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Design & Tech

Meet Our Partners: Werner Hartmann of De Fietskamer introduces us to his Haarlem workshop

Meet Our Partners: Werner Hartmann of De Fietskamer introduces us to his Haarlem workshop

When the time comes for your VanMoof to get a little extra attention, you need expert support to get back on the road – and fast. That’s where the VanMoof partner network comes in. With a wealth of local knowledge, unparalleled e-bike expertise, and newly trained in all-things VanMoof, these mechanics are changing how you get your bike serviced for good.

So, ready to Meet Our Partners? For our second feature, we spoke to Werner, owner of De Fietskamer in Haarlem.

Hey Werner! Tell us about how you came to open your Haarlem bike shop, De Fietskamer.

I've had De Fietskamer for about five years. Before that, I worked as a mechanic in Amsterdam for ten years. I always wanted my own shop, but I took the time I needed to get the experience first. Then I went back to my hometown of Haarlem, and went from there.

‘De Fietskamer’, or ‘the bicycle room’, has quite a cosy feel to it – is that the atmosphere you wanted to create in the shop?

Yes exactly! My shop is quite small, so I wanted to make it comfortable and cosy – using lots of wood and materials like that. And of course it’s for locals – people who come by time after time. So the name really fits with that look and feel.

Do you see the same familiar faces a lot?

Yes – lots of locals. But of course since I started to repair VanMoof bikes, around two years ago, you also have customers coming in from all over the Netherlands.

What’s the best thing about your work?

I really like working with my hands. That's my thing, I guess. I cannot sit still – so working makes me feel calm.

Secondly, I really like to just help. It’s nice when you can help people and make them happy – and that's most of the time. The pay off is really satisfying. I see people coming in with old bikes that haven’t been serviced for years. Once we give it back to them all cleaned up and with new parts all ready to go – it’s perfect. And they’re so happy. It’s a great feeling to give that to someone.

And why did you choose to start repairing VanMoof bikes?

Many years ago, when VanMoof first came around, I rode one of the old models – you know, the classic, non-electric bike. I always loved how they looked. So it was funny when VanMoof called me up and said they wanted me to become a service location. So of course, I wanted to give it a go!

I really believe in the VanMoof bikes – how they ride, and their features. They’re still the nicest bikes out there. And that’s what I heard from VanMoof riders too – they really feel like they can’t choose another brand because they notice that big of a difference. It’s interesting that even after some difficult times, you still have a big group of riders who wouldn’t even consider changing their bike.

I’ve started selling the S5 & A5 as well as repairing them, and I’ve already sold around 30 bikes. That’s super fast in just a couple of weeks.

What’s a day in De Fietskamer like?

We always have like about eight or ten VanMoof servicings a day planned in – on top of that you have people who are dropping by. So it’s busy! I still like to do the repairs myself because I love working on the floor. And, well… we get through many more bikes!

Is there anything unique about repairing VanMoof bikes?

At De Fietskamer, we think it's quite easy to fix if we compare it to some other brands – but maybe that’s also because we know them really well now. A lot of the time, because we’re so familiar with the bikes and the issues that come up, we can diagnose really fast and solve the issue quickly by swapping out parts.

I think it's the design that really makes it stand out – that’s what I hear the most from customers. That, and the power, handling and the speed. Of course, the Boost button is now a feature that people really can’t do without.

Do you feel like you're still learning as a mechanic?
Because of the constant innovation in the industry, I’m always learning. The scene really changed when e-bikes started to become more and more popular. There’s also a big difference between the brands. So I still have to research and learn how things work.

But with experience, that becomes much easier. For example, with VanMoof, you can use the Fixie app to connect to the bike and run diagnostics in seconds. That’s a real time saver.

We’ve built a new maintenance model – outsourcing all servicing and repairs to local mechanics like yourself. What do you think about the new maintenance model?

I think it's the smartest thing to do – customers feel a lot safer because of it. Riders say that knowing that they can get their maintenance from the same shop that they bought it in is really reassuring.

From our point of view, it’s easy to buy parts and whatever else we need from the partner webshop. And, yeah, we have most of the parts we have in stock, so… Come by!

What do you notice about riders in Haarlem? Is there a new trend when it comes to biking?

Over the last year or two, I’ve noticed that people are really going for design over the riding style. I don’t sell the typical Dutch bike style anymore. People want lightweight bikes, with nicer colours and design. Maybe that’s more reflective of Amsterdam and Haarlem riders, though!