Dhara the Dutch Bike

So let me tell you about Dhara, my trusty Dutch Bike purchased off of Facebook Marketplace… If I had to sum her up in a few words, I would say she is sturdy, practical, stylish, and low maintenance. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that she is my most favorite acquisition since moving to Germany. Dutch bikes got their name because they originated in the Netherlands. [Insert mental image of riding a bike through a tulip field.] To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even know this style of bike was called Dutch until a local referred to it that way. The Dutch bicycle has an upright riding style that allows for good visibility and comfort. I’ve always owned a sportier hybrid bike, something with functionality between road biking and mountain biking. But I also rode my bike like 3 times a year lol. So when I committed to commuting without a car here in Germany, I wasn’t sure that my old bike would fit the bill. I needed to be able to wear business clothes comfortably while riding. I needed it to be usable in unfavorable weather and able to help transport things easily from the market or store. And that’s exactly what Dhara does for me.

The long wheelbase and low middle bar make it super easy to get on and off of the bike. I don’t have to worry about ripping a seam if I’m in non-athletic pants. The fender protecting the wheelbase makes it safe to use even while wearing a skirt or longer coat. As the days begin to get shorter going into winter, I am becoming very thankful for the front and rear power lighting. The bike is also equipped with a basket and rear rack. This makes grocery and drink market runs SO much easier. Austin will gladly share how much he loved carrying a case of beer back to our house before we snagged this bike. We were previously walking and carrying everything home in bags and/or backpacks. There’s no way I could go back to that now.

Some other classic features of the Dutch bike include back pedal brakes and minimal gears. Back pedal or coaster brakes are uncommon in the US, although you may remember using them on your first bicycle as a kid. My bike has both back pedal as well as hand brakes, but a nice feature nonetheless. It has a very basic 3 gears which are absolutely sufficient for my commute. It also has a powder-coated frame to provide protection from the rain and snow. I will have to report back after the first winter here, but I hear that this style of bike will require little to no maintenance. It is designed to withstand weather and can even be stored outside. Generally, a bike exposed to such weather would rust and require chain oiling. I already love this low-maintenance quality of my girl 😉

The bike brand I have is Excelsior, model Swan Urban. Again, we got it off of Facebook Marketplace, so I wasn’t originally seeking the brand out specifically. Shortly after acquiring the bike, I realized that Excelsior is a highly sought-after brand, known for its Retro charm and practicality. All I know is that it makes me feel cool and European LOL I’ll include a link to the Excelsior site, but it looks like they are only available for direct purchase in the EU.

Check them out here!

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