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Batavus BUB review

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Posted in Commuter, Review, Utility.

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24 Responses

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  1. Ron says

    James : Good review, but better was the honesty shown by you in the final paragraphs. I think that should set an example to some bloggers who have basically become product movers for companies, and take a good load of schwag in the process too, for basically yapping about how well it rides. Good call from the FTC.

  2. Astroluc says

    really cool… nice review of the BUB. I tend to fall in the same category as you with regard to liking a more road/race oriented bike; but it is important to stay abreast of other aspects of cycling since I do primarily ride for transport!

    All of your points about the BUB are balanced and reasonable… a bike without waterbottle braze-ons? that's just madness!

    Love the design of the BUB, as well.

  3. Seahome says

    It looks as heavy as an angry mother in law. As far as I know, you never mention weight in your reviews. I admit, however, that I seldom read the reviews, I just skim them.

    In my experience of 48 years of commuting a light bike makes a great deal of difference. I have also noticed that many people who buy heavy bikes as their first bike very often give up biking soon after.

    What is you take on this?

  4. Renaissance Bicycles says

    Well done as always, James. Thanks for your words, photos, and opinions.

  5. James T. says

    Yeah Ron, that FTC disclosure should go without saying. I agree that it was probably a good call.

    Seahome, My main commuter bike right now is an older Litespeed road bike, so I tend to agree that lighter bikes are better, at least for the type of commute that I have. It really depends a lot on the length of the commute and the type of roads that you ride on though. For short urban trips (2 miles or so) I think durability and comfort are more important than weight. That is why I would make a distinction between a "commuter bike" and a "city bike" like this one. The BUB is lighter than the average "omafiets" style bike, but still considerably heavier than a skinny tire road bike. If someone bought it to do very long rides, then yeah, they might give up on cycling. For short trips though, I don't think the weight is a problem. The bikes that are common in Amsterdam or Copenhagen are heavy utilitarian (and maintenance free)designs, and certainly those places have enviable rates of bicycle use for daily transportation. The key is choosing the right bike for the task, and it is good that we are seeing more options in the U.S. market.

  6. scorcher says

    I guess it's a good thing that Bridgestone no longer sells bikes in the U.S., as they had a model called the BUB (Bridgestone Urban Bike).

    The bike looks sturdy and fairly attractive, although the all white version you have looks too much like the "ghost" bikes often put up as a memorial to cyclists hit by cars.

    A waterbottle braze-on seems extraneous on a city bike. I have a lugged Trek 730 hybrid set up as a go-getter with upright bars, shopping panniers, basket, fenders, lights. It has brazeons for waterbottles, but I don't use them, ever. You're either going to a cafe, or your trip is too short to worry about drinking H20 out of a nasty plastic bottle.

    I see this bike as a product that belongs in, say, Target, with it's emphasis on design for design's sake. Although it has some references for "cyclists" such as "colorways" and Fat Franks, it must ultimately appeal to the non-cycling masses to be successful, as very few experienced riders will choose this as their get-around bicycle.

  7. scorcher says

    Sorry, that link to the supersize pic of a Bridgestone Bub currently on ebay doesn't seem to work. I'll <a href="; try one more time</a>. Assuming this link works, you need to scroll down a bit.)

  8. Anonymous says

    It looks like there are holes in the dropouts to hook a standard pannier strap through, but is this configured so that the hook doesn't interfere with the drivetrain on the drive side?

  9. Bike Shop Girl says

    Kudos on the review and thanks, as always, for the links back to Commute By Bike.

  10. wvcycling says

    This bike seems to hit a lot of checks on my list of wants for a city bike for the pricepoint.

    Even an extra $100 for the well built fenders is not a turn off.

  11. sheril says

    Where do you find that many number of bikes

  12. wvcycling says

    P.S. – how much does it weigh?

  13. Richard Masoner says

    James, what’s the diameter of those Big Apple tires on this bike?

    • James T says

      Richard, I believe the tires were 26” x 2.15” and the rim was 559c

  14. Michael Hamiel says

    So, I’m ready to see a BUB XC in person, anyplace on the West Coast?

    • James T says

      I think it will April before the bike is available.

    • Dacia says

      Wheelworks in Santa Barbara may have ‘em. Give a call.

  15. Dacia says

    Wondering if I could tow a trailer with my kid in it…I love that this bike can take abuse as I’m not the ‘friendliest’ bike owner, but I fear for safety on the hilly terrain where I live with regard mostly to the brake system (which I’m glad you went into in your review). I’m no competitive rider (my last bike was a pre WWII cruiser, which I navigated my college years in Providence, RI on), but I want something I can safely tow my kid and/or get from A to B without killing myself withOUT my kid.

  16. spiderleggreen says

    Nice review! Very through.

    But you gotta get out of the bike racer box when riding these types of bikes. My water bottle solution on my Dutch bike is a PDW Bar-ista cup holder on the handle bars. It’s great! It’s right there in front of you. No reaching down, fumbling for it. That would be silly. And get rid of the water bottle all together. I have several travel mugs that fit nicely in the cup holder. I bet you it would work well with “to go” cups, too.

    As for riding to work on these Dutch style bikes, I have a 25 mile round trip commute can’t say there are any road conditions that I wouldn’t ride mine on. One thing that the upright position offers is greater visibility. I’ve noticed the difference compared to my other bikes. I see more and people seem to notice me more.

    Thanks again for the review!

  17. Ask P says

    A few comments from a resident of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    As is mentioned we see a lot of people using the “granny” type bike for getting around town. We have a well renowned system of bicycle paths crossing the city.
    Where the BUB differs to these bikes is the quality of the frame, and parts.
    In Denmark it comes with a handoperated v-brake in front to go with the coasterbrake in the back. It is law in denmark to have two independent brakes on a bicycle.
    And allthough we have a lot of paths for bicycles, they are pretty worn and it is not unusual to hit potholes whilst riding. The tires on the BUB are almost an inch wider than the most common tires on citybikes, and the frame is also only 49 centimeters in height, compared to 54 for womens bikes in Denmark.
    The lower standover and riding height, together with the stable steering and comfortable tires makes it a superior bike if you are of smaller build. My 10 year old, 150 centimeter tall, daughter rides hers with great ease and confidence.

  18. Rene says

    Aloha All,

    I recently purchased a matte black Bub and love it. I am looking to buy the racks and the frame lock. Could anyone provide me with any information for this? I’m in NYC.

    • John B says

      Pretty sure these bikes are out of production, as are the racks. I know the NA distributor stopped carrying them soon after they appeared. But there is a chance they have some racks in the basement. The distributor is Fourth Floor in Toronto, and their retail outlet (where the racks might be) is called Curbside. Good folk.
      I love my BUB because it is the only step-thru ive ever found strong enough to support my size and weight (6’4″, 210 lb). In fact it’s the stiffest frame ive ever ridden. But as for hills — no. It’s really only suited for flat, compact cities.

  19. Rene says

    Thanks, John, I just sent them an email.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. More hubless wheels and other links | Bicycle Design linked to this post on February 28, 2010

    [...] Batavus BUB, which I reviewed recently, won a 2010 iF product design [...]

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