Womens Dutch style bike advice for beginner, commuting in London

Hi All :smile:

I've been driving myself crazy researching bikes and hope that I can get some opinions. My work have a cycle to work scheme and i'm not looking to spend more than £700 for a bike. I am also not in a super rush, so willing to wait for websites to get their stock back!

I want a bike for just quick rides around the city (shopping etc) with the potential to use it for a 7 mile commute once I grow in confidence. I have been looking mostly at dutch style hybrid bikes as I like the stylish look of them. I also would be planning to wear skirts, dresses etc rather than bike gear. I am 5ft 1, so looking at a small bike where i can hopefully steady my feet on the ground when stopped (this is a confidence thing again!).

I have gathered a lot of cyclist enthusiasts are not keen on these "style over substance" bicycles but wondered if there was any that would fit my needs? These are a few I have seen which i like the look of. I am a complete novice when it comes to bike brands, parts, quality etc. These are all based on the style.

https://www.halfords.com/bikes/classic-bikes/pashley-princess-classic-womens-bike-636721.html - Pashley Princess / Poppy
https://bellsbicycles.co.uk/collect...e-bikes/products/ryedale-hayleigh-3-speed-hub - Ryedale - mix of diff styles
https://bellsbicycles.co.uk/collections/step-through-frame-bikes/products/linus-dutchi - Linus
https://www.halfords.com/bikes/hybr...-midnight-blue---17in-19in-frames-507647.html - Pendleton Somerby / Ashwell
https://www.halfords.com/bikes/clas...ssic-bike---17in-19in-21in-frames-652983.html Raleigh Fern

Im really open to suggestions of others / reviews from experiences with these bikes.


Thanks in advance,

Lauren
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
:welcome:

The 'both feet on the ground' style of riding a bike is very painful on the knees, when stopping you should be ready to scoosh forward off the saddle if you need to get both feet on the ground to feel safe.
 

kynikos

Über Member
Location
Elmet
Nothing wrong with a bit of cycling chic!

With your intended use I'd go for hub gears - low maintenance and cleaner. I also think, if your wearing street clothes, that an enclosed chainguard would be of benefit.

If you can run to the cost of the Pashley you'll be getting a fair bit more bike than the others.
 

Mrs M

Guru
Location
Aberdeenshire
:welcome:
My Pashley Tube Rider is lovely to ride (and very pretty).
Only 5 gears and a bit heavy but shifts along nicely and climbs the same hills as the road bike and MTB.
I am 5 foot 2 and have the saddle way up high (just my preference).
If you don’t like the bright colours the Pashley Para Bike is basically the same.
522532
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
The Dutch style of bike can be very practical. At the big annual bike show one year they had a short "urban" test track with about 20-30 test bikes of many utility/folding style. The standout bike was Pashley Princess. The ride quality is noticeably better.
For riders of your size I would recommend a proportionally sized wheel, ie the 26" mtb size rather than the usual larger 700c. Pashley fit proportional wheels according to frame size.
Lightweight bikes are more important for smaller, weaker riders. Make sure you can lift the bike over high curbs and steps if necessary. Better steel bikes can be lightweight as can midmarket aluminium frames.
I like an easy riding, all weather, grab and go urban bike with modern hub gears, hub or disk brakes and hub dynamo lighting system.
Wicker baskets are not only stylish, they are light and durable, as long as the mounting system is effective. Full mudguards are essential and a rear luggage rack, or the threaded eyelets to fix one finish the utility package.

The bad rep some Dutch bikes get is because of the excessive weight of some models. Light and nimble is easier and safer to ride.
 
There's nothing style over substance about Dutch style bikes at all. In the Netherlands, where they know a lot about commuting and shopping by bike, there are millions of them, probably the majority.

If anything they are a triumph of substance over style.

They are often quite heavy with a fairly narrow gear range, great for riding in fairly flat areas, but not so great on steep hills.
 

HMS_Dave

Über Member
Location
Midlands
My Missus has this a B'Twin Elops 520 from Decathlon. Shes had it 7 or 8 months now with no issues whatsoever, rides really well.

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/elops-520-step-over-classic-bike-mint-id_8378613.html

Not that we've had to do anything other than chain lubing and pumping air into the tyres, but it's simple components means, cheap and easy repairs...

I will EDIT to add that ive noticed its not in stock at all in any size or any colour, which is a sign of the times we live in at the minute...
 
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slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
There's nothing style over substance about Dutch style bikes at all. In the Netherlands, where they know a lot about commuting and shopping by bike, there are millions of them, probably the majority.

If anything they are a triumph of substance over style.

They are often quite heavy with a fairly narrow gear range, great for riding in fairly flat areas, but not so great on steep hills.
The Dutch may not have many hills but they have something else......headwinds, lots of them, and brutal.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
There's nothing style over substance about Dutch style bikes at all. In the Netherlands, where they know a lot about commuting and shopping by bike, there are millions of them, probably the majority.

If anything they are a triumph of substance over style.
Absolutely right. The traditional roadster, because that's really what we are talking about, is the ultimate in practical cycling. You ride them wearing any clothes, and they just get the job done.

Look no further than the roadies with their high end weight weeny carbons, garish wheel decals, colour-co-ordinated pedals, cycling shoes, drink bottles, jerseys etc if you want an example of style over substance. :laugh:
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
The Dutch don't regard themselves as "Cyclists", according to a survey I read long ago. They own bikes and use them to get about, and it works very well for them. "Cyclists" are a small minority who ponce about in helmets and silly clothing.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
The Dutch don't regard themselves as "Cyclists", according to a survey I read long ago. They own bikes and use them to get about, and it works very well for them. "Cyclists" are a small minority who ponce about in helmets and silly clothing.
According to that definition, I'm not a "cyclist" then, as I just own and ride bikes - rather than ponce around in all the fashion show gear trying to kid myself I've got anything in common with pro riders earning a living..
 
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