Thursday 19 March 2009

March's Bike of the Month - The Oma Classic from Dutchie

March … The perfect month to buy a bike and start cycling. I bought my first set of wheels in the month of March a few years ago and have never looked back.

When you begin your search for your two-wheeled friend, don’t get bullied into buying some charmless hybrid. Consider all your options, one of which should be to ‘go Dutch’.

I am a big fan of Dutch bikes so am particularly excited when a new brand comes on the market. The new kid on the block this spring is Dutchie and they seem to be causing quite a stir. They do both mens Dutch bikes and ladies Dutch bikes so something for everyone.

We test rode their flagship bicylce, the Oma Classic , of it’s many redeeming features what is particularly inviting about the Oma is the price…. only £289. A lot of the Dutch Style bikes on the market tend to creep up to twice this amount so the Dutchie is an aptly timed bargain!

The elegant Oma was delivered to my door and as I excitedly climbed aboard, I was quickly reprimanded by my partner. At 8 months pregnant he did not think I should be trying out a new bike no matter how pretty is was! After a little sulking I turned to my Cyclechic colleague to do the dirty work and decided to talk to a real Dutchie customer to get a full rounded view.

We first spoke to recent, very happy customer, Rachel Kinnaird. Rachel came to us to buy a helmet and, on seeing our Dutchie parked outside, stopped dead in her tracks and lovingly proclaimed “I have this bike!”. I asked her how she found it and she simply replied, “I’m effervescent….

So over to Rachel…

I am LOVING my Dutchie, as are others judging from the number of head-turners I've clocked up ! Great design, fabulous looking, rides like a dream. It’s an effortless, smooth ride, great seated position enabling better visibility of traffic, feeling safer.

Extras like the demobilizing lock & bike stand are really smart and the Skirt & chain guards take the hassle out of wondering what to wear, wardrobe as per usual, hoorah !

Dutchie is currently an online retailer, which makes them quick, and easy to buy from, wherever you are in the UK. They will deliver to your door FREE of charge and the bike will be 95% assembled on arrival so you don’t need to be a grease monkey to put it together. It’s simply a case of tightening the front wheel and handle bars… phew!

At Cyclechic we are using the Dutchie for all our chores and errands and my colleague, the lovely Lavinia, has been in the hot… saddle. Lavinia was also very taken with Dutchie but as a stoic cyclist she did point out that if you have only ever ridden a regular bike, you do need to ease yourself in gently. Dutch bikes have certain features that at first can be a little confusing. Her 3 things to look out for are;

1.Back pedal break – Instead of breaking with two brakes on the handle bars you back pedal to bring the bike to a stop and you have one break for the front hub on the handle bar . If you wanted to stick to regular breaks you could go for Dutchie’s Starlite bicycle

2.The handle bars are wider so your steering action will differ.

It’s probably a good idea if you are making the switch to get yourself used to these features in the park before you take to the busy roads. It will soon become second nature but don’t give you the stress of adjusting while contending with busy traffic.

Oh and most importantly...

3. You may find yourself being drawn to your reflection as you pass shop windows because you look so darn good. Please have a quick glance but no prolonged staring as this could lead to accidents as well as an inflated ego!

You can however send photos of yourself looking wonderful on your Dutchie to Me and my Dutchie and they will publish it in their family album on the website.

In summary the Dutchie Oma Classic is the perfect for a gentle commute, school run or errands around town. It also looks fabulous and makes you feel fabulous, and being cheaper and lighter than a lot of its competitors … you can’t go wrong!

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Cyclechic shop: Frog Knog Front and Rear Bicycle Lights

Product information
Price: £8.50 each
Colours: White, translucent, Pink, Ice Blue, Olive Green, Lime Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Purple, Blue, Black
• SuperBright LED
• Flexible silicon body
• Integrated clipping feature
• Variable beam direction
• Visible up to 600 metres
• 2 Function

Cyclechic's verdict:

Finally a bicycle light to get excited about. Enjoyably tactile, the Frog is quick and easy to clip on n' off - the flexible 'tail' wraps around the handlebar etc, to be re-attached to a clip on the back of the main light body.They come in a myriad of colours to suit your bike, your outfit or your mood...

Click here to buy from the new online shop

Monday 2 March 2009

More Cycle freindly fashion at LFW - Twenty8Twelve

Are Sienna Miller and her sister Savannah secret cyclists? The pair's clothing label - Twenty 8 Twelve - made it's London Fashion Week debut and showed distinctly wearable, but still uber chic, collection for Autumn 2009. The fashion critics argue that it's too wearable for LFW, but we heart their unpretentious, street influenced style.

Thick tights, denim hotpants and loose layers are ideal for riding two wheels at the weekend (above)

Beige traditional mac styles were prominent, perfect for work:

If you're a night rider, there's edgier items too - from this Grecian, loose dress; a grunge revival style leather jacket & floral mini dress combo; or go 80s with shoulder pads and denim leggings:

Pictures from