Unfortunately, Batavus bikes are no longer being regularly imported to North America. But for a period in the mid 2008’s they were available through several local bike shops. I became the second owner of a Batavus Flying D, after my first good city bike, a Breezer Uptown 8, was stolen.

Batavus is a dutch company from the Netherlands, but the frames are made in Taiwan or China. The Flying D model has a traditional “Dutch Bike” geometry and appearance, but is made with thick aluminum tubing and modern “29er” wheels.


The wheels have deep rims that are laced in a modern-looking pattern, paired with huge 2-inch thick city tires. This can make it difficult to hang up on a bike hook in a train, but it certainly gets attention. The front hub is a Shimano dynamo plus roller brake, the rear is a 7-speed SRAM hub with coaster brake, with the chain inclosed in a full plastic chaincase with futuristic styling. The bike came standard with a leather Brooks saddle and matching vinyl grips, rear wheel lock, and dynamo headlight.

I later added a dynamo taillight and rear rack to mine, which made it much more useful. The standard metal fenders are a little short, and need rubber mudflaps to be added for full protection. The 7-speed hub is a little finicky, making it difficult get the shifting to work smoothly when the rear wheel is removed and replaced for repairs, and you have to let up on the pedals while shifting, as with most 3-speed hubs (but unlike the Nuvinci and Shimano 8-speed hubs).


The riding position is very upright even with the handlebars at the lowest setting, and the large heavy wheels make acceleration and hill climbing feel slow. But this also means it rides right over potholes without a shudder, it feels like riding on a full suspension. The upright postion feels regal, as you loom over cars and other bike riders, and a tail-wind feels like a magic carpet ride. Just watch out for headwinds and hills, the aluminum frame does not make this bike light-weight.

If you want a “Dutch” bike, I would recommend looking for a Gazelle or Workcycles bike, instead of a Batavus due to the better build quality and looks of those bikes. But this was an affordable option in the used market, which came along at the right time. It originally retailed for about $1100 in 2008 to 2009, and now would be worth about $500 to $600 used.

Specifications:

Frame:  Aluminium
Fork:  Aluminium
Rims:  Deep-section 700c (“29er”), black with silver sides
Tires:  Chinese imitation of Schwalbe Big Apple tires 29×2.20 (52mm x 622 mm); reflex sidewalls
Spokes:  Stainless, 36
Front hub:  Shimano dynamo plus roller brake
Rear hub:  SRAM 7-speed with coaster brake
Shifter:  SRAM twist shifter
Handlebar:  Cruiser-style, riser bar with swept-back grips
Stem:  Alloy
Grips:  Vinyl, leather-look
Bottom bracket:  Sealed
Rear Cog:  18 (I recommend changing to 21t for lower gearing)
Chain:  
Pedals:  Rubber block
Front & rear Brake:  Shimano rollerbrake (front), Coaster brake (rear)
Brake levers:  Right (front) only
Saddle:  Brooks B67 brown leather with springs
Seat post:  Alloy
Chainguard:  Full chaincase, thermoplastic
Kickstand:  Long alloy plus rubber single kickstand
Fenders:  Metal (black painted alloy?)
Rack:  Not included (added on mine)
Lights:  Halogen B&M (replaced on mine with LED headlight and taillight)
Extras:  Bell
Colors:  Matte black
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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Reply

    although they are near impossible to buy in the US (at least the full catalogue is), how about a Gazelle review some time soon?

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