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.

10 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Says:

    If they sold it for $500 then it would not be elitist and exculpatory. Everybody knows that the entire “green” movement is about developing products that only the rich can afford so they can feel superior to all of those people who cannot afford $200 energy saving bed lamps.

    If you are genuinely concerned about the transportation infrastructure in the US then you should be interested in convincing people that when presented the choice between a four thousand dollar clunker of a car and a four thousand dollar means of reliable transportation in a cargo bike that the bike is actually a better value in both the short and long run. It comes down to economics. When the supply catches up with the price point demand, the prices will eventually fall.

  2. John Kim Says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the comment. I think we all agree that a bike is a great value when you consider all the social benefits such as better air quality, less road congestion, more interaction between people on a daily basis, better health, more livable city planning, etc. But to be realistic, if all bicycles were $4000 USD, very few people would ever get into bicycling let alone chose it over a car.

    The biggest barrier is getting the average person to start using a bicycle or walking regularly in the first place.

    Many people in the US see bicycles as inconvenient, dangerous, difficult to maintain, and expensive. Much of this is due to the US bicycle industry’s history of focusing on high end bicycles for bicycle enthusiasts. In the past, the average person looking for a bicycle for simple transportation, exercise, or leisure would find a huge variety of high end mountain bikes or road bikes to chose from in their local bicycle shop. However, there would be little to chose from in the form of family or city transportation. Also, there was a general intimidation factor for “Non-bicyclists” when they encountererd the staff of many bicycle shops.

    In order to counter this trend and make bicycles approachable to the general public, Shimano started a huge project called “Coasting” a few years ago that has just started to hit the market this year. They enlisted the support of Raleigh, Giant, and Trek, who have all designed bicycles for the needs of the general public.

    It’s a simple formula, design a bicycle that is affordable, easy to ride, convenient, and not intimidating and you’ll get more people onto bicycles. Once you get people onto bicycles, the joy of cycling usually sells itself.

    If you want to find out more, do a Google search for “Shimano Coasting Article” and you’ll find a lot of articles that talk about the thinking that went in to designing and marketing these Coasting bicycles. You can also check out http://www.coasting.com

    Thanks for stopping by our blog and please keep commenting.

    Best regards,
    John

  3. Tbird Says:

    “The biggest barrier is getting the average person to start using a bicycle or walking regularly in the first place.”

    The above statement is fairly accurate; however, the real question is what prevents these ‘average’ folks from getting on a bike in the first place. The simple answer is : SAFETY.
    In the US we decided 50 years ago that our communities and cities would be built around the automobile. Where as nations like Denmark, or the Netherlands, already had roadways/communities in place for the most part which were not built around the auto. This along with spatial limitations has required use of alternative transport. It’s sad that our country refuses to follow. Even here in Portland where we like to applaud ourselves for being bike friendly, it seems that we only create bike infrastructure as long as it is convenient for motorists.

    The real key is for city/transport planners to begin to consider bicycle transport as the FIRST option and auto as a last resort.

  4. Dave Says:

    I think that it has more to do with the image of cycling than anything. It has been seen as sports or exercise equipment. If it is used for transportation is generally by the destitute or by people with a radical political agenda. People have to feel like using a bike for transport is an improvement to their lives and not a restriction or a step down from using a car.

  5. John Says:

    Hi Tbird,

    Safety is definitely a huge factor. I’ve talked to lot of people who are concerned about the environment, but say that bicycling is not worth the risk. It would be great if US cities were more bicycle or pedestrian friendly, but I’m not sure if urban planners are at fault.

    I think that most city and transport planners love the idea of cities that are designed with walking, cycling, and mass transit in mind. However, city planning decisions are often dictated by short term political and financial pressures, rather than by long term planner’s dreams.

    Which leads to the point Dave was making:

    “People have to feel like using a bike for transport is an improvement to their lives and not a restriction or a step down from using a car.”

