Zigo Bakfiets Carrier Bike - Converts to Bike and Stroller

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Posts tagged Bicycle

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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Taga Stroller and Bike Hybrid Now In The United States

Taga Stroller

Taga Bike and Stroller

The Taga Bike and Stroller, which we previously wrote about [See: http://carrierbike.com/2009/10/18/taga-bike-and-stroller/], is now being offered in the United States by SJS Cycles, joining market leader Zigo in the U.S. carrier bicycle market. The Taga stroller is being offered for $$1,414 on-line, as compared with $1,399 to $1,550 for the multifunctional Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle. The Taga Bike and Stroller can only be ordered on-line at this time, but it seems likely that Taga will be in stores in the future.  As noted previously, the Taga is a slick design, converting from a 3-wheeled carrier tricycle to a stroller.  Unlike the Zigo Leader, the Taga doe not uncouple from the stroller but rather the rear wheel flips over to become the front wheel.  That is why the Taga stroller has the unusual split handlebars–to make room to pivot the beam over the top.  This also means you need to move the baby seat out of the way to do the conversion.  Taga is a fun ride, but with 16 inch wheels and 3 gears, it is not suited for longer outings.  The split handlebar takes some getting used to.  The Taga handlebar does not feel quite like a regular bicycle handlebar, nor a regular stroller pushbar.  In stroller mode, the lack of a central pushbar makes one hand pushing difficult.  Taga is a welcome addition to the U.S. market and will hopefully expand the cycling culture here in the United States.

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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A Bicycle-Friendly United States?

Following up on his now-famous table-top speech at the National Bike Summit, Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood recently announced the new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations

The fundamental Policy Statement is “The DOT policy is to incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects. Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide — including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life — transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.”

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

The recommended actions are as follows:

“The DOT encourages States, local governments, professional associations, community organizations, public transportation agencies, and other government agencies, to adopt similar policy statements on bicycle and pedestrian accommodation as an indication of their commitment to accommodating bicyclists and pedestrians as an integral element of the transportation system. In support of this commitment, transportation agencies and local communities should go beyond minimum design standards and requirements to create safe, attractive, sustainable, accessible, and convenient bicycling and walking networks. Such actions should include:

  • Considering walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes: The primary goal of a transportation system is to safely and efficiently move people and goods. Walking and bicycling are efficient transportation modes for most short trips and, where convenient intermodal systems exist, these nonmotorized trips can easily be linked with transit to significantly increase trip distance. Because of the benefits they provide, transportation agencies should give the same priority to walking and bicycling as is given to other transportation modes. Walking and bicycling should not be an afterthought in roadway design.
  • Ensuring that there are transportation choices for people of all ages and abilities, especially children: Pedestrian and bicycle facilities should meet accessibility requirements and provide safe, convenient, and interconnected transportation networks. For example, children should have safe and convenient options for walking or bicycling to school and parks. People who cannot or prefer not to drive should have safe and efficient transportation choices.
  • Going beyond minimum design standards: Transportation agencies are encouraged, when possible, to avoid designing walking and bicycling facilities to the minimum standards. For example, shared-use paths that have been designed to minimum width requirements will need retrofits as more people use them. It is more effective to plan for increased usage than to retrofit an older facility. Planning projects for the long-term should anticipate likely future demand for bicycling and walking facilities and not preclude the provision of future improvements.
  • Integrating bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on new, rehabilitated, and limited-access bridges: DOT encourages bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on bridge projects including facilities on limited-access bridges with connections to streets or paths.
  • Collecting data on walking and biking trips: The best way to improve transportation networks for any mode is to collect and analyze trip data to optimize investments. Walking and bicycling trip data for many communities are lacking. This data gap can be overcome by establishing routine collection of nonmotorized trip information. Communities that routinely collect walking and bicycling data are able to track trends and prioritize investments to ensure the success of new facilities. These data are also valuable in linking walking and bicycling with transit.
  • Setting mode share targets for walking and bicycling and tracking them over time: A byproduct of improved data collection is that communities can establish targets for increasing the percentage of trips made by walking and bicycling.
  • Removing snow from sidewalks and shared-use paths: Current maintenance provisions require pedestrian facilities built with Federal funds to be maintained in the same manner as other roadway assets. State Agencies have generally established levels of service on various routes especially as related to snow and ice events.
  • Improving nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects: Many transportation agencies spend most of their transportation funding on maintenance rather than on constructing new facilities. Transportation agencies should find ways to make facility improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists during resurfacing and other maintenance projects. “

 We are particularly pleased with the language “People who cannot or prefer not to drive should have safe and efficient transportation choices.”  We look forward to a US transportation infrastructure in which carrier bicycles as a transportation mode is fully embraced.

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Win a Free Zigo Leader X2 Carrier Bicycle

Win a Free Zigo Leader X2 Carrier Bicycle System.  Follow the instruction on the Zigo website at http://www.myzigo.com/zigofan.php

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle

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The “Joe Bike” of Portland

Joe Bike of Portland

The "Joe Bike" of Portland

The “Joe Bike” is Joe Bike’s of Portland unique, modular, multipurpose utility bike based on the boxbike frame. It is claimed to offer more versatility and configurability than most cargo and child carrier bikes. With its short wheelbase and relatively light weight, it is said to be remarkably easy and fun to ride, with essentially no learning curve. The Joe Bike currently includes four configurations, all of which are designed and handbuilt in Portland. These include the first double-decker cargo-carrying system, the original wooden box, and a sort of reverse-XtraCycle attachment that allows two children to sit upright in front of the rider, along with several grocery bags. The Joe Bike costs significantly more than the boxbike primarily because of substantial frame modifications, component upgrades (disc brakes and lighter wheels, for instance), two-tone color schemes, and simply the cost of steel. In general, Portland is the place in the United States where it is relatively easy to find a Dutch-style carrier bike, and it is not uncommon to see them on the street.  We hope that more cities in the United States follow this example and redo their street grids to be all inclusive.  A great first step would be truly protected bike lanes.  

