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Walmart goes Dutch with "Hollandia" model

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 11th, 2011 at 11:51 pm

$249 for Walmart's new Dutch bike. Notice how Walmart's website puts "Adult Bikes" in the "Toys" section.

The Dutch bike invasion into the United States has reached a new level. Walmart now sells the classic "Opa" style Dutch bike for $249. Check out the new Hollandia Opa Citi 28" Cruiser Bike (that "cruiser" label will surely make Dutch bike purists cringe)...

"Hollandia"

The bike was inspired by the classic Opa model made famous by Workcycles. To give you an idea of what an authentic Dutch bike costs, Clever Cycles sells the Workcycles Opa for $1,599.

The Hollandia is made in China and boasts a front and rear "Dutch-style rack," bell, light, chainguard and a dualie kickstand. It even comes standard with fenders. Hollandia is not a Walmart house brand. It was created in 2010 by U.S. importer Cycle Force Group.

Dutch bikes have been growing in popularity in the U.S. ever since they first became available at the end of 2006. Electra helped popularize them with their "Amsterdam" line, which launched in fall 2006.

I haven't seen one of Walmart's Hollandia's in person yet, but I hope it's put together well (a $249 price point doesn't give me much confidence). I think it'd be interesting to buy one and give it a thorough review (similar to what I did when the Electra Amsterdam first hit the market in November 2006); but I have mixed feelings about giving any money to Walmart.

What do you think?

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Comments
  • captainkarma July 11, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Looks like something the Wicked Witch of the West would ride. This seriously looks like a generic southeast asia family bike, dooded up and painted black to look Dutch. Whatever. I don't spend a dime @ MalWart. Sorry to be so negative. How could you build a new bike, ship it, and pay the workers in a civilized fashion, all for $249?

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  • Chris July 12, 2011 at 12:27 am

    It's destined to be recycled scrap metal at the Community Cycling Center!

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  • Jonah July 12, 2011 at 12:39 am

    If it works and is as utilitarian like a Dutch bike without the cost barrier of one, then I'm glad it's being made more accessible!

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  • Ann Marie van den Hurk July 12, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Love it, but I want an Oma Fiets! Actually, I'd really like an bakfiets, which is the Dutch Mom's minvan, but they are really expensive in the US.

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    • KYouell July 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Every once in awhile you'll find used bakfiets; that's how we were able to afford one. Clever Cycles tweets about them when they show up on Craigslist. Good luck!

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  • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 12:57 am

    While it's always good that more affordable 'normal' bikes become available, I'm sorry to say this is a bike you want to steer around. I've seen it before in a British online shop. It's a 100% Chinese copy. So certainly not Dutch, in any way, there's absolutely no 'quality' to speak of (and there are plenty of pointers for Dutch eyes, just from looking at this picture), you'll definitely get a headache from it falling apart in a few months time. It's like buying a Yugo and expecting Volkswagen durability/reliability.

    So you're correct, Jonathan, your suspicion is right on the money.

    (PS: this is written NOT in defense of a Dutch brand like Workcycles or other Dutch bikes, but really as advice to people to spend their money wisely. As we say over here: goedkoop is duurkoop. Aka, 'cheap is expensive'.)

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    • Andy July 12, 2011 at 4:53 am

      Volkswagen has terrible reliability when you take their whole line-up into consideration, according to reader feedback at consumer reports.

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    • Piet July 18, 2011 at 7:49 am

      http://www.hollandiafietsen.nl/ And HOW is this from China exactly? You people should get your facts straight.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 18, 2011 at 8:37 am

        Piet,

        Thanks for the link.

        I just called Cycle Force Group (the U.S. distributor of Hollandia) and they confirmed for me that the Hollandia sold in Walmart is designed in Holland and made in China. Interestingly, the Hollandia bikes sold in Holland are made in Bulgaria from Chinese parts.

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  • Brad Hawkins July 12, 2011 at 2:12 am

    I don't know, I go to Europe fairly regularly and most of the bikes being ridden are of this variety: cheaply made, pedals falling apart, loose cranks, and wobbly hubs. For a bike to be truly useful to someone who doesn't consider themselves a cyclist, it has to have everything this bike has and nothing more (ok, perhaps a bottle generator and some lights, $20 more).

    These bikes will last longer than you think and are certainly more useful and durable than a $200 full suspension bike also found at Walmart. I would much rather see your run of the mill migrant worker riding early in the morning to Home Depot/poor or DUI non-cyclist ride this useful bicycle.

    I ride some fairly expensive and well curated bikes but I'm glad that there is something like this out there that the a new or uncommitted cyclist can start out with, ride in the rain, and wear normal clothes.

    I say chapeau!

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    • chris July 12, 2011 at 4:40 am

      I live and repair bikes in Europe, and the ones of which you speak bear no similarity to this creature. The bikes I see by the thousands in places like Stockholm and Helsinki look oldish and clunky, but have been around for decades, ridden hard through ridiculous winters, and are repaired perhaps once every five years. They have a high resale value, and are extremely popular. The Wal-bike above, if ridden to the extent of European bikes, will be incapacitated within six months, if not sooner. They're disposable, dangerous, and simply exploiting a trend.

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    • Carrie July 17, 2011 at 12:09 am

      I agree with this. And in actuality, this is how it work in NL as well. Most people have cheap bikes. It works because it makes the threshold low and it isn't a disaster when it is stolen - yet again - at the station. I paid about E150 for my last bike and have been happily riding it on a daily basis for the better part of a year with little problems. Idem ditto with most of my bikes. If you want to have an "authentic Dutch" bicycle, perhaps ironically, something cheap will more likely fit the bill.

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  • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Brad, there's a big difference between the 'cheaply made' bikes you've seen here and this particular one. The first were actually well made and have been abused to no end and are, despite all that, still being used. This 'Hollandia' wouldn't last 3 months with everyday use. I agree with you that this *type* of bike should become more mainstream and enable anyone 'non-cyclists' (odd, but ok, I get the US perspective) to afford a practical & safe bike, but prices are relative. A low-income person spending $250 on a bike that will fall apart quickly will most likely hurt his/her wallet more than it would more affluent people.

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    • spare_wheel July 12, 2011 at 8:45 am

      3 months? That is nonsense. I see lots of perfectly functional 10 year old walmart and huffy bikes for sale at yard sales.

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    • Brian July 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Three months is complete nonsense. I have ridden such "low quality" bikes for years and years, only needing to replace the tires.

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  • dwainedibbly July 12, 2011 at 4:38 am

    If Wal-Mart thinks that the US market for this type of bike is big enough for them to get involved, then maybe we're getting somewhere after all. I just hope that the inevitably cruddy quality doesn't create bad experiences and turn potential cyclists away from cycling before they really get started.

    And it might be a good source for chain cases!

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  • mikep July 12, 2011 at 5:30 am

    As someone noted above, while this is not a high-quality bike, it is still good to see for a few reasons. Walmart is a trend follower, not a trend setter when it comes to styles and fashions. If they are putting this bike out there, it is a good indicator that a healthy market for Dutch-style bikes exists.

    For a certain set of people, the big box store is going to be where they get their first bike for one reason or another (price point, convenience (especially in areas without a lot of bike saturation), that's where the parents buy everything else, etc.). That's not going to change soon. Before this bike, that meant everyone was getting a cheap mountain bike. Now, it means someone thinking about riding to work can see a more practical option. If it turns out they like riding, when they go to upgrade they'll discover "real" bikes just like the one they have but better. If the bike ends up in the garage like so many other do, someone gets an even better deal at a garage sale someday.

    As for the the "it won't last three months" comments - we don't have the facts to say that. Obviously it is not of high quality, but it might easily hang in there for years depending on the level/conditions of use. Or it might implode after a dozen rides. We have no test data to go on here.

    Jonathan - how about BikePortland buys one of these (business expense), tests it out, reports on the ride, have some bike mechanics give their opinion of its strengths/weaknesses, etc. Then you can donate it to a charity (if you deem it safe enough) when you are done. Alternately, you can probably review it and return it as long as you don't crash it :)

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    • craig July 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Like that last suggestion. Have someone ride it daily for the rest of the summer and report in weekly.

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    • Robert July 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      +1 to mikep

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    • S July 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Capital idea...also great publicity for all involved.

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    • KJ July 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      and maybe try to buy it from the company or another retailer who carries it and not from walmart or something.

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  • 3-speeder July 12, 2011 at 5:56 am

    There is something I've been thinking of recently that this post reminds me of.

    For many people, especially those in the "interested but concerned" group, the price of a quality bicycle is one of the barriers they face. For someone who hasn't ridden a bicycle in 20 or more years, spending $1000-$2000 can be a tough choice. This is why such Wal-Mart bikes can find buyers.

    When someone buys a new car, the value of the car decreases significantly the next day, and after 5-10 years, the car is only worth a small fraction of its new price, even if it is maintained well. (Yes, there are exceptions to this, but I think those are a small percentage of cars.)

    I've never seen any analysis on how a new bicycle loses (or gains) value after owning it for 5-10 years. I have a feeling that if one pays $1000-$2000 (or more) for a quality new bicycle, then over time that bicycle's value will remain in the ballpark of its original price (assuming it is maintained properly, etc.).

    To regard a bicycle as a transportation vehicle, the same value analysis that is used for cars should be considered upon purchase. The initial outlay for a quality new bicycle is only 5-10% of an average new car, and if one wants to sell it in 5 years in order to upgrade, one can get back most of the original investment, or at least a far higher percentage of the original investment than a car would retain.

    Do others agree with this sentiment? If so, should this sort of bicycle economics be more prominently discussed to encourage the "interested but concerned" to go ahead and spend that $1000-$2000?

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    • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

      "For someone who hasn't ridden a bicycle in 20 or more years, spending $1000-$2000 can be a tough choice."
      Dude, who do you hang out with? $2,000 for a bike? Have you heard of Craigslist? I can get any bike I want for less than $100, and these are bikes that cost plenty when I was a kid. Now they're marked way way down. Heck, I can even get a Cannondale or a Klein mountain bike from yesteryear for a couple hundred bucks on Craigslist.

      To your larger point about loss of value. I think it is quite similar to cars, unfortunately--or fortunately for those of us who don't buy anything new.

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      • Mike July 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

        You can find a used dutch bike for less than $100 ?!?!?

        You should offer your CL skills for hire! I would pay you to find stuff. First, I want a touring bike for my wife. Titanium frame with Ultegra 10 spd triple. 56 cm. I will give you a 50% finders fee, so $150?

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        • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm

          9watts: "I can get any bike I want for less than $100..."

          Mike: "You can find a used dutch bike for less than $100 ?!?!? You should offer your CL skills for hire!"

          You didn't read what I wrote. I don't want a Dutch bike. Nor do I want a titanium bike. I grew up in Germany and so-called Dutch bikes were everywhere. Boring. Heavy. No good on gravel, steep hills, etc. I got a mountain bike in 1986 and have never looked back. I've put street tires, fenders, racks, & lights on mine for the last 20+ years. That is the kind of bike I find useful, sturdy, reliable, cheap, and would recommend to anyone who wanted to get around and/or didn't know much about bikes. You prefer something else? Fine. I'm not making any money off this.

          To all who wouldn't recommend Craigslist to their friends, how hard is it to give them a few pointers, evaluate the seller's photos, go along with them? Geez. I've gotten probably a half dozen sturdy bikes on CL, all for <$150. Pump up the tires, tune the brakes, lube the chain and you're off.

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          • Mike July 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm

            Bah! You had me excited for nothing. I was hoping that by providing you with an financial incentive, you would "want" a titanium touring bike you could then sell to me.

            Since this article was about dutch bikes, I wrongly inferred that you were talking about the same thing.

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          • Paul Johnson July 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm

            I guess the bright side is that for most of Walmart territory, hills are few and far between.

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  • Al from PA July 12, 2011 at 6:13 am

    This might come as a shock to some in the US, but the typical, generic Dutch bike *in Amsterdam*, the kind that pretty much lasts forever until it is dumped in the canal, does not cost all that much more--when there I saw them in the $400 range. The rack on the front was about $40, separate.

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  • Spiffy July 12, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I think it's great that Walmart is offering a Dutch styled bike to the masses...

