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.
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.
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.
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.|
A multitude of Bakfieten to choose from.
We have learned about a few more Bakfiets makers in the Netherlands, with even lower pricing than Babboe. What is the difference in quality and components, we want to know.
Tuk Tuk Bakfietsen sells a basic unit starting form 495 Euro . The Tuk Tuk name is taken from a class of motorized tricycles popular in Thailand. The Dutch version is not motorized, but it is a tricycle.
The Tuk Tuk ‘Basic’ is equipped with: SRAM Spectro with 3 speed, coaster brake, a plywood cargo box with a bench and SRAM drum brakes. All Tuk Tuk trikes come with aluminum wheels and a powder coated frame. It seems from the photo to be tiller steering.
The Tuk Tuk Bakfietsen do look rather industrial, but at that price you would not expect it to have the style of a Zigo or Gazelle.
Bakfietsweb.nl is another provider of lower-priced bakfietsen. The Model 030 tricycle is 699 Euro, which includes a light color wooden box, 3-speed Shimano hub, and coaster brakes plus V-brake.
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?
U.S. soon to look like Europe?
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.
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.
Thinking of moving any time soon? Need to replace that refrigerator? Well, cyclists in European cities like Vienna have found, perhaps, the cheapest way to do so. In fact, Austria has plenty of collectives that rent specialized cargo bicycles specifically for hauling large loads like bulky furniture and appliances. Some people have even been known to move their entire flat solely with the use of cargo and carrier bikes. One such event was a featured workshop at EuroEnviro 2010. A couple and 12 volunteers, many of whom had never ridden cargo bikes before, successfully transported the entire contents of the couple’s home. You may have to wonder, why bother with the cost of renting a Budget truck and hiring movers when there are whole fleets of bicycles waiting to deploy? Imagine city streets bustling with Bakfiets filled with televisions and kitchen tables. How excited would companies like Christiana Bikes, Bella Bike or Ladcykel be to see their products being put to such good use? Imagine moving your family as you move your furniture! It’s not so farfetched if you consider keeping your child in front of you in your Taga or Zigo, while you trail your queen sized bed behind. As we see people getting more creative every year when it comes to bicycling, who knows what the future may hold for the next big design?
The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike to Work Week from May 17-21, 2010. There are events planned all across the United States during Bike Month. The League of American Bicyclists puts out a useful planning guide for how to plan and organize a Bike Month event in your community, so why not get active?
But it doesn’t need to just be Bike to Work Week. It can be Bike Your Kids To School Week or Pickup Your Groceries On You Bike Week or even Go Get Your Construction Supplies At Home Depot On Your Bike Week. So this May grab your favorite Carrier Bicycle, Bakfiets, or Cargo Bike (or your regular bicycle, I suppose) and hit the streets. Ride to school. Ride to work. Just ride around and show people how wonderful bike culture can be. Try this. Ride your kids to school, drop them off and then ride to work! Or ride to work and then pick up some groceries on the way home. Make bicycling a habit for you and your family. You will be healthier and happier for it.
As you ride keep in mind the National Strategies or Advancing Bicycle Safety.
Goal #1 Motorists Will Share the Road
Goal #2 Bicyclists Will Ride Safely
Goal #3 Bicyclists Will Wear Helmets
Goal #4 The Legal System Will Support Safe Bicycling
Goal #5 Roads and Paths Will Safely Accommodate Bicycling