Dutch bicycles since 1887

20 April 2024
Sparta mandje

Over the past 130 years Dutch bicycles have been modernised, but they still keep their traditional characteristics of being sturdy, comfortable, low maintenance, practical, and ‘stylish’.

As a general rule, Dutch bikes have taller frames than other styles of bike which give them the upright or “sit-up” style.. ideal when you wish to view the scenery while out cycling.

Simplex, Snel, Sterk

For around 75 years, SIMPLEX were a major Dutch bicycle manufacturer (1887 till 1965) who were eventually taken over by another Dutch company (Gazelle), with the trade name then sold on to a German company during the 1970’s that manufactured industrial machinery **

It was during the mid-1890’s that the company relocated from Utrecht to Amsterdam, and during this period they formed a partnership with the Dutch artist Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig, who together came up with what is now considered the first advertising campaign for bicycles! – The ‘Simplex, Snel, Sterk’ logo (Simplex, Fast, Strong) is still a striking image with clever use of colours. The 2 images in this blog by Nibbrig date from 1895 and 1897.

By 1955, Simplex had sold their one millionth bicycle.. they then expanded the brand by eventually relocating to a different factory (Apeldoorn), but ten years on this move resulted in their collapse, before being taken over by the Dutch bicycle company Royal Dutch Gazelle.

** From the 1970’s onwards, Simplex in Germany is not to be confused with the Simplex Manufacturing Company (formed over in New Orleans, USA in 1935) who had made Servi-Cycles and motorbikes during the WWII period, and who had ceased trading in 1975.

Fun fact; Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig (born 1866) was not only an artist, but also a popular amateur racing cyclist, and as a painter he was one of the first to introduce luminism to other Dutch artists of that era.


A print of his ‘Simplex, Snel, Sterk’ advert used to be on display (top left window) at the HBT hub in Perth city centre.

HBT make use of Dutch manufactured Gazelle E-Bikes on all our tours across Highland Perthshire.


The original artwork by Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.. photo of Highland Bike Tours shop front by HBT

What our guests say

We had a great time on a private tour. The bikes were excellent and Terry was able to customize the tour to what we wanted. Highly recommend booking this tour.

Morgan Elk

Loved our day with Highland Bike Tours! Equipment was in great shape (helmets, vests, and bikes). I learned and saw things I would not have been able to see by car or if I had biked on my own.


Had a great tour around Perth. Great cycling and learned a lot about the landscape (and also whiskies). Of course, it is also an added bonus that you can do this tour in Dutch. Terry speaks perfect Dutch as a Scot and can also tell a nice story. Recommended!

Pim Bleeker

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Book your Tour

How to book your Tour

There are no cash payments at the premises, so all tours must be booked in advance, or paid by debit or credit card (at the shop/hub) prior to the tour. All our tours starting in Pitlochry can now be booked online.

Please note that there are only a maximum of 4 places on any given tour.

It is also worth mentioning that if the ‘private tour’ option has been booked in advance then there are no other places or bikes available on that day. For more info about the ‘private tour’ (from 1 up to a maximum of 3 people for the same fee) please see our Tours section, or simply contact us by email or via the website.

To reserve your place on one of our tours that start in Perth, you can either send us an email to [email protected], or simply complete the Contact Us section. As there are only 4 slots on any of our tours we operate on a first-come first-served basis with all our bookings. Please also include the height of each person - We will then supply you with the correct frame size.

Highland Bike Tours (HBT) make use of Hybrid E-Bikes with a classic Dutch design, so suitable to use while wearing casual clothing. You can view images of these e-bikes on the FAQs page (see above), or on our Instagram link (see below).

Guided E-Bike Tours also in the Dutch language. NL: Samen met een Nederlandssprekende tourgids ervaar je al het moois dat de Schotse Hooglanden te bieden heeft op een unieke manier. Vanaf 2023 zijn er tours die vertrekken vanuit Pitlochry! - Voor meer info zie ook: highlandbiketours.nl (our Dutch language website)

Atholl Road, Pitlochry PH16 5BL, Perthshire, Scotland

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