26 May 2011

Dutch bike heaven

Uncategorized No Comments

Thanks a lot to Clare for coming and doing some real photos of the new stock we’ve just shipped in from Holland. And some of the bikes are very photogenic too.

Our guy in Holland is learning what exactly we want from him after a year of trade. And our shopping there is getting more and more enjoyable. It’s always a lucky dip and we never know exactly what we’re going to get. More than this Johann seems to like us and enjoy our quirky tastes.

The Dutch and the Belgies don’t really give a damn about aesthetics and indeed seem to revel in the cranky and the dilapidated. You have to respect this utter lack of ostentation. As a result we can cream off the best looking bikes to cater to the substantially more fashion conscious East London scene. This time around Johann sorted out a lot of rod-brake operated machinery which is just so classic looking.

We also picked out a lot of perhaps more function lightweight things as people are always saying to us, ‘God i need to lug this up three flights of stairs’ etc. Such is the compression of London living. Top of the pile here is the RIH on the Dutch Bikes page.

We’re going to have to put our prices up for the majority of this stock. It does pay to be the cheapest supplier of Dutch bikes and road bikes in the country, but Heavens Cycles is all too prone to bargaining and making people happy. It’s hard to know where to set the pricing exactly, bar checking out the (limited) competition and seeing where we sit. People vary wildly in terms of commenting on our pricing, but the current consensus seems to be ‘cheap’.

Road bikes especially are in high demand and we’ve sold there good things already this week. A RIH and Lemaro for 200 a piece, a very clean Batavus racing bike which had barely made it out of the van before we sold it for 300 to a friend of a friend. Our word of mouth is excellent it seems which is some sort of validation. Sales have been lively in the couple of days since we got back. As Johnny said when we emptied the van of our latest forty bikes, ‘I feel like we’ve created a monster’.

The true art piece from the stock. Johann rolled a couple of road bikes over from his van, brought over from one of his shops. And one was the Gazelle AA Special pictured above. These are really great lightweight road bikes of a good enough quality to have been raced seriously back in the day. This bike, along with a couple of others around in the shed at the moment, really shouldn’t be sold, or at least according to our current turn ’em over/pretentionless pricing.

So we’re going to put them into a section we can only call the Heaven’s Museum, a world where things are still for sale but at real antique prices. Someone tried to sell me one of these Gazelle bikes for €800 in Holland at a show a while back. It’s something to hold onto for sure.

No Responses to “Dutch bike heaven”

Leave a Reply