    I'm of the same mindset as dwainedibbly in that it seems like we're heading in a good direction if this is what is now mainstream...

    yes, of course it's cheaply made and the laborers suffered... just like with most cheap things made in Asia...

    the seat stay isn't even welded... and all those bolt connections on the racks will make it flimsy when loaded up with lots of bags of redemption bottles...

    they should have made it a 3-speed and kept it under $200...

    but it has a rack, fenders, and chain guard... I say kudos to a utilitarian city starter bike that we can hope gets people interested enough to buy a real one after a couple years of casually using this one on more and more trips back to Walmart...

    also, it comes in lots of cool colors and sizes, including a step-through "women's" version... kid's versions start at $189 and adult ones go all the way to $399... The $399 one is a much better made bike... it has a 3-speed internal hub with roller brake, and a welded seat stay...

    although they need to get it out of the Toys category and list it only in Sports & Fitness...

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  • DK July 12, 2011 at 7:54 am

    This doesn't deserve press. Let Walmart pay for their own adverts.

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    • Chris I July 12, 2011 at 8:14 am

      I think it does. It's a major sign of a culture swing here. It's a sign that the huddled masses are transitioning from $150 mountain bikes that they will ride on a MUP 2 times a year, to a more utilitarian bike that will be used more often, reducing auto use.

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  • fiets503 July 12, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Yes, if Wal Mart is willing to play in this market, then the dutch utility bicycle "trend" must be gaining traction here in the U.S.

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  • ethan July 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

    People don't need a $1000+ bike to get out of their cars and onto bikes. Suggesting that it is anything other than good news that Walmart is extending its bike selection beyond the cheapo mountain bikes I saw last time I was there is bald elitism at its worst. I hate to say it but it is true.

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    • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 8:16 am

      We had this discussion when IKEA gave away even cheaper bikes, and some folks defended the move and others excoriated them for not supporting the local bike industry or making a more serious move to actually encourage cycling by their employees, etc. I think there are reasonable arguments on both sides. And let's not forget that in other countries IKEA does take bikes and its customers' need for them seriously (see avatar).

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    • lyle July 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Really? Bike's that will, undoubtedly, break down in short order is good for reeling people into biking? It's the reverse.. I think it will turn people off and make them think it's the norm and give up. Not only that, Walmart doesn't have an adequate mechanical maintenance policy/warranty (and if they do, their 'mechanics' are a joke), so kiss that difference goodbye in the first couple of years.

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      • Antload July 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

        Important point.

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      • wsbob July 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

        Check out part of Todd Boulanger's comment, July 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm: "...The $28 three year repair service warranty is crazy great..."

        $28 bucks extra on top of the bike's price, and you can hassle wallyworld for the next 3 years if, and whenever so much as a bolt or a screw comes loose.

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  • Mike Quigley July 12, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Saw one of these on display (not for sale, you have to order it, free shipping) at the West 11th store in Eugene. It's a clunker, but well worth $250 more so than an authentic Dutch bike is worth $1500.

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  • spokesy July 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I can already hear the creaking and feel the ungainliness of the thing. Just looking at it makes me imagine which bolts are going to snap off the first time it carries a load on the porter rack and imagine which parts are plastic, mashed together and/or ungreased before assembly.

    In my formative years, I worked at a Wal*Mart in the bakery, but would see the bike mechanic in the backroom in the mornings putting together the new shipments. It was unfortunately akin to an Ikea assemblage what with the assembly cue sheet spread out in front of him - and still managing to put it together shoddily.

    At Fred Meyers, for instance, it has become a past-time on my various shopping trips to walk through the bike dept and note which ones have their front forks on backwards and the like.

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    • Brian E. July 12, 2011 at 8:55 am

      "Fred Meyers" Ha, spoken like a true local. Don't you know that it is Fred Meyer now?

      I'm always catching myself saying it as Fred Meyers too.

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    • middle of the road guy July 12, 2011 at 11:09 am

      "I can already hear the creaking and feel the ungainliness of the thing."

      I feel the same way about all those production road bikes when I ride my Seven, Indy Fab or Vanilla.

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  • Mike July 12, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I love all reading all the expert opinions that this bike wouldn't last 3 months. When was the last time anyone on BP bought a Walmart bike and conducted a long term review?
    I contemplating buying this bike and riding it for that long just to test it.
    At least then one "expert" opinion would be based on first hand knowledge rather than "I looked closely at the internet picture and compared the specs to a bike that cost 6.5x as much".

    Using the car analogy that someone above referenced, we are talking about the difference between a base model Hyundai Accent ($10,000) and a loaded Mercedes Benz E550 AWD ($65,000). A fair comparison? Only if you have the means and desire to buy the Mercedes.

    I hated Walmart for what they did (do) to small businesses, but I have begun to recognize that they are capable of making good contributions to society. Fortunately, I currently make enough money I do not have to shop there.

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    • dmc July 12, 2011 at 9:11 am

      :)

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  • Joe Adamski July 12, 2011 at 8:32 am

    The description walmart provides is pretty useless. Details like weight ( 55# Shipping weight does not give much clue as to actual bike weight) frame materials ( high tensile steel offers little information regarding frame/forks/stem). I question the 28" x 1.75" tires, not a common size in the US, much more expensive/inconvenient/hard to find than a 27" or 700cc tire/tube.
    For all of that, if it gets someone to ride to the grocers rather than driving, or provides introduction to cycling because someone thinks the bike is 'cute', thats fine. My son once spent 4 times that amount on a sound system for his car. Guess which would provide the most value, in my eyes: a $250 reproduction bike or a $1000 mobile boom box?

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    • Jacob July 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      28x1.75 is the same as a 700x47

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      • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

        Care to elaborate?
        http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

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        • Jacob July 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm

          If you scroll to the table in your link that shows decimal sizes, "28x Any decimal size (1.75 in this case) has the same ISO sizing as 700c (622). Check out the sidewall of a Continental Touring Plus and you'll see the 28 x 1.75 designation.

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          • Jacob July 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

            or maybe 1.50 or something depending on width.

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            • GlowBoy December 12, 2013 at 11:02 am

              Jacob's right. "700c", "700xN", "28xN" and "29xN" are all designations in common use that refer to the 622mm rim size. 28x1.75 is indeed equivalent to 700x45.

              622 used to be found mostly on LBS-level road and hybrid bikes, and almost never on discount-store-level bikes, but I'm increasingly seeing it on hybrid and even mountain bikes at the Fred Meyer/Target type stores. And Fred Meyer now stocks tubes and tires in those sizes, which they never used to do.

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  • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Here's a bit about the company which markets these bicycles, Cycle Force Group:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_Force_Group

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  • Forseti July 12, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Buying things at Wal-Mart is un-American.

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    • Mike July 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Ha! That is rich....

      Tell that to the millions of Americans that either have no other options in their towns, or are too poor to shop anywhere else.

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  • spare_wheel July 12, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I think the fact that walmart is selling dutch bikes is a sign that the dutch bike craze is coming to an end.

    Why would anyone pay an enormous price premium for a bike that wieghs 35 lbs, is impossible to ride up a hill, and uses anachronistic and obsolete technology. Its always been far more about form than function.

    Bikesnob says it best:

    "It took a few years, but it would appear that people are finally coming to terms with the fact that New York is not in fact Copenhagen or Amsterdam...You've got to hand it to them, though--they really tried to maintain the illusion for a few years. Remember those articles about "cycle biker chic?" Remember when we were all going to be riding Dutch Bikes?"

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    • Dave July 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

      I'm not going to say "we'll all be riding Dutch bikes" - or that we all should. But if expensive derailleurs and disc brakes are modern technology, I'll personally take my anachronistic 3-speed internally geared hub and drum brakes any day for my city bike.

      I think it's important to note that this bike is likely just as much an approximation of the average European city bike as the Electra Amsterdam is, and that cutting-edge technology is often not particularly reliable or durable, especially when used roughly, heavily.

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  • Dave July 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Speaking as someone who bought an Electra Amsterdam, assuming it would be a once-in-a-while bike, and then finding I loved riding it... I had the experience of it falling apart on me under daily use, and I probably spent the cost of the bike over again in repairs and upgrades to make it not fall apart and make it more practically useful (rebuilding the rear wheel with a sturdy rim, for instance, so I wouldn't break any more spokes while carrying weight on the back).

    While that was really annoying, it did get me started riding a bike for transportation, and now I'm riding a 30-yr-old Raleigh that is rock-solid and I love it (http://www.flickr.com/photos/poetas/5910326543/).

    I have a lot of thoughts about things made to be disposable, and I would rather not see things mass-produced which are going to fall apart and end up in junk heaps - and I think our American idea of value could also use some major re-arranging (the Dutch "cheap is expensive" motto is much more apt, I think, than our "cheap is a good value" - and most of the time I think it's worth spending money for quality, even if you have to wait for it), but it may be that these serve to make riding a bike actually viable for some people.

    Mixed feelings. I think too, as culture changes and a bicycle becomes more commonly thought of as a practical investment, people will be more willing to initially save up and pop for a quality one - whereas it's still looked upon as a gamble and/or a recreation by most people.

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  • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 8:38 am

    The bike appears to weigh ~44 lbs. See:
    http://lightenupbikes.com/hollandia-opa-dutch-style-city-bike.aspx

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  • Brad Hawkins July 12, 2011 at 8:46 am

    This bike will last a lot longer than people realize. Here are some links to the kinds of bikes people in Europe actually buy, not the kinds of bikes we bike people imagine that Europeans buy:
    http://online.carrefour.fr/sports-et-loisirs/cycles-et-accessoires/velos-de-ville/
    http://www.zweirad-stadler.com/shop/fahrrad-shop/city-raeder.html,r132

    Here are some new versions of what we imagine we would ride if we lived in Amsterdam (from a real bike shop): http://www.zweirad-stadler.com/shop/fahrrad-shop/hollandrad-nostalgie.html,r721

    And here is what the dutch are actually buying: http://omafietsen.nl/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=390

    None of the above listed bikes are any better than the Wallmart bike discussed above and Europeans ride these things for years and years with little problem.

    This Walmart bike is right in the ballpark and everything that a noob bike should be. I hope that Walmart sells 50 million of these things because it would completely change cycling in America into something that we would like to see.

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    • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 8:56 am

      Brad: you couldn't be more wrong. Yes, there are cheap bikes anywhere, also in NL. You wanna know what the AVERAGE retail price is that Dutch people pay for a new bike? 2009: 749 euros. 2010: 789 euros.

      Yes, average!

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      • middle of the road guy July 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

        So what is the 'average' price that people in the US pay for a new bike?

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  • Brian E. July 12, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Looks every bit the same quality as other $250 bikes.

    Very similar to my old 1960's Columbia. Just take good care for it, don't beat on it, and don't expect a premium riding experience.

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  • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 8:53 am

    spare_wheel
    I think the fact that walmart is selling dutch bikes is a sign that the dutch bike craze is coming to an end.
    Why would anyone pay an enormous price premium for a bike that wieghs 35 lbs, is impossible to ride up a hill, and uses anachronistic and obsolete technology. Its always been far more about form than function.
    Bikesnob says it best:
    "It took a few years, but it would appear that people are finally coming to terms with the fact that New York is not in fact Copenhagen or Amsterdam...You've got to hand it to them, though--they really tried to maintain the illusion for a few years. Remember those articles about "cycle biker chic?" Remember when we were all going to be riding Dutch Bikes?"

    Impossible to ride up a hill? Obsolete technology? More form than function? What planet are you on? No, really?

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  • John July 12, 2011 at 8:55 am

    A lot of speculation here in the comments, but since no one has bought or ridden the Wal Mart bike, I think we can safely say that no one really knows what level of quality it is. With that said, I'd hope that someone would buy it so we could get this conversation started on solid footing!

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  • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Apparently I don't really know what I'm talking about & the bike is given the benefit of the doubt.

    I like there to be cheap bikes. Cheap bikes can be good (enough)...sometimes. Obviously, it's up to each individual to determine whether they can live with unreliable parts or quality of construction & ride, which will end have them spending more than average on repairs and what not. As is often the case with purchasing products: pay a little more to save a bit in the long term.

    People are saying we shouldn't rush to judgement without some testing etc. Sure. That's why I can't wait for the Ding Ding Let's Ride blog to follow up on this.

    I've used and seen others buy & ride this exact type of (imitation) bike, countless of times. No exception: all crap. Whatever you think you're going to do with it, daily use, or occasionally, you're going to be disappointed. It's fine if you feel you don't have enough to go on. My comment was meant as an honest warning, based on experience, trying to save people, who don't know these types that well (and are lured into the whole 'Dutch bike' thing), the trouble of going through a bad experience.

    PS: the whole 'but well worth $250 more so than an authentic Dutch bike is worth $1500.' is really a ridiculous notion. And no, I'm not being elitist.

