Thursday, 22 April 2010

A TV advert - and the type of bikes that sell most in the Netherlands


Just after I got home tonight my daughter called me to say that there was an ad on the TV that I should see. A few minutes later when I looked at my email, someone had sent me the link to the same. It's above.

The first guy says "Hey neighbour, ESP, ABS, fog lamps, 16 inch rims and 6 gears."

The second guy says "28 inch rims, 8 gears, high power lights and computer integrated in the steering. My wife and daughter have the same."

It's advertising for the bikes of course, in this case a a nice practical bike with everything built in and at the moment they're giving a free mid-week stay at centerparcs with each purchase.

There is a list of the top selling models on the Batavus website, and much like any mainstream Dutch bicycle manufacturer, these are the most popular models in order. First place is taken by the very traditional Old Dutch, a nicely put together traditional bike with back pedal brake and one gear. "As well as black, also available in today's trendy colours," for €400.

Second place is the Weekend. A higher specification bike (eight gears in the hub, aluminium frame, hub dynamo, built in computer etc.) intended for holidays, or indeed riding at weekends. It's the bike featured in the TV ad and sells for €850.

Third place is the Diva, a "fashiobike" with trendy flower prints, it is an upmarket town bike. The feature "make the Diva a fashion statement." It costs €670.

Fourth is the Mambo deluxe. This is a fully equipped Mamafiets, a class of bike with a greater distance between the saddle and steering in order to accommodate the child seat on the front - which is of course fitted as standard at the factory (or at the very least by the bike shop). It is sold to mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. "Safe, rigid and comfortable. Enough room for getting on and off." That's the way it's sold. Price: €850

The fifth best selling model is the Padova Easy. This is an electric bike with the battery built into the frame. The only bike in this list with an exposed chain, though a closed chain version is also available. Often bought by retired couples in "his and hers" pairs, these bikes cost €2299 each.

Note how all the bikes come fully equipped with mudguards, chainguards (all but the last protecting the chain for year around use), locks, lights. Some models come with pumps and other things you might consider to be separately sold accessories in other parts of the world. Basically these have all the features of a practical everyday bike as I posted about previously.

Batavus do of course also sell racing bikes and mountain bikes, but naturally these sport bikes aren't the most popular models. Most people use their bikes for transportation, not sport. I'm quite surprised that none of the children's bikes make the list.

If you're interested in the type of components used on these bikes, and perhaps wish to transform your own bike to be more like the practical bikes ridden everyday by the Dutch, please visit our webshop which specializes in these parts and accessories.

7 comments:

Michael said...

I wish we could have commercials like that in the States. So simple, so awesome

Anonymous said...

TV ads for bikes in the UK are rare, the only ones I can think of are for Halfords who sponsor the excellent ITV Tour de France coverage.
Regarding the size of wheels and number of gears, the only important number is how often the bike is riden :-) Enjoy Spezi.
Mark Garrett, Bristol UK

BG said...

I love this ad, too, but there's no way it'd work in the States. Smart and simple never beats loud and showy, here. Portland and Vermont don't count.

Ex-Coventry Blogger said...

What I find interesting is that the bikes all look like what we would call 'ladies' bikes' in the UK. I.e., no top tube. What's the reason behind this? Has it been a better design all along?

David Hembrow said...

Ex-Coventry: Most of the bikes are available in "mens" frames as well. However, you probably have to select a different option on the website to see them. I didn't make a deliberate action to select one or the other.

A lower step through design is always more universal. For older people it's easier than having to lift a leg. Teenage boys (perhaps the demographic most likely to be concerned) are often seen riding loop frame bikes here. To them it's just transport. Just a bike. Not a statement about your sex.

Anonymous said...

My dad had a Batavus "Flying Dutchman" bought in the 1980s. Built like a tank, slow and heavy but practically impossible to destroy. Had it for nearly 20 years, almost no maintenance necessary.

This is the exact type of bikes ALL dutch tourists carry on their caravans when visiting Denmark (and they ALWAYS bring them along). Danish bikers often prefer more sporty looking city bikes, race bikes or mountain bikes. Although the flower decorated dutch style is popular in the cafe-latte generation of young women.

Julie said...

Wish there were more cycle paths here in Australia like that in the advert.