Tag Archive | "bicycles"

Hopworks Beer Bike

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Hopworks Beer Bike



This is just plain cool. Beer, Pizza, and Bikes! Who could ask for more. Another great idea from the brains at Metrofiets.

Links:
Hopworks Micro Brewery
• Metrofiets Beer Bike Photos

Posted in bakfiets, special purposeComments (3)

Maruishi: Mama’s Bicycle (kid carrier)

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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)

Grocery Cart Bicycle

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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)

The Perils of Hybrid Design – Triobike Redux

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The Perils of Hybrid Design – Triobike Redux


Triobike is a Danish company that makes a family tricycle with a nifty “Multi-purpose Design” which can be converted from a tricycle to a bicycle to a stroller. On paper it has many of the design features that families are looking for such as 5 point harnesses for kids, front & rear lights, disk brakes, etc. It’s sleek minimalist European industrial design will send hearts aflutter anywhere. Who wouldn’t want a tricycle you could drive the kids to daycare with, convert into a bicycle, and then ride to work with.

However in the case of Triobike, it’s Achilles Heal may be that it does neither of it’s intended purposes very well. As a tricycle, reviewers are beginning to talk about it’s dangerously unstable ride. As a bicycle, it’s sporty design doesn’t lend itself well for city riding (no fenders, uncomfortable forward leaning style, men’s style swing over frame) Finally as a stroller it’s unwieldy bulk makes it impractical. Imagine a parent struggling to load it into a car or better yet trying to get it through the doorway of a local store with a sleeping toddler on board.

Hybrid designs in and of themselves are a neat idea. They take up less space but serve multiple purposes. However, history has been marked with endless hybrid designs that try to do too many things and fail to do any well. Airplanes that convert into a car, cars that convert into a boat, and so on.

In the case of Triobike, it’s a great idea with flawed execution. Like any groundbreaking innovative design there will be growing pains and hopefully an evolution to an ideal form. If the makers of Triobike continue to refine and iterate the design, then it has a great future. Otherwise, it’ll remain another industrial design study where style has won out over function, with the added bonus of a $3000 USD price tag.

Triobike Links:
www.triobike.com
Triobike photos by Carteco
Triobike Video

Other Luxury Cargo Tricycle Makers:
Winther Kangaroo
Nihola
MyZigo (US manufacturer)

Posted in Tech Talk, tricyclesComments (10)

Air Pollution in China

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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)

New Urbanism

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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)

Velolution.biz

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Velolution.biz


Velorution
Velolution
, a wonderful online store that carries commuters, folders, work bikes, and family bikes.  According to their website, they have a showroom in London.  They even have folding bikes available for rent!

Posted in shopsComments (8)