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  • steve bice July 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Guess what,we live in a $10.00 an hour world now.There for,this is a good bike. I own a Scott Sub 20, paid $900.00 also a Trek 2.1 paid, $1300.00 both paid with Tax Refund Checks & a 1985 Trek Mt. Bike I traded gardening work for. If I were just starting out I would be Running to the nearest Walmart to get one. And don't worry Portland, all you high end bike builders & bike shops this is Good news for everybody !

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    • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 9:25 am

      and I thought most of you would like to support US made bikes. This 'Hollandia' crap is Chinese, which adds insult to injury, aka it's not surprising it's sold through Walmart.

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      • Mike July 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

        Supporting US made bikes is not feasible for many US citizens. As of 2010, 14.3% of the US was living at or below the poverty rate. Current unemployment is over 9% nationwide.
        Just out of curiousity, what is the cheapest US made dutch-style bike?

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        • Dave July 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

          I don't know of any U.S.-made Dutch-style bikes.

          For what it's worth, the majority of European city bikes are made with frames originating in Asia as well. A few still built in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium (and probably elsewhere as well), but even high-end WorkCycles gets the majority of their frames from Asia, I think.

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      • middle of the road guy July 12, 2011 at 11:14 am

        What bikes are actually made in the US that are not custom?

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      • Chris July 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm

        You realize that China practically finances this country now, right? Think twice before criticizing our Chinese overloads.

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        • jered July 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm

          AND if we were having a cargo hauling race I'd put my money on the person from china winning and the uber commuter from Portland losing despite the Portland person having a fancy bike and all the first world advantages. If you deducted time for whining Portland would lose by a huge margin.

          China is super cool, honestly one of the most inspiring places I've ever been in terms of human energy and potential, lots of amazing people - oh it is also really scary too.

          Also funny because when I was in China I kept falling in love with all the crazy mash up bikes over there. The utility of the bikes and something about the proportions I really liked, also some really cool graphics and paint schemes... We should import Chinese bikes as Chinese bikes - billions of people can't be wrong... or can they?

          ALSO, I have as many conversations on the MAX about my wonky, bent, rusty, and somewhat disfunctional Philips 3 speed that I pulled out of the garbage as I do my fancy pants Vanilla bikes. People think both are rad for different reasons. I think both are rad for different reasons and ride them pretty equally, though I won't ride the 3 speed all the way back from Beaverton.

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        • Paul Johnson July 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm

          Mostly due to lack of tariffs and domestic corporate taxes, yes.

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  • Batavist July 12, 2011 at 9:10 am

    "You wanna know what the AVERAGE retail price is that Dutch people pay for a new bike? 2009: 749 euros."
    Irrelevant. The Dutch don't buy new bikes unless paid for by company or social services.

    Immigrants may buy these and hand them down to locals:
    http://fiets.hema.nl/ontwerpjefiets.aspx?id=4111001

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    • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 10:12 am

      what utter bs is this? Seriously, this comment thread is now becoming ridiculous.

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  • A.K. July 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

    As much as I dislike Wal-Mart, I think it's great that they are offering more bikes than the standard Mongoose fake mountain bikes, as if those are the only/best choice.

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    • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 9:26 am

      What I'm missing in all this discussion is the used market. Why is Walmart the measure of anything? If you want an inexpensive bike, you're going to get a whole lot more bang for your buck, value, choice, etc. by looking on Craigslist.

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      • Mindful Cyclist July 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

        Craigslist is good if you have a lot of time on your hands. Sure, you can find a good, older Trek MTB for a decent price. But, try to find a ready to ride, older road bike on there under $250. It is hard! And, when you do find it, you better be the first to see it otherwise it will be gone in two minutes.

        I agree that you can get a decent bike on the used market. Don't get me wrong. All of mine were bought used. However, I know how to wrench, know my grouppos, and how to check for fatal flaws such as cracked frames. But, joe average doesn't know such things.

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        • A.K. July 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

          Yeah, and in a city such as Portland, the popularity of bikes at the current time drives up used bike prices as well, and as you said they seem to get snapped up quickly.

          Before I bought my brand-new Felt last year, I looked on Craigslist for older ones. Didn't find many, and if I remember correctly the one I saw that would have worked for me was actually more expensive than the one I was looking to buy new (their bikes have a lot of range... $750 - $10,000), as it was a higher-end model.

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          • Mindful Cyclist July 12, 2011 at 1:05 pm

            I have seen Schwinn World Sports for the mid to late 80's fetch for over $300 on craigslist. I remember buying one brand new in 1987 at a sporting goods store for $200.

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          • Toby July 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

            Not just that, but if you're buying a bike at a Kwik E Mart, sorry, Wall Mart...then you probably don't know much about bikes and buying off of CL can be daunting. Easy place to get ripped off. Sure you can buy a decent bike for $100 but if you don't work on it yourself it may cost a couple hundred more to get it in good shape. I've bought some good finds, but it took some work and a little bit knowing what I'm looking at.

            Most people buying these will only let them see the light of day on select sunny days for a spin around the block/park/Esplenade etc and will probably do them fine enough. At least as good as any other cheap bike. I wouldn't buy one, but I'd chip in a few bucks for someone else to get one as a long term, year round review ;-)

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  • A.K. July 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Well yeah, you and I know that. But there is a giant swath of Americana that doesn't, or maybe lives in a smaller community where everyone shops at the local Wal-Mart.

    When a friend recently asked me for advise on where to buy a used bike, I sent him links to the local bike shops here that carry used inventory, and they sales people will be able to help him out. But that's not everyone's thing. I'd never send someone who doesn't know a think about bikes to buy one off of Craigslist.

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  • Brad Hawkins July 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Let's say that your average European instead buys what Amsterdamize says is the average bike in Europe (and I don't disagree that this is average and the bikes I've listed are below average). Here are some examples:
    http://www.hercules-bikes.de/de/Hercules-Ebikes-und-Fahrraeder-im-Ueberblick-162,386.html

    Cool bikes, all of them and all bikes that I would recommend to a new bike rider. The cheaper ones listed before would be for someone who rides out of necessity or who doesn't have any real idea of bike prices. We all figured it out eventually. In any event, all of these bikes are made in China. They aren't made by gnomes in some idyllic mountain village in the Alps, they are all made in China.

    Remember that IKEA comes from Sweden but everything in the store comes from China. Lenin was right about the exploitation of third world workers to satisfy the wants of rich industrialists, but it doesn't mean that there won't be a market for cheap stuff. If these Walmart dutch bikes sell, you bet there will be a $349 and a $499 and a $199, and a $129 version soon offered and we will all be better for it because there are no shocks that bottom out, no crappy derailers, and no cheap v-brakes to rub constantly against the rims . The value will go back into the bearings and tires, of course, after the cream goes to the shareholders.

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  • A.K. July 12, 2011 at 9:43 am

    err... "and they sales people will be able to help him out." Jesus.

    That should be "and where the sales people will be able to help him out."

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  • PDXbiker July 12, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Amsterdamize, the vast majority of bikes sold here are made in Taiwan/China. We have a Local Bike Shop, Joe Bike, who used to import and upgrade Chinese Flying Pigeons. This WalMart thing seems to be at around the same level. He'd be the guy to go to for a review on one of these.

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    • kww July 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      I agree, it looks exactly like a Flying Pigeon, or and Indian equivalent (which is/was sold by Yellow Jersey)

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  • J Ryde July 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I don't like walmart, but I am in favor of any bike that can act as a gateway to an active cycling lifestyle for those in the central states (or elsewhere). An inexpensive bike with fenders that'll carry things might just get people into more regular cycling. For a good perspective on the issue I recommend the urban velo review of the Walmart "fixed speed": http://urbanvelo.org/mongoose-cachet-review-150-walmart-bike

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  • A.K. July 12, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Brad Hawkins
    Remember that IKEA comes from Sweden but everything in the store comes from China.

    Really? The last thing I bought from Ikea said "Made in France", if I remember correctly.

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  • Brad Hawkins July 12, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Nice. France is nice too.

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  • Alan July 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

    ...well I wouldn't give money to walmart either. but the cheap price may get people onto a bike, and that's always good.

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  • JR-eh July 12, 2011 at 10:07 am

    According to Bicycle Retailer mag, the European Commission just extended its anti-dumping duty (currently at 48.5%) on all bicycles coming from China.
    We need that here.

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    • Tony Fuentes July 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

      In 1996 more than half the bikes sold in the USA were made in the USA (9.3 million bikes made, 16.2 million sold). At that time, there was great concern about China beginning to dump bikes into the US market.

      The largest US bike manufacturers (Huffy, Murray, and Roadmaster) petitioned the US International Trade Commission for protection from the dumping. The ITC ruled that the China-based bike manufacturers posed no "material threat" to US manufacturers.

      Three years later, Murray, Huffy, and Roadmaster were all out of business as nothing more than brand-names traded about like Schwinn before them.

      So in 1996, the majority of bikes purchased in the USA were made in the USA. Now, less than one percent of bikes purchased in the USA are made here.

      Meanwhile, the EU placed in place duty and import taxes on China-made bikes due to dumping concerns issues. What was the impact there?

      Here is one example, 40 percent of the bicycles sold in Germany are made in Germany. And Germans purchase nearly 5 million new bikes a year.

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      • wsbob July 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

        "...Three years later, Murray, Huffy, and Roadmaster were all out of business as nothing more than brand-names traded about like Schwinn before them. ..." Tony Fuentes

        A funny thing about the selling off of established highly regarded brand names like Schwinn, to foreign companies seeking to edge into the market by hustling low priced and consequently mediocre goods, is that the brand name sometimes comes to be used by those companies to grab the brands formerly higher price points.

        For example, whatever company it is that currently owns it, sells some fairly expensive road bikes under the Schwinn brand name. Overseas workers willing, or being obliged to work for cheap. U.S. workers without adequate employment. The wallyworld $160 road bike, and $250 'Dutch' bike becomes the daring new price point challenge, at the expense of many, many, people in the U.S. that need jobs

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  • steve bice July 12, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Oh & by the way, Guys & Gals my $900.00 Scott Sub 20 bike, "Frame " & my $1300.00 Trek 2.1 bike "frame". Yes, both made in Taiwan & yes both Scott & Trek are American companies.WTF

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  • David July 12, 2011 at 10:19 am

    After reading all the posts, I think Jonathan's idea of a review (maybe a year long 'test') would be very helpful. I know the perfect person to be the test rider (not me...I like my personal bicycle too much). I'd throw in $10 to purchase one of these and set the record straight.

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  • wsbob July 12, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Last week in bikeportland's forums, forum member 'Dovestrobe' posted a thread about wally world's $160 road bike. Amazon sells it too:

    http://bikeportland.org/forum/showpost.php?p=26677&postcount=15

    Brand name is 'GMC Denali'. Use Amazons' zoom function, and you can see that the welds look just like about every other aluminum bike's frame welds up to about the $1300 price level. Might be a much better bike than most of what the Magna brand seems to come out with. Some Shimano, but low end, and twist grip shifters. Quirky seatpost binder.

    Last night, I thought I posted a comment about this wallyworld dutch bike, but I don't see it. Oh well. The bike looks very stylish. So, if it holds up reasonably well, lots of people will probably buy the thing. Will they pay a quality mechanic...which can get expensive...to repair the thing? Or because, even at $250...(though no small amount of money for many people)... it's kind of cheap, will they just let it break down, fall into disuse and get dusty in the garage, until it finally gets recycled or dumpstered?

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  • Crash N. Burns July 12, 2011 at 11:21 am

    From Johnathan's Monday roundup:

    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/downloads/US%20factory%20chart%2010-08LoRes.pdf

    Chances are your "american" bike has some chinese or taiwanese roots.

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  • Alex July 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I bet that thing will rust like hell in Portland's rain.

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  • 3-speeder July 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    To 9watts - Yes, I know the value of craigslist. I rode around Portland for years on a 3-speed I bought for less than $100 on CL. Less than $50 extra to replace worn items made it an outstanding bicycle to get around town.

    But the "interested and concerned" will have difficulty identifying a quality used bike. For most of that group, they would see flat tires and assume the bike they are attached to is worthless.

    I now often ride a top-of-the-line Breezer bike. Hub generator. Nexus internal 8-speed. Fenders, full chain guard, ring lock. Purchased new two-years ago for $1200 or so. It serves me better than my old 3-speed. I don't know if it is 8-times better, but I was able to go into a bike shop and easily get all these useful features that I wanted.

