'F' for Fun

My New (Old) Dutch Bicycle

I am the new owner of a used Gazelle! It’s so fun to ride around town.

Dutch Bike | Gazelle Bicycle | Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, IL | Making it Lovely

I had been deep in research mode since Eleanor was interested in a new bike for her birthday. She can ride an 26″ adult-sized bike now, and she wanted something similar to the kids’ Gap-branded Electra Cruiser she learned on. She didn’t just choose something similar, she ended up choosing another Electra Cruiser, this time in the adult size.

Electra Cruiser Bikes

I wrote this post a few years ago about wanting to become “a bike person.” I still feel intimidated by the Capital C Cyclists, but I’m finding friendly people that are happy to help explain things and make newcomers feel more welcome.

Here’s all I know about this new Dutch bike of mine. (My blog is always for myself as much as it is for anyone else, and having written record of things like this has always been super helpful.)

  • 54 cm frame Fits roughly 5’5” – 5’9” — it felt borderline too tall for me at first, but I was used to riding with my seat too low
  • 700 cc tires (same as a 28″ tire?)
  • Fully enclosed chain case (keeps your clothes clean and makes the chain super low maintenance)
  • Shimano internal 7 gear hub
  • Internal cables
  • Dynamo hub powering the front light
  • Integrated rear wheel lock
  • Coaster brakes
  • Front and rear fenders
  • Adjustable stem (handlebars)
  • Integrated bike bell (this is exceedingly cute to me)
  • 2011 “Gazelle NL” — I cannot seem to match this up to an existing model, but the frame looks close to the HeavyDutyNL

Did I go look at the beautiful Gazelle Tour Populaire for sale at JC Lind and wish it was a possibility? You know it. We’re a single-car household, but we live close enough to walk for most errands and I don’t ride my bike enough to justify something higher in price. It is fun to dream though.

By the way, start looking at a few sites selling bikes and pretty soon the ads served to you will be overwhelmingly bicycle-related. There are a lot of direct-to-you bike brands with options starting around $300. The brands I wrote about a few years ago are mostly still in play, plus a whole lot of newcomers. I still like the same step-through models from Public and Linus. Retrospec looks like a great way to get the same look for a much lower price. There were others I was looking at too, but I know little about them other than that they advertised heavily to me.

I joined a local biking group on Facebook a few years ago at the suggestion of a reader, and that’s where I saw the listing for the Gazelle. For the price range I was looking at with the new “Dutch-inspired” bicycles, I could get an actual used Dutch bike. They are famously well-made, low-maintenance, lovely upright bicycles* and I’m quite fond of mine.

* All about Dutch bikes!

Bike Accessories Wish List

I Photoshop doodled all over a picture of my bike isolated on a white background like a tween writing the name of their crush with hearts dotting each “i.” She’s cute and practical — an excellent combination.

Gazelle NL Bicycle Dutch Bike Cute
  • A classic wicker basket.
  • Skirt Guards (I could/should paint flowers à la Rifle Paper Co? Or ladies à la Kyler Martz?)
  • Rear Rack — I need to head back to JC Lind at some point to see about my options. Not sure yet if I want a crate, basket, or panniers once I get a rack on there. A basket in front is best for little light things, and I want to be able to cart bulkier stuff too.
  • New Helmet — Something stylish to protect my brain and skull. This was a priority, so I already ordered and have been wearing this terra cotta Heritage helmet by Thousand.
Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Karen
    May 5, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Love rifle. That is so cutd. I have , pink electra. It will last forever.

  • Wilma
    May 6, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Congratulations. As a first generation Canadian, with Dutchie immigrant parents, I highly recommend Dutch bikes. I love love love love my Dutch bike, which I imported from the Netherlands after living there and riding my aunt’s old bike. I will never go back. There is nothing better, and you will love your bike for the rest of your life. Just so you know, in Dutch, your bike is called an omafiets (pronounced omafeets–translated to grandma bike). Ride with pride!!

  • lsaspacey
    May 12, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Get panniers! I had them on my bike in college, before constant car traveling. Richmond, Virginia’s “Fan” area at the time was full of quaint corner markets and coin laundromats. My roommate and I could grocery shop and take our laundry around in our baskets. She had a square front one and I had both a front basket and large wire panniers on the back. That bike was so handy!