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Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle Now in Australia

Zigo Carrier Bicycle System
Zigo Carrier Bicycle System

The Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System is now available Down Under.  Zigo…it’s Australian for really cool bike!  Actually, it’s American for really cool bike, but it’s now being sold throughout Australia through a number of local dealers, which can be seen on www.myzigo.com.au.  To ride a Zigo Leader across the Australian Outback must be awesome, but the one pic we’ve been sent of a Zigo Leader in Australia is more urban [See http://tweetphoto.com/6863649]

We hope to see the Zigo Leader featured next to kangaroos and bedecked in kiwis for its next photo op.  One small step for Zigo…one giant step for Mums and Bubs everywhere.
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Kangaroo Carrier Bike by Winther

Kangaroo Carrier Bike

Kangaroo Carrier Bike

The Kangaroo bike by Winther is yet another Danish carrier bicycle.  The Kangaroo carrier bike seems designed for those with large families.  Winther makes a version for four children, which not many carrier bike companies do.  The Kangaroo carrier bike frame is made of 6061 aluminum, while the front-positioned cabin is made with a sturdy polyethylene base with a nylon hood.  The Winther Kangaroo has 20″ front wheels and a 26″ back wheel.  However, with a hood and seats in the cabin it weighs in at a hefty 42 Kg (92 lbs).  The load capacity, excluding the driver, is 100 Kg.  The wheel track is 86 cm (34″) and total width 90 cm.  We could not find in the Kangaroo website any information about the gearing, hub or braking.  There are only four dealers listed on the Kangaroo website, so they are not easy to find.  The price is not listed, but it is quite high.  One blog entry says it would cost $4,000 to bring one to the U.S.  Despite what appears to be a nice design, other carrier bikes seem better priced.

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Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Bella Bike

Bella Bike

Bella Bike

Bella BikeBella Bike is another Danish carrier bicycle product.  It seems the Danes love their cargo bikes.  It is a box style bike with a large front carrier for children or cargo.  Bella bike has a unique rear-wheel steering.  We have not tried it but have been told it take some getting used to.  The Bella Bike comes in a staggering array of colors and designs, so it is easy to express your personality with it.  It is rather large, and can carry up to four children.  This seems larger than needed for most; certainly it is over-sized for the U.S. market.  It has a reinforced aluminum frame, wooden floor panels for the box, an internal Shimano 7-speed hub for the bike, a front hand brake and rear coaster brake.  The rear wheel has suspension and it comes with lights and bells, as do many European products.  Bella Bikes also makes the Bella 2, which is lighter and designed to carry two children. The Bella 2 costs about US$2500 in Denmark.  In the UK we found it listed for the equivalent of US$2610 plus the cost of the seats, which will add another US$240.  [In the UK, the same company also offers the Zigo Leader at equivalent of  US$2230, or 22% cheaper than the Bella 2.]  Overall, a nice look with a lot of design options.  It is priced in line with the boxy type of carrier bikes common to Northern Europe, and like others it looks quite heavy.  Still, another nice carrier bike from Denmark.

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Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Christiania Bikes

Christiana Bike

Christiania Bike

Christiana is another Danish brand of carrier bikes, making what they call in English the “transporter trike”.  Christiania makes multiple models, some for cargo and some for carrying children.  The Christiania Model Light is the one that they say is expressley designed for the transport of children.  The maximum load of the Christiania Model Light is 100Kg plus the driver.  It has front disc brakes.  The carrier box, like many in Europe, is made out of plywood of “waterproof quality”. The total length of the Christiania Model light is 208 cm and the width is 87 cm.  It appears to be tiller steering.  It is not clear from the website what gearing is included, since 3, 5, 7, and 8 gears are listed as “Supplement”.  We don’t know how “light” the Model Light is, but it still looks quite heavy, as it is made of plywood and mostly steel alloy.  The Christiania Model Light sells for approximately 1,400 to 2,000 Euro depending on the setup.

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Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Jernhesten Carrier Bike from Denmark

JernHest_DSCN5398

Jernhesten Carrier Bike from Denmark

We came across the Jernhesten Carrier Bike from Denmark.  It is a rugged looking Carrier bicycle, made for apparently harsh Scandinavian weather.  The site is in Danish so we can’t figure out that much.  Certainly, it does not seem to come apart into a stroller or push-chair and a bicycle.  It also does not seem to be foldable and like most European carrier bicycles looks like it needs a parking space.  A key question is if the Jernhesten Carrier Bicycle has articulated steering or tiller steering.  It is hard to tell from the picture, but there does not seem to be any room between the tire and the pushcart.  But still, another good example of how European bike and transportation culture is miles ahead of the U.S.

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Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Zigo Bakfiets Carrier Bike - Converts to Bike and Stroller