Archive | June, 2007

Types of Steering

A front load (tadpole) cargo trike has two wheels in front and one wheel in the rear. There are three main types of steering for front load cargo trikes:

• Axle-pivot
• Articulating frame
• Ackerman linkage

Axle-pivot steering is the most common kind of steering on a front-load trike as well as the simplest to manufacture & maintain. Axle pivot steering is great at low speeds, because it has a much tighter turning radius than Ackerman steering. Also, for the same size tricycle frame, Axle pivot steering trikes can fit a much larger cargo box.

Posted in Load Carrying, Tech Talk, tricyclesComments (1)

Triobike – Stroller, Trike, Bicycle Hybrid

Triobike is a Danish company that makes a family tricycle that can be converted into a bicycle or stroller. It has pivot style steering and also boasts features such as a 5 point safety harness for the kids, front and rear lights, firehood, disk brakes, etc. Although we haven’t seen any owner reviews yet, Triobike’s unique design has been garnering a lot of praise within the design community.

The Triobike could be the perfect thing for families that are trying to do away with a family car. Drive the kids to daycare, convert triobike into a bicycle, and then ride the bike to work.

It retails for 2375 Euros (around $3200 US Dollars), which puts it in a similar price range as the Winther Kangaroo and Nihola. Hopefully for all three tricycles, as sales grow the prices will come down.

They’ve got a great website, where you can configure and order a Triobike. They’ve also got videos of a person converting the bike in a few easy steps.

Posted in Family Cycling, tricyclesComments (14)

Winther Kangaroo

A. Winther A/S is a company in Denmark that makes the Benz of family tricycles. Winther did not hold back when designing this trike. It has hydraulic brakes, independent suspension, 7 speed internally geared hub, etc. Plus, the aluminum frame wrapped with tension fabric will keep your kids and cargo safe & sound.

Although this trike is close to being the perfect family trike, the big deal killer is the PRICE!! It retails at a starting price of 17,000 Denmark Kroners, which is a little bit over $3000 US Dollars. With shipping and taxes, the Kangaroo will be close to $4000 US Dollars by the time you get it into the country. OUCH!!! If Winther could only find a way to bring the price down to around $500 US Dollars, we might see a renaissance in neighborhood transportation and planning.

Posted in City Cycling, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, tricyclesComments (10)

Worldbike Long Bike

123364681_9c79536007www.Worldbike.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to building load carrying bicycles for people in developing nations. From the looks of their website, they make use of bicycles that are readily available locally.

Most of the bicycles look like adaptations to the ubiquitous Chinese bike that Chairman Mao made famous in the 20th Century. These Chinese bikes are everywhere in the third world. They are affordable, built to last, easy to maintain and highly modifiable.

Especially interesting about Worldbike’s website, is their open source community approach to designing bikes. Currently their bicycles are on display at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum as part of their new exhibit that showcases products designed for the needs of the developing world. The exhibit is called: Design for the Other 90%

If you’re interested in designing bicycles and helping people in the developing world, check out www.worldbike.org

It’s great to see people helping people. Keep up the great work guys!

Posted in Family Cycling, Load Carrying, long bikes, Work CyclingComments (1)

Bicycle Ambulance Namibia

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A volunteer aid worker in Namibia named Aaron Wieler has developed a bicycle towed ambulance trailer for use in developing countries. The design looks very robust and easily serviced in places with limited equipment. You can find out more at the: Bicycle Ambulance Project Homepage

We wish him good luck and keep up the great work!

Posted in bicycles, Mobility Impaired, trailers, Work CyclingComments (1)

Tricycle for the Handicapped

Handicapable_bike_cargocycling

HC and I were skateboarding at the beach the other day and we met a guy who was riding a mobility tricycle. The rider was mobility impaired, but someone had designed this great bicycle for him. It was completely adapted for his needs. The gear ratio was low for easy pedaling and he had foot straps to keep his feet on the pedals.

We weren’t able to talk for long, but it was great to see that he was enjoying the beach and weather as much as we were.

It really reminded me that for the vast majority of people, bicycling is more about enjoying the ride than about trying to win a race.

Keep on riding dude! and see you around.

Posted in Mobility Impaired, special purpose, tricyclesComments (10)

Koga Miyata Chela

Check out Koga-Miyata’s bike trailer, Chela.  It’s like a mini RV for bicycles.

“With built-in features such
as an integrated folding chair and table, a telescopic stand (to be
used for camera, lamp, safety
flag etc.) and a daypack with solar cells
to charge a GPS or mobile phone. Travel kit can be stored in separate
integrated compartments. The alloy chassis has suspension and offers
very smooth riding characteristics. Nevertheless, the empty weight only
brings 12.6 kg on the scales. With only minor adaptations, the Chela
can be converted into an easily maneuverable luggage trolly, for use in
public transport.”

Also check out their line of touring and commuting bikes.

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Posted in Touring, trailersComments (2)

Paul Frank city bikes

Paul_frank
Paul Frank  is a graphic and fashion designer.  You might recognize his popular Julius the monkey character on clothing.  Check out his new city bikes, featuring a retro clean look.  His also offers cruisers (under the Nirve brand)

Posted in bicycles, City CyclingComments (3)

China International Bicycle Show 2007

Just posted photos from the 2007 China International Bicycle & Motor Show in Shanghai. It was gigantic. There were 5697 booths in 9 buildings that covered 105000 square meters of convention hall. The manufacturers were definitely not holding back.

Many of the designs were based on European and American designs. However, there were bicycles and other products that were uniquely Chinese. I was pleasantly surprised at the huge variety of electric bicycles, e-scooters, and e-motorcycles that were on display. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Posted in Places & EventsComments (3)