Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Small Pothole & New Poll

I've run into a small pothole in my search for the bike...

I had pretty much decided on the Azor Opa - and was ready to order that AND the Velorbis Churchill Balloon as a birthday gift. So, I wrote to Seattle Dutch Bike Co. - and it turns out the don't have the Velorbis - and won't have it in stock in time for the birthday gift.

I have found a dealer who not only has the Velorbis in stock, but will be delivering to NYC in about 10 days. Seemingly perfect timing for getting the birthday gift....


Now, the dilemma is this.. which do I choose?

A. Do I order my Azor from Seattle and pay $345 to have it shipped across the country? And buy the Churchill Balloon from the local dealer?


B. Do I go with the Velorbis Churchill Classic and have all the leather replaced (to make it vegan for me) and have it delivered in about 10 days after a short drive from a nearby state along with the Churchill Balloon?

Option A will cost me about the same in total as option B - But with option B, more money is being spent on the bike instead of going into the pocket of UPS - and the oil companies... Will the Velorbis give me the Danish bike experience that I want? Well, it is actually a Danish bike, so probably, yes... But I've been told that the Velorbis is a more sporty ride, and not as relaxed as the Azor...

Help me, dear readers, what do I do?!

As of writing this post, I'm leaning toward getting the two Velorbis bikes.... assuming they can deliver them both together AND that they will trade out the leather parts on one.


Richard White said...

Hi Michael,

I have lived in Amsterdam and I have had 3 different dutch bikes, including an Azor Opa. Now living in the UK I have purchased a VELORBIS Churchill and I have to tell you I LOVE this bicycle! The ride and the overall quality is the best I have ever seen and owned! To me the Azor bicycles look very cheap in comparison to the VELORBIS with all it's detail to design, and quality components.

I will shortly buy a VELORBIS Scrap Deluxe and keep it in my summer house. The Scrap Deluxe has balloon tires that will be perfect for the bumpy countryside roads where I live.

I wish you good luck with your choice of bicycle!


Zakkaliciousness said...

Danish Delight beats Dutch Treat any day of the week... :-)

Michael said...

Richard - Thank you for the advice! It's very helpful. If I order the Azor, the shipping will make it cost the same as the Velorbis - so this is something that's really having an impact on my decision....

Zakkaliciousness - LOL - you are SO right about the Danish beating the Dutch. You won't get an argument from me on that... Bedste Cykler i Byen...

And at the moment, the Velorbis IS the only Danish bike available here... I'm definitely tempted!

Sigrid said...

I was waiting for that comment from zakkaliciousness - knew it was coming. :)

I'm torn for you - it seems your heart was set on the Azor, but the practicalities say Velorbis. It's a toughie to be sure!

And darn, you are a nice gift giver! Hope they aren't reading your blog...

aLex said...

oh, michael. you know i am biased. that said, i will try to be the best long-distance bicycle buddy i can be. pardon me as i slip into bicycle sales-person mode.

- what do you want to do with this bicycle? get from "a" to "b"? get from "a" to "b" while hauling a case of beer/wine and your cans of negro frijoles? if it's the former, perhaps a sportier ride (i.e., velorbis) is for you. if it's the latter, well, you know it's the azor opa.

- you are paying money for all those brook components. if you swap these out to meet your ethical considerations, you are essentially stripping the velorbis of what it essentially is - fancy. so, the idea that you're "losing" money to shipping is somewhat ironic. you're "losing" money to all those brooks components.

- don't get me wrong, the velorbis is beautiful. are you a design buff or a practical person?

while we talk about these bikes being vehicles, they have lived in our hearts and in our imaginations for years. if you want to make a practical decision, go to your local bike shop, pick out a made-in-china bike (not that there's anything wrong with that), and save yourself $800. if you want your bike, the bike of your dreams, throw out considerations like shipping, yada, yada, yada. take a deep breath, follow your gut, and be prepared to fall in love.


hank said...

those danish have been copying us for years. puh' lease. azor opa.

Michael said...

These are great comments - I'd love to see a debate based on the technical merits of the bikes - as Alex has started above.... Let's continue it here at the "Battle of the Bikes". Do you know exactly why you prefer one over the other? Post your reasons:


Aaron said...

I have a Classic. It's a sweet ride but the lights have never been reliable. They've conked out on me twice in the past 6 months or so.

Stephan said...

There are some distinct functional differences between the Velorbis and the Azor Opa, as well as some huge subjective differences in the way they ride and handle. They are two very different bikes that have a similar look.

The Velorbis has 26" tires, a chrome moly frame and steep frame angles, which translates into faster acceleration, quicker steering and overall a "springier" ride. The Velorbis rear rack is a light duty rack on which you will not be able to carry your friends (for very long) or (Alex's proverbial) 50 lb bag of dog food. Everything about the Velorbis is lighter and sportier (you are leaned forward a bit) and feels more like the performance of most of the bikes we are used to buying in the USA.

The Azor Opa and all the Azor bikes are equipped with 28" tires, a high tensile steel (less springy than chrome moly) frame and relaxed frame angles. They are slow to accelerate, ride like a Cadillac (you are sitting absolutely upright) are extremely stable and can easily haul a boyfriend or girlfriend or dog food and beer on the burly welded steel rack.

I love both bikes, because they are so different. One feels like a sports car the other like a luxury car. The Velorbis (with balloon tires) inspires me to want to race people on skinny tired bikes and careen down stairwells. The Opa (or Transport) inspires me to want to cruise and slow my life down (why are all these people on other bikes bent over and in such a hurry?). The Scrap and the Churchill are exactly the same frames (geometry and components) save for cosmetics and tire options. The Azor Secret Service (because it is a bit lighter and sportier) bridges the gap between the Velorbis and other more burly Azor models.

You are choosing between apples and oranges.

Michael said...

aaron - Thanks for the heads up about the light issue - have you gone to the shop about it? What's the response? I understood that the lights on the Velorbis are really high quality, is it the dynamo?

stephen - this manifesto is brilliant, so good I made it into a post on it's own. thank you, you guys are great!

Michael said...

OK, this is amazing - I'm closing comments for this post now to move the conversation up.

Please comment on the above post "The Battle of the Bikes" or reply to the statement from Stephen at the Dutch Bike Co. Seattle: "Azor Apples vs. Velorbis Oranges".

Thanks for all your feedback and ideas - it's great to see all this passion about Dutch/Danish bikes!