How to buy a Dutch bike in Ireland

Find your Gazelle bikes distributor in Dublin, Limerick, Sligo, Nenagh, Cahersiveen, and online. Tell them you want a Gazelle Classic for around €500. And, boom, you’re in for a fun cycle to work and the shops every day.

Do the same for your kids (ok, these are German).

Let’s dig in to a bit more detail:

Why a Dutch bike?

They are upright bikes, and that changes everything.

From my context, I was on mountain bikes for many years. Then I changed to a “hybrid” city bike so that I could move faster. I finally was on my wife’s almost upright bike on my way to work one day, and I realised that I didn’t have to race those in cars around me! I could go at my own speed, enjoy the cycle, and get to work!

The main thing about upright bikes is that your body weight goes down on the saddle and not into your wrists. Your arms are simply there to manouver the handlebar from left to right. In contrast, the mountain bike experience makes you feel like you’re out for a race. Indeed you are, mountain bikes are sports bikes. The fashion in bikes obviously turned at one point toward mountain bikes as they were “active”.

But mountain bikes are NOT the best experience if you want to cycle and not race down a hill.

Upright bikes are made for the city.  Upright bikes get you to cycle more like a walker than a runner.

Why a Gazelle Dutch bike?

Gazelle is a Dutch maker of bikes. Buying one is a short-cut to get the Dutch experience of cycling.

When I was out buying my last bike, I didn’t even know how to call this idea of an “old style” bike. Dutch bikes have the tradition of a certain angle between the saddle and the pedals, which I think is the defining technical feature of what a “Dutch” bike is.

The handlebars are typically turned back, making it feel more like a cruising bike than the sports bikes.

Why a Gazelle Classic?

My wife owns a Gazelle Classic. It’s the cheap-and-cheerful path into owning a Dutch upright bike. The handlebars are fine, the saddle is faux-leather.

I have a more expensive Gazelle Tour Populair which I’ve reviewed. Look, if you want to spend money on a status symbol, I’d highly recommend it. I bought it tax-free with the Irish cycle to work tax incentive. But with a €1,000 bike you’re more susceptible to being afraid of it being stolen from you, and might even discourage you from cycling in the first place. That goes a bit against this idea of having a bike in the first place, so I recommend the cheaper Classic instead.

If one single person purchases a Dutch bike as a result of this post, I feel like I’ve won! Go out and cycle. It’s my hope that Dutch bikes can be the dominant style of bike in Ireland, as mountain bikes are a false hope. They make you feel like you’re out racing. They’re not suitable for your kids. Get them an upright bike.