    On days I don't ride the Breezer, I ride a Brompton folding bike. 6-speeds with a low-resistance hub generator. A bit over $2000 purchased a few months ago. It will enable new travel options for me.

    Theoretically, we just need a bunch of $100 bikes to get 20-30% of the US population out of cars. But because of American materialist status values, this approach will not succeed (until capitalism collapses). The 'sexy' cycles that stand a chance of drawing large numbers of Americans onto bikes/trikes will cost at least $1000-$2000 new. And _new_ bikes will be what such Americans will want to buy. It doesn't matter that you or I can find a cheaper, capable bicycle on CL. We don't get to dictate what is 'sexy' for everybody else.

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    • 3-speeder July 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      Oh - And the point of my original comment was that, compared to a motor vehicle, $1000-$2000 is cheap. And such bikes will have a relatively high resale value, compared to how cars depreciate over the same time period. I think this is an important economic point-of-view which I never hear mentioned.

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      • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm

        "Oh - And the point of my original comment was that, compared to a motor vehicle, $1000-$2000 is cheap."

        How many people look at these purchases that way? And if you do, how much cheaper/better deal is a $200 bike that was worth $1000 or more when new?

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        • Chris I July 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

          I actually had a friend say to me "Bikes are expensive". I made sure to point out that I could buy a brand new mid-level bike for less than he pays in insurance on his car each year.

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          • -j July 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm

            But this is only true if you have a car that requires comprehensive insurance – you can easily buy a $1000 car that will get you by for a couple years, and even if it breaks down, sell it for $200 scrap. My insurance is about $30 /month…not really very much in the big picture. I just bought a new cable for my NiteRider bike light that cost as much as my monthly insurance payment.

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          • craig July 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm

            A co-worker of mine who has several locally built custom bikes is fond of saying, "I never think twice about buying a fine bike that I want. I can own 10 superb custom bikes for the retail cost of one mediocre car."

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          • David Parsons July 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

            On the other hand, a car is enclosed, can carry multiple people (my 2001 Toyota Prius carries 5, if two of them are children) or 800 pounds of cargo,
            and is really difficult to steal compared to a bicycle.

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          • was carless July 13, 2011 at 2:57 am

            I have a friend who said the same thing to me. I showed him my 3 sub $100 bikes and $500 commuter I purchased (while I was a poor student). He makes 5 figures, but since he bought 2 cars and a house - "necessities" in his mind (and he is single), he says he can't justify dropping $6k+ for a bicycle.

            I told him he's nuts. But I know others like him, here in Portland... they believe that bicycles are outrageously expensive, too expensive to justify, and the upper crust shuns Wal-Mart as much as the comments on this page.

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        • 3-speeder July 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm

          Not many people look at it this way. Can marketing can change that attitude? Maybe it can, maybe it can't.

          But just imagine how many more trips would be make by bicycle if it can.

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  • marshmallow July 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I've got a schwinn carbon fiber bike from walmart...Seems schwinn just slapped their name on a mass produced carbon frame and sold it cheap...rides like my carbon trek and costs a fraction. Anyway, most bikes come from 3 major manufacturers who have the expensive jerman and gapanese machinery to work with carbon weaving.

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  • G.E. July 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    This is part (note I said part, not all) of the current financial crisis in the U.S. - everything is made in China or other low-wage, no real standard of quality locations (so it falls apart before the user has a chance to even enjoy it, wear it, etc). There is no longer pride in saying that something is "Made in the USA" as there was many decades ago. Manufacturing has mostly gone overseas and to countries that have no quality standards, nor decent wages for the workers making the products. Until the majority of the population is willing to realize that it simply costs more to make quality products and pay workers a decent living, garbage products will continue to be made (I'm not just referring to this specific bike, but many, many other products purchased). The only way to stop this is to stop buying from places like Wal-mart, Target, and many other big box type stores who purchase most of their goods from China and other low-wage paying countries. The problem is that it's so cyclical. Americans are in tough times, so they look for the cheapest goods because they cannot afford the more expensive items. The goods we are purchasing are made cheaply because they are being manufactured in low-wage countries. At some point, it has to end. Going in to any store I very rarely see items that are made in the U.S. It's rather sad, really.

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    • Paul Johnson July 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      I dunno, I'm pretty proud of the work I do in America.

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  • michael downes July 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Although we like to get all misty eyed over the romance of Dutch bikes the fact is they are viewed in the Netherlands as unremarkable utilitarian tools akin to a vacuum cleaner. The classic Dutch Opa & Oma bikes are sold (in Europe) on price and available from most supermarkets and big box retailers like Wal Mart. It is price combined with good bicycle infrastructure that has made them universal. I think most Dutch would be mystified at spending $1500 on something no more valuable than a food processor. I applaud Wal Mart for bringing these in although I think the price tag reflects a healthy margin and I'm not convinced the wider public really understands what theses bikes are for.

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    • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Michael, you're comparing apples with oranges, as a lot of other people are doing in this thread.

      The Dutch know the difference between a supermarket omafiets (for instance) and a quality one. I'll repeat: the Dutch spend on average(!) almost 800 euros on a new bicycle. And guess what, MOST of them are NOT bought at supermarkets and big box retailers.
      The market is different here, way more diverse, competitive and innovative.

      There are many specialty bike shops, either independent ones offering many household brands or ones carrying one brand, like Gazelle. The Dutch may look at bikes the same way you'd look at a vacuum cleaner, but that doesn't mean they couldn't care less about what kind of bike they'd buy. They use bikes for everything and going everywhere, in any season, so they need to be durable, dependable (as the biggest nuisance is not having a -working- bike, as it's that much part of life here) and comfortable. Aka, there's a real demand for quality and expectations need to be met.

      Thus, your 'observation' doesn't hold any water. We do pay money like that and where do you get the idea that those bikes 'are no more valuable than a food processor'? A proper, a US-based bike shop that carries real Dutch bikes needs to import, the entire supply chain needs to be a profitable operation, obviously.

      I like to ask you and a few others that have been making quite extraordinarily bold claims about Dutch bikes to just ask me about it or do a little more digging than just perpetuating urban myths.

      Next thing you know, someone will claim you can't ride a Dutch bike up a hill, or...oh wait, right, someone already did.

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      • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        "Next thing you know, someone will claim you can't ride a Dutch bike up a hill, or...oh wait, right, someone already did."

        And why should the Dutch who don't have mountains make bikes that are good on hills?
        The geometry is terrible for climbing. Do you know anyone who likes to ride a Dutch bike where it isn't just flat? I'm sure some do--I just have a hard time imagining it, when there are so many better choices out there. But then I don't understand cyclocross either.

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        • Dave July 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm

          Dutch bikes are not ideal for hills, it's true. However, when you look at the decision to buy a bike as if it were your only vehicle (crazy, I know), there are a lot more factors to take into account than whether it is ideal for hills.

          There aren't a lot of better options for, for instance, carrying 50lbs of lime for your garden, or the big 3-gallon water jugs for your water dispenser, or large bags of pet food/litter, or a number of other things I can think of. I can feasibly make a library run, a grocery run, and a pet store run all in the same trip without dropping anything off.

          I honestly don't see any other bikes around Portland, short of a bakfiets (which is even worse for hills), that would make it feasible for me personally to not own a car.

          To me, that makes it worth pushing a little harder up hills.

          Yeah, you can get a trailer, but then you have to store the bike *and* the trailer somewhere, and when you go to the store, you have to squeeze the trailer in somewhere, and you have to lock up the trailer, and it's still hard to haul up hills, and it's more awkward cuz it's hanging out behind you, etc.

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          • 9watts July 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm

            I noticed how you lament the difficulty of storing a bike and a trailer, but don't mention how much room it takes to store your car. You might ask folks who do all that you describe without a car how they do it.

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          • Dave July 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm

            And I realize my priorities may be different from other peoples', I'm just trying to give rationale for why someone might want to ride a Dutch (or other large, relatively heavy bike) in a place with hills.

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          • Dave July 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm

            9watts: I don't own a car, thanks. I do all I just described with my bike, as I described it.

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          • Dave July 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm

            And I store my bike in my kitchen, because there isn't anything to lock it to outside. There is *absolutely* no room for a trailer in there.

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          • spare_wheel July 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

            Any reasonable bike can carry the same load as a dutch bike. Heck, I routinely carry home 30 lb containers of pet-litter and ~40 lb cases of wine on my ~22 lb carbon fiber bike. (I drink a lot of wine.)

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          • Dave July 13, 2011 at 11:59 am

            And I suppose you've loaded up a Dutch bike with a front and rear rack and panniers and loaded them full up with heavy items to see how much you could carry? Also, I'm guessing you don't often carry other people on your 22lb carbon fiber bike (which is a common occurrence in the Netherlands)? I'm guessing you don't often carry other bikes on your carbon fiber bike? Or three full grocery bags of groceries including liquids and glass? And I suppose you also know how a Dutch bike handles with 80lbs on it as opposed to your racing bike?

            Look, I'm not trying to sell you a Dutch bike, I don't care if you want to ride one or not. All I'm saying is, you're making claims that you clearly don't have the experience to back up, and trying to claim you know more than people who have the experience you lack. Stick to stating what you know.

            Different bikes are suited to different tasks, and they do different things well. A Dutch bike is simply going to be better for hauling loads than a racing bike, and a racing bike is going to be better at climbing hills. So you consider your entire situation and decide what's important to you and go from there.

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        • trina July 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm

          I live in portland (so not terribly hilly but not flat either), ride an 8 speed work cycles secret service, am a plus size woman, ride exclusively in 6th, 7th,and 8th gear (i hate the feeling of just spinning loosely) and do just fine every day. I'm not racing around town, but i get where i need to go perfectly fine with room to carry everything i need as i do not own a car. (oh and i do it all in skirts and dresses cause that's just what i wear anyway.) ;)

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          • spare_wheel July 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

            i suspect that from your perspective i am one of those people who race about town. but in reality i am just getting from point a to b FASTER.

            i think its interesting that you chose the secret service over a traditional dutch bike.

            According to work cycles web site is:

            "Compared to our extraordinarily robust traditional models the Secret Service is tighter and lighter. It's ideal both for those who cover some distance."

            ironically, that whole spiel from work cycles is exactly what i have been saying. i would go a step further and claim that many steel or aluminum hybrid/drop bikes with modern geometry would be just as comfortable to ride with the added advantage that you could go a little faster, climb much easier, and instantly shed 10-15 lbs of weight.

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          • Dave July 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm

            Have you ever looked at a Secret Service? It's still lugged steel and weighs 40lbs. Geometry is basically the same as a traditional Omafiets.

            And the Secret Service was an opportunity buy on sale, we would have preferred the Omafiets if we had the choice, but getting the Secret Service for nearly half the price was too good to pass up.

            Again, stick to stating what you know.

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          • Paul Johnson July 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm

            Portland Metro is pretty darn hilly, as shown by contour maps, thanks to it's thousand-foot changes in elevation. Willamette River is pretty much sea level, go just a few miles west and you're crossing the Tualatin Mountains (they're taller than 1000 feet above sea level, so yes, they are in fact mountains). You wanna see a "not too hilly, not too flat" city, you gotta look east where Portland's shortest hills are considered massive.

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  • -j July 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    To me this looks like an even more functional (built in racks) version of the “Flying Pigeon”, which makes perfect sense as those also use the weird 28” tire size. Millions of people have successfully used the Flying Pigeon as cheap transportation, and while quality may be low, expectations are low as well. I think it is good they are adding this model to their offerings, and I think it is the only Wal-Mart bike I have seen with factory racks. What really I think is alarming is that they sell 26” cruiser bikes for $89.97 – those must really be cheaply made for them to be making a profit! As a side note, I just spent over $250 completely rebuilding my girlfriend’s crappy Huffy that she has had for over 15 years, solely for her sentimental value – with no chance of ever recovering the investment. This Wal-Mart bike would be a better value instead (though I would not buy from them).

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  • marshmallow July 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Wal-Mart has a great return policy. What you do is buy the bike at full price, return it, and within the hour it'll be back on the rack at half price. Buy it then.

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    • craig July 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Might have to give that a try.

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  • lyle July 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    You know what the old saying is, don't you? Something is worth what people will pay for it. Walmart ropes in tons of people all the time buying stuff like this, because they don't know better, and because it's WALMART!!!!

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  • marshmallow July 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I'm waiting for the bakfiets or madsen bucket bike copies. WalMart are you listening???

