Bikes are everywhere in Amsterdam. If you’re looking to join the locals on the fietspad, here’s a guide to buying one, as well as a primer to bike lane etiquette in Amsterdam.
Bicycles in Amsterdam
The bicycle is very much part of Amsterdam culture and a near-necessity within the city centre. Look closely, though, and you will see that most city bikes seem battered and uncared for, even slightly old-fashioned. These are not racing bikes or mountain bikes, but standard Gazelle and Batavus models.
Basic bicycles and repair
To blend in with the crowd, select your Gazelle or Batavus city bike from one of the many bicycle dealers in Amsterdam.
Kroonenberg Tweewielers and Bob Orange Bicycles are both centrally located and have good selections of new touring or mountain bikes and second-hand city bicycles; a new Batavus Flash City Bike should cost around EUR 600. Their technicians will service and repair your bike, as will any good bike dealer in the city. In fact, should you get a puncture on the way to work, there will always be a nearby store that can repair it for you in time to pick it up on the way home.
From these shops, you can get a reconditioned second-hand bike for about EUR 300. If you would like something cheaper, there are bike dealers in Waterlooplein market; get there early in the day for a good selection.
Locks are important
Before looking for an expensive bicycle, make sure you have a safe place to store your bike and a really good set of locks. Wheel locks are available from EUR 20 but are usually fitted as standard, and you will need an extra lock to fasten the bike to something solid. A good one will set you back EUR 120.
If you are looking for something special, try Kaptein Tweewielers, which has a good selection of racing and mountain bikes. It runs “fiets klinics” for beginner racers. For a racing bike, prices start at around EUR 720 but can cost thousands of euro for a high-end model. For an eye-catching chopper bike go to the Chopperdome Amsterdam, where the colourful and cool bikes start at EUR 400 but can cost as much as EUR 4,000.
Cycling with a child
Once you’ve caught the cycling bug, having a child seat fitted front or back costs about EUR 75. Most dealers stock these seats, including Halfords, which offers a good range of accessories and new bikes for adults and children. If you haven’t the stamina to carry toddlers and the weekly shopping home, a cargo bike from Bob Orange Bicycles will set you back about EUR 1,500. Consider it a good investment.