Simplex (Netherlands), ca. 1894

Click here for Dutch text/ Klik hier voor Nederlandse tekst

Original Dutch bikes before 1900 are extremely rare. There were some factories in the Netherlands, of which Burgers ENR, Simplex and Fongers were most famous. But as there are so many people riding bicycles in our small country, bicycles were used until they fell apart.

So we have the problem, that some museums claim to own a Dutch ordinary or safety, but who could be sure? There are no bicycles left to compare with. The only exception is Burgers ENR, of which even some boneshakers are left.

This Simplex is in the collection of the Batavus museum in Heerenveen, Netherlands. We are sure it has been in the Netherlands for a very, very long time, so it may be an original Simplex. In fact, I believe it is.
But: someone once 'restored' it, and gave it a head badge which is far too new. In the 1890's Simplex only used transfers. So why should someone drill four holes in an antique bike? To make it look like a unique Simplex? Or to confirm it really is a Simplex? I hope to find out once. If you can tell me more about this bike, please mail me.

I added a page from the 1891 Simplex catalogue, which shows a bike with similarities, like the bolt to fix the saddle (whichs screws in from behind) and the small lugs on top of the seat stays. But that's the only clue I have...
However, the bike we see here has some characteristic features, like oversized head bearings and special brass dustcaps on the bearings of hubs and crank axle. I also think the removable stay for the (missing) rear fender is special.