I made a trip to Flying Pigeon LA over the weekend and look what I found!
I got to take the Breukelen for a test ride at last. Josef was just unpacking it and I was delighted that he was able to quickly get it set up so that I could take it out before I had to leave. First I have to say that the bike was a bit small for me. My long arms felt squished. As I have said before I can't exactly give a fair review of a bike that doesn't fit me. However I have to say something about it. I am undecided on the look of the bike. I like the matte black and the limited logos. I am not wild about the shape of the bottom tube. I thought the 7 gears were nice and the coat guard and the chaincase. The bike is lighter than the other bikes I have tried before because it is an aluminum frame. I was not incredibly pleased with the ride. It wasn't terrible. It was stiff and the bumps in LA are not nice. I think that there are plenty of people who would love this bike.
They also had a pair of Divas which were a real treat. So Lucky was I. First off I have to say I do not care for the flowers and frilly look of the saddle grips and fenders on this model. The lavender bike had a solid black saddle though. I took it out for a ride anyway. The bike was so nice to ride. I am going with the tires as the reason. The tires are wide and cushy. It is sportier than the other Batavus bikes I've ridden. It is an aluminum frame but it didn't feel as stiff as the Bruekelen. It was also the larger size frame and I am assuming that would make it a bit heavier. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend trying it out if you get the chance.
So after taking these two bikes for a ride I as I had been hoping to do for such a long time I was thinking more about what it is that I want in my bike. I was talking about the options with Josef and The Hubby. I was asking if it would be a pain to add more gears to the 3 speed Diva. Josef said it is kinda pricey and a pain. The Hubby suggested ordering the Breukelen in the larger size and putting fatter tires on it. I am not sure if that would be best. The fenders don't seem to have a lot of room for the extra width and height. Maybe I should take a chance and order the Fryslân in my size and put fatter tires on it and get a new saddle. Then there is always the Kronan. At that price spending a little extra for a few more gears doesn't seem like a big deal and that thing is soooo smooth.
Maybe should consider spending a fortune on a balloon tire bike like the Retrovelo or Velorbis Scrap Deluxe. Why don't the balloon tire bikes have coat guards? Maybe I just need to get up to Santa Barbara to test an Azor. Anybody live on hills that rides an Azor? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. I have only seen one in LA. Maybe I need an A.N.T bike. Anyone have a Boston Roadster that they want to let me take for a test ride? Though it doesn't look like the tires on the BR are very wide. If I weren't worried about the brain and spine of my little one being injured by the constant potholes around LA I'd be less worried about that. The bumps give me a headache. Though the Gazelles will be in California next month and the Miss Grace is intriguing. It has Fat Franks.