Looking for new bike? It can be a daunting task in a city where there are more bikes than people. No matter, I’m here to make the search easier in this list of the top ten bikes in Amsterdam.
Narrowing down a number to just ten in a city with over a million bikes is of course subjective. There are dozens of brands and just about every kind of style imaginable.
But as the electric bike market continues to soar, there is a new revolution on the streets. Rad Power bikes became a new sensation last year and continue to make their mark.
Here is list of the top ten bicycles in Amsterdam.
The Omafiets (a.k.a. grandma or ladies bike) is the common Dutch bicycle. The frame features a straight lower tube and bent upper tube making it easy for entry. Generally outfitted with a single-speed coaster brake, it’s well suited for cruising around town in an upright posture. They can take a beating and are easy to maintain.
While just about every bike manufacturer in the Netherlands makes a version of the omafiets, prominent brand Gazelle offers the Classic coming in two frame sizes, 3 or 7 speed and a choice of 5 colours. If you’re looking for a single speed, the Old Dutch by Batavus is the best selling granny bike in the country.
The single speed classic bike with a double top tube is practically a national icon. Designed with strength in mind, these frames are well suited for the overly tall Dutch. In Urban centers, these roadsters have become a lifestyle statement.
Similar to the granny bike, nearly all manufactures have a version of the Opafiets. New versions tend to be a bit bulbous, and choosing one comes down to aesthetics and personal preference. For unmatched quality and nostalgia, seek an authentic vintage roadster from shops like Bikes To Remember.
The most popular bike in Amsterdam by a country mile is the Swapfiets. The single speed “Original” with their signature blue front tire is so common that they’re beginning to form clusters in the city. There is also a 7 speed model available as well as the increasingly popular Power 1 E-bike.
It’s important to note that you can’t buy a Swapfiets. They are leased on contract, starting at €16.90 per month for the single speed. The company offers top service as they will either repair your bike or replace it within 48 hours. Bonus marks for using magnetic induction lights, making them always visible while saving millions of batteries over time.
5. Urban Arrow
The Urban Arrow has dethroned the Bakfiets as the most desirable cargo bike in the Netherlands. They offer a range of models which include a 400Wh or 500Wh battery. Popular with both families and businesses, they have become a staple within Amsterdam and a leader in urban mobility.
The best bike in Amsterdam
VanMoof has done a remarkable job entering the electric bike market without deviating from their style. In doing so, VanMoof built a bike that stands alone. Literally. It’s the only bike that you see on the street locked to nothing because of its onboard alarms and smart location tracking.
The S3 and its sibling the X3 have a range of 60 to 150 km. Beautiful integrated lights, automatic electronic gear shifting, updated motor, with unmatched acceleration and stealthy looks sets this bike apart. The electric VanMoof is the undisputed king of the road and the best bike in Amsterdam in 2021.
Veloretti are stylish bikes designed in Amsterdam and are a favourite among hipsters. They come in single-speed and 3-speed with or without handbrakes. Brooks saddles and hand grips are available as upgrades. The men’s versions have a minimum frame size of 57 cm.
10. Knaap Bike
The Knaap bike and its identical twin Brute bike are sturdy, robust and just downright cool. It has a whopping range of 140 km when used in gear one. In power mode 5 (fastest gear), you can drive up to 60 km per charge. Equipped with a high torque of 80Nm, this bike can easily handle two people. There are several accessories available for the two models, including front and rear racks, LCD display, seat booster and a comfort saddle.
Join the discussion 4 Comments
How popular are pedelec bikes in Amsterdam? Any recommendations on brands people use?
Hey Vinnie, I’m assuming you are referring to the s-pedelecs that reach 45 km. They are not that common in Amsterdam per say, though a good number of people use them coming into town from outside the city limits. It is mandatory to have a license plate, wear a helmet and have third party liability insurance. They are also required to ride on the road and not on the cycle paths.
Some of the popular brands here are Stromer, Cube, QWIC and Riese & Müller.
Gus, I have a challenge for you: find me an aluminium, 28 inch, 49 cm frame or less, damesfiets with a v-brake in front, a pedal brake in back, three speeds, plus voor- and achter dragers. I can’t find that combination anywhere. Got any tips for me?
That combination is rare if at all. I would reconsider the v-brake to open up your options. Along the lines of Gazelle Esprit C3. Email me if you have further questions.