My Batavus Entrada Spirit

Now that I’ve had my Batavus Entrada Spirit for nearly a month, it’s time for the review.  The short and sweet version: I love it. Buying a bike I’d never ridden was a risk that paid off.

On our way to work

On our way to work

My Batavus is sturdy and well-designed. The gears change easily and smoothly. Roller brakes do take a bit of getting used to—you have to grip them much harder to get the same stopping power that you have with a rim brake—but so far, so good, even on the bigger hills around here. Le Peug is upright, but the Bat is even more so, giving me a great view of everything around me and making me even more visible to cars.

First commute

First commute

Before I got the Batavus home, several worries haunted me. Would I be able to ride a 40-pound bike without struggling? Most of the bikes I’d ridden were 5-10 pounds lighter. This turned out to be no problem. Due to perhaps the frame geometry or the superiority of the components, it hasn’t affected my speed or exertion level at all (but then, if speed matters to you, you’re probably not considering a Dutch bike).

Size was a concern—at 5’1″ or so it is hard to find a frame that fits me, which was one of the reasons I chose this model. The 48 cm frame seems perfect. Both the handlebars and seat adjust up and down and forward and back, so I can imagine this bike fitting anyone from 5 feet to 5’6″ or so with ease. In fact, it has—Kristi is about 5’7″ and she looked great on the bike, too.

And would only 7 gears be enough in Nashville? The answer is yes. I do use them all, though, especially the lower ones.

Finally, there was the cost. Is an expensive bike really 3 times better than a vintage rebuild? If you are skillful enough to handle maintenance yourself, maybe not. I plan on learning more about bike maintenance, but until I do, the internal hub, roller brakes and covered chain are the greatest things ever. It makes commuting hassle-free—no more getting on the bike to go to work and realizing the chain is loose or the rim brake needs to be adjusted. It is also worth it to have everything you need for commuting right there on the bike when you buy it—dynamo light, rack, pump, chain and skirt guard, etc.

Looking down

Looking down

Speaking of features, one thing I love love love about the bike is the Trelock with the plug-in cable. This might be less useful in an area with more inventive bike thieves, but it’s so convenient. The Trelock is integrated, so you just plug the cable in (it’s mounted on the bike frame in picture one) and wrap it around the bike rack or other stationary object, engage the O-lock, take the key out, and go.

06.15trelock

For demonstration only—usually I loop the cord through the front wheel, or at least around the frame.

The only thing I’ve been disappointed in is the bell—as fellow Batavus owner Adrienne of Change Your Life, Ride a Bike! pointed out, it’s pretty wimpy and cheap. Other than that, I couldn’t be happier.

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26 thoughts on “My Batavus Entrada Spirit

  1. Sigrid says:

    So glad you like it. I just LOVED the story about it getting to you – amazing it made it! I bought the Pash without trying it too and think it works just fine. Like your locking set up – nice. For some reason I still get a bit concerned about going further-a-field than my immediate neighborhood because of the weight, speed, and gearing, but that is something I am working on while I have the time to ride bicycle all day long – my new job. :)

  2. Great review! Useful to know that you use all 7 gears. That cable lock is intriguing. And nice cycling shoes!

    Question: Why did you choose this model over the Batavus Classic Dutch? Is it more powerful, or did the Classic not have your size frame?

    • Trisha says:

      Good question. The smallest the Classic came in was 50 cm, and it only had three speeds. It’s also a teensy bit heavier. The other serious contender was the Pashley — love the look! — but the Bat had two more speeds and was a good bit cheaper.

      • You can (usually) ask the shop or manufacturer to add extra speeds to these bikes, and the cost is not that great. My Pashley will have 7 speeds, pus a custom installed coaster brake.

        But if this bike cost less and already had everything you wanted, it makes more sense of course. Batavus is probably the best value for the money in Dutch bikedom and they look great!

        I agree with spiderleggreen that you did not pay too much. Most of the American bikes do not come with the extras, an even things like rust-free chains, not to mention racks and lights, must be purchased separately. The Batavus is a complete package.

  3. Nice.

    I don’t think you paid too much. The typical American bike shops seem to want to hide all the extra costs that come with a bike. All you get is the bare essentials, which is great if that’s all you need. But if you really want a bike outfitted properly, you’re going to be adding fender, chain guard, rack/basket, lights, bell and lock. How much is that all going to cost you, above the purchase price?

