More information about our bikes.

General Information


What does URKAi mean?

Many things, but we prefer, Your Earth.  UR, as most of you know is short for your, and in Latin, Kai is rooted in the word Gaius, which means earth. The name was actually inspired by one of our son’s first word which was kai. As you can see by our unique name, we stand for something much different than the “industry”.

How do you pronounce your name, URKAi?

Anyway you want to. Our name is multilingual, so it really depends what language you are speaking. In English, we pronounce ur as your and kai as kye

Are your bikes actually still made in Holland?

Yes, unlike other “Dutch” bikes, all of our bikes are designed and  hand-built – still one at a time – in Holland in a small town called Hoogeveen by true craftspeople (a rarity these days). We even have a video to prove it and you can watch it here: Bakfiets.nl being made in Holland. Note that the video (in Dutch) starts after the frame was made because it occurs in a separate factory which is about 50 km away, but still in Holland.

Do I have to pay duties?

No, our bikes include all of the import costs because you are purchasing your bike in Canada (from a Federally Incorporated Canadian company) – we pay all of the duties, import taxes, broker fees, other misc fees and of course take care of all of the hassles.

Do you deliver?

Yes, we personally deliver your bike fully built and ready to ride in Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, Toronto & GTA. We box ship 95% built everywhere else.

Why aren’t the children and parents wearing helmets?

Because all the bikes we sell are actually made in Holland that is where all of the photos are taken. In the Netherlands, there are no legal requirements to wear helmets (yes, that includes the children). However, in most provinces in Canada, children are required to wear helmets, and of course our 3 year old son always wears his. As for the grown ups, it is your choice in some provinces and a legal requirement in others.

What makes your bikes so special compared to other “Dutch Bikes”<br /> (hint: most of them are not made in Holland)?

There are many differences between our Azor bikes and other “Dutch bikes”, but one of the most important ones is comfort & feel. We want to match you with bike that you will love for life. The geometry of our bikes are designed for comfort and are fully upright because Azor bikes are still made one at a time, which means they have not sacrificed comfort by limiting frame sizes & geometry (we have 49, 53, 55, 57, 61, 65, 70, 73cm sizes). As you will notice with some other brands is that they only come in one or two sizes because they are being mass produced for maximum profit (yes some even have “export” versions). That may not sound like a big deal, but imagine only being able to purchase two shoe sizes – a large and small, yes technically you could fit into one or the other, which is convenient for the seller, but no one person will be perfectly comfortable because the shoes were designed for everyone – not you.

Why do your bikes cost more than some other bikes?

Great question but it all depends on your perspective. As a society, we have gotten very used to cheap and disposable items (that end up in the landfill) instead of buying something that costs a little more but will last a lifetime (and even pass it down to your kids). Another important distinction with our bikes is that they were designed as a “vehicle” for the Dutch.  They are built for upright comfort, reliability, strength to carry cargo and children, and ultra low maintenance – everything from strong rims, automatic lights, and all weather.

Also keep in mind that the average cost of owning and operating a car per year ranges from about $7700 to almost $14000 per year (see this report for more info).  When you compare that to our beautifully crafted bikes starting at $995and cargo bikes starting at $1995 they are probably the least expensive “vehicle” to own for a lifetime and better yet, they pay for themselves rather quickly (in months not years).  We have even had some astute customers calculating the pay back period of 8 months when substituting for their bus pass!  And that does not even consider your happiness and the benefits of regular natural exercise without spending hundreds and even thousands on fancy spandex.

Our bikes, which are handmade by Azor in the Netherlands, has a design and manufacturing philosophy of building quality bikes that last a lifetime. Each bicycle is hand-crafted one at a time, and have hand-soldered, steel frames that are built to handle both heavy loads (riders/cargo) and constant use.  In addition, each frame has been coated with an anti-rust primer and a tough and durable powder coat (you must see the paint job in person to fully appreciate the quality) but all you need to know is that you don’t need to worry about rust anymore. Azor actually tests all of its components and paint finishes in a salt and steam bath (accelerated corrosion) for three months to test for the ultimate durability because in Holland bikes are traditionally left outdoors year round for decades (well the ones that actually last that long).

