While on a search for a new bike, we came across this Dutch bike company, De Fietsfabriek, recently opened in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. Dutch for "the bike factory," De Fietsfabriek bikes are designed specifically to replace a car. There are a variety of models, many of which can hold a few hundred pounds and several kids. And they’re beautiful…While not exactly what we’re looking for with our current needs, we think these bikes are amazing. Motivated by families looking for car alternatives, Yalçin Cihangir and Dave Deutsch decided to revive ‘bakfiets’ —Dutch cargo bikes— and modernized them for today’s needs when they opened De Fietsfabriek. After living two years in Amsterdam, Jon Lind was inspired by this revitalized Dutch bicycle culture and Cihangir and Deutsch, and proceeded to open the first US-based shop, De Fietsfabriek USA.
The Bakfiets are classic Dutch cargo bikes that ride on either two or three wheels. They come with a large box on the front for carting things (or people) around the city. Some styles, like the PackMax Due, even come with two extra children’s seats.
De Fietsfabriek also makes smaller scale City Bikes. Their design is inspired by vintage cruiser style bikes, but with classic front cargo storage. They’re also equipped with fenders, skirt/jacket guards, LED lights and offer extra panniers, a rain canopy and name personalization for an additional charge.
City Bikes: Oma: $1599.00 (left), Filibus: $2249.00
Yes, we agree that the bikes are pricey, but we think for most people these high quality, stylish bikes could truly replace the need for a car, are probably more fun to use, and in the end would save you money.
Rachel is an Chicago-based architect and LEED Accredited Professional. When she's not designing homes, she enjoys spending her free time traveling, gardening, and playing with her french bulldog.
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