The Jordaan from Lekker is the prototypical Classic Dutch Vintage bike with a few modifications to make it perfect for modern commuting. The Jordaan was created for you to cruise around town, smelling the roses as you get from point A to point B. Lekker have stayed true to the Dutch commuting heritage with an upright riding position and effortlessly cool demeanour.
The Dutch have been doing commuting right for such a long time, it stands to reason if anyone is going to do a cool commuter right, it's going to be them.
We got our hands on the Jordaan 2GEN Women's 7 Speed Edition for a couple of weeks to see how it performed.
Details of the Jordaan
The Jordaan has only one frame size, a 'medium / large' 48cm that fits people between 170cm to 195cm or 5.6ft to 6.4ft, which is slightly odd given a large percentage of the female population would be around or under 170cm. Although the Dutch are the tallest people in the world so the logic behind the sizing is understandable. Perhaps future editions of the Jordaan will feature a smaller geometry for different markets.
The Jordaan comes with everything you could ask for in a commuter: 100% rust-free aluminium frame, aluminium fenders, deluxe sprung saddle, chain guard, bike stand, super thick tyres, front and rear lights, and a rear carrier with a 25kg capacity.
There's no doubt the bike is very robust, but it does cause a bit of a weight penalty over other commuter options. The Jordaan is 16kg complete, but there is a lot going on with the bike to justify the weight. As mentioned above the aluminium frame comes with fenders, chain guard, bike stand, and rear carrier in addition to the Shimano Nexus 7 speed internal gearing and 28" fat tyres. All of a sudden you can see the additional weight is all in the name of function and comfort.
Seven-speed gearing on a commuter is more than enough for most metro areas, and being internally contained means less chance of wear and tear as you inevitably ride through less-than-perfect conditions. To aid comfort the Jordaan has a deluxe spring saddle that is wider than normal and means you don't need a pair of knicks to get around town. Front and rear lights come as standard and could not be easier to use. A Dutch 'ding-dong' bell is included for that authentic Dutch feel.
It's worth noting the Jordaan has a huge 25kg rear carrier capacity, not to mention a detachable front basket, which can easily hold a few kilos as well. Therefore, the Jordaan has the potential to have 30kg of extra luggage on top of the weight of the rider. Now the weight and robustness of the design really starts to make sense.
What we found
Here are some thoughts from the team after riding the Jordaan 2GEN Womens 7 Speed Edition for a couple of weeks.
The size is a plus and a negative. Plus, in that it feels like I have more of a presence on the road, which provides a sense of security. A negative if you have to take it up and down stairs at home or work. It really takes up a lot of space.
Initially, the handling was a little too receptive / reactive, but then I got into the swing of things and it was totally fine.
The bike is a carrier. The basket on the front is huge and deep, the rear carrier super sturdy and can hold its fair share. This bike is made for market shopping and lugging stuff from A to B. Just be mindful if you do fill the basket obviously you impact the bike's centre of gravity as well as influencing the bike's turning.
The ergonomic handles are comfy - a good shape for a loose, comfy grip.
The gear changing is straight forward and the changes between gears are subtle. However, as with all commuters I've ridden, there is never really a huge depth of field here.
The bike is no fun at all riding into a headwind. I felt like I was lugging a car behind me at one point and I found myself wanting to sit really, really low, but obviously the build of the bike prevents this.
The colour is really gorgeous and the white finish, versus black, makes for a lovely look. The bike got a lot of glances. I suspect that's largely to do with the size - we are really not used to seeing commuters that big in Australia.
Frame: Lightweight aluminium frame
Drive Train: Shimano Nexus 7 speed internal gearing
Pedals: Aluminium pedals
Tyres: 28" fat tyres
Lights: High-quality front and rear LED Light set (Dutch standard)
Frame size available: medium / large 48cm
Maximum carrying capacity: 25kg rear
Color range: Candy Red, Classic Black, Pastel Blue, Pastel Green, Pearl White.
Lifetime warranty on frames