Old Dutch

Before I found the Raleigh Tourist, I came across the Batavus Old Dutch online.  I have recently had the chance to have a proper look at one up close, parked up outside work.  The bike is priced around the £350 mark, which is quite reasonable considering some of the components on the bike.  On closer inspection however, some of the component choices of the Batavus are quite baffling.

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The bike has the usual mudguards, chain case, skirt guard, rack and dynamo lights you would expect from this kind of bike.  The saddle appears to be a pretty basic affair, the frame is nicely lugged, although I think that the seat tube angle is a bit steep for this kind of bike.

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The Old Dutch comes with a SRAM 3 speed internal hub gear with coaster brake.  It is odd to see SRAM internal hub gears on a bike in this price range because of the three main manufacturers of internal hub gears (Sturmey Archer and Shimano being the other two), SRAM are by far and away the most expensive.

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Presumably because of the expensive rear hub, Batavus decided to cut corners on the front-end of the bike:

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The front end of the bike has a rather uncharacteristic calliper brake instead of a drum brake, and the dynamo is a bottle dynamo rather than a hub dynamo.  I am curious as to why Batavus would choose such an expensive rear hub only to pair it with such low-end components on the front.  For the same money as this set up they could have used a Sturmey-Archer or Shimano 3-speed coaster brake hub on the rear wheel and a Sturmey drum brake and dynamo hub on the front (or a Shimano roller brake and dynamo hub if they wanted to go down the Shimano route).

Having seen one of these bikes up close, I am quite glad I ended up finding the Raleigh Tourist instead.

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4 thoughts on “Old Dutch

  1. The caliper brake is just a cheap addition to make them legal to sell over here. In the Netherlands bicycles only need one brake.As for the SRAM rear, I found this site yesterday that seems to big up SRAMS P5 Cargo for anything heavy duty. It may be that the 3 speed Batavus use is just more rugged, although Sturmeys AW3 hasn't been so successful for no reason, so I'm as mystified as you Mr C.

  2. I can see why you wouldn't want to rely on a single rear brake for all your stopping needs, regardless of what all the brakeless fixies say. It does seem odd that they would put a caliper on rather than a front drum.The P5 is supposed to be the internal hub gear of choice for cargo use, although the price is a bit steep. The Workcycles Bakfiets used a 3,5,7 or 8 speed Shimano internal hub gear without problems and AW3s from before WW2 are still bought and sold as perfectly useable. I think if I was going to splash out that much I'd go all the way and get a Nuvinci CVP hub. They are rated for cargo use and on The Long Walk To Green blog there is a lot of technical info on using one as part of a Yuba Mundo.

  3. The single brake thing over there is probably more to do with the lack of hills and the laid back riding they do. Never been unfortunately, but thats the impression most of the blogs over there give.Is the Nuvinci hub a goer now? I remember reading a positive first impressions in Velo Vision a couple of years ago when I had a subscription, but I think it was completely new idea at the time.

  4. Yeah, there is a new version out now, Practical Cycles have it. It is a great concept and it is nice to see it gaining traction. There may even be a handful of production bikes which use it now too.

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