And to be honest, all of the above mentioned bikes have their enthusiastic fans. Some of them just want to show off, some of them want to feel the power of mother nature and some of them just want to ride comfortably, hoping their bikes will be still there, after coming back from work, a party or a movie night. But let's face it, most of the bicycle companies are mass production companies and in case of european manufactures, 80 to 90 % of the parts are produced in the far East... China, Southkorea or Vietnam... so to speak.
Luckily there are smaller exciting companies insisting on producing their masterpieces in an excellent handcrafted manner. But it would explode this article to mention all of these companies worldwide. As a european patriot, getting more important than ever in these times, I choose a German and Belgian bicycle manufacturer. Simply because both companies are well-known for their pure, minimalistic style. One of the them, being more retro, being more in the roaring twenties style, but with new technology and a far lighter weight than all other dutch style bikes. The other company, cool and with exciting brand-new technology. This last company, Schindelhauer Bikes, have only one thing, real enthusiastics can't shock, but definitely newbies, and this is the price: 2.100 Euros as a start, while the price for the first company, Achielle,starts from 700-1000 Euros.
And this for a perfectly handcrafted bike is more than an acceptable price. My favorite is Achielle Craighton pure in olive or matt black. The stores ( Hollandrad.com, pret-a-velo.de) where I found these pieces of jewelry in Berlin, the perfectly consulting teams, the living-room atmosphere, all this gives you right from the beginning a warm and tender feeling. Just like if good old friends trying to help you to find the right bicycle. Whether from Achielle ( Belgium), Gazelle( Germany), Batavus (Germany), or just across the the street in their second shop ( pret-a -velo!) with cool bikes from Azor Schokland( Holland), Bella Ciao ( Italy), Cooper Bikes ( England), or Pashley ( England), it's a real pleasure to choose your perfect bike. And not to forget the hot bike assecories.
Just like helmets, bags, shoes, jackets, even Londoners and Paris Guys would love to have. It's this kind of bicycle shop, which makes customers happy. So, if you happen to be in Berlin, just drop by in the Fehrbellinerstrasse ( Pregnancy Hill ) or Zossenerstrasse ( Kreuzberg ), choose the bike and let it send to your home. And if you have more routine in knowing the right size and type of bike you are dying for, orders will be taken by phone or email. Gute Reise. Bon Voyage. Buon Viaggio.