Zigo Bakfiets Carrier Bike - Converts to Bike and Stroller

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De Fietsfabriek – Where are they now?


De_Fietsfabriek

De_Fietsfabriek

De Fietsfabriek, based in the Netherlands, is one of the oldest and best known names in carrier bikes, cargo bicycles  and bakfietsen, offering a number of 2-wheel and 2-wheel models.  Sadly, earlier this year, De Fietsfabriek was reported in the news to be bankrupt, having accumulated unmanageable debt.  However, their website is up and running and we have heard anecdotally that they have received new investment and a new lease on life.

De Fietsfabriek makes a 3-wheel bakfiets, as well as a number of 2-wheel bakfiets models.  They also make bikes, such as the Filibus, which are city-type bikes with large cargo baskets. Among 2-wheel bakfiets, the Model 994 is probably their best known model.  They also have the more modern looking Model 995 and Model 996.

The question is of course, how did De Fietsfabriek end up bankrupt?  Perhaps they cannot compete well with both cheaper bikes from brands like Babboe and more modern looks, such as those from Gazelle and Zigo.

De_Fietsfabriek_bf18_01

De Fietsfabriek bf18_01

Filibus from De Fietsfabriek

Filibus from De Fietsfabriek

We are interested to hear anything about the current status of De Fietsfabriek, how they ended up bankrupt, and if and how they have come out of it.

Please post your comments here.

 

 

Addendum: 03/30/31

Someone just wrote us the following:

Hi,I recently bought a bike from De Fietsfabriek in Antalya, Turkey but don’t get excited they closed the shop last week. They have a nice new website www.bisikletfabrikasi.com.trand still have a factory in Ankara I think. The company claim to be opening again in Turkey but I really wouldn’t believe a word that they say, they are full of lies and false promises in my experience.
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The (very) Nordic Cab

Nordic Cab

Bike trailer, ski sled, push stroller, dog sled. Is there anything the Nordic Cab can’t transform into? This Norwegian design is among the most versatile we’ve seen so far. For starters, it is a spacious traditional two-child bicycle trailer with ample back, head and neck support for growing children. From trailer, Nordic Cab converts easily into a push stroller with adjustable handlebar. On the down side, the tiny front stroller wheels placed squarely in the middle of the front end make the carriage seem difficult to maneuver and potentially off-balance. Nordic Cab also sells a jogger attachment which would actually appear to be a more secure alternative to the flimsy front stroller wheels.

Dog Kit for Nordic Cab

In addition to the modes previously mentioned, the Nordic Cab also meets the needs of parents in Northern, snowy climates. The Ski kit accessory may be advantageous for the uber-athletic parents who enjoy trekking long distances through blustery winds with their children in tow… (to each his own). Even more unusual is Nordic Cab’s Dog kit adapter, which allows the Nordic Cab and Nordic Cab sled to be pulled by none other than man’s best friend. Perhaps we can chalk it up to mere cultural differences, but we find it hard to believe that many North Americans would trust their excitable canines with dragging their infants behind them in the local park, let alone in a blizzard.

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

In summary, while the Nordic Cab is truly innovative, with a lot of imagination and creativity, we find it to be somewhat lacking when it comes to practicality. With so many traditional bike trailers available, we do not feel the Nordic Cab, with all its accessories, will resonate with most average families. There are plenty of other bicycle trailer brands which will offer a similar design and value without all the bells and whistles.

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WeeRide — Kangaroo Carrier

WeeRide Kangaroo Carrier

It seems that more manufacturers of bike baby seats are incorporating a forward-positioned design.  What many parents seem to want is the ability to keep their kids close by and within eyesight.  The Kangaroo Carrier by WeeRide accomplishes just this.  With this design, the child sits between the rider and the handlebars, positioned in a way which is reminiscent of a Kangaroo mother and her baby joey.  WeeRide says that this forward-mounted position, as opposed to the conventional rear-mounted baby bike seat, provides better weight distribution and an improved center of gravity.  With the Kangaroo Carrier, the rider’s arms surround the child, assuming a natural and comfortable protective position.  Not only does this position give more peace of mind to the driver, but it allows parent and child to experience the ride together.  With rear-mounted seats, the child’s view would be obstructed by the rider’s back.  The WeeRide Kangaroo Carrier can even accommodate a cushioned pedestal for the child to rest his head on when he gets sleepy, which is convenient for longer rides.