Add up all of this craftmanship, ultra low maintenance, with top quality components such as automatic lights (no batteries required), strong front and rear carriers (so you can easily carry everything you need), ultra strong rims with thick spokes,  rear wheel locks (one turn of the key, and your bike cannot be ridden away), fenders and skirt guards (all-weather riding),enclosed brakes, chains and gears (so you can wear whatever clothes you want without the fear of the dreaded “grease stains”).  Add in the elegance and comfort of the traditional Dutch upright riding with the ability to wear your most stylish outfit including shoes and you end up with one sweet ride.

One last point, whether you are buying a new outfit or a new bike, you should always ask yourself how does this make me feel? Your bike should make you smile.

Can your Dutch bikes be used as a commuter bike?

A big, yes!  Our bikes are designed to be used daily as a “vehicle” – year round –  and they have proven themselves with reliable service for decades.  Let’s start at the beginning with 8 reasons why our bikes are the perfect commuter bike….

Love your ride –  Our bicycles have a fully upright position for ultimate comfort for both the young and the young at heart.  We have had a number of clients with both back and hip issues who were finally able to ride in comfort – smiling ear-to-ear.

Wear what you want – here is a novel concept, wear your work clothes to work thanks to fully upright ride (no funny wrinkles in your clothes or exposed rear cracks for your boss to see or worse if you are the boss…) and fully enclosed chain, gears, brakes, fenders and of course skirt guards for the ladies and coat guards for the gents to keep your clothes clean and dry.

Go Shopping – Yes, your bike should be able to carry more than just you.  With front (25 kg capacity) and rear carriers (50 kg capacity), purses and briefcases can easily be stored up front or on a set of panniers in the rear.  Plus, what good is it commuting to work by bike if you can’t pick up some groceries on the way home?

Bring your kids along – Our bikes were designed to safely carry children both in terms of weight capacity (frame, rims, carriers…) and enough room to have your little one comfortably up front behind the handle bars. Makes it easy to drop your kids of at school or daycare on the way to work.

Store your bike anywhere –  Our bikes are designed to live outside in the rain (everything from the special three layer powder coat finish, components and fully enclosed chain, gears and brakes), so you don’t need to worry if covered storage is not available (very few people have this luxury).  That’s how our bikes are “stored”  – exposed year round to the elements – for decades in Holland.

Integrated Security –  Foil Thieves – All of our bikes come standard with a rear wheel lock – did you know that these types of locks are actually required by Dutch and other insurers in Europe for adequate theft prevention? In addition to the rear wheel lock, we recommend a good chain lock from the frame to a fixed object and you will have the most secure bike in the lot.

Your most reliable friend –  Our bikes are designed as “vehicles”, so we equip our bikes with strong rims and spokes so your wheels don’t go out of true when you hit a pothole (our 28″ tires actually smooth your ride by rolling over potholes instead of into them) and we also equip our bikes with anti-puncture tires to keep you rolling past all of those “sport bikes” with flat tires.

See and be seen –  No need to worry about a late meeting or the shorter days in the fall and winter – our bikes come equipped with hub dynamo powered lights (or battery powered lights), so you can see where you are going and others can see you as well. Yes, this is our version of “day time running lights”.  Our tires also have reflective strips around the circumference on both sides of the tire.

Easy shifting  – Thanks to an easy to use 8 speed shimano nexus, you can shift while you are stopped and go directly to the gear you need.  It also has plenty of gears including an ultra low “granny gear” for rolling over the hills. We can even outfit any bike or cargo bike with a NuVinci 360 hub for even easier hill climbing.

Are your bikes heavier than other bikes?

Well it depends, if your objective is to have the lightest possible bike, we can build your bike with an aluminum frame (which we have many to choose from) and similar ”lighter” duty components and, if desired, we can even remove the front and rear lights, theft prevention rear wheel lock, fenders, skirt guards, chain guard, steering stabilizer, bell and rear carrier – so when you compare apples to apples, we may even be lighter, but you would sacrifice comfort and functionality.

We believe the most important consideration is comfort because that is the determining factor on how much you will use your bike – if you are uncomfortable, you certainly will not be happy riding your bike daily.  There is a reason why cultures which integrate bicycles as a way of life  –  and use bicycles as their daily “vehicle” for carrying children & cargo use steel framed bikes – equipped as urban transport vehicles – with strong components, built for low maintenance and durability,  front and rear carriers, integrated lock, automatic lights, fenders, enclosed chains…

For those, who claim “its different here because of the hills” you may want to read some research by James C. Martin, Ph.D., from the University of Utah who calculated that a 5 lb weight saving on a bike with a 160 lb rider would only save 30 seconds on a 5 km hill climb, with a 7% grade (a good stiff climb). So a rider with 250 watts of power would take 19 minutes and 21 seconds to get up the hill on the lighter bike.  Would you rather be uncomfortable for 19 minutes and 21 seconds or comfortable for 19 minutes and 51 seconds?

