There was quite a bit of response when Seattle Bike Supply began importing the Dutch Batavus bikes into the United States. Seattle Bike Supply had a huge display at Interbike 2007 with a large portion devoted to the Batavus Dutch Bikes.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to ask how much interest there’s been in this bike from dealers and consumers. I’ll try to follow up with that information later.
Another interesting import from Helkama Velox in Finland. The red bike is the 3-speed Helkama “Ainotar,” which comes complete with fenders, skirt guard, full chain guard, rack, basket, and front and rear lights powered by a front-hub dynamo. It’s a nice looking bike. A minor drawback is that the lights are old style incandescent halogen lamps, while everybody in the United States has moved to bright LEDs. The importer was at Interbike to line up dealers.
The German Retrovelo bike builders were also at Interbike 2007 lining up dealers for their unique town bikes. The brown bike below looks like a singlespeed bike, but the crank is an interesting planetary gear mechanism from Schlumpf Innovations in Germany. The Schlumpf Speed Drive gives you different gear rations without changing the chain tension at all by engaging and disengaging a planetary gear within the crank.
The red bike is an 8-speed fat tire city bike — they asked me not to call it a “cruiser”. The designers told me they’re inspired by American cruiser designs but with European practicality and sensibility. Check out the sensible features like fenders, front-hub dynamo and lights, and the slick-looking chainguard.