Archive | Family Cycling

Types of Tricycles

When riding around with my son in the front of my cargo tricycle around town, onlookers often ask me “What’s that?” I think the main reason is that most people are used to seeing tricycles with two wheels in the back and one wheel up front, rather than the other way around. Well, for those of you who are new to cargocycling here’s a quick summary of the main types of tricycles.

Tricycles are generally defined by their wheel arrangement. The three most common are:

• Delta Tricycle: 1 wheel in front and 2 wheels in the rear
• Tadpole Tricycle: 2 wheels in front and 1 wheel in the rear
• Sidecar: 2 wheels in line with each other and 1 wheel parallel and offset

Deltatricycle_2Delta Tricycle:
A delta trike has 1 wheel in front & 2 wheels in the back. It is sometimes refered to as a traditional tricycle or rear load tricycle (meaning the cargo is behind the driver). A lot of times you’ll see older people using these bicycles because it is stable at slow speeds and uses standard bicycle steering.

Tadpoletricycle_2Tadpole Tricycle:
A tadpole trike has 2 wheels in front & 1 wheel in the back. It is sometimes refered to as a front load tricycle because the cargo is in front of the driver. These tricycles are useful for drivers that need to keep a close eye on their cargo or need quick access to it without having to get off of their trike. This makes them ideal for use by food vendors or pedi-cab drivers who have frequent interaction with customers.

Sidecar_2Sidecar Tricycle:
In the side car arrangement, two wheels are in line with each other like a bicycle. The third wheel is parallel to the other two wheels but is offset from the center line of the two wheels.

In future posts, I’ll try to include information on other aspects of cargo tricycles for those of you who are interested in picking up a cargo tricycle.

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Check out, an online retailer specializing in bike cargo trailers., dedicated to bike trailers.

Cello, an unique bike case travel system for BOB trailers.

All three sites were started by Josh Lipton, here is his interesting blog where he talks in depth about running his own small start-up business.

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Bob Ibex trailer


B.O.B. (formerly Beast of Burden) is the maker of the famous single wheel Yak trailer.  By replacing the stock quick release with a special replacement,  you can mount the single wheel trailer to any bike.

BOB Ibex is a variation of the Yak trailer with suspension added.

Curiously instead of building kid trailers, BOB makes a line of jogging strollers.

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Felt cruisers

Wanna cruise around town in style?
Check out Felt’s line of retro cruisers.
Too cool for school!

Check out other cruisers at

The bike to the right is a Felt MP.

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Chariot Sidecarrier

Chariot , a maker of kids trailers and strollers, have a unique sidecar design called the Sidecarrier.  It is like a regular motorcycle sidecar except it allows the bike to lean independently.

Sidenote: We’ve read in some reviews that one drawback of the Chariot is that it’s only compatible with mountain bicycles. We haven’t tested one out on our bike. But you might want to check with the manufacturer about compatibility with your bicycle before rushing out to order.

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Riese&Muller Gemini

Check out this interesting child carrying bike called Gemini from Riese&Muller. 
The child seat is located on the handle bar.  This allows the parent to see and talk to the child.

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Public Restroom on a Trike

Public Restroom
Originally uploaded by jkoshi.

My friend JKoshi captured this photo during a trip to China. If you’re a parent of small kids, you’d appreciate the convenience. hmm… I wonder if you can do this in a car?

Check out the rest of Koshi’s Flickr albums. He’s got lots of other great travel and bike photos.

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North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2007 (San Jose, CA)

AhearneI just posted my photos from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show at the San Jose Convention Center. There was a huge number of custom bicycle builders from all over the world attending the show. The variety of bikes ranged from all out velomobiles to rat bikes built with found materials. It was great talking with the builders who went out of their way to be friendly and answer any questions.

Some of the themes I noticed throughout the show:

Some fun stuff I saw at the show:

My photos from the show on Flickr

Posted in City Cycling, Commuting, DIY, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, Mobility Impaired, Places & Events, Portable, Touring, Useful References, Work CyclingComments (2)

Haley Trike

Stephen at just finished building a custom cargo tricycle for us. It’s enroute and we can’t wait to receive it. I’ll add some seats and a sun hood so that my son can ride in comfort.

I’ll post a full review and article on bicycling & transportation options for parents with young kids. Here’s a preview picture of our trike. heh heh…

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