Archive | type of riding

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)

Torker Cargo-T Bicycle

Torker has released the Cargo-T bicycle for $600 MSRP. It’s distributed in the US by Seattle Bicycle Supply, which should make it easy for your local bike shop to get a hold of. It comes with Shimano 3 speed internal hub gearing and comes with front and rear cargo racks.

At 45 lbs, it’s about average weight for most purpose built cargo bicycles. The frame comes in satin grey or blaze green. This Taiwan built bicycle is a lower cost alternative for anyone considering European built city bicycles which could easily cost more than a thousand bucks.

Links:
Torker USA
• Seattle Bicycle Supply

Posted in bicycles, City Cycling, Load Carrying, Work CyclingComments (3)

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)

Tianjin Flying Pigeon

The Tianjin Flying Pigeon is the most popular bicycle in history. They have literally sold billions of these bicycles since Chairman Mao established the company in 1950. Based on a 1930s European design, they haven’t changed at all over the decades.

The bike has classic looks, weighs a ton, and is built like a tank. Due to the “Classic” design, maintenance is a pain. Also, if you live outside of the developing world where they sell most of their bicycles, finding parts can be equally frustrating. While taking a tour of their plant, the factory rep told me that their biggest customers are in Central Africa.

Out of curiosity, I asked what a shipment of these bicycles would cost. They said that they can fit around 200 of these bicycles (unassembled) into a shipping container and that they would charge $45 USD/each. Pretty good price if you buy in bulk.

Another thing I learned is that the original Tianjin Flying Pigeon company split up over the years and that there are dozens of factories across the country still using the Flying Pigeon name and design to build bicycles.

If you’re in the market for a Euro style city bike, the Flying Pigeon might be exactly what you’re looking for. Imagine for the price of one Dutch built bike, you can have a flock of Flying Pigeons roaming the streets.

Check out my post about my tour of the Tianjin Flying Pigeon Factory.

Links:
My tour of the Flying Pigeon Factory
• Tianjin Flying Pigeon Bicycle Company (one of many)
• Flying Pigeon Los Angeles Shop
Flying Pigeon Enthusiast’s Blog

Posted in bicycles, City CyclingComments (1)

Surly Big Dummy (long bike)

Surly is a maker that helped start the fixed gear craze here in the States. Along with their affordable fixies, they make a long bike that can be bought as a complete or frame only. Surly bikes are sturdy and built with quality. Definitely worth checking out.

Links:
Surly Bikes

Posted in Load Carrying, long bikesComments (7)

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)

Nimble Cargo Scooters

Nimble Scooter Pacific Blue

Nimble Cargo Scooters is a company that manufactures cargo scooters in Irvine, California. The scooters start at $450 and are built with aircraft aluminum and baltic birch. You can order them with custom colors and graphics. They ride amazing well and are extremely stable with their low center of gravity.

At only 25 lbs, they’re very lightweight and compact. Also, they’re much smaller than a regular bicycle. While test riding a Nimble last week, we were able to walk into most stores like Target without the workers batting an eye. Think of it as a running stroller you can ride.

If you’ve always wanted a bakfiets but couldn’t afford it. Then look no further. Try out a Nimble Cargo Scooter, which is easily a fourth of the cost of a good bakfiets or long bike.

Links:
nimblescooters.com

Posted in Load CarryingComments (0)

TNT Post

European mail delivery company TNT Post is another company making use of cargo tricycles to get around congested urban traffic. Here’s a photo that someone sent me of their cargo tricycle in use.

Link: TNT Post Webpage

Posted in Load Carrying, tricyclesComments (31)

Metrofiets – American Bakfiets Makers

OK, I knew it would happen and couldn’t you have guessed, it would be in Portland. The first US custom maker of Dutch style cargo bicycles (bakfiets). From the looks of their weld quality and components, Metrofiets bicycles are on par with any custom built bicycle on the market.

We’re looking forward to giving one a test ride the next time we’re in Portland. You can check out their website at: www.metrofiets.com as well as their beer bike at Hopworks Brewery (Portland’s own eco-brewpub)

Posted in bakfiets, Load CarryingComments (2)

Grocery Cart Bicycle

This is a great idea. Not sure how well it works, but you’ve got to give Ryan McFarland kudos for coming up with this idea and for recycling. He’s got tons of other interesting projects he’s built on instructables.com and his blog which is worth checking out.

