We are avid cyclists at DailyXY. But we are also partisans of elegant dressing and like to show up at events oil stain-free, and preferably without our trousers bunched into our socks.
This is why we were enthusiastic about test-riding the classic, old-fashioned, upright Dutch clunker called the Batavus Favoriet.
You may wonder why a bicycle that weighs 22.3 kilograms (that’s without the 2 kilogram lock you’re going to need to protect it) costs $1,050. The answer is that you’re paying for beauty. This is a bicycle that looks as if it comes from a movie about artists in 1930s Amsterdam. (Batavus has been making bikes since 1917.) Ride it in your most elegant suit, and you’ll feel like a poet. Its beauty is in its simplicity: it is shiny black, with high handlebars and an archaic leather saddle on big springs (a $200, but crucial option).
For protection of your fine clothing, the chain and sprockets are tightly enclosed in a case, so you don’t need to worry about your trouser cuffs getting chewed up. As the mudguards are maximal, you won’t get sprayed by the wheels. You sit very upright for a good view in traffic.
This 50-pound, three-speed bike is not built for speed, but it runs like a silent stream. The three gears are perfectly adequate for city driving, even on medium-steep hills.
You have to have your own sexual confidence to carry off a bike like this. But we were pleased with the comments we received from flirtatious women who like a man with an aesthetic sense.
In Canada, you can get the Batavus Favoriet, along with several other more modern Batavus models, from Fourth Floor Distributors.