Archive | tricycles

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.

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UPS using cargo tricycles in Germany

Here’s a photo someone sent me of a UPS cargo tricycle in Germany. They say that in city centers, making deliveries with these things is much faster than by cargo van.

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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!!!

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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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Velomobile: go-one³

A German company called Beyss Leichtfahrzeuge makes a totally cool human powered zero emission vehicle called Go-One³. Designed by a designer from Daimler Chrysler that helped bring us the Smart Car, the Go-One³ is a fully enclosed weatherproof pedal powered tricycle. With features like it’s carbon fiber shell, turn signals, and electric assist this is like no other bicycle you’ve ridden before.

Looks so hot, it’s been used as a prop for TV commercials and magazine ads for companies like Puma.

Now if they can only do something about the price tag… $7689 US Dollars with shipping.

OUCH!

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Apax Leaning Tricycle

ApaxA start-up company called Apax Vehicle Dynamics is developing an interesting leaning tricycle. They’ve got some great video footage of their tricycle in action going down stairs, offroad, etc. The design has a lot of potential for other applications.

Hopefully as they develop their design, they’ll be able to improve the aesthetics, reduce weight, and simplify the design.

Keep up the great work!

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Leaning Tricycle

In many situations tricycles have advantages over traditional bicycles. Tricycles don’t fall over when sitting at a full stop, they are stable at low speed, they can carry tremedous loads, and you can take a rest any time.

However one of the most difficult things for riders to get used to is the fact that most trikes do not allow you to lean into a turn like on a bicycle. There are many people who are developing designs for leaning tricycles and we’ll start to post links to some of those.

One of the cooler designs we’ve seen so far is from Apax Vehicle Developments in Canada. Their website is barebones, but they’ve got some cool videos that shows their trike in action.

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Leitra and Velomobiles

Cgleitra
Recumbent trikes with full fairings came from human powered vehicle (HPV) racing.  One was Mike Burrow’s Windcheetah, originally intended as a stable HPV trainer for HPV racers.  Recumbent enthusiasts soon discover the advantanges of a fully faired trike for commuting compared to a full faired recumbent bike.  There is no need to balance the vehicle at stops, no worries of side wind blowing the vehicle around.

Velomobile became the term used to describe these fully faired recumbent trikes built for commuting in traffic and offering all-weather protection.

One of the most well know is the Leitra, with a flip-forward front section that allows entry and exit of the rider.

Check out velomobile.net for more info on velomobiles.

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Pedal Express delivery service

Rubbermaid_tower
Pedal Express
is a chain of delivery service offering ‘Zero Pollution Delivery Solution’.

Here are pics of their delivery vehicles for Pedal Express Berkeley.

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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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Turf Trike

Forget about those electric golf carts, check out this pedal powered cart called Turf Trike The golf caddy detaches from the trike.

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Tri-sled work bike

Tri-sled, an Australian recumbent manufacturer, offers three different models of workbikes.

Slab_bike_3
This is their longbike model.

Workbike_1 Their quadbike.

Pedicab1_2
Their recumbent pedicab.

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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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Haley Trike

Stephen at Haleytrike.com 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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