What size of bikes do you carry? Bikes for the petite and the big & Tall…

We have bicycles for all sizes and shapes – from the very petite (under 5 feet tall) to those up to 7 feet tall!  So yes, finally, there is a bike that is right for you –  handmade – for you – in Holland.

Can you build me a custom bike?

Yes, we are a specialist so we can build a bike specifically for you at a very good price.  For example, we can build you a single speed “Fixed gear” bike or 2, 3, 8 speed and we can add a the extremely popular NuVinci 360 to any of our bikes or cargo bikes. We also have dozens of frames to choose from – both steel and aluminum. We equip all of our bikes with hand operated roller brakes but we can also add rear coaster brakes (foot operated rear brake). We offer many different seats from the Brooks B17 special copper to ultra wide seats.  Want different coloured rims? We have the vintage look, stealthy black, elegant cream and even some flashy reds. Yes, you can even choose your colour for your bike – we are pretty sure you can find the right one for you as we have over 193 colours to choose from (pick any RAL colour: http://www.ralcolor.com/.

What is the NuVinci 360?

In a nutshell, it is an incredible drivetrain (“gears”), with 360% range and it is as easy to use as turning a volume dial on a stereo. We also love it because it requires no maintenance and it is sealed from the elements.

How do I pick the right size for me?

With all of the sport industry hype for “fitting a bike” you may believe you need a full team of engineers and a racing crew to get the right bike.  Our bikes can easily be adjusted using both the seat height and the handlebars for comfort.

Here is our easy fitting guide:

Less than 4’9″ – 45 cm

4’9” – 5’4′ – 49 cm

5’5″ –  5’7″ – 53 cm

5’8″ – 6’0″ – 57 cm

6’1″ – 6’4″ – 61 cm

6’4″- 6’9″ – 65 cm

More than 6’10″+ 70 cm (we even have 73 cm frames!)

Our bakfiets.nl and Milano cargo bikes are universal size with a very low step through – making them great for sharing with family and friends.

Where can you service these bikes?

Because the bicycles are designed for durability, maintenance will be minimal, but we can always service them for you (if you are in our mobile service area) or you can take them to any professional bike shop.

How long is the warranty?

Azor bikes and bakfiets.nl cargo bikes come with a 10 year warranty on the frame and one year on the components (excluding tires).

How do I get one of your bikes?

Give us call at 1.800.220.0150or email us and we will deliver one right to your front door. We will even spend the time to make sure your bike is adjusted for your ideal comfort and answer any questions you may have.

Can I rent one of your bakfiets?

Yes, we do rent our bakfiets and bikes.  All you need to do is ask – contact us!

Do you have a retail store?

Do you have a payment plan?

Yes, we have flexible payment plans starting at $20 per month. Please call us or email us to book your appointment for pre­approval.

How much is shipping?

We have very good shipping rates across Canada. Usually $99 in most parts of Ontario & Quebec including insurance during transit.

Bakfiets Bicycle


Are these the original bakfiets?

Yes, the one and only, Bakfiets.nl  bakfiets, also referred to as cargo bikes, which was invented and patented by Martin van Andel in Holland.  Shortly after becoming a father, Martin got the idea for a two-wheel cargobike.  He tested various models before he settled on what is now the bakfiets cargo bike.  By placing the box between the two wheels combined with the low geometry, he created a cargobike that remained easy to ride and balanced beautifully. Most importantly, the children are placed in full view in front of the rider making it easy to communicate and share those precious moments.

Martin thought through every detail including adding a patented “stabilo” stand which keeps the bakfiets rock solid while loading cargo.  He even added ridges on both sides of the marine grade wooden box to ensure kids can easily climb in and out by themselves as they get older.

What are they used for?

