Excerpted from "The
Multi geometries bicycle"
Design & Development
June 2001 by Casper Drenth,
Mechanical Engineering undergraduate,
History of Batavus
The Beginning, 1904
Thursday, 15 September 1904. Andries Gaastra opens his shop selling
clocks and sowing machines. Two years later he expands his
assortment with bicycles of (back then) well-known, German brand
Presto. Quickly this brand is superseded by there own brand, Batavus.
1917 Growing in difficult times
Batavus takes over a bicycle factory and keeps growing. The 1930’s
crisis stops the growth. But because of their inventive minds
Batavus also starts producing carrier tricycles, motorcycles and ice
skates. In this matter Batavus keeps growing and by 1940 employs –
including Andries Gaastra’s sons Gerrit and Hans – 120 people.
1945 Most modern
During the war Batavus shuts down. But as soon as peace is signed,
the demand for bicycles grows explosively. Batavus invests in a
completely new machine park with assembly lines. With this purchase
Batavus has become one of the worlds most modern bicycle
1948 The first Moped
Batavus is one of the nations first manufacturers that developed and
produced their own Moped.
1956 A new factory
The high demand for mopeds forces Batavus to expand. They decide to
build a new factory in Heerenveen-Zuid. In 1956 the 6.000 square
meter complex is opened. The 300 employees open a new flourishing
1971 Bicycles, Bicycles, Bicycles!
The sales of bicycles keep rising, he factory grows to 25.000
square meters. With the take over of Magneet, Fongers, Phoenix and
Germaan, Batavus pushes to the top of the Dutch bicycle industry.
While the production of bicycles keeps growing, the demand for
mopeds keeps dropping. Early 1980’s the last Batavus moped is made.
1974 – 1986 Athletic and business brake-through
Batavus makes a brake-through in the athletic area. The Batavus
Cycling team makes waves in the Dutch armature cycling world, with
a.o. Piet Hoekstra and Egbert Koersen. In 1986 Batavus becomes part
of the Atag group, after which a period of steady growth is started.
1986 – 1992 Olympic medals|
Batavus is the official material supplier of the Dutch cycling Union
(KNWU). World titles and Olympic medals are being won on Batavus
bicycles by Monique Knol, Leontien van Moorsel and Erik Dekker.
1988 – 1996 Award winning innovations
Batavus urges their Research and Development department to perfect
the bicycle. This resulted in several diffent innovations that won
price after price. The Safety handlebar, the Quick Service chain
guard, the Safety Stander and the Ergo System stem won the award:
“Good Industrial Design”.
1989 – 1991 Supplier of the Year
In 1989 and 1991 Batavus wins the title: “supplier of the Year “,
due to the high quality assortment, the perfect sales network and
the outstanding service.
1990 Bicycle of the Year
The Batavus Allure, a new sportive lightweight, is elected: “Bicycle
of the Year”.
1990 European team
The Atag group is expanded with several new bicycle producers and
becomes a major player on the European market. In 1990 the English
Dawes joins the group, in 1991 the French Mercier France-Loire, in
1992 Hadee (Loekie) and Koga-Miyata, in 1993 the French Cycles
Lapierre and in 1995 the large German bicycles Hercules.