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Fietsklik Crate and Klik

After a successful Kickstarter that raised close to $80K in May of 2014, Fietsklik is officially in business. You can buy their two main products, the Crate and the Klik, from their online store here.

The Klik is the centerpiece: it is a platform to which all Fietsklik products attach, fitting on any standard rear rack. At the moment only the Crate is available for purchase, but more carriers were designed during the Kickstarter: a messenger bag, a pannier, a laptop bag as well as a child seat.

The flagship Crate is a collapsible basket-like cargo carrier which, when off the bike, has wheels and a strap for rolling around. The idea for the crate, the founders write, “when three high-school friends with a love for bicycles dropped a crate of beer from the back of a bike” and subsequently realized there was no good way to transport a large number of beers (or other goods) by bike.

Fietsklik, which means “Bike Click” in Dutch, is based in Amsterdam and manufactures all of their products in the Netherlands: “Our design office and garage are in Amsterdam while we use an injection molding facility and an assembly space just under two hours away. All of our plastic parts are made there, 100% of the Klik and Crate. Besides the nuts and bolts, the only component that comes from outside of our home country is the polyester for the bags which is upcycled from excess materials used by a major sporting goods manufacturer.”

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Fietsklik Crate and Klik

Fietsklik Crate and Klik

Fietsklik Klik
Fietsklik Klik


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EcoSpeed Electric Power Assist

EcoSpeed is a Portland based company that manufactures high performance electric power assist systems for bicycles. Their systems come with either a 700Watt or 1000Watt high torque motor, that will blow away most other add on systems. What makes their design unique is the use of a freewheeled crankset, that allows the rider to power a bicycle without the cranks rotating along with the motor like a fixed gear bicycle.

The workmanship looks fantastic and we’ve heard great things about their performance. The only drawback is the high initial cost. The starting price for a complete system is $2800. Add that to the cost of a brand new European or American built bakfiets and you’re looking at a starting price of around $5000, which is about the same cost as a used street legal GEM electric car.

We hope that as the popularity of these systems increase, the costs will go down with economies of scale. If price is no object and performance is your number one criteria, then you’ll love Ecospeed. Also as you shop for a power assist system, you might want to check out another Portland based manufacturer Stokemonkey as well.

EcoSpeed Homepage

Posted in accessories, Load Carrying, Tech TalkComments (12)

Dual Pull Brake Lever

I thought I’d re-post about these really cool dual pull brake levers I installed on my front load cargo tricycle (2 wheels up front 1 wheel in back). I’ve had them on the trike for about 6 months and they work great! Basically, you can run two brake cables from two different brake sets into one lever and the lever balances the pull going to both sets of brakes.

Inside the lever there is a little mechanism that balances the pull between the two brake lines. That way you have equal pressure going to both front brakes on the trike when you pull the lever. What this means for cargo tricycles is that you can have one lever that actuates both front wheels equally without any brake steering effect. Brake steering is when one wheel brakes harder than the other, which pulls the tricycle violently to the left or right when braking.

In practice, you still need to make sure that your brakes are tuned similarly. Meaning that you can’t have one brake cable totally loose with the other one completely tight and still hope that the dual pull brake lever will work it’s magic. However, if you spend the time to at least adjust your brake cables reasonably, these things work great!

If you do a Google search for “dual pull brake lever” there are a lot of companies selling these. I think I got mine for about $12 USD.

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Stoke Monkey

Stoke Monkey is a electric power-assist unit that fits on a extra long chain-stay bike, such as a bike equipped with an Xtracycle setup.  It works by a variable-speed throttle on the handlebar and a tandem-like drivetrain setup.  Once the motor is on, the rider would have to pedal along (like a tandem stoker).  They claim a cruising speed of 30 mph on the flats.

To the right is a Sycip longbike equipped with a Stoke Monkey.

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Shimano Automatic Transmission

Coastinggroup_550x412 Shimano makes an attempt at attracting technophobic new riders to casual cyling by eliminating the gear shifter.  The system relies on a front hub dynamo that powers both a headlamp and plus the computer chip that makes the gear selection.  The rear hub is a three speed internal with coaster brakes.

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Internally Geared Hubs

Internal-gear hubs offer the advantage of less maintenance compare to a standard derailleur based drivetrain, great for wet weather riding.  You can change gear when at a stop, a plus in traffic.  The disadvantage is the extra weight and increase in drivetrain friction.

Shimano Nexus (3/7/8)
SRAM/Sachs (3/9)
Sturmey Archer (3/5/7/8)
Rohloff (14)
Nuvinci (CVT)

Check out Sheldon Brown’s page on internal-gear hubs.

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