Archive | Family Cycling

Republic: Cargo Bikes for Kids

Tired of hauling your kids and your groceries by bike? Make them pull their own weight, and some extra.

 

 

Republic Bike’s mini-cargo-tricycle, one of very few cargo bike options for kids on the market, comes in 5 different colors, feature a front wooden crate with a maximum recommended load of 10lbs (approx 4.5 kilos) and a bell. The tricycle build guarantees stability for the young riders, with a recommended riding age of 4 to 6 years old.

The bike itself is simple; the Florida based company focused on providing a dutch-style bicycle with a single speed and back-pedal brakes.

Retails for $349 on Republic Bike’s website.

Links:

www.RepublicBike.com

Facebook Page

Twitter Feed

Featured in:

The Shopping Mama

You may know Republic Bikes from… their fleet of multi-colored bikes for Google‘s campus in Mountain View, CA.

Posted in Family Cycling, Featured, Load Carrying, special purpose, tricyclesComments (1)

Donky Bike

The Donky Bike is a not a new cargo bike – it’s been around for a while, since almost 2006. It could be arguable one of the earliest and, at the time, most innovative cargo bikes.

Donky-Bike

 

What is appealing about the Donky Bike? Its symmetry, its simplicity, and its rideability. Good for anyone looking for a tried and true, smaller-sized bike that will still both fit in a narrow hallway and carry twice as much cargo as the regular bike. It is available in lime green and black and retails around 499 pounds ($785 or 625 euros).

The Donky Bike is a product of Ben Wilson, a London-based Ben 3D Industrial designer working whose work has been extensively published and exhibited worldwide. Many of his projects involve bikes in one way or another, and he has collaborated with Brooks on what seems to be the weirdest, bikey-est seesaw yet:

Brooks-see-saw

Visit their website here for more information.

Featured in:

De Zeen

Design Boom

In Habitat

 

 

Posted in bicycles, City Cycling, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, special purposeComments (0)

Halloween at Nimble Scooters

Nimble Scooters Halloween candy

This Halloween, Nimble Scooters is making trick-or-treating even easier and funner for you than last year. Check out their Black and Orange combination Nimble Cargo Scooter, decked out with the light and bell – the perfect means of transportation for All Hallow’s eve!

You can take your kids out and accompany them as they go from house to house all over the neighborhood, and stash their sweaters, water, extra candy, fallen costume accessories or additional decoration! Ever thought of enhancing their experience by bringing along a stereo and blasting out eerie Halloween music? Now’s the perfect opportunity.

If you’re an adult and you’re planning a big night out – you might also find this cargo scooter very handy. You never know what might happen on Halloween night…be prepared and bring along anything you may need as you go down to your neighbor’s party or local club!

Nimble Scooters is offering the Halloween Special Nimble Cargo Scooter for $349, with free shipping, as well as a handy LED light and a silver bell. Check out their shop here: Shop Nimble Scooters

www.nimblescooters.com

Nimble Halloween2Nimble Halloween Ad

Posted in Family Cycling, Load Carrying, special purposeComments (2)

Vélo Électrique

The ultimate electric cargo trike. It will carry four small kids plus your groceries. And then it will help you get up a hill with a small motor. All this, and it’s still pretty affordable for its category of cargo bike, starting at under $2,500. The creator, Jeremy Davies, keeps the price low by using basic, unbranded parts which are assembled in the UK where Vélo Électrique is based.

The bike is a full 225 cm long, with enough space in the cargo box to feature two (removable) facing bench seats with safety straps for children. In addition the rack in the back can carry some extra panniers for when you need all the load-carrying you can get. The bike is outfitted with V Brakes on both front wheels as well as a rear wheel disc brake.

Not only is it highly functional, but they have also been successful in marketing it to local businesses as a tool for development. See their school meals delivery bike pictured below, or their off-road ice cream delivery trike for example.

Great additional features: A kid’s bike rack in the front. Option to purchase a dog carrying kit as well as custom baby bike seats. And a removable rain cover for the cargo box with windows and zip access.

Future fleet additions: Vélo Électrique is now taking advance orders for their next product, the E350. Once on the market they expect it to be the strongest road legal cargo bike frame on the market, with a 3mm thick tube wall, and capable of carrying loads well over 120kg. They are also researching a solar charging system that would enable riders to recharge their batteries as their ride.