Posted in DIY, Load Carrying, special purpose, Tech Talk, Work CyclingComments (0)

Flickr Gallery: China Cargo Tricycles

Here’s a nice photo gallery of cargo tricycles in China by BriColeurbanism.

Links:
• Photo Gallery of Cargo Tricycles in China
• Bricoleurbanism.org Website

Posted in Load Carrying, Places & Events, Work CyclingComments (0)

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)

Mobile Graffiti Trike

A really cool platform for projection or laser graffiti artists. If you don’t know what projection graffiti is check out Graffiti Research Lab’s Blog. It’s really cool.

Link:
Graffiti Research Lab

Posted in City Cycling, DIY, Load Carrying, special purpose, Work CyclingComments (0)

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)

PedalPub: Drunken Riding?

Heh heh… I ran across this gem while doing a search on “product liability”. This is one awesome bike! 17 riders pedaling together around town while drinking beer, eating food, and enjoying the sites. Couldn’t think of a better way then the PedalPub (Het Fietscafe in the Netherlands). What can I say, simply a great time…

Links:
• PedalPub (US Distributor – www.pedalpub.com)
• Het Fietscafe (Netherlands Maker – www.fietscafe.nl)
• Fietscafe in Action (Flickr)

Posted in City Cycling, special purpose, Work CyclingComments (0)

Google Maps Tricycle

(AP Photos/Jacques Brinon)

(AP Photos/Jacques Brinon)

A friend sent me this photo of Google employees using a tricycle to map places where cars are not allowed. They’ve got it hooked up with the same camera and GPS equipment that their specially equipped cars use to capture street views all over the world. Pretty cool idea…

Link:
- Associated Press Article
- Google Maps Street View

Posted in City Cycling, Load Carrying, special purpose, Work CyclingComments (1)

Deutsche Post Bicycle Delivery

Ran across these photos on the web of Deutsche Post using bicycles for inner city delivery.

Posted in bicycles, City Cycling, Load Carrying, special purpose, trailers, Work CyclingComments (2)

Great Video: Geekhouse Bikes

My friend Frank just sent me this link to a great video of a bicycle being made at Geekhouse Bikes. From the looks of their website, these guys build great custom bicycles. Keep up the great work guys.

Posted in City Cycling, DIY, VideosComments (3)

Military Bicycle – US Army Paratroopers and Marines

Montague Bicycle Company has been making folding bicycles for the US military since 1997. These bicycles are foldable and can be parachuted in with soldiers and marines. They are currently being tested for use by US Army Special Forces.

Check out their website for videos and photos.
Montague Military Bicycles Promo Video Page

Posted in bicycles, Load Carrying, Videos, Work CyclingComments (156)

Air Pollution in China

air pollution china

air pollution china

I generally try to keep this blog upbeat and focused on bicycles. But, the other day I found a picture I took a couple of years ago during a business trip to China. The photo speaks for itself… The air pollution in China is awful…

This picture was taken in Ningbo City, about three hours drive from Shanghai. In the early 1990s, most people in China were still using bicycles or mass transit. Cars were a luxury for the rich. Back then the air was clean given the size of the population. But now in many of the factory towns across China, your eyes water as soon as you step out the front door.

The sad thing is we keep blaming China for all of this, but most of those poluting factories are making products that are bound for US and European markets. Basically we’ve just exported our pollution creating factories and jobs to China. Anyway, everytime I go to Costco, I always get a sense that I’m just adding to this cycle…

Posted in City Cycling, Places & EventsComments (3)

Paris: Cargo Bicycle Delivery Network

La Petite Reine (little queen) is a French nickname for bicycle. It’s also the name of the small company that operates a fleet of over 60 cargocycles for various client companies such as express delivery service DHL.  Everyday these cargo bicycles and tricycles make their way through congested parts of Paris to deliver parcels with an efficiency that Fedex would be proud of.

Besides the suped up messenger services. La Petite Reine also sells and rents these cargo tricycles to the public.

Posted in City Cycling, Load Carrying, special purpose, tricyclesComments (10)

Dual Pull Brake Lever

Dual_pull_brakes
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.

Posted in accessories, DIY, Load Carrying, Tech TalkComments (9)

New Urbanism

I ran into this video about New Urbanism, which is the trend in urban planning which promotes walkable livable cities. This video is a really cool intro to the whole idea. Hopefully the idea of using bicycles for transport in these new cities will take off.

Posted in City Cycling, Commuting, Places & EventsComments (0)