Most bicycles sold in the U.S. are performance oriented or recreational bikes with little regard to what works best for transportation. Mountain bike hybrids or fixed gear track bikes are normally passed off as good for commuting without any thought to the actual use of the bike.
In Europe where large parts of the population bike for transportation every day, the city bikes are designed throughout with features that make them ideal transportation bikes. Many of these bikes are as classically stylish as they are practical.
Dutch style city bikes put you in a more dignified, upright position than performance bikes. This position increases your visibility and is more comfortable for most people for the short trips in regular clothes these bikes are ideal for. Also frame geometry features like a longer wheel base, larger fork rake, and front return spring provide a stable, predictable ride.
By putting the shifting and braking systems inside the hub, these bikes avoid finicky dérailleurs and brakes systems affected by wet weather for a low maintenance solution.
Your life doesn't end at sunset and neither should your riding. Front and rear lights allow your to ride after dark safely and legally. By using a dynamo hub, the lights are powered by the energy produced in the turning of your wheel yielding a battery free, greener option.
Good transportation bikes should allow you to get on and go without having to put on special clothes. Fenders keep the spray of the road off of you while the chain guard prevents embarrassing, difficult to remove chain marks on your leg.
Good city bikes should allow you to transport more than just yourself. Heavy duty racks (called girlfriend seats in Holland) with bags allow you to carry a lot more than a backpack without the strain on your back. With the ability to carry a couple bags of groceries, your brief case, or a spontaneous purchase, these bikes make a practical alternative transportation.
Getting a flat tire is a real bummer and uncommon with the highly puncture resistant tires equipped on this bike. With a standard frame pump with its own built in securing pegs, you'll be ready to fix that flat.
Bike security once you arrive at your destination is essential. Rear ring locks lock out your back wheel making the bike unridable to would be thieves. For higher risk areas, a plug in chain allows you to secure your bike to a rack.
The basic city bike design is great but limited to what you can carry in the pannier bags or front basket. It also does not carry passengers stably or comfortably. Enter the Xtracycle. Xtracycle is a design that lengthens the bicycle frame behind the seat tube for 3-4 times the carrying capacity and a nice seat for an adult or two children (200 lb limit) As opposed to many other cargo bike designs, the frame rides almost the same as a regular Ferguson. This is a great choice for those wanting to go completely car free, especially families.
Xtracycle offers a conversion kit for most standard bikes, but Violet Crown Cycles is one of the first frame builders to offer a unified frame built around the Xtracycle architecture, the Fergulong. This offers a lighter, stiffer frame than the conversion kit plus the option of running an internal hub without an unsightly chain tensioner. The frame is fully compatible with all the Xtracycle components allowing you maximum utility and upgrade possibilities. Upgrade price: $1000 (includes basic Xtracycle long tail kit of bags, V-rack and wooden snap deck.)
For the ultimate in cargo hauling and range, we offer the Stokemonkey pedal assist from Clever Chimps as an upgrade to our Xtracycle Fergulong model. Designed and built in Portland, OR, the Stokemonkey is a battery operated motor that engages on demand to provide extra pedal power for your bike. A great option for those with hilly or longer distance trips
Traditional Dutch bikes are great, so why not get one? Well, currently no large U.S. bike manufacture makes bikes with all of these features, and there are only a handful of importers of Dutch city bikes. More often than not, these importers get small batches with limited sizes forcing the customer to purchase a bike that may not be the exact right size for them. Color choices are usually limited to black. Also imported bikes must be shipped half way around the world increasing its carbon footprint.
The Violet Crown Cycles Ferguson line takes all great features of Dutch style city bikes to the next level with fully customized, hand built frames made in the U.S.A. Your bike is built to your body dimensions and weight. This is especially important if your height or weight are outside of average where stock bikes are too big or too small or handle poorly for you. We hand build with higher quality steel than most production Dutch bikes yielding a bike that is lighter and more sprightly with more attention to aesthetic detail. We also allow you to further customize your bike with higher quality components, a wide selection of colors, color matched parts so your bike can reflect your personality.