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  • esther c July 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Dutch bikes from Amsterdam are probably made in China as are most American bikes. I see cheap Dutch knock offs at the trendy bike stores in Portland that look pretty crappy. Linuses cost $800 and look and feel like junk to me. Then there are those $400 republic bikes I see advertised on line.

    Dutch bikes are a cute trend but they're really not practical unless you live where there are no hills. I test rode a Gazelle and it was fun after you were up and riding but mounting and dismounting was uncomfortable because the handlebars were too far swept forward, when off the seat your arms are in an awkward position to remount. And it must have weighted 50+ pounds.

    The trouble with the walmart crap is, unless you can work on it yourself you've got to spend another $100 bucks after you buy it having the wheels trued and a tune up.

    Then there is also the black mark on your soul for supporting walmart.

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    • Amsterdamize July 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      No, most Dutch bikes are not made in China. A few manufacturers have frames made in Taiwan (very high quality), but most is designed and build/assembled in the Netherlands (Amsterdam is the capital).

      A lot of people confuse the 'Dutch-style bike' with an actual Dutch bike. Linus is not a Dutch brand, for instance. And yes, price/quality of a Linus is shoddy at best. It looks cute (recognize a trend?), but way too expensive.

      Sounds like you had a bad experience with a Gazelle, not because it's a bad bike, but because it was not properly adjusted for the ride. This, combined with the fact that you had to get used to the different style of riding, aka its geometry, doesn't exactly help you assessing its usefulness.

      I know many people abroad who ride bikes like that Gazelle in hilly, even mountainous areas and have no problem with it. The 'flat argument' is often used and abused, but it really doesn't fly. With a few more gears and the right ratio, it doesn't really matter what kind of bike you ride.

      Anecdote: on May 1st I joined the 5 Boro Bike Tour in NYC on a borrowed omafiets (3 gears). While going up Queensboro Bridge, riding with one hand while filming with the other), a total of 3 people rode up to me in a timespan of 5 minutes and asked where my engine was. They were serious. Also because I easily passed 80% of the people who were out there, all riding supposedly 'light, sporty bikes'. I'm not saying I'm a super human being, but it goes to show there's a lot of misconceptions about these type of bikes. They mostly stem from unfamiliarity. It's not about the bike, it's about the rider.

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      • spare_wheel July 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

        I am not convinced by the anecdotal "I biked X once on a dutch bike" argument. I can take a steep hill on a "big wheel" but am not going to commute on one. I and hundreds of cyclists commute directly up pill hill in PDX...and yet...I have never seen a dutch-style bike on this route. (There are plenty of dutch-style bikes on the paths/boulevards below.) Distance is also a problem with a 35-45 lb dutch bike. Once you hit ~16 km, a more aerodynamic and lighter bike is just more comfortable.

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        • Dave July 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm

          I work on pill hill as well, ride a 40-some pound Raleigh with 28" wheels, front and rear racks, huge panniers, and I have ridden up the hill. I don't always, I admit, but if I had no other choice, I would do it every day. It is certainly possible, just not at the speed you're probably used to.

          I also often ride 15-20 miles in a day without any comfort issues.

          I think Amsterdamize is just trying to point out that the "it's impossible to do X on a Dutch bike" argument is also a bit of an extreme opinion.

          I agree with you, circumstances may make a lighter bike better for some trips, but if you're only going to have one bike, and it's your only vehicle? That's what real Dutch city bikes were made for, and I don't think there's a much better choice available if that's what you need.

          It's just a question of whether that's what you need or not. If not, that's ok.

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          • beth h July 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

            "I also often ride 15-20 miles in a day without any comfort issues."

            And that right there speaks volumes about the vast difference between bicycle commuting in most bike-friendly European cities and bicycle commuting in most American cities.

            I doubt most Dutch ride more than half that distance to and from work each day, because their flatter, more compact cities don't require them to. Here in the US, we are competing with urban sprawl, longer and often hillier commutes and much scarier road conditions because of our decades-out-of-date infrastructure and the entitlement for and of the American car driver.

            This bike is PERFECT For Holland.
            Not so much for Portland, at nearly any price.

            As long as bike commuting comes with more geographic and topographic challenges here, fewer people will do it. This article is almost a distraction from the real issues of undoing years of bad urban planning and a hundred years of developing and supporting auto-centricism.
            Let's get back to the business of overturning car culture, shall we?

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          • Dave July 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm

            I do agree with your point that the more compact cities make riding a bike like this better, in some respects, for European cities (and that we should push for more density and less sprawl and calmer streets and all that).

            However, I ride a heavy, lugged steel, 57cm frame, 28" wheels, upright bike, here, in Portland, even up the hill to OHSU sometimes, and it is my absolute ideal city bike, for here, in Portland, hills and distance and everything. I ride that heavy, upright bike those 15-20 miles in a day (10-12 pretty much every day), and I still have energy to live the rest of my life, I don't get sore, I don't get worn out, I really enjoy it.

            I'm not saying it should be everyone else's ideal city bike for Portland, but you're again saying there is no way it could be a good bike for anyone in Portland, and I think that's just plain false. For me, my bike allows me to not own a car, and to not miss it at all.

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        • Amsterdamize July 13, 2011 at 12:40 am

          Anecdotal, perhaps, but I didn't ride 'once' & I'll send you the link to the video once I've finished editing it. But I get it, you choose not to believe anything anyone says, as it wouldn't fit your slanted, ill-informed and limited world/bike view. Fine. Then don't believe that I've been riding since I was 3, upright, lived and traveled around the US for years, rode around on a clunky Dutch bike in SF, NYC, Boston etc, rode in the Alps, the Belgian Ardennes, the Portugeese Algarve, etc. At times I've 'commuted' (as y'all put it) by bike 110 km per day in my home country, extremely comfortably. Didn't notice a thing after 16 km...

          And my point is NOT that I'm 'experienced'. I'm like any other person here, nobody special. Going from a to b, and the bike is just the most convenient way. Just a faster way of walking.

          One more 'anecdote', one of many. I have friends from Canada who came over, initially thought the same thing (Dutch bike for flat lands, not hilly ones), bought two, took 'm home and can't be happier. Like Trina, their bikes have 8 gears, with simply an adjusted ratio and they get around Ottawa fine. Not exactly flat there.

          I ride the way millions, tens of millions of people in the rest of the world do and they haven't changed their way. Like people in Bern, Switzerland (15% modal share on 'normal bikes'), you don't hear these people of the Alps moan and argue about hills, they just go up there. Guess why. Not because they're ignorant, but because they choose the most practical and comfortable way of doing so.

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  • are July 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    28 by 1.75 is equivalent to nothing in particular, therefore you can buy your replacement tires and wheels and spokes at wal*mart.

    single speed what gearing? only one frame size?

    assembly instructions included.

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    • -j July 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      According to Schwalbe, 28x 1.75 is equivalent to 700 x 45c , and I am sure that other skinnier combination would work too…28” is the same as the Flying Pigeon and other cheap Chinese bikes, so I am sure that replacement parts are not as big a deal as you are making it out to be. I don’t think Wal-Mart sells many replacement parts anyway….

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    • Psyfalcon July 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      A lot of the Continentals tires have both 28x and the 700c size on the sidewalls. My Kona came with a Continental tire labeled 28x.

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      • Ryan Good July 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

        As did my Long Haul Trucker.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Yes this is a low priced bike...it (and the smaller wheeled versions on Walmart and the importer's web site) will likely give a comfortable 'sit up and beg' ride and likely last longer than the other big box option - the hunched over suspension mountain bike - which is more of a 'cheap' bike. I doubt it will cause CC or similar shops lost bike sales. (Perhaps it may lead to their second city bike being from an IBD.)

    Here you have a bike that is almost a complete transport option as a flat city commuter utility bike (fenders, racks, lights, skirt or jacket guard, kickstand, front LED head lamp, etc.). The $28 three year repair service warranty is crazy great...think of how many big box bikes you see without working brakes.

    The Walmart bike seems to have an upgrade for the US market - a front brake with the usual coaster brake...but not the wheel lock or rear LED lamp. Too bad. ;-(

    The Netherlands bike market has a very similar bike sold at small box stores like HEMA (Halfords, etc.) with the brand of "On-Road" or similar) for 80 to 200 Euros - depending on if its on the weekly sale. More typical is the oma by BSP - it has dominated the low end (200 Euros and up to 280) of new bike sales for the last 10 years in Amsterdam.

    Perhaps this will be the gateway bike for many who live in the bike wilderness of the US...places not like SE Portland but like Hillsboro or Clark County though without bike lanes. Or for the kid friendly city transport...20, 24, or 26 inch wheels!

    For Portland...these bikes might make a better informal private shared bike fleet for local businesses to provide their employees for lunchtime rides...or for folks to use during pub rides...why ride your Vanilla or MAP bike when out drinking. I ride my no brand 1980s oma fiets for similar city rides.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I will try to visit a Walmart up here in Clark to see if my assumptions on the bike design are correct or if the assembly dooms it to an early failure in many garages.

    Also, perhaps the low 3 year repair service will keep these bikes from being rejected from the repair bay of most IBDs - other than for flat tire repair.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Imagine what 50 of these child sized bikes might do to supercharge a bike to neighborhood school programme...anyone got $14,500 (+ helmets and locks, etc.) and a flat low-mod income neighborhood?

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  • Todd Boulanger July 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Perhaps write Walmart for a grant?!...they are likely looking to curry favor with Portland (vs. Vancouver)...especially now that they are moving into town with their 'small' format box stores.

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  • marshmallow July 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Elitist attitudes like this are why people hate cyclists.

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    • Perry Hunter July 12, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks for explaining that to us! I'm glad we have people in the world to explain these issues whenever it's needed, and very frequently on these Internets, when it's not.

      ...and I always thought it was my funny pants and beer socks that made the people hate me.

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      • marshmallow July 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

        funny pants and beer socks are the epitome of elitist portland...hate = you

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        • Perry Hunter July 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

          Thanks for clearing that up, don't you have a dog to kick or a baby to slap?

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          • marshmallow July 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

            you mean a puppy...yes i do

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  • marshmallow July 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I had a made in America Huffy and Murray as a kid(and still have them). Biggest, heaviest pieces of lead pipes in my bike fleet. Ride American! Wait, those, like American cars, aren't even made here and are unreliable.

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    • David Parsons July 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

      For what it's worth, if you strip the wheels and handlebars off a Murray and replace them with lightweight (not even modern; I pulled the wheels off a Murray pseudo-mixte and replaced them with the wheelset off my 1989 Trek and that alone dropped the weight of the thing down into the low 30s) parts the bicycle becomes /much/ lighter.

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  • roger noehren July 13, 2011 at 12:43 am

    don't buy anything from Walmart.

    support local bike shops and/or buy a used bike and fix it up yourself or take it to a local bike shop to have it refurbished.

    Walmart plans to build 14 stores in the Portland area. We don't need them!

    A cheap imitation of any bike is a cheap imitation...

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  • was carless July 13, 2011 at 3:01 am

    I think its funny some of the comments on here about picking up a cheap CL bike. Well, I have some stereotypical "Joe Blow" friends, one of which picked up a very nice vintage Raleigh 3-speed for free (!!!). Its in great shape, except it has 1 flat tire.

    Well, my friend has had it sitting around his house for a year now, and he has yet to get it fixed or ride it. Which is amazing, as we're talking about a < $5 part.

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  • Evan July 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Look at the bigger picture in this. Wally World has recognized that bikes are transportation, and they're cool. Not just kid toys. This is HUGE, even if the quality of the product is low.

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  • Steady Eddie July 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Has anyone here ever beheld this bike in the flesh?? How big is it??

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  • 9watts July 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    "A Dutch bike is simply going to be better for hauling loads than a racing bike, and a racing bike is going to be better at climbing hills."

    And, I'd submit, neither is as good at doing *both* as well as some other bikes out there. Key parameters in my experience include:
    - frame geometry
    - gearing
    - weight
    - amenable to racks, panniers, trailer hitch

    In my experience with Dutch bikes (Europe, 1980s), they have a three speed hub, awkward geometry, and are fairly heavy without commensurate rigidity. I'll take a fully urbanized used MTB over one of those any day. If Dutch bikes have come along way since then so be it. I'm just going by what I've experienced.

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  • GlowBoy July 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I've never in my life set foot in a WalMart and, on principle, have no plans to. But I think cheap bikes are a good thing, and I see disdain for cheap bikes as elitist, so count me in the group that applauds this development.

    1) It's a sign that utility bikes -- and the IDEA that bikes could be used for more than weekend bike-path recreation -- have reached the mainstream.

