There are lots of ways to customize and stylize your Dutch bike when living in the Netherlands. And since you’ll be using it A LOT, why not make the most of it. Here are ten types of bicycle accessories to consider…
In addition to windmills, tulips and wooden shoes, the Dutch are known for their love of bicycles (or as they call them…’fietsen‘). It doesn’t take long for a newly arriving expat in Holland to learn that cycling is by far the preferred mode of transportation here in the Netherlands. Why? For starters, the Netherlands happens to be one of the flattest countries in the world, which makes cycling easy. Add to that the moderate maritime climate, health benefits and the support of local municipalities (which are responsible for maintaining and improving bicycle paths) and it starts making a lot of sense.
Since you’re probably going to be spending lots of time on your Dutch bike, why not customize it with an accessory or two to get the most out of your ride?
BICYCLE ACCESSORIES IN HOLLAND
These items are hugely beneficial and they come in a range of shapes, sizes, colors and prints. There are single bags, double bags and even removable bags that you attach to a clip on your bike for your commute. Then once you’ve arrived, you detach it for use as a briefcase, school bag or shopping bag at the market. The vast majority of bike bags range from €20-50. Check out the bike bag assortments available at:
BIKE PHONE HOLDERS
Whether you use an iPhone, Android or other type of smart phone, it is super handy to clip your phone to the handlebars so that you can follow navigation directions. There are different types of phone holders. Some have transparent plastic covers for protecting the phone in case it starts raining) while others hold the phone with strategically placed brackets. Both types have pros and cons. An enclosed holder does protect from inclement weather but could also lead to the phone overheating. An open holder allows for better ventilation but also has a higher risk of the phone becoming damaged in the event it becomes dislodged and falls on the ground. You can get a handlebar phone holder usually between €9-29. Available at:
Action cameras are a great way to take videos as your cycling along a scenic path, such as through Holland’s tulip fields or passing Dutch windmills. The younger generation likes to use these while performing jumps and flips on their scooters. The cost will vary based on the quality of pictures the camera offers. Expect to pay at least €39 for an entry-level, lower quality bike camera.
Expats also learn quickly that the Netherlands is fairly wet year round, but especially in early Fall (September-December are the wettest months). And because the rain is often accompanied by strong winds, it can be a challenge to cycle with one hand while holding an umbrella in the other. The good news is, there are bike umbrellas available which can be attached to the bike’s handlebars. You can find inexpensive options for under €20, but we strongly recommend investing in better quality (such as the Dutch invented Senz brand umbrellas) which don’t blow inside out like the cheaper umbrellas. Check the options at bol.com
In Holland, you will often find yourself wanting to purchase something at a store, only to realize it is too big or bulky to transport home on your bike. With a bike trailer, you don’t have to worry about that. Simply hook it up before heading out to that D-I-Y store or local market; you’ll feel better knowing you have a way to get what you buy home safely. Trailers generally range in price from €150 at the lower end to over €400 for a sturdier model. Find options at:
Bike lights are not just beneficial for cycling in the dark, they are mandatory by law here in Holland…a single white light in front and a single red light in the rear. But why not go further and get a light that can perform other functions? One we think is great is the S1 model by Zealot. It is available in green, blue and red and is equipped with a Bluetooth-operated speaker that can be pared with most smartphone brands. But that’s not all. It also functions as a power bank in case your phone gets low on juice. Check it out at Amazon Germany available for just €24.99. Or for higher quality sound, upgrade to a ‘Beats by Dre’ bike handlebar speaker around €52 at BOL.com
CHILD BIKE TRAILER
This bike attachment (called a ‘aanhangfiets’) is for a young child who may just be learning how to cycle, and perhaps isn’t off training wheels yet. The bike trailer allows them to be active with peddling and develops their balance while ultimately still being under mom or dad’s control. It’s great when heading out to the beach or a nearby recreation area. You can find options at: bol.com and INTERNET-BIKES
This low-cost accessory will hardly seem optional once an expat begins cycling on the often congested bike paths in the Netherlands. You can find classic handlebar bells available in a wide range of colors and fun prints, as well as more modern multi-functional bells such as those with a built-in compass. They typically range in price from €3-15. Find lots of choices at:
It’s smart to equip your bicycle with a device that will help deter bike bandits from stealing it. This could be in the form of an extra-thick chain that would be difficult to cut through quickly, a chain that is also equipped with an alarm that sounds if the chain is broken or an a self-contained alarm that also has a built-in geo-locator. See the bicycle anti-theft device assortment offered at: bol.com and INTERNET-BIKES
MORE HANDLEBAR ACCESSORIES
Of course there are lots of other handlebar accessories available for customizing and personalizing your bicycle in Holland. These include a variety of mini-flags, cup holders, navigation devices, rear view mirrors and more. Have a look at what is on offer from these retailers…
NOTE: Decathlon and Hema have stores in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven. HEMA has stores in all Dutch cities and larger towns including Breda, Delft, Groningen, Haarlem, Leiden, Maastricht and Tilburg.