Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Netherlands folders

The Netherlands has not been well known (at least amongst the English-speaking world) for producing folding bicycles, despite their long history of practical bicycles.

Gazelle has been making bicycles in the Netherlands for over 100 years and produced the Quickstep folder in 1964. Currently, they have a couple of Dahon-based small-wheeled folders within their extensive range.

Fongers has been around for a similar length of time, producing their first prototype folder in 1909 (scroll down). Nowadays, folding bike options seem to be limited to this small-wheeler.

Sparta had a not very compact separable bicycle in 1970 but doesn't appear to produce a folding bicycle at present, concentrating on conventional machines.

Batavus existed pre-WW1 and currently produce several small-wheelers. The upmarket machines look quite impressive.

Koga-Miyata appears to be a 30+ year old joint venture between Dutch firm Koga and Japanese bicycle firm Miyata. Amongst bikes of all descriptions, they produce both small-wheeled solo and large-wheeled tandem fully suspended folding bikes.

Of course, many other folders are available in the Netherlands, either under their own name or 'badge-engineered', as this Ebay-like list shows.

Vincent Van Eerd has a worthwhile website with a larger-wheeled folding bicycle, some Brompton modifications and other interesting webpages.

Much of this piece has been drawn from Chop's folder list.