Zigo Carrier Bicycle System
We recently came across this report from Germany, reported on in a Belgium news site, concluding that a cargo bike or carrier bike is the safest way to transport children. I will admit that my dutch is not much good and that Google translate mostly mangled the article, but from what I can figure, the German automobile club ADAC tested a bike seat, a trailer and a carrier bike. The conclusion was that a trailer was safer than a baby bike seat, but that a carrier bike was safest of all.
Each setup was tested by crashing into an obstacle at a rate of 25 kilometers per hour (15.5 mph). In the crash test the trailer remained upright and the dummy passenger unharmed, while the doll in the baby bike seat had damage to the legs.
The examiner concluded that the cargo bike was the safest, citing the low position to the ground, ability to always confirm that the child is connected to the cycle without looking back, and the larger vehicle size discouraging motorists from attempting to pass as compared to a cyclist with a baby seat.
Of course in America, they still have no clue.
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.
Nijland Delivery Tricycle
Nijland (of course a Dutch company) makes a number of interesting cargo bikes. None are made specifically to transport children, but with the Dutch being how they are, I am sure kids get thrown in there with the cargo from time-to-time. The Nijland delivery tricycle can haul an impressive 300kg of load! The wheels are 26″ and the tubing steel, as you might expect for this sort of use. It is essentially a hard wood platform that you can load anything on. It has a classic dutch look and seems sturdy as…well a dutch bike.Of course, we would not suggest carrying children in here with no seat belts or cushions, but it is a very beautiful bike with a solid mahogany box. It sells for about 3,500 Euros (including VAT), so it is not for those that do not really have a good business use for one, such as hauling a heavy load, delivery, or promotion–even house moving in the Netherlands. Also, don’t even think about this if you plan to conquer a hill! Surprisingly, the standard configuration seems to be a single-speed fixed gear, but an 8-speed hub is available as an option. It is mainly a European style bike, but a number of dealers are said to carry the Nijland in the United States. It is reportedly in use in Battery Park City in New York–which just goes to show that bike culture really is coming to New York City.
Achielle, with two stores listed in the U.S., offers beautiful, albeit quite pricey bakfietsen and Dutch retro style bicycles. These bakfietsen are handmade in Belgium, and starting at $4,625, they carry the distinctive look of retro quality. The Achielle U.S. website says that there are two versions of the bakfiets: one for kids, with a bench and seatbelts, and one for dogs. Really, for dogs! Some people really love their dogs, to the tune of nearly $5,000. The frame of the Achielle bakfiets comes in different colors, and is outfitted with Shimano roller brakes and a Shimano Nexus 8 gear hub. The Achielle bakfiets has a 26″ rear wheel and a 20″ wheel in front, similar to other models, and sports Schwalbe tires. The Achielle bakfiets definitely seems a beautiful well-made bike with high-end components, but it is priced at a point that will exclude most of the market. Although there is certainly a niche market for this in the U.S., it is difficult to see how it will ever have a major impact on bike culture. On the heels of the economically priced Zigo Leader bakfiets, and the expanding U.S. market for carrier bikes in general, there will likely be increased interest in the high end as well. I certainly hope to see one on the streets!
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
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.
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.
Urban Arrow Bakfiets
We have just seen on the internet a new Dutch electric bakfiets called the Urban Arrow. The first Urban Arrow electric transport bike is designed for families with young kids looking for green, affordable, time-saving alternatives to cars. Of course, all Bakfietsen are after the same market.
The Urban Arrow web site claims that they have “reinvented the transport bike” with a fresh design that utilizes “light, safe and comfortable materials”. It comes equipped with a German made electric pedal assist.
Of interest, they note that the modular frame makes it possible to change the front frame to make a transport e-bike or 3-wheeled cargo e-bike.
There are not many pictures on the Urban Arrow website or much information, but it looks slick from what we can see (the picture above was best we could download). We look forward to seeing more of the Urban arrow and learning more about its specifications.
