Thanks for reading our blog!