mjr wrote:The utility cyclist wrote:I don't see how a 'Dutch' bike is more advantageous over a lot of others.
Like you, I was sceptical, so I bought an old Polish clone to try it out, then I liked that so much despite its flaws (clanking metal mudguards, thin wire rear rack, ate its front wheel bearings once) that it largely usurped my modern hybrid so eventually I bought a modern Dutch bike. I find them much more fun to ride (higher riding position, wider tyres, springier frame) and much more practical (chain guard, thicker chain up away from road crud, shift while stopped, hub brakes impervious to most weather).
I heartily recommend a roadster for any non mountain commute, although I've lowered the gearing on mine for touring...
Folding bikes are better if you need to take it on trains, though.
But my hybrid is far, far lighter, can be as upright as I want it to be (in fact I flipped the replacement stem when I first bought the bike), it also takes wider tyres than many 'Dutch' bikes, I can fit 55mm tyres without and around 45mm with guards. I've gone down the route of not so much maintenance on the chain, this one is 4 seasons old now, it's ridiculously worn and the middle ring is getting pretty pointy as well but it continues to work without any slipping. I actually bought a middle ring about 5 years ago on the off chance, that was £8, I bought a job lot of SRAM 10 speed chains for a tenner apiece and the 10 speed Tiagra cassettes I bought were £12-£14. I'm still on the first 10 speed cassette (bike was originally 3x9) having done well over 10,000 miles. I'd never swap to having a narrower range of available ratios, 48-11 to a 24-28 means I can use the bike for carrying heavy loads from the shop/DIY store and everything else like the lawnmower I cycled across town on it last year. It also means I can cycle down the hill without spinning out, use it as a 'gravel' bike, to tour on etc.
I'm not saying Dutch bikes are no good, it's just there are better bikes out there that can do the same job and more besides AND are even more versatile in gearing whilst also being robust and not ridiculously expensive to buy or maintain. I'd never buy a heavyweight Dutch bike because it would be inferior to what I have in every practical way.