As much as I love my bike, the Red Beast, the time is coming close for me to upgrade my ride and get a better bike. I bought the cruiser very much with the proviso that I was buying a cheap bike to see if I was going to like this whole cycling business. After about a year of cruising, I can safely say that yes, I very much like it, and I’ll like it even more with a bike that’s better suited to asphalt riding, has variable speeds and hand brakes, is lighter and better built.
Since my wife got her Electra Amsterdam (Willow), I’ve been in love with that line. The classic Dutch/European style is one I have been infatuated with since our first trip to Europe in 2001, and especially so after our jaunt in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2006, when we got to ride a couple of these bikes in Brugge. The Electra Amsterdam, though made in the US, mimics the Dutch bikes perfectly, having been built to provide the same European experience. I have tried my wife’s bike on a couple of occasions and it runs like a dream, something she reiterates every time she rides it as well. So, though I have been fair and looked at other bikes over the past year as possible upgrade candidates (the Electra Townie was a very close contender), I know that it’s a Dutch-style bike that I want.
Of course, that takes me to Step 2, choosing which Dutch-style bike I want. You’d think that the Electra Amsterdam is the clear winner here, but the thing is, in the last few years actual Dutch brands have begun to make inroads into the American market, so now it is possible to get a truly Dutch bike without having to fly to Amsterdam (not that I would mind that in the least).
But I’ll leave that for the next post.