    I like the bike lock. If you don’t feel completely secure, you can always bring a u-lock along. Then you’ll be Fort Knox.

    • Trisha says:

      Yes, I totally meant to include the benefits of getting a ready-to-commute bike in my post…but forgot! May have to edit it in as it was certainly a major factor in my decision.

  4. sara says:

    So glad you are enjoying your new wheels. It is, I must say, quite lovely. The step thru / full chain guard will certainly serve you well in anything you wear to ride in. Love it.

  5. Love it!

    As a veteran of two bike thefts, I’d recommend this: http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/

    and a U lock for the less well traveled parking areas.

  6. Dean Peddle says:

    Absolutly you didn’t pay too much. As Spider said you get way more of the things you need to make a true city bike. There are too many people riding junk from Walmart thinking it’s a city bike when they are not for that purpose. Plus…do you really think a $700 bike is going to last nearly as long as yours ??? You get what you pay for. Wait to you ride in the dark and use the dynomo lights. That was the biggest convienice I noticed on my Dutch bike. I used to have many sets of battery lights but I tossed them all then added another Dynamo to my other bike. Once you go Dynomo you don’t go back :)

    I’m glad the speed is still there. My wife currently has a hybird but I want to replace with your exact model (mind you we get to test ride them). She is only worried about losing her speed.

    Great bike and I look foward to all the wonderful posts/stories that you will share with us here on it!!!

  7. Karen says:

    Well, it is definitely a thing of beauty. Very elegant. I was intrigued with you comments about the fit and your height. I am the same height and bike size is always an issue. The Bat I rode in Portland was bigger than what I felt I can safely manage but definitely a different model than yours.

  8. MamaVee says:

    Lovely! and informative as I am 5’1″ too. I have such problems with bike fitting!!

  9. Throw some Basil bags on there (I have the Twig version) and a crane bell, and you will not ever need to switch bikes to commute or shop ever again.

  10. academichic says:

    Great shots on the go! (Or as I just learned that they’re called- “Pandas”). Looks like you two are off to a good start! S.

  11. Kristi G says:

    You look great on it (or is it “her”?) and Nashville streets are better for having you and Bat zipping along them with your skirt swaying in the breeze! I can’t wait till I my next spin around the neighborhood with you!

  12. Kubra says:

    As a Dutch resident i have to say that a lock like that is not a luxury overhere:/

  13. Cosmo says:

    I am really excited that you like you bike so well. I am looking to get a better transportation bike than my current cruiser. The new Batavus Fryslan and Breukelen are at the top of my list with the Toer Populaire and the Pashley. I am having a hard time making a decision though. I am always amazed that people are able to do it. I love the Gazelle but it only has 3 speeds and I live in LA where the hills get crazy. Anyway your enjoyment of your bike only makes my decision harder.

    • Trisha says:

      Yes, I had a hard time making the decision, too. Finding this bike at such a great price really helped! It seems like every month brings new Dutch-style bikes to the USA. Nashville is pretty hilly, too. I use all seven speeds and could probably manage with five — but not three.

  14. d says:

    about the bell: the french company called “pylones” makes fun, brightly colored bicycle bells (the old fashioned “bring-bring” kind. they are definitely loud enough to be effective AND they look very cute. you can find them here:

    http://www.pylones-usa.com/pylones/product.php?product=64

  15. [...] know of Batavus thanks to Amsterdamize.com, and more recently through Let’s Go Ride A Bike (Trisha owns one) and they are vouched as absolutely great bikes. They are, sadly, not available in Miami though my [...]

  16. Jacqui says:

    Last summer, I had been vacillating about buying this bike. Littlehampton (location of Dutch Bike Shop where Trisha bought her bike) is about an hour’s drive from me. I’d been thinking about getting one of the more traditional old Dutch designs, but I saw this at the shop. They pointed me to Trisha’s review, and on the basis of it I bought the bike about a week after the review was published. It is everything she says it is. I don’t cycle commute to work (25 motorway miles? nah). My bike is for pleasure cycling a the weekend. I got a lot of use out of it last summer, and now that spring is meekly putting in an appearance, I will be getting her out again. Thanks Trisha, I’ve not regretted this purchase for a moment.

  17. gw says:

    Does anyone know how much a new Batavus Entrada Spirit Bike costs?

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