We just came across this unknown to us custom bike maker up North (that means Canada) who makes these really cool looking custom cargo bikes and trailers. They are fabricated by Manuel Cappel, and from the photos we’ve seen they are quirky looking and a bit industrial appearing but have a minimalist charm. One of his unique bicycle trailers is pictured here. We were not able to download a photo of one of his cargo bikes, but check out his website at http://cappelcustomcarts.com for more cool photos. If you’re in the Toronto area, it looks worth checking out one of these.
We just came across the Bike Friday tandem bikes and thought they deserved some attention. Tandem bikes are a good choice for those that are riding with a child or companion that is not yet ready for independent riding, or for those couples that, well, can’t bear to be far apart from one another. Bike Friday even makes a tandem that folds. Now you can take your tandem with you, greatly expanding your opportunities to enjoy it.
Bike Friday makes a few different tandem including the entry level Family Tandem, the Traveler XL for more heavy duty touring and travelling, and the Two’sDay, which is their folder. The Family Traveler starts at $1,998, while the Traveler XL starts at $2,650–pricey but still a good choice if tandem is your style. Construction is sturdy and components mid- to high-end. For example, even the entry level Traveler includes Avid disc brakes and 24 speed touring gears.
Bike Friday products are made right here in the USA. Check them out.
The Zigo Mango Stroller/Jogger/Trailer is shipping for Spring 2012. This long awaited entry into the U.S. sports stroller market is likely to give the established players, Burley and Chariot, a run for their money. The Zigo Mango price value proposition is hard to beat.
The Zigo Mango X2 Complete is a fully functional stroller, jogger, and kids bike trailer out-of-the-box. There is no need to buy any conversion kits. It includes 8″ front caster wheels, a 16″ jogger wheel kit, and a trailer arm hitch set. It also includes a safety flag andwhat Zigo calls the Simple Environmental Control System, which is a basic mesh screen and drizzle guard. The Zigo Mango comes with 20″ rear wheels, which makes for a luxurious ride, run or stroll, and dual drum brakes.
In stroller mode, the Zigo Mango is a limousine for your child, thanks to the 20″ wheels. It is a spacious side-by-side design for two children, though you need to buy an extra harness for the second one. Unlike most trailers that convert to strollers, the Zigo Mango can be thought of more as a stroller that converts to a trailer. The stroller function is well executed and not an afterthought. If you never used the Mango as anything other than a stroller, it’s still worth buying ( you can buy the Zigo Mango X2 Stroller separately (as opposed to the Mango x2 Complete) and purchase accessory jogger or trailer kits later as needed.)
To convert from stroller to trailer or jogger, the caster wheels are either positioned to point upright or can be removed entirely to reduce weight. The trailer or jogger kit connects to the front of the Mango.
The Mango jogger has a fixed front wheel, which is what you want for stability and true tracking without veer as you run. The Mango performs well in this regard. Modulating your pace is easy with the dual drum brakes.
As a kids bike trailer, the Mango offers a comfortable and stable ride. The Mango comes with a safety flag and a mesh and plastic cover for use as a trailer (the Simple ECS). It has a built in roll-cage for protection as well as side guards to deflect obstacles.
There are a few accessories to consider for the Zigo Mango. The StoragePod adds one cubic foot of storage space to the rear of the Mango. This is great for use in any mode to carry all that baby gear, and is a must-have for longer trips.
The Deluxe Environmental Control System is a nice accessory to have. Although the Simple ECS is functional, it lacks the style and fit of the Deluxe. If you are planning to be an all-weather user then consider adding the Deluxe ECS.
The Zigo Mango is available in Mango Red or Mango Yellow. The astounding thing about this product is the price. IN the United States, the Zigo Mango is offered only direct from Zigo with no dealers or middlemen. It is listed at $599 on the Zigo website, but if you “Add to cart to see better price” it is only $499. This price point is hard to beat for Zigo style, functionality and quality.
To purchase the Zigo Mango X2 Complete you will need to visit the Zigo website at store.myzigo.com. The Zigo Mango and accessories can be purchased there, along with the flagship Zigo Leader Carrier Bike.
With the electric bicycle craze taking off globally, the electric Bakfiets may be the next big thing. An electric carrier bike or cargo bike truly makes this category a practical car alternative for the mass market. Without the limiting requirement of sturdy and tireless thigh muscles, a large number of casual cyclists are expected to embrace the carrier bike category. An electric carrier bike or bakfiets opens up the market to those needing to cycle longer distances than their legs will allow and those in hillier regions. Carrier bike market leader Zigo is reported to be developing an electric Zigo for launch next Fall. Several electrified Zigos, modified by dealers or consumers from aftermarket kits, have already been showcased on the Zigo Facebook page.
There are already a number of electric bakfietsen available, or able to be built from aftermarket kits. For example, Sparticle Electric Bikes in the U.K. offers a converted dutch bakfiets, though at a hefty starting price of £3,140 (US$4,116), plus the cost of any accessories. The U.S. sales price of the electric Zigo is expected to be $2,999. Gloworm in Australia offers a converted dutch bakfiets for Australian $4800 (US$4,839). On Bakfietsweb one can find an electric bakfiets listed as low as €849 (US$1,113), featuring a 36V 9ah Li-ion battery. However, this sounds a bit too good to be true. The rest of the specifications of the electrical components and the supplier are not listed.
