Innovation That Matters

Old-fashioned bikes for the new world

Mobility & Transport

Vancouver-based Jorg & Olif sell Dutch bikes to Canadian urban cyclists. The two-year-old company took a classic design and added Japanese hub gears and drum brakes to tackle North American cities (i.e. cities that aren’t utterly flat). Aside from that modification, Jorg & Olif bikes are utterly old-fashioned: heavy and black. A strong rear carrier handles extra baggage, and a woven basket is an optional extra. Saddle and handlebars are positioned for upright riding, which allows bikers a safer view of traffic and a better view of the scenery rolling by. The bicycle’s enclosed chain and gear mechanism make it possible to wear work clothes while commuting. The bikes also come with lights, mudguards, splash flaps and skirting: no need to wear Spandex for a trip to the market 😉 Jorg & Olif, which is the only company in North America to sell Dutch city bikes, is a firm believer in the slow life. “After all, it’s not about getting from A to B; it’s enjoying the in-between.” Their bicycles, sourced from a small traditional factory northeast of Amsterdam, are priced from CAD 875 for a 1-speed Oma (hers) or Opa (his) version. Three and eight speed versions are also available. The company currently only ships within Canada, and operates from a gallery-like lifestyle store in Vancouver. Fuelled by a desire for sustainable mobility (in downtown Vancouver, about 33 per cent of people travel by foot and bicycle, approximately 28 percent take transit, and 39 per cent drive), Jorg & Olif’s bikes are a good example of how nouveau niche works. While the masses will probably stick to their mountain bikes, profits can be made from catering to a niche market that prefers retro chic. P.S. We like bikes! Check out our previous articles on two-wheeled locomotion: girls on bikes, city bike schemes, hot bikes, Indian bikes, bikevertising, and bikes for Africa.



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