    I believe if bicycles that match the needs of “average” people (non bicyclists) become more readily available, then walking and bicycling will become more mainstream. Which in turn will give city leaders a chance to support urban planners proposals for alternatives beyond car planning.

    I think it’s really a timing issue. Without enough “average” people riding bicycles on a daily basis, then any push for more bicycle paths, parking racks, etc. will meet resistance from the public who sees it as the political agenda of a few bicycle zealots.

    A great start would be:
    • Supporting manufacturers efforts to build bicycles beyond mountain and road bikes
    • Be inclusive and friendly towards people who are just getting into riding bikes

    Like we used to say at Honda, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. Why not “You meet the nicest people on a bike.”

  6. Tbird Says:

    Hi John,

    You make some good points. It seems sometimes like a chicken and the egg scenario. If more people rode their bike for daily transit then we would have more bike infrastructure; and if we had more infrastructure then more people would ride their bikes…

    I do agree that we need more manufacturers making daily transit type bikes, like the Danes and Dutch tend to do.
    As far as encouraging new riders, I think the thing to do here is encourage school kids to ride more. As they grow up it will seem like second nature to ride for daily transit.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply…;)

  7. JP Says:

    Hey Dave,

    “If they sold it for $500 then it would not be elitist and exculpatory. Everybody knows that the entire “green” movement is about developing products that only the rich can afford so they can feel superior to all of those people who cannot afford $200 energy saving bed lamps.”

    I think your view is one of the classic stereotypes Americans have of Europeans–basically incorrect.

    The difference with cycling in Europe and most of the U.S. is that it is often just a mode of transportation. Very seldom do you see someone in full fancy cycling gear on a work day on a 1000 EUR Bianchi racer, biking to work. Normally you see someone in nicer work clothes riding a standard, often beat to crap, 15-yr old, 3-speed commuter bike. Bikes are often stolen, so many people ride inexpensive bikes that they don’t mind locking up outside a bus or train station with hundreds of others.

    Also, most Europeans, esp. urban dwellers, live in smaller spaces and have less stuff. Many have only one car. In cities, the vehicle for family commuting (read “with kids”) may be a trike or a Bakfiets-type cargo bike. They hold their value, and are extremely useful in cities where car traffic is restricted–like Copenhagen. Easy to resell as well. These are expensive, but worth it, esp. if you know how important good gear is to a parent. If you biked with your kids a few miles every day (for six years) to school or to the store, and hauled groceries, does it seem so extreme to pay $2500-3000 for a quality means of transportation that is just as important as your single car? It’s not about elitism or snootiness, it’s about pragmatism.

    As a comparison, Europeans place the same kind of importance on baby carriages, which cost considerably more than here. They’re often of rock-solid construction –not the disposable cheap plastic junk we have in the U.S. In Europe, because a parent hauls the kid (or kids) and groceries too, on and off of buses and trains, the carriage also becomes a standard means of hauling. Take a look at German Teutonia or Swedish Emmaljunga prams, and you’ll see what I mean. They can cost up to $1000–it’s nuts. But when you’re trudging around in the snow, hauling two kids, and the daily shopping, and your daily gear, you’ll be glad you have a decent baby hauler. In America, the equivalent is the mini van, which costs considerably more than the $1000 pram and the $3000 cargo bike or trike combined. Is this making sense?

    Also, don’t forget that all prices normally include V.A.T., tax. In some countries, it’s as high as 25% on top of the manufacturers price.

    So while “everyone knows” what a conspiracy the Green Movement is on working class people, I just wanted to give you a little more background on reality. It’s not about spending money on green products, it’s about lifestyle changes.

    JP

  8. Michael Says:

    Consider the Zigo Leader for $1399 in the US.

  9. malcolm spittle Says:

    Do you have an Australian outlet? Do you have any alternative designs with just a cargo basket instead of the enclosed child seating? I fear I will lose my druving licence through vision loss. Are any models 200W motor assisted or adaptable to electric or petrol motors? How heavy are they amd are they geared?
    An idea of price would be valuable.
    thanks Malcolm

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