    2) Looks like a great Gateway Bike. Sure, like most cheap bikes, this rig might require lots of expensive maintenance to take it beyond the first few hundred miles. But so what? The average bike in America is ridden less than ONE hundred miles ... in its entire lifespan. To me, the shopworn "it's cheap, it won't last, it'll fall apart" arguments against cheap bikes simply never hold water. The folks who don't ride it enough for it to break won't have problems, and the folks who do are likely to want to upgrade anyway. If this bike lights the cycling fire in a few folks who eventually upgrade to something fancier, I'm all for it.

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  • jim July 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    There is a lot of criticism and distaste for Walmart. It seams ironic as the city rolled out the red carpet for ikea and blocks walmart when it can. Ikea's factories are in china more so than other stores. You will find the same coffee makers in walmart and in Target (Target is moving into downtown without a fight from city hall). Walmart is an American owned business that has been a big success, Ikea is not an American owned company.
    Everybody is jumping all over this bike before anybody has even seen one yet, or field tested it. Perhaps you should be a little more open minded. Honda was a hard sell in this country for a long time, now they make one of the best cars in the world. The swiss used to make all (or most) of the watches, they didn't think anybody else could do it, that was a fatal mistake for them. Like it or not we are dependent on China now for a lot of things. We can't even make many of our prescription drugs without ingredients from China.

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    • Tony Fuentes July 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      You forgot to mention the endless free local press given to the H&M opening...

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    • esther c July 18, 2011 at 11:02 am

      WalMart has a huge market share of retail business, making them a basically a monopoly. They use it to bully their manufacturers. For example, they are actually the largest bike retailer in the country. Huffy bikes used to be manufactured in America. WalMart pressured them to lower their wholesale price to them, threatening to not carry their product if they didn't. The price that WalMart demanded from Huffy was so low that Huffy had to take their manufacturing to China. Without WalMart's business Huffy would have gone out of business.

      This sort of behavior is common in all their dealings with manufacturers. WalMart has the power to tell the manufacturers what the price will be on the product and the manufacturer has to come up with a way to meet that price.

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  • trina July 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    spare_wheel
    i suspect that from your perspective i am one of those people who race about town. but in reality i am just getting from point a to b FASTER.

    Well good for you. I'm so glad that you get places faster than me. You win the race. You are clearly better, smarter, superior, and must know everything about the BEST and ONLY bikes that should be ridden because you go places faster that me.

    Never did i say you were "racing around town", i said i wasn't. I was stating that my bike does not go very fast, and for me that's fine and perfectly feasible. I do not hold getting around fast a priority, so this bike does me well. If fast is a priority, then don't get a slower bike, simple. But that does not mean that slower bikes are worthless or obsolete or impractical.

    i think its interesting that you chose the secret service over a traditional dutch bike.

    we got a good deal, and as dave said, i would have preferred the oma or something like it as there are a few things on the secret service i'm not as fond of both aesthetically and practically. But for the price and quality it will do just fine for a long time.

    ironically, that whole spiel from work cycles is exactly what i have been saying. i would go a step further and claim that many steel or aluminum hybrid/drop bikes with modern geometry would be just as comfortable to ride with the added advantage that you could go a little faster, climb much easier, and instantly shed 10-15 lbs of weight.

    actually those would not be as comfortable for me as i have neck, back and wrist problems from work so the benefit of being upright with little to no pressure on my wrists is pretty high up on my list of things i look for. even something slightly less upright gives me writs problems. And still this bike is a good 40lbs without the racks and basket or any loads and that is fine with me. It doesn't bother me, it works well for what i want, am comfortable with, and what i am looking for in a bike.

    All in all, it doesn't really matter what bike you prefer or ride or even recommend, ride what you like and everyone will have different things they look for. The problem i see is that you seem to think that nothing other than your opinion on bikes is valid.

    Claims like "is impossible to ride up a hill, and uses anachronistic and obsolete technology. Its always been far more about form than function." are completely narrow minded, pretentious, ungrounded and snobbish. Please keep in mind that you do not know all, everyone is not like you and that, gasp!, things you think may not hold true for everyone.

    Clearly for me (and lots of others in the world) this style of bike is fine and dandy and i like it, both for practical and aesthetic reasons. There is nothing wrong with that. Why not get something you enjoy the form and function of. So kindly remember that it is your opinion, and nothing more, and not the final word on what kind of bike should or shouldn't be ridden.

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  • trina July 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    ug, sorry, formatting got all wonkey on my comment.

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    • spare_wheel July 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      "are completely narrow minded, pretentious, ungrounded and snobbish."

      you really should not take my criticism personally. its an opinion, not a value judgment.

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      • Dave July 14, 2011 at 12:02 am

        I guess the comment, it's always been about form and not function sounded an awful lot like a personal criticism on anyone who would choose a Dutch style bike; implying that they would be dumb for choosing pretty over smart function...My mistake I guess...

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        • trina July 14, 2011 at 12:11 am

          uh, that should have come up as me and not dave... not sure what happened there. sorry.

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  • Jacob July 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    This bike would be fine and probably last quite sometime if it were taken to a real bike shop and given a $40-$50 "safety check". Bolts tightened, ders adjusted, cables clamped. Even the lowest end Shimano components will last a long time, if adjusted properly and periodically.

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    • are July 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      and why should we suppose this is spec'd with shimano components?

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  • Jacob July 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Really doesn't matter whether they're shimano or not, the crappiest components made today will last a looong time given periodic maintenance.

    The biggest problem with buying a bike from walmart or similar store, is they are generally not put together correctly from the get go, so very quickly (or even right from the store) things start to go wrong.

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    • jim July 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      perhaps this is a good business opp for someone to set up a shop at walmart for assembly and adjustments...

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      • Jacob July 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

        Walmart uses piece workers for assembly, meaning they're paid per piece (per bike). These kids bust out as many bikes as possible during their shift, so they can get paid more. I used to work in wood frame commercial construction, and for the majority of the work, we hired out piece workers. In the end, it doesn't really pay off as I had to send my own hourly paid guys (highly paid hourly guys, experience and know-how is expensive, you call them 'punch guys') to go back and fix the piece workers screw ups.

        Thing is, walmart doesn't have punch guys.

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  • theboy July 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    The typical Dutch commute bike is heavy but durable. So was my old Varsity. I think the main attraction of the Dutch-mobiles is that they are "cool."

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  • roger noehren July 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    the 7th, 8th & 9th richest Americans (according to Forbes) are members of the Walton family destroying communities one store at a time. $60 Billion between them (compared to the Koch brothers' $40 Billion).

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    • marshmallow July 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      Funny, every economic study I've read concludes that poor people are made richer by opportunities to buy what the rich could only afford in the past. It's only the disgruntled well off that cling to idyllic and unaffordable America that kept the poor from having the luxuries of the rich. Communities that have a wal-mart do not have raggedly dirt poor kids wandering about because their parents can afford to shop at wal-mart. You're guilty of economic elitism and NIMBY.

      Ask any Chinese in china at factories and the conclusion is that their lives are made richer as well. They fight for these "low wage" manufacturing jobs.

      Quit hating poor people by hating Wal-Mart.

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      • Jacob July 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm

        I am by no means well off (I'm a freakin' bike mechanic), but there is no way in hell I will ever give a dollar to walmart. I tend to spend my money smartly at locally owned stores. I have personally seen walmart destroy a communities ability to stand on it's own; walmart showed up, stores shut down, people lost jobs, people work/shop at walmart. That's their business model.

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        • marshmallow July 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm

          So Walmart increased efficiency of that town's people to obtain goods at fair prices instead of only the elite buying in select stores at inflated prices. Welcome to America. Italy and France like locally based goods -- their whole culture thrives on it to the point they've become economically insular. Their economies and equity for the poor is horrible. Capitalism is about efficiently making and distributing goods from the countries able to do it best in their respective industries. America is the number one capitalist in the world. Made in America is silly when referencing low tech consumer goods when we are able to produce other much complicated goods and services better than any other country in the world. "Made in America" was auto union propaganda to get Americans to buy inferior American built autos in exchange for 45 dollar/hour menial line workers. 'bunch of commies.

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        • marshmallow July 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm

          Cornelius opened a walmart and boom, that downtrodden area is revitalized. 82nd and Clackamas walmart, same. The one in woodburn, salem, and outer northeast, yep. I'm sure people hated Fred Meyer when they popped in, but is today a local institution. Try taking away Walmart from any of the above locations and see how up in arms the locals get.

          Bimart is about the same as walmart but requires a membership card to enter, a loss prevention enhancer. So does Costco. Those retailers have about the same effect on a community as big bad walmart, yet aren't vilified. The clientele of those retailers have wealthier shoppers and contribute to the elitists' disdain for the "hillbilly" walmart clientele. Walmart hales from Arkansas, which spawned Bill Clinton, who screwed his employee(s) too, and y'all voted or would have voted for Slick Willy, so don't be a hypocrite.

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          • spare_wheel July 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

            walmart is a company that has exported millions of american jobs overseas by taking advantage of tax loop holes and UNEQUAL free trade agreements. america could compete with overseas manufacturing if we taxed ALL profits, we prevented the dumping of goods, and we slapped tariffs on currency manipulators. unfortunately both political parties are happy to export jobs and wealth in return for billions in political donations.

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  • marshmallow July 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Wal-Mart marketing agents were no doubt watching Portlandlia when they chose this model's name.

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  • Hugh Johnson July 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    It seems hypocritical to be worried about global warming and at the same time excited about a cheap, imported bike from CHINA. What is the real carbon footprint of this bike?

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    • marshmallow July 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      Price. All the excuses in the world to save the planet go out the window when buyers consider their family's ability to purchase. Global warming is a feel good excuse for bike riders to ride their bikes. The rest know that bicycling, and cheap bikes, pads our pocketbooks and ability to raise our families not in squalor.

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  • marshmallow July 14, 2011 at 12:17 am

    According to this page: http://www.hollandiafietsen.nl/bicycles.html Hollandia is an established European bike manufacturer.

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    • 9watts July 14, 2011 at 7:06 am

      That is kind of a strange webpage. It claims both that the company began in 1886 and 2007. This one makes more sense to me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_Force_Group (see my comment from a few days ago above)
      also: http://www.cyclefg.com/shop/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=50

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    • Psyfalcon July 14, 2011 at 11:20 am

      Is Schwinn an established bike manufacturer even if it has been sold a few times to larger companies? Is Huffy an established manufacturer? They have been around a while too, but their quality isn't so high.

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      • marshmallow July 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

        ever heard of homegrown schwinns from the tomato factory?

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  • roger noehren July 14, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I wanted to compare these to Flying Pigeons and found that they have done just that: http://flyingpigeon-la.com/2011/07/walmart-selling-cheap-dutch-style-bikes/
    one reason people become reliant on Walmart is that many of the former local stores have been forced out of business.
    anyone who wants to buy one of these could go direct to the source and bypass Walmart -thus they'd avoid supporting the local economy and the Waltons...

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  • roger noehren July 14, 2011 at 11:51 am

    The Flying Pigeon importer sells similar bikes (with a front basket instead of the currently popular platform rack) unassembled with a stipulation that they be professionally serviced (ie by a bike shop) prior to delivery. They charge $200 to do so in their shop.

    "This bicycle must be shipped to a bicycle shop for assembly."

    They offer free shipping, as does Walmart which makes no such stipulation, so you get to DIY or persuade a local shop to take it on (for <$200 probably).

    Be sure to check that the dropouts are correctly spaced and aligned to accommodate the wheels, to avoid additional frustration (beyond the fully enclosed chain guard etc) when changing tires or tubes).

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  • Dave July 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    This could be a good bike--usually, for that price all of the Frankenstores are selling a horribly bad copy of a complicated rear-suspension mountain bike. A simpler bike has room for more quality and at their price level it would probably be too much trouble to deliberately sell a bad bike. If a Wal Mart customer is willing to pay an actual bike mechanic @$100 to debug and properly assemble one of these they could end up with a solid, usable machine.

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  • Hans July 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Being a Dutch Bicyclerepairman, I can only say one thing: If you just put the $250 one the street you'll be only Grumpy once: These Cheap bicycles are all of an extremely poor quality. One the other hand for bike-shops there is a big blessing involved these shitty bikes are our pension-fund: in two years most owners spend the new-price on repairs: They cannot return to Walmart for that, and even then the quality will remain poor... So these bikes don't give us, Bicyclerepairmen, the satisfaction of a nice job/a job well done...