Featured in:

The Guardian

Links:

www.VeloElectrique.co.uk

Facebook: @VeloElectriqueUK

Twitter: @VeloCargoBikes 

Velo Electrique - picture taken from their blog

Velo Electrique – picture taken from their blog

Velo Electrique - picture taken from their Facebook Page

Velo Electrique – picture taken from their Facebook Page

Posted in bakfiets, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, special purpose, tricyclesComments (1)

Promoting Cargo Cycling in the European Union

Back in May 2011, representatives from NGOs, the government, private sector business and industry analysis firms met in Copenhagen, Denmark to share different ideas for advancing the shift of goods and services transportation to non-motorized modes in European cities. This meeting also lies within the context of the CYCLE Logistics project, whose ultimate goal for 2014 is to save 1,300 tons (465,000 gallons) of fuel, put2,000 more cargo cycles into use in European Union (EU) cities, and shift 10,000 trips to inter-modal transport chains (bicycles and tricycles used with other modes of transportation).
They are trying to encourage CYCLE Logistics under the European Cycling Federation to promote the benefits of cargo cycling. Businesses who use cargo cycling give customers an image of environmental responsibility, they also have a better chance of delivering their goods on time without having to deal with traffic and road infrastructures.
Accessibility is also increased for those business who use cargo tricycles to reach out to people, where stores cannot. As a result, replacing motorized transportation with cargo cycles does not contribute to air quality degradation and pollution.

This is not the first time Europe tries to really encourage the use of cargo cycling as a real means of transport. In the United States, we often regard cargo cycling as a fun weekend pastime or leisurely activity. We don’t really see cargo scooters as being used for professional use – but it’s coming! What really needs to happen, which is what the CYCLE Logistics project strives to do, is promote a behavioral change within a culture. They try pushing Europeans to transport goods and services with cargo cycles—among all individuals, organizations, businesses and levels of government.

In China actually, this has already been the case for a long time. In large cities with dense populations, millions of bicycles and cargo tricycles are being employed for daily transportation of people and goods. Whether it transports garbage, fruit, a mini barbecue, stacks of chairs or hay, the Chinese have been very creative in using cargo scooters in any way to help them with their business or wherever they need to go.

The population density of Chinese cities has resulted in hundreds of millions of bicycles and tricycles being employed for daily transportation, many of which are utilized in the cargo fashions that the CYCLE Logistics project desires to produce.

To read more about this movement and CYCLE Logistics, please visit and read the article from  http://thecityfix.com/blog/the-eu-meets-to-discuss-how-to-promote-cargo-cycling/

Posted in bakfiets, City Cycling, Commuting, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, other topics, Places & Events, Useful References, Work CyclingComments (8)

Yuba Mundo

mundo-rear-lowresYuba Bicycles is a long bike company based in Northern California. From the looks of it, their quality is solid with modern components. We’ve seen some of their complete bicycles for as low as $800 at some budget bicycle dealers. On Yuba’s website, they start at $1100 with Shimano Acera components and go up from there depending on features. Their electric version is available for $2600. OUCH!!!!

We really love long bikes as a category and they’re great for families with older kids. If you’re buying a long bike for the first time, make sure to budget an extra $200 for some waterproof saddlebags (panniers), running boards for extra riders, and dual arm kickstand when loading kids. That way you can get the most out of your long bike.

Update: Yuba now sells their Mundo V4 for $1299 with SRAM components, including super stable double kickstand, bamboo deck and integrated wheelskirts. The elMundo with BionX goes for $3199.

Links:
• Yuba Bicycle Company
• Vancouver Long Bikes

Posted in Commuting, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, long bikes, Work CyclingComments (6)

Mexican American Trike

I was walking at Redondo Beach Pier and met some low rider bike builders that tricked out their kid’s cargo bicycles. They both put a lot of work into their trikes and added a great Mexican American style to it. It’s great seeing basic cargo bikes evolve into custom tricked out machines.

FYI: The red trike is not made by Radio Flyer. The builder just wanted to go for that look.

Great work guys!

