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Holland Expat – How Long Can a Bike Last?

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.04.43 AMWhen I wandered into the local bicycle store and could not find a bike for less than 500 euro, I pulled a pedestrian u-turn right back out the door. Most of the price tags were in the thousands. Perhaps this makes sense in a country where two wheels get you to your destination 5% faster (10% in cities), are easier to park, and the land is fairly flat. These statistics and more can be found on Netherlands By the Numbers which notes:

Every year we [Netherlanders] buy  around 1.3 million bikes, with total value of €1bn. The average price? A whopping great €954 last year.

I must have wandered into an upscale store. About a month ago, though, my favorite 2nd hand shop had a tall, light-weight, men’s bicycle out front. I could barely straddle the bar on my tip-toes, but with my older sons out growing me I thought it would be perfect for one of them.

Used Bike = 90 euro

The brand was one I’d seen around Holland, so I couldn’t help but look online to find that new ones cost between 579 euro and 3,000. The upside of our specimen is that it came with functional head light, tail light, built-in lock, rear storage rack, several speeds, and such.  And the bike was obviously fairly old even though it was excellently maintained.

How well maintained was it?

When our Dutch Bike Serviceman came to tune it up for us, he discovered our Gazelle bicycle is more than 40 years old. Wow!

Now, who wants to take bets on how long it will last with my adolescent son perched on top of it?

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Kristin King is an author, publisher and US expat living in the Netherlands. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven.”

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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Living in Holland

 

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