It should be noted however, that the WeeRide Kangaroo Carrier is an accessory, requires assembly and must be securely mounted to your bicycle.  The WeeRide website says setup should only take ten minutes.

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Potential limitations of the WeeRide Kangaroo baby bike seat, and other front-mounted baby bike seats are: there is not a lot of room between a rider and the handlebars, limiting the age/size of child that can be accommodated – they are best for children age 1 to 3; clearly you can only carry one child at a time in a forward-mounted baby bike seat (though you could carry a second on a rear-mounted seat); depending on the seat design it can interfere with your pedaling, as your knees may hit it -  this can be especially uncomfortable for longer rides; the high center of gravity makes tipping an issue, especially when mounting and dismounting (i.e. you always need to keep a hand on the bike); loading and unloading a child can be especially challenging for smaller adults; and remember, while you are riding, if you fall over, the bike seat falls over.  Although a child is in most ways more protected in the front position, it also means that the adult rider may land on top of the child in the event of a spill.  An additional risk of a front-mounted seat is that an item dropped by the child can catch the front spokes, causing a head-first fall – so make sure your child does not carry anything while riding.

At $59.99, the WeeRide Kangaroo Carrier is definitely an item to consider.  Though your kids will outgrow it a lot quicker than a bicycle trailer, such as those made by Burley or Chariot, or a Carrier Bike like the Zigo Leder or Taga Bike, it is a good entry point into family biking.

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Velorbis Mobii Trike

Velorbis Mobii Trike

Velorbis Mobii Trike

Velorbis makes a whole line of beautiful classic style bikes.  The Velorbis Mobii is a cargo tricycle that can haul kids, groceries, or perhaps a pile of Scandinavian snow.  Each Mobii has a steel frame, handcrafted in Denmark.  The Velorbis Mobii is equiped with an SRAM 5 gear rear hub and front WinZip disc brakes.  It weighs 36 kg (79 lbs) and has a cargo capacity of 100 kg (220 lbs).   A version of the Velorbis Mobii with an electric motor is available as well.   You can also customize the colors and patterns of the Velorbis Mobii.  We cannot tell from the website or photos what kind of steering is used.  We presume that the Velorbis Mobii uses tiller-type steering and not articulated steering. At US$3,895 it is not cheap, but the VelorbisMobii looks to be a well made trike. 

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Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Taga Bike and Stroller

Taga Bike and Stroller
Taga Bike and Stroller

Taga is a product of a Dutch/Israeli company.  It can operate as either a 3-wheeled bike, with a front-positioned child carrier, or it can convert to a stroller.  It converts by lifting off the front child seat and flipping the rear wheel of the bike over the front to become the front wheel of the stroller.  It is a slick design, but appears somewhat cumbersome, as the seat must be removed, which can be a problem when you are carrying a child. It comes with a Shimano nexus internal 3-gear hub, has front disc brakes, and a rear Shimano nexus roller brake.  The wheels, however, are only 16 inches, detracting from its appeal for longer rides. It’s handlebars are also unfamiliar as compared with a typical bicycle, requiring some getting used to.

Please visit our sposnor:
Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Visit: http://www.myzigo.com

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Nihola Carrier Bicycles

Nihola Cigar Carrier Bike

Nihola Cigar Carrier Bike

Danish Nihola makes a number of carrier bicycles.  According to their website, the Nihola Cigar Family of bikes is their most popular.  These are fixed-frame forward-positioned tricycles with a box-type carrier for children or cargo.  It has articulated steering so is not like a hot dog cart, for example.  It can carry 100 kg in the “cabin” with space for two children up to 7-8 years old on the bench.  The “cabin” of the Nihola Cigar appears to be aluminum with underlying steel posts.  The Nihola Cigar comes in 5-gear and 7-gear models.  The Nihola Cigar does not operate as an ordinary stroller.  Nor can it convert to a two-wheel bicycle.  It does not fold and can best be thought of as a car-alternative.  Specs are not on the website, but it must be quite heavy with that construction.  Nihola also makes the Nihola Posterbike, Nihola Flex, Nihola Big, Nihola Cigar Dog, and Nihola Cigar Rehab models.  More on these at a later date.

Please visit our sponsor:

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle

www.myzigo.com

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Zigo Bakfiets Carrier Bike - Converts to Bike and Stroller