Posted in Family Cycling, tricyclesComments (6)

Feetz: Leaning Trike, Independent Steering, Converts to Stroller

From it’s specifications list, the Feetz is one amazing tadpole trike (two front & one rear wheel). It has front independent steering (ackerman steering), converts almost instantly into a stroller, and leans into turns.

Most tricycles tend to feel tip prone because they can’t lean into turns like a bicycle. The Feetz over comes this through it’s leaning design. Without riding one, we can’t tell how it actually performs. However from their videos, the Feetz looks fantastic.

The only catch is that it retails for £1,200 in the UK, which means it’ll be well over $2000 US dollars by the time it reaches the States.

Links:
http://feetz.nl

Posted in Family Cycling, Load Carrying, tricycles, Work CyclingComments (5)

CETMA Cargo: American Bakfiets Builder

We’ve been meaning to write a post about CETMA Cargo for some time. The place is run by Lane Kagay who makes fantastic custom built bakfiets cargo bicycles and racks. If you’re thinking about buying a bakfiets, rather than shipping one to the States, you should seriously consider getting a skilled local builder like Lane to build one for you. You’ll get a custom bicycle with great components for about the same price as shipping a stock Euro built bicycle to the States.

Lane’s bicycles have some great features like disk brakes, triangulated frame for strength, and customizable modular design. Check out Lane’s website for more photos.

Links:
• CETMA Cargo

Posted in bakfiets, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, Work CyclingComments (2)

Onderwater: Kid Pedal Bakfiets

Onderwater is a Dutch bicycle company that makes a bakfiets for families with older children. Instead of the kids riding in a cargo box, the Onderwater has standard bicycle seats in tandem with the adult driver. There are also pedals for the kids, so that they can help mom or dad pedal to school. They come in multiple configurations for families with one to three kids. The bikes come with 8 speed Shimano internally geared hubs, halogen lamps, and roller brakes front and rear. The bikes start in price at around $2200 USD / €1643

Links:
Onderwaterfiets.nl

Posted in bakfiets, City Cycling, Family CyclingComments (6)

Hudson Urban Bicycles

Hudson Urban Bicycles is an American custom bicycle builder located in the West Village (New York City). They make these really COOL rear load cargo tricycles for carrying kids. The NY Times did a video interview of the owner talking about his design. If you’re in NYC, definitely check them out.

BTW: The mom in the photo driving the cargo tricycle is the actress Kate Winslet from the movie Titanic. Couldn’t ask for a better endorsement.

Links:
• Hudson Urban Bicycles
Hudson Urban Bicycle Blog
NY Times Video

Posted in Family Cycling, shops, tricyclesComments (15)

Maruishi: Mama’s Bicycle (kid carrier)

Maruishi is a family owned bicycle manufacturer that is popular in Japan. They are one of the oldest bicycle companies in Japan and are famous for their line of Mama Cha-ri (Mama’s Bicycle). Their recent designs are extremely refined, have solid build quality, and come with numerous options.

Their newest line called “Frackers” has seating for two kids. There’s a unique front seat that sits between ape hanger style handle bars which allows you to carry a kid without having to be hunched over them. There’s also an optional rear seat for a second child or small pet dog. Also the Fracker’s patented design avoids tipping when loading kids by automatically locking the brakes and the front steering column when the rear kick stand is engaged.

I’ve talked to several people while living in Japan and they only have great things to say about their Maruishi bikes. I’m guessing if you’re comfortable with buying a China built bicycle (Maruishi’s factory is in China) and don’t want to blow two grand on a Dutch built bicycle, then Maruishi is definitely an option. The ones I’ve seen in shops in Japan retail for $300 to $400 USD.

Key Features:
• Tip resistant design – auto locking brakes & steering for parking
• Ergonomic front child seat (hunch free design)
• Optional electric assist
• Pet carrier version available
• Affordable Price: $350 USD or less throughout Japan

Links:
Fracker Website
Maruishi Bicycle Company

Posted in bicycles, City Cycling, Family CyclingComments (2)

Zigo

Is an American maker of tadpole style tricycles for young families, where the children sit in front of the driver. It has Ackerman steering similar to the Nihola tricycle. However, what makes it unique is that it can quickly be converted into either a single person bicycle or into a jogging stroller. The cargo area is made of fabric and tube construction similar to most bicycle trailers.