Zigo Leader Bakfiets - Converts to bike and stroller
Zigo Leader Bakfiets
With the proliferation of products such as the Zigo Leader Carrier Bike and the Taga Carrier, there has been an equal proliferation of terminology to describe these products. In Europe, the conventional term Bakfiets would cover it, or if you are in Denmark, Ladcykel. But in the U.S. the situation becomes more complex. The terminology ranges from Carrier Bike, which is favored by Zigo, to Stroller Bike, Bike Stroller, Strollercycle, and other even more cumbersome monikers. Sometimes Dutch Cargo Bike is used in the U.S. as equivalent to Bakfiets, but this does not seem widely adopted. In the United Kingdom, we must also take into account the usage of pushchair instead of stroller.
So here is the question: in the United States (and United Kingdom and English speaking world everywhere) what should we call these products?
Zigo Leader Stroller Bike
Zigo Leader Bakfiets or Ladcykel
Bakfiets.nl versus Babboe.nl versus de Fietsfabriek versus Other
We are actually looking for some feedback here. We have seen quite a few Bakfiets (Bakfietsen, I suppose) in the Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, and would like to know which one is actually the market leader. We would also like to hear about the differences among them–both real and perceived. Bakfiets.nl seems to be the 1000 pound gorilla in the Dutch cargo bike market. Bakfiets.nl makes the CarboBike Lang, CargoBike Corte, and CargoBike Premium, which range in price from 1465 Euros to 1829 Euros, and vary by type of hub, brakes an level of trim. Bakfiets.nl also makes a Cargo Trike and a Cargo Trike L (L is for Large).
Babboe on the other hand, offers the Babboe City for just 849 Euros, and the Babboe Big 3-Wheel for 749 Euros. The Babboe city comes with a Shimano Nexus 7 speed gear. They also make a model called the Rabobank – Babboe City and According to Mamma – Babboe City.
de Fietsfabriek F22
de Fietsfabriek is another classic Ducth Bakfiets brand. They make quote a few models, including the Troy for 1995 Euro, the 994 for 1495 Euro, the 995 for 1495 Euro, the 995 for 1595 Euro.the FF16 tricycle for 1995 Euro, and the FF22 tricycle for 3750 Euro.
There are of course other sellers of Bakfietsen, but these brands one see a lot of around the city. Please help us understand the large price difference between Bakfiets.nl, Babboe.nl, and de Fietsfabriek Please send us your comments about the differences between these Bakfietsen, as well as your ideas about what the “perfect Bakfiets” should be.
Zigo Leader Stroller Bike
U.S. soon to look like Europe?
Zigo Leader Bike Stroller
Despite its hilly terrain, San Francisco is quite the biking city with shops now offering bakfietsen, including short bakfeits, long bakfiets, tricycle bakfiets, the Gazelle Cabby, and of course the American Bakfiets–the Zigo Leader Carrier Bike.
It is quite remarkable to see these Dutch style bikes and utility bicycles, more typical of Amsterdam or Copenhagen, now multiplying in U.S. cities including New York, Portland, and San Francisco.
Also we see now more classic Dutch-style commuter bikes, like those from Batavus, Retrovelo, and Workcycles, emphasizing our new European modeled bicycling culture.
We have also commented in other posts on the proliferation of ciclovia events in U.S. cities, including Oakland, New York, Baltimore, and others. We look forward to seeing this quite rolling revolution continue.
Zigo Leader Stroller Cycle
Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System
Taking a page from the traditional Bakfiets model, the Portland-made Shuttlebug has incorporated several design changes. The Shuttlebug, made by Joe Bike in Portland, is described as lightweight, yet strong, and engineered for traversing the hilly Portland terrain. At only 55 pounds, the Shuttlebug claims to make cycling with up to 3 kids a breeze. However, the light weight may make handling more difficult when riding empty. The Shuttlebug looks to be inspired by the Dutch Gazelle Cabby.
The cabin of the Shuttlebug is said to be large enough to accommodate both an adult and child together. The steel box frame is covered with durable, water-resistant fabric that can be removed from the frame without any tools. These quick-release mounts allow you to go from carrier bicycle to cargo bike. The Shuttlebug has an optional double-decker rack accessory for big cargo loads. The Shuttlebug is pricy, starting at $3750, but it is to be expected for a more-or-less custom product.
Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System