They are used for both recreation as well as a substitute or a replacement for your car because they can carry both kids and cargo (groceries, tools, toys, beach gear…).  With a bakfiets, in addition to being an environmentally friendly option, it is also a great way to get some exercise in a natural way – like walking (without spandex or thinking about it) and you do not need to worry about parking fees, fuel expenses.  The best part for parents is that a bakfiets may be one of the only vehicles in the world where your kids sit in front of you – allowing you to easily communicate and enjoy the ride together.

Are these the best cargo bikes?

Yes, according to KASSA a popular prime time, Dutch consumer program. You can watch the results online (in Dutch) here.

Are the cargobikes hard to ride?

No.  They feel a little different from a traditional bicycle, but you will quickly get used to it.  It is best to start without your kids (Tip: Don’t let your kids see the cargobike until after you have had your test ride) or cargo to get used to it first. Not long after your initial ride, it will feel as natural as a regular bicycle.

Check out this video we made complete with cheesy music to see how fast people learn to ride (yes we hosted learn to ride sessions in the winter):


Do I have to hold the bike while my kids climb in?

No, thanks to Bakfiets.nl, and their typical attention to detail, they have invented and patented a “stabilio” parking stand,  which allows your kids to safely climb in and out themselves.

Can I try one?

Yes, we have hosted and will continue hosting “learn to ride a bakfiets” meetups in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.  We also usually have an Oma and Opa with us to try. Please follow us on facebook or twitter for locations, times and photos or check out our home page. We also offer private appointments in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal – just call or email us to reserve.

It is just as important to know who your are buying from as it is what you are buying and that’s why you will always find both Kendra & Andrew, owners of Urkai, parents, and proud “bakfieters”, at every meetup. We only sell what we love and use ourselves and trust to carry our most important passenger – our three year-old son.

10 reasons why you will love a Bakfiets.nl Cargo bike

1. Bicycle Therapy

Imagine yourself riding around with your little ones in your own pedal powered convertible with your children up front laughing and learning as you ride along through your neighbourhood.  With our hectic lives, it is not often that you can actually experience time standing still and being in the moment with your children.

2. Children’s Choice

Your children, in the safety of a 3 point harness and strong marine wood box, always get the front row seat with plenty of room for their favourite toys, and their puppy at their feet.

3. Easy handling

The cargo bike was researched, designed (and patented) to have an very low center of gravity making the cargo bike easy to balance with or without weight. Most people are amazed at how easy they are to ride!

4. Comfortable riding

A comfortable fully upright position combined with a very low step-through frame makes both riding and stepping on and off your cargo bike very easy.

5. Easy Sharing

Universal frame, with instep, and a quick adjust seat post allows you to share the cargo bike with both family and friends.

6. Wear what you want

Thanks to enclosed gears, chain, brakes along with fenders & coat guards allows you to wear clothes for any occasion from the beach or restaurant to your office.

7. Bring a friend along

The cargo bike comes standard with a bench for two children including two three point harnesses. You may also add a second bench, with another three point harness, to the cargo bike long to bring along a friend.

8. Easy shifting

Thanks to an easy to use 8 speed shimano nexus, you can shift while you are stopped and go directly to the gear you need.  It also has plenty of gears including an ultra low “granny gear” for rolling over the hills.

9. Go shopping

The cargo bike long has plenty of room for a full load of groceries and you can create even more space by folding the seat up to utilize the entire box. If you are throwing a party, you can even fill up some panniers on the ultra strong rear carrier. Best of all, the 4 point “stabilo” parking stand keeps the bakfiets, rock solid while you load all of your groceries or while your kids are climbing in themselves using the handy foot step.

10. Stay visible and keep your children and cargo dry

Don’t let the rain get you down with the optional rain canopies, your baguette will still be as fresh and fluffy as when you purchased it at your local bakery.  You also don’t need to worry if you are running out of daylight, the cargo bike has a hub dynamo lights (automatic – no batteries), in the front and the rear, that can be left on during the day or night.

BONUS – A cargo bike-for-life

Yes, now that you fell in love with your cargo bike soul mate, you may be relieved to know that your cargo bike was designed and manufactured to last for decades being used daily – even when stored outdoors. Everything from the ultra strong frame,  triple powder coat paint, stainless steel parts and marine grade plywood box was designed to last a long, long time. In today’s disposable and unsustainable world, it is amazing to know that your cargo bike can be used daily while your children are young and then passed down to them as they grow up.

Wonder what it is like living by bakfiets?  Check out the article on how Kate, Pete and Isla are living here.

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