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  • matheas michaels July 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Hahaha Hollandia!?!?! You've got to be kidding me. I'd buy it just to wreck it and donate salvageable parts to the CCC.

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  • iando July 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I have one and I will be happy to post my "progress" as the bike slowly falls apart :)

    It is not great, but it is a higher quality bike than my Pigeon, which cost more after shipping and the LBS assembly. It is also a better ride fully loaded than the Republic "Dutch" Plato cruiser that was my winter bike for a couple years.

    The brand Hollandia is not walmart, just these are the cheap versions of their bikes, kinda like the crap Schwinns they sell.

    Personally, I don't get mad about cheap bikes. I am just glad that people are interested in them. I know that starting out on a poorly fitting bike can turn people off forever to the idea of riding, but I also know a $1,500 price tag is very daunting. I've been biking full time for years, since I traded my car in for a bicycle, and I still don't have the cash on hand to put down for a nice bike, nor would I want to keep one locked up outside in Detroit.

    The Hollandia is perfectly fine for what it is. If anyone wants more information I am glad to supply it.

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    • 9watts July 19, 2011 at 10:26 am

      I think many of us would like to hear your reports of this bike in use. Thanks for posting.
      "I still don't have the cash on hand to put down for a nice bike, nor would I want to keep one locked up outside in Detroit."
      But I do have to wonder how this notion that a nice bike has to be expensive arose? Nice = new? Really? I thought everyone knew that your best value for money came from a judicious purchase of a used model. Oh, well...more 'nice' used bikes for the rest of us, I guess.

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      • iando July 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

        Good point. I guess I meant I feel more comfortable parking a bike outside that I don't feel I have a lot invested in, money or otherwise. For my everyday beater I want something that I can park outside, drop a few times, and doesn't make me nervous to leave somewhere overnight. Not that it's guaranteed to get stolen, but if it did, I wouldn't cry (well, maybe a little). Does that make sense? A bike like this is perfect for me because if I have to take a hit, it won't hurt my heart!

        I am out of town but as soon as I get home I will post the measurements (I don't really know how to measure the frame but I'll do my best) but I can say right now that it is quite large. I am 5'7" and I can tiptoe if I lean with the saddle raised about 1.5". I'll post a more detailed "review" in a couple days, if I haven't already talked too much :) I have so far only put about 30 miles on it.

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        • iando July 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

          I should add that I have the Oma version. Might be a totally different experience on the Opa.

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        • Steady Eddie July 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

          iando---

          You are the only Owner that has posted..I am looking forward to your review...and glad to hear that it is a "large" bike..lol..

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  • Steady Eddie July 15, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I asked before, here, if anyone posting had actually eye-witnessed this particular bike, and got no response.

    I wanted to know how big it was, but if no one here has ever thrown a leg over one, or even SEEN one up close, how in the world can you make a call on it?? This bike had to have passed the much more stringent Euro Safety Standards to be able to be offered on the Market there, it is possibly the best bike for the buck, that WM has EVER offered.

    All of that bs about if it had a Shimano Group mounted on it was a hoot,--it is a single speed....lol...

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  • Steady Eddie July 15, 2011 at 7:44 am

    WM is NOT willingly assembling these Hollandia bikes in their stores. They are being sold site to store or shipped to your home, for free, and these days, free shipping is a very good price.

    I would personally trust myself to correctly assemble the bike, at home, rather than risk an assembly by a WM Assembler.

    Besides, only then could the frame be "spritzed" with Framesaver during the build, and a proper drain-hole could be put in the BB shell...

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  • Hans July 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    For Steady Eddie: These Hollandia bikes have nothing to do with holland at all, except an inspirational think (?). Somehow here in Europe they only use stringent rules to keep chinese cars off the market (much more money and thus power in the car lobby). I think they only check if there is a working brake on the bike, and if the lighting works. Remember before/if you buy one: Walmart is NOT trying to do you a favour with a very cheap bike, they only try to make as much money as they can, as fast as they can.

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  • Adam July 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    This reminds me an old Bridgestone Bikes article about mass merchant bikes and their role in the cycling industry: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/1994/pages/23.htm

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  • Steady Eddie July 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Hans...

    Thank you for your thoughtful post.

    Hollandia's WM bikes have never seen Holland, but the company does sell them, through WM worldwide, correct?? And the Parent Company is located in Europe.

    Doesn't all of this mean that the bike itself, has to pass all the requirements and regulations of the European Consumer Organization??

    http://www.bike-eu.com/facts-figures/eu-regulations/2399/cen-safety-standards-for-bicycles-acknowledged-by-european-commission-updated-for-2010.html

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  • Jerry_W July 15, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Butt ugly, heavy as a boat anchor, cheap (not a good thing) and did I mention butt ugly? I wouldn't recommend that monster to a witch. Awful!!!!

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  • David July 16, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Can we say bike like object boys and girls?

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  • Hans July 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    @steady Eddie: The CEN rules and regulations sound good, but there is no institute/government-body to enforce them, that's at least my guess, because quality of these "WM-Bikes" is getting worse every year/season If the parent-company is European, the only thing that "proves" is that there is some clever bastard makin' big money out of bad bikes: the same bike would cost here at about $150, which would probably mean that they bought in China for about lets say $15 bucks, $35 tops... they order many ship-containers at a time to keep the costs as low as possible, these people don't care about quality, only for the biggest quantity for the least bucks...

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  • Paul Johnson July 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    David Parsons
    On the other hand, a car is enclosed, can carry multiple people (my 2001 Toyota Prius carries 5, if two of them are children) or 800 pounds of cargo,
    and is really difficult to steal compared to a bicycle.

    Velomobiles are similarly difficult to steal due to the fact most are about as bulky as a Toyota (and thus have an annoying tendency to not fit in human-powered vehicle lanes)

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  • Paul Johnson July 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    9watts
    I noticed how you lament the difficulty of storing a bike and a trailer, but don't mention how much room it takes to store your car. You might ask folks who do all that you describe without a car how they do it.

    I think the difference is that trailers tend to be a pain in the tail to fold and store, or to park securely at a rack. It's a lack of infrastructure; if more facilities supported the parking and storage of trailers without breaking them down, it would help.

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  • Steady Eddie July 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Hans--

    My only reason to even bring up the CEN requirements is to show how the consumer/end user is protected. In this particular example, you have a product that not only must qualify for the Euro Safety Standards (CEN) but ALSO must pass the U.S. Standards...

    http://www.cpsc.gov/

    It doesn't matter where the bike was made, on Mars, or in Europe, or in China, it is safe.

    Indeed, if one looks at the Hollandia
    web-site and reads the posted Owner's Manual, you will see ratings listed: 100 Kgs load -- 50 Kgs rear rack, and 25 Kgs for the front rack...

    Strong enough..

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  • Hans July 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Safe it will be, as in not dangerous, but it is of very POOR quality, You get what you pay for?

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  • Steady Eddie July 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Hans--

    Ok--everything was going along swimmingly until I found out via the CPSC's own recall of the Electra "Amsterdam" bicycle, that, it too is a made in the Orient, faux Dutch bike....

    Poor quality is something that can be envisioned in the WM Hollandia quite easily. For example, it says right in the above mentioned Owner's Manual, to store it inside.
    That is a kind of a code terminology
    that means it will rust. A proper Dutch bike has stainless steel bits and pieces, made to survive being left outside. The WM Hollandia has
    no rust-proof stainless rims, no stainless steel stem and bars, and probably no stainless steel fasteners. I see no real reason to change the wheel rims, as they are 36 hole alloy rims, but the simple addition of some Inox parts would be good...

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  • Steady Eddie July 18, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Along the lines of "poor" quality, we have already determined that it is not in the best interests of an international market seller like WM, to offer an unsafe bicycle. I have an email out to the U.S. importer of the Hollandia Opa 28, asking about the finish on the frame. I have reason to believe it is a shiny black powder-coat..

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  • Hans July 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Well... it's probably not powdercoated, you will, almost certainly can get the paint off with a very blunt fruit-knife, goes even better then strippin' your
    home's outer-paintwork using a hot air-gun...

    Wheels will only be straight the first two months (if you're lucky), the rim-tape will be a laughing matter, the tires of bad indian or chinese fabrication (there are some reasonable indian and chinese tires but not on this one.

    The only thing worth salvaging on the Dutch "edition" (the ones they sell here in Holland) is the lock, though lately they managed to put bad locks on the bikes... Its more then sad, it's obscene (free from the lyrics of a Specials song)

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  • Skid July 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

    As someone who deals with these low-dollar bikes on a regular basis, the quality is going up. It's called trickle-down technology. Every time something new is developed, the "obsolete" parts overstock is handed down to the lower-end bikes. The headsets and bottom brackets are much nicer than they use to be. The only parts that continue to suck are the hubs, at least the steel ones, which suffer from imploding bearing races. Realistically, what is the first thing someone doe when the get a crap bike? Buy or build some blingin' wheels. Yes, the frames are steel. So are the frames on all the 30+ year old bikes still rolling around. Components like brakes are are usually crap, but a canti post is a canti post so better brakes can be had. Same with levers because handlebars are 7/8" (yes I know road handlebars are 15/16").

    Everyone turns their noses up at these bikes, and at their low income owners, and that is a big mistake. They are people just like you, they just don't have the money or the inclination to spend $500+ on a new bike. They should be treated with just as much respect and consideration. This may be true at one or two bike shops and by some people, but most of the time they are ignored or shunned.

    I love that there is a 250 dollar alternative to those ridiculous Dutch boutique bikes, besides the still overpriced Electra Amsterdam. See, the biggest lie in the bike industry is that the low-end 400 dollar bike shop bikes are any better than a 150 to 250 dollar department store bike. They both come from the same factories with the same parts. True at a bike shop they are more carefully put together, but I don't think it justifies the 150 dollar premium.

    Schwinn is owned by Dorel Industries. They also own GT and Cannondale.

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  • Steady Eddie July 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Well, I am still waiting for an e-mail reply from the North American importer of these bikes, concerning the paint finish...I may have to call them on the phone, like Jon did..lol..

    Anyway, I had been racking my brain-pan trying to figure out "where" I had seen the WM Hollandia
    frame geometry before..??

    The goofy looking rear seat stay/seat tube combo attaching bolt
    fixture was a give-away, I think.

    It is a knock-off of the Pashley, made in England. Right down to the
    hand lugged brazed frame....

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    • Dave July 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

      ...which in turn is modeled after older Raleigh designs - my step-thru Raleigh Roadster has bolted seat stays like that as well.

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  • Steady Eddie July 19, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Dave--

    You are 100% correct..

    BTW--that had to be the shortest time span in blog history, for a post -back,..lol.. 9:44 to 9:46--two minutes flat..!!!!

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    • Dave July 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

      Heh, just happened to see the comment go by and could respond :)

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  • iando July 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Here is my review so far:
    I ride the bike about 5 or 6 miles a day, including my short commute to work. I do not have a lot of time on this bike yet, so I will post more if I learn anything.

    Size:
    From the ground to the seat tube is 32"
    From the bottom bracket to the seat tube is 24"
    Weight is about 43 pounds
    Single speed, coaster rear and caliper front brakes

    Some thoughts:
    Very stable ride, I rode about 6 miles with around 40 pounds of cargo and didn't experience any "wet-noodling"
    Tall and sturdy
    The geometry is a little steeper than traditional Dutch bikes so it's a little squirrely at first. It only took about a mile or so for me to get used to that.
    Smooth ride, the large wheels eat the crappy Michigan roads.
    The paint on mine is a glossy black that has already chipped off in places to reveal a neon green underneath, so I think my bike started out as a green and was cheaply repainted. I tried to scratch the green and it was difficult- I think it might be powdercoated.
    The rear rack with permanent bungies is strong and stable. Mine did not come with a front rack.
    I had to replace the saddle because it is very painfully soft and mushy. I already had one so that didn't cost me anything.
    I also replaced the front brake- it was awful. That cost me $35 at the LBS for the parts and labor.
    I will probably replace the tires sooner than I need to, but only for aesthetic reasons.
    It was a breeze to put together but I did take it to the shop afterwards just to make sure everything was good.
    The reason I bought the bike (from amazon, which is probably just as bad as walmart) was because I needed a large, all-weather, simple single speed for everyday transportation and commuting. I wanted something with fenders, chaincase and skirtguard. I could have bought a cruiser for less but they are always too small for me.
    As far as buying used, I have looked for a long time for used bikes and can never find one in my price range that covers my needs. My LBS usually carries about four or five used mountain bikes or small city bikes. In Portland, where more people ride, it's likely easier to find a variety of bikes but here I wasn't able to find anything in my size for a reasonable price. Not to mention that I love the look of the loop frame, and that played a big part in my decision.
    For what I need I think it was worth the money. I may have to buy another in a couple of years but for now this will work. If I have left out any details or anyone wants to know anything else about the bike, let me know.