We noticed they were selling these through Target’s online store for a while. Which is an amazing approach because it means that there’s a possibility that these could become more mainstream in America. Not just for bicycle geeks like us.

Of course the early adopters would have to pay a premium price ($1399 base model), but as sales increase, quantities of scale would hopefully kick in. If they could get these into stores like Costco or Sam’s Club at around $700 or less (combined cost of a medium quality bicycle and bicycle trailer), MyZigo could become more commonplace. This is the first real attempt at bringing a refined factory built cargo tricycle to the masses in the US. The Zigo team should be applauded for their efforts.

As for the trike itself, here are some quick thoughts.

Pros:
Factory built
Unique convertible design (Bicycle/Stroller/Tricycle)
Folds flat for transportation
Weatherproof cargo area for kids
Safety harnesses for kids
Ackerman steering (stable ride)

Cons:
Small cargo area due to Ackerman steering. Families with more than one kid might find it cramped when grocery shopping or running errands.
Fabric style cargo area, difficult to customize.
Complex converting system.
High initial cost.

Comments:
If not for the price, this could be a great cargo tricycle for a lot of families. It’s safe, looks refined, the kids are comfy, and they are in sight of the driver. Also, the Ackerman steering design means it has better stability vs. pivot style tricycles. However, having the convertible design adds complexity and cost to the design. Some families might even find that they don’t convert the tricycle into a stroller at all.

For a first round, the MyZigo has a the makings of real hit. However, families on a budget will most likely have to go with a China made Christiania style trike. However, for those with large discretionary income, MyZigo is definitely a good option.

Links:
• www.myzigo.com

Posted in Family Cycling, tricyclesComments (8)

Bullit Modular Bakfiets by Larry vs. Harry

Larry vs. Harry manufacture a very nice modular bakfiets that can be fitted with a range of accessories such as wooden cargo box, aluminum all weather box, billboards, etc. As for fit and finish, their bakfiets frames are made from oversized aluminum tubing and fitted with modern components that even bicycle geeks like us would love.

Here are the specs for their base model the “Bullit Classic”:
• Powder-coated in black
• Hardened aluminium frame
• Stainless steel nuts, bolts and discs
• 7-gear SRAM i-Motion hub
• Hydraulic front brake
• SRAM Truvativ crankshaft
• Double-bound aluminium wheel rims
• Puncture-proof Schwalbe tires
• Impact-strengthened plastic mudguards
• Fast saddle and handlebar adjustment
• Insurance-approved ABUS bicycle lock

Links:
• Larry vs. Harry website
• Photo Gallery
• Wired Magazine Article

Posted in bakfiets, City Cycling, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, Work CyclingComments (2)

Taga Stroller – Game Changer?

So, is this the major game changer that we’ve all been looking for? Or else, is it just another expensive industrial design study that only a few can afford?

Without having ridden one, I can only say that the new Taga Stroller/Tricycle looks amazing. Basically, it is a kid carrying cargo tricycle that converts on the fly into a walking stroller. WOW! Also, it has numerous optional features that allow it to be customized and outfitted in any number of ways.

The MAJOR drawback at this moment is the stunning price and lack of availability. Not yet sold in the US, it has a base price of $2500 without any options. Include shipping, handling, and customs duties, you’re pushing $3000 by the time you’re riding the base model in the States.

Early Verdict: Function and styling that any parent would love, price tag of a good used car.

Links:
Taga Website

Posted in City Cycling, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, tricyclesComments (11)

Kona Ute: Big Manufacturer Enters Cargo Bicycle Market

It was great to see that some of the large manufacturers are heading into the cargo bicycle market. Hopefully it’ll bring cargo bicycles into the mainstream and make a dent in car traffic.

Check out the Kona Ute. They’ve added this great new longbike to their huge lineup. Longbikes are great for anyone who wants an all around bicycle that they can use for commuting, getting groceries, camping, and to transport small adults or older kids.

Links:
Kona Ute Website
Bicycle Hugger Review

Posted in City Cycling, Commuting, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, long bikes, Work CyclingComments (5)

Smart Trike – Smart Urban Transportation

Dutch company, SmartTrike, makes a fantastic cargo tricycle that comes in a variety of configurations. In the photo from their website, you can see two versions, the kid carrier and the basic cargo box. The tricycle is also available in a other models such as a solar powered icebox version for vending ice cream and soda. Also, the cargo box is available alone as a push cart for vending and moving cargo.