Regardless of the brand and components, we expect the electric carrier bike/bakfiets/cargo bike market to boom in the next several years.
The Kona Ute longtail bike is a rugged-looking longtail bike with a nod to mountain bike aesthetics, as might be expected from Kona. The integration of the rack with the bike frame is a nice design touch. Retailing at US$1249 on the Kona website, it is nicely positioned in terms of price/quality, featuring an aluminum frame, many Shimano components, double kick-stand, and disc brakes. Like other longtail cargo bikes, the Kona Ute has an extended rear with a wooden platform for mounting cargo or bags of all sorts. It is not as heavy duty as some other longtail bikes, but quite practical for average city use.
The longtail bike trend seems to be growing in the United States, with new models being introduced each year. Since our post on Xtracycle, we have researched a number of other longtail bikes. By way of introduction, a longtail bike is designed with a long wheelbase and extra room behind the rider for cargo. The frame, wheels and drive-train need to be sturdily constructed to handle the extra loads. In the future we will be offering reports on longtail bikes from:
- Sun Bicycles
- Surly; and
Xtracycle makes a couple of really nice products for cargo hauling. The xtracylce Radish is dubbed “the complete family bike” on the xtracycle website. The Radish is a complete cargo bike and not a conversion kit. The Radish features a chromoly frame and weighs about 45 lbs. (before adding cargo kits). It features front and rear SD-5 v-brakes, a SRAM X-5 rear derailleur and a SRAM 11-34 cassette. The Radish can be outfitted with a variety of cargo attachments, depending on what you plan to carry. For light hauling, there is the Eco kit. The Classic kit is for heavier goods, while the Trucker, you guessed it, is for even heavier loads. The Family kit includes a PeaPod baby seat and an adapter for child hauling. The base Radish is $900, and the various cargo kits range from $135 for the Eco to $540 for the Family or Trucker kit. The xtracycle Radish, and similar long-tail bikes, are a nice cargo alternative. For transporting kids, we still favor a carrier bike with a forward positioned carrier, but for cargo, the xtracycle radish is a contender.
Zigo at Eurobike last week unveiled a prototype of the new eZigo electric carrier bike. Using the TransX battery, the eZigo was reported to be a pleasure to ride. The styling is expected to be updated to a more integrated look before a final eZigo is released, possibly as early as mid-2012. The eZigo, and electric bakfietsen in general, open the carrier bike market to those in hilly regions, those less fit, and those doing long commutes. This product is expected to be a success in Europe. Even in the United States, the eBike trend is taking off. We expect to see many electrified bakfietsen in the future. What a great, economical way to save on gas and transportation costs. At around $3,000, an eZigo would pay for itself in no time. Note that the picture shown is just the Cycle component of the eZigo Carrier Bike. It couples to the ChildPod in the same fashion as the Zigo Leader. So it can be used as a regular electric bike, an electric carrier bike, or a regular stroller, jogger or trailer. Other electrified Zigo Leader units have been reported in Europe (see links below) but the eZigo is the first one produced by Zigo.
CETMA Cargo bikes are hand-built in Oregon in the good-old United States of America. The CETMA cargo bikes come in two sizes, Largo and Margo, which differ in wheelbase by about 6 inches. The CETMA Largo weighs 75 lbs and claims a cargo hauling rating of 300 lbs, while the smaller Margo comes in at 60-65 lbs with a similar load rating. The CETMA cargo bike is sold as a frameset for $1,850 plus shipping. This means that you then need to have the bike built and purchase and add on all the components. It is not for your average suburban mom! The CETMA cargo bikes come with a basic cargo platform integrated into the frame. On to this, you can add a box for carrying anything from children to the kitchen sink, converting it into a classic bakfiets style. The box that CETMA offers is $300, but you can build your own (or have one built for you).
It is nice to see that we are still building things (let alone bicycles) in the U.S.A.
We recently stumbled across Boxcycles, a small company offering the Danish Christiania bikes in the United States. It is the typical story of American boy meets bike, meets danish girl, moves to Denmark, moves back, and starts selling cool cargo bikes, though we’re not certain of the precise sequence of these events. Boxcycles offers the Christiania box bikes through a handful of specialty bike shops in the United States. The price for a Christiania cargo bike is reported to cost about $2,700 in the United States, and we saw one listed at $2,599 at Flying Pigeon (a Los Angeles based bike shop). We’re not sure quite how many bikes are being sold at this price, but it is reported to be about 100-200 annually–not much for all of the United States. The mainstreaming of cargo bikes in the United States has been much reported, and we hope to see more and more on the streets. With a range of price points, from the $3,500 Nihola (also at Flying Pigeon) to the more economically priced Zigo Leader (starting at $$1,399), and the Christiania model somewhere in between, we hope that there is a Bakfiets out there for everyone.