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  • steady eddie July 24, 2011 at 8:34 am

    iando--

    Thank you for your thoughtful review...

    I figured that the front brake might be lacking. What brake did your LBS recommend?

    WM definitely needs some proof reader skills in their descriptors.
    The "oma" (as you pointed out) does not come with a front rack installed,
    even though the ad says that it does. (?)

    The oma has received a scathing, one-star review on their Web-site.
    It was written by an Owner with no knowledge of what a "Dutch" bike really is. This Owner complained about the lack of a front rack (WM's bad) and the fact that the skirt guards and chain case were "fabric", which they almost ALL are..the bike was sadly returned..

    About the all-up weight: At 43 pounds it is actually fairly lightweight, being some 10 pounds LIGHTER that other so-called Dutch bikes, I consider this a blessing.

    As for value I offer this:

    http://achielle-usa.com/our-transporter-bike/

    Check out the price tag..lol..

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  • Nancy August 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Dear Steady Eddie and Iando:

    Do you think the Flying Pigeon is a better bike than the Hollandia? This is for a 4x weekly, 1-mile each way, flatland rider: me.

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    • iando August 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      I have a Pigeon and although it's much prettier than the Hollandia, it's virtually unrideable- at least if you get it straight from China. Too many problems to list. The rod brakes are worse than any I've used before, and the components are funky and cheap- not interchangeable with anything. Also the metal is so soft that you strip anything and everything just trying to put it together. The guys at the LBS just shook their heads when I brought it in to see if they could do anything with it. It's been a (lovely) garden decoration for a year now. I can't even sell it.

      I definitely recommend the Hollandia over the FP. It's a blast to ride, easy to assemble, and it's adorable. Just be prepared to replace the front brake.

      @ Steady Eddie- Sorry, didn't see your earlier comment regarding the brakes. The bike shop didn't recommend anything special, just a no-brand caliper brake. But it works beautifully.

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      • David August 16, 2011 at 1:35 am

        We had someone bring a bike into the shop that he had bought in China and wanted us to build it up for him.

        It came completely disassembled. The hubs and pedals were assembled but that was about it. Everything else was in parts. Spokes were taped together in bundles and the spoke nips were in a bag. I faced the BB shell and head tube before installation of the BB and headset cups.

        This guy had more money that sense and paid a great deal for a mediocre, extremely heavy bicycle.

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  • Nancy August 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks Iando! I've decided after all to fix up my reliable, but slightly dilapidated, 20+ year old Raleigh.

    Ride on, y'all!

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    • iando August 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Yay! Even better!

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  • Steady Eddie August 12, 2011 at 7:18 am

    iando--

    Thanks for your post..

    You are still the only Hollandia Oma Owner on here, and your opinion is highly valued... I have seen a Flying Pigeon and thought the same of it as you did..lol..I am encouraged by your ride review of the Wal*mart Hollandia bike..thank you..

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    • iando August 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      No problem! If you're still interested or if anything fun or horrid happens, I'll keep you posted. Maybe on the forum in your sig, though, as I think I fit in better over there!

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  • David August 12, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Bike Like Object?

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    • iando August 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      It totally is!! It's so bike-like, in fact, that I am able to commute to work every day on it, get to the laundrette and back, muck about or go on fancy dates downtown, go grocery shopping, take it to shows in the next town over, load it up with photography equipment and food and be gone for the day, and just ride it around for the sake of riding it around. One might be tempted to think it's actually a real bike- except that it sadly doesn't do anything that real bikes do.

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      • David August 16, 2011 at 1:21 am

        WOW. I am impressed. Do you have health insurance?

        Last time I walked through a Walmart bicycle section about 2 years ago, all the mountain bikes on display had the forks mounted facing backwards. With just a quick look I found that handlebars and stems were loose and front brakes not properly set up. I brought it to the attention of the store manager. At first he tried to tell me that is how the forks are suppose to be mounted and hemmed and hawed the rest. He then went on to offered me a job building bikes at that store. I asked what kind of tools they had and he knowingly (?) nodded his head and said, an allen wrench multi tool, a crescent wrench, a screw driver and a hammer. I asked how much he was offering and he said $2.00 a bike.

        Considering every bicycle that I have ever worked on as a (58 year old life long) professional bike mechanic that came from Walmart, it would cost more in labor to re setup such a bike properly and safely than the price of the bike in the first place.

        Unless you really do know what you are doing or what you are looking at in regards to bicycles I would have a local bike shop check and adjust every bearing, true and tension every spoke and check every nut bolt and screw before you ride that thing much more.

        There is a big difference in a bicycle built by a bike mechanic in a shop than some kid with a hammer on a loading dock at Walmart.

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        • iando August 16, 2011 at 5:36 am

          As I said last month, I didn't buy mine from walmart. I had it shipped to me from some online bicycle store via amazon, assembled it, and then took it to the bike shop and had them look it over.

          Am I still in trouble?

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          • iando August 16, 2011 at 6:00 am

            Heh, I did not intend to sound snarky- my sense of humor does not translate well to text. I might mention, though, that I have been riding cheap bikes for a long time. In my 30+ years of riding, I have only ever been killed twice from maladjusted bearings. I ride this bike like a granny, and that probably helps, too. I would not recommend the hollandia for racing!

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          • David August 16, 2011 at 6:10 am

            I would say that you are exemplary and the exception to the norm with Walmart bicycles.

            No Trouble but rather a Shining Example.

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  • bigrod August 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    A few things. The only problem I have with this utilitarian bike is the seat-post/rear bar connection (not sure what to call that piece that goes to the rear drop out). It does not look welded. I'd like to see one in the store to see what it looks like in person before I pass judgement. When someone can post pictures of the welding, parts, etc., I might consider warnings of danger valid. Until then, show me the proof!

    In Amsterdam a new "dutch" bike costs about $400 EU and can be a little less. What is nice is that spare parts are everywhere and cheap. Try to get one made in the Western EU! Try to get a TREK made in the USA for that matter! The point is that most things are made in China or Taiwan these days. If you want a bike made in the USA, Italy, UK, France, or Holland (not just "assembled" here) you are going to have to look for a long time to find anything under $1000 USD these days.

    Ok, so "made in Asia" is not a throw away bike. Where are Batavus bikes made? Are they really that great at nearly 50 lbs? I have a Kona Africa with a monster rear-rack welded into the frame (great for giving rides) and it cost me less than $500, but it is very heavy and was not made in the USA but in Taiwan. I love this bike, but someone stomped my rear wheel when I was out one day and now I have had to rebuild the rear-wheel with 3-speed internal hub at a cost of $100. My Kona is my kick around workhorse of a bike. If you live in a city and ride every day you need a workhorse. Cheap, not to flashy, and something that your typical kid does not want to steal or strip down. For $250 I bet this bike rides well for 5-years for the typical person with just an adjustment here, some oil on the chain, and perhaps new tubes here and there. It's not a Campy parts masterpiece, but it will get you to the Aldi for groceries just like the folks in Amsterdam do every day. I wish the Aldi here were as nice as the Aldi there!

    Bike shops rip us all off. That bike with a retail of $1400 was probably made in Taiwan for $150 bucks and has components that add another $300 wholesale to the bike. That is quite a markup for the retailer who might pay $700 and try to sell it at a 100% profit. I saw bikes like this one being sold on EBAY as import items (you go to your nearest international airport to pick it up, pay duties and import fees) for $400 EUROS plus fees duties and whatever.

    I'd like to see a good Batavus style bike sold in the USA for under $500 for a 3 speed, but unless this bike is made out of plastic I bet it is a good value as a workhorse bike.

    If you get all dressed up in your little Lance Armstrong suit to ride a $4000 bike then good for you, but I use my bikes to go out to dinner, go grocery shopping, and even go to the bar. I bet you can do this with this $250 bike and not worry to much about leaving it locked up out front.

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    • iando August 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Indeed you can, and very well put.

      I'm not sure what part you're referring to in your comment, but if you're interested/curious, I can post pics of the bike somewhere.

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  • Steady Eddie August 16, 2011 at 6:37 am

    @bigrod:

    That seatpost/rear seat stay connection has come under the microscope here, before.

    Member @Dave pointed out that millions of old Raleigh Roadsters have the same combo seat pin (post) attaching bolt set-up. It is, as they say, a "traditional" approach, faithfully copied by Hollandia.

    Over on:

    http://www.joe-bike.com/

    I did find an actual Twitter feed pic of this Hollandia Opa bike taken in a check-out line at a Walmart someplace. Of extreme interest, to me, at least, was the fact that many construction details are shown in the enlarged view, such as the hand applied gold pin-stripes on the fenders!!

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  • Steady Eddie August 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Darn..I see that Joe Bike has taken down the Twitterpic--here is the link:

    http://twitgoo.com/2mzivm?cx=u

    Enjoy...

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  • Ahmet Cemiloglu April 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Hey everyone, I purchased two Hollandia bikes, Opa 28 for myself, and the 26 inch ladies bike in hideous green for my wife. These are destined to be "trucks" to ride to farmer's market and grocery shopping. I was expecting the front brakes to be lousy, so I waited for the bikes to arrive to check the reach. They needreplacements, and Amazon sells Tektro 984 BMX brakes in black at $8.77. Would be a good idea to order them along with the bike, it needs about 88 mm reack, and the vinyl skirt guards attached to the rearfenders have holes to allow rear brakes too. You'll need cable clips or platic zip ties to run the rear brake cable through the frame.

    Ladies bike came rather in good condition, missing the headlight. It's going to be sent.

    Men's bike was marked "undeliverable" by FedEx due to packaging damage, so I contacted amazon.com to send a replacement. It arrived with little damage on box, but the bike was fine.

    Putting the bikes together is easy with simple tools, the headset and fork comes pre-installed. You have to take care of the stem, front rack if you have one, front fender, and wheel. Oh, and the and pedals... The front light, rear reflector, seatpost, and the seat also come detached. The brake lever comes at an angle, and I found it easier to access when having it in line with the finger slots on the grips. There's no quick release on the front brake caliper, you'll need to loosen the cable from the lever to get the tire in.

    Green 26 inch bike was easy to install, however Opa 28's front rack needed some cold setting to fit. Rack parts are tough, expect to jump hard on it if you're not a big boy. There are two height options to install the front rack, yet I found lower setting not possible. You have to do some paint damaging aggressive cold setting, and I didn't opt for that. There are more options at the handlebar mount, but I use it at the lowest setting which is almost level with the saddle.

    The lowe arms carrying the rack are promising, and the rack feels sturdy too. I ordered plastic milk crates to be zip tied to front and rear to complete the truck theme. Dcrates.com have them in two sizes, large one is good for thr front, and the small one is good for rear.

    The wheelsets are not perfectly true, expect to ride that way if you don't have the ability to do them yourself, or don't want to pay more on the bike.

    You'll need to tackle with the fenders and fender stays to avoid tire rubbing, and may be remove the skirt guards if you're not willing to true the wheels. They rubbed no matter where I pulled them. Wheels need to be done if you want to ride with skirts or etc.

    The saddle. It's over comfy at first ride, and starts to be a little annoying after a mile or two.

    Ladies bike comes with a lugged frame with below average brazing quality while opa 28 is TIG welded. I received the smaller frame which has the more compactish geometry, yet it teems to be a good size for me. I'm 5'9" (175,5cm). The green bike fits my wife as well, and she's 5'2" (158cm).

    Opa 28 feels a bit slow due to heavy tubing, and not the suspension isn't the best for a bike with 700x37 tires and sprung saddle, but it's very enjoyable to ride in upright position.

    Expect really slow starts due to the riding position and coaster brakes, and make sure you plan your next take off pedal position while braking for a stop.

    Although they are cheap in details, they really look nice when looked from a 5 feet distance.

    They are definitely nicer than the full suspension wallmart bikes out there, but cheap is cheap, don't leave them out in the rain, don,t try to race them, and do not expect monster mileage from the hubs and stuff, and you have a great deal for the price. Opa is promising to be a short distance cargo bike. Oh, and it's big. If your apartment access is through tight corners, get ready for some action!

    Oh, the light is only to be seen. Don't expect much.

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