 

Similar to other European luxury cargo tricycles, the SmartTrike comes with a hefty starting price of € 2199 Euros ($3000 USD). The tricycle looks great and has many useful options like power assist & onboard lights. However, it comes at a price only a few can afford.

 

Hopefully enough early adopters will buy these great tricycles and bring the price down to a family budget.

 

Check out their website at: http://www.smarttrike.com

 

 

Posted in Family Cycling, Load Carrying, tricyclesComments (4)

Dutch ID – Bakfiets with Safety

CargoDutch ID is a company in the Netherlands that makes a bakfiets with a tension fabric and cage design for carrying children. Think of it as a kid trailer mounted on a two wheeled bakfiets bicycle.

The added safety of the tension fabric cage takes care of the safety concerns many parents would have when using a wooden box style bakfiets. Although this bicycle is available only in a few countries in Europe, it would be a very easy sell to parents anywhere.

Maybe if enough parents show interest in this style of bakfiets, dealers will start to carry them in the US.

Here’s a link to their website:
http://www.dutch-id.nl/products.shtml

Posted in bakfiets, City Cycling, Family Cycling, Load CarryingComments (3)

Christiani Tricycle a Danish Original

Christianiabicycles_2The Christiania Tricycle is one of the original “tree hugger” bicycles from the 70s. It was built as a way for residents to get around the town of Chrisitiania, which does not allow cars. The town has about 850 residents and was established as a social experiment on the site of an old military barracks. Although the town has had some recent troubles with the Danish gov’t, the trikes themselves have gained in popularity throughout the years.

We are real fans of these great tricycles. They are sturdy front load cargo trikes that can be used for all sorts of tasks such as carrying kids, the handicapped, transporting goods, etc. The unique charm of the tricycle is it’s simple wooden box design which is inexpensive, easy to maintain, and highly customizable.

If you’d like to find out more, check out these links.

• Christiania Bikes: http://www.christianiabikes.com/
• Christiani Freetown: http://www.christiania.org/
• History of Christiania Freetown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freetown_Christiania

Posted in City Cycling, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, tricyclesComments (441)

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)

Nihola Family Cargo Tricycle

Niholatricycle02_2Danish company Nihola makes an award winning family cargo tricycle available for sale in Northern Europe. It’s understated style appeals to anyone wanting easy convenient transporation, but with features that meet the needs of an urban family. It comes with a lightweight truss frame, Ackerman steering up front, all weather drum brakes, and a 5 speed internally geared rear hub.

Although the Nihola family tricycle is large enough to carry two small children and some groceries, it will be a cozy fit. Due to the Ackerman steering, the cargo box is smaller than for tricycles that use Axle pivot steering. However, for many people that is a small price to pay for having the added stability at speed.

After asking the kind folks at Nihola if we could purchase one of these tricycles in the US, we received a very kind email saying they are currently sold out and are having difficulty just meeting demand in Europe.

Designed to be lightweight, nimble, and stable at moderate speeds, this tricycle is a popular choice for many people. But with a starting price of €1995 Euros, it will likely be out of the price range of most young families.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope Nihola tricycles will reach the US in the future. If you’re lucky enough to own one, we’re sure you’re riding with a smile.

Posted in Family Cycling, Load Carrying, tricyclesComments (4)

Family cycling

Adams_bike_2
Here is another great article on Sheldon Brown’s page about family cycling,
covering tandems, trailer cycles, and teaching kids how to ride a bike.

To the right is the popular Adam Trail-A-Bike.

Posted in Family Cycling, Tech Talk, trailersComments (2)

DIY: Homebuilt Sidecar

Popular_mechanics_diy_sidecarPopular Mechanics has a great article submitted by a Caleb Brown who shows you how he built a leaning bicycle sidecar for carrying his son around. The great things about the design are that the full suspension smooths out bumps in the road, the suspension allows for leaning, it allows the driver & child to communicate face to face, and finally it’s pretty low cost. Also, the fact that it uses a commercially available child carrier means many families will be able to make use of carriers they already own.

It looks professional and we’re impressed. GREAT JOB!!!

Posted in DIY, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, trailers, tricyclesComments (4)