Republic's Plato or Linus' Dutchi in Chicago?
March 29, 2010 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Where in Chicago can I test ride a Plato by Republic Bikes or a Dutchi by Linus Bikes? Barring that, can anyone A) swear up and down they are not suited for a very short girl so I can stop dreaming or B) suggest similar smaller-framed Dutch single-speeds?

I'm 5 foot nothing with a maybe a 27" inseam, and I tend to only feel comfortable on bikes with really small frames or really small wheels or both. I know I'm not that freakishly short and there's plenty of girls my size who ride fairly tall bikes, but I ride better when my center of gravity is closer to the ground.

Six foot tall dudes in bike shops size me up, say, "Oh, you should be fine on this bike! My 60 year old grandmother rides one just like it!" and I get on it and it's really difficult to get on, get off, or stop/start safely, no matter how well the bike should fit.

Not to mention I'm pretty much squeaking by on the measurements. I don't feel comfortable dropping dime on either of these bikes until I test them out and see whether they're smooth sailing, or like getting punched between the legs at every stop sign.

Tati Cycles and Blue City both are listed as dealers on Linus' website, but Tati doesn't even list the brand on their site and Blue City only lists the Roadster and Mixte. Neither shop answers their phone.

I crossposted this, with limited success, over at The Chainlink.
posted by Juliet Banana to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (8 answers total)
Maybe try that Dutch bicycle place on Milwaukee (near Ashland) next door to Filter.

And take this with grain of salt, but just last weekend I saw a girl (average size, maybe smaller) struggling with a big ol' Dutch bike like these, just on my corner. I felt kind of bad for her. That's a lotta bike!
posted by little_c at 6:17 PM on March 29, 2010

Second stopping by the Copenhagen place on Milwaukee. If they don't have those particular bikes, they may be able to point you towards other shops that do carry them or they may have other smaller-sized Dutch-style bikes.

(I've been in there to ask about parts, since I ride a similar style bike, and they seem really nice. No advice on sizing, though, since I'm on the tall side...)
posted by ubersturm at 6:22 PM on March 29, 2010

I fairly certian Copenhagen Cyclery doesn't have what you're looking for but they are pretty nice so you could ask for help. If you're worried about weight I've seen some lighter Dutch-style bikes. Electra makes one that comes in a lighter material. I tried it out at a shop last week but don't see the non-steel version on Electra's site.
posted by Bunglegirl at 6:28 PM on March 29, 2010

Electra makes one that comes in a lighter material. I tried it out at a shop last week but don't see the non-steel version on Electra's site.

FYI, I've got a 30+" inseam and the Electra Amsterdam was way too tall for me, even though it seemed like my legs were extending just as much as they should be and it should have been, in theory, fine. But I felt like I was riding my mommy's bike. So, I wouldn't get too excited about that possibility.
posted by padraigin at 7:09 PM on March 29, 2010

Well ... Short Dutch girls (not that there are many) tend to ride bikes with 26 inch wheels (rather than the standard 28) which compensates somewhat ... however I am 5'10" and they feel small to me.
posted by jannw at 2:59 AM on March 30, 2010

I've never been there, and only know it from driving past, but there's Dutch Bike Company on Armitage. Although from their website the smallest frames they have look to be 49cm.

I have been to Rapid Transit Cycles, it's where I bought my bike. And while I don't know about their selection of Dutch bikes, you can definitely test ride anything they have there.
posted by borkencode at 8:05 AM on March 30, 2010

Response by poster: I test rode an Electra Amsterdam today and also got a lead on some Linus bikes coming in to Chicago I don't want to jinx just yet.

J from Tati Cycles has been extremely helpful on The Chainlink. Tati Cycles has a Linus Dutchi available to test-ride and order. They have limited hours, so don't get all impatient like I did.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:38 PM on March 30, 2010

A few Linus bikes were on my list to look at but I hadn't found them in Chicago yet either. Keep us updated!
posted by Bunglegirl at 7:01 AM on March 31, 2010

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