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?
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 Ladcyckel, and an electric version termed naturally the Electrisk Ladcykel recently came to our attention at http://www.icykel.dk. Mental note for the new year–learn Danish. The price for the non-electric version ranges from 7,880 Danish Krone to 9,338 Danish Krone (approx. $1,587 to $1,880), depending on the configuration. It seems competitively priced, but we can’t really decipher the specs from the danish website. The Ladcykel looks much like the other Danish box bikes. It looks a lot like Nihola, and to tell the truth, it might be a Nihola being resold–Ladcykel seems to be a generic term, kind of like carrier bike. The specs say 3-gear shimano hub (the rest of the specs we don’t understand, even with an on-line danish to english translation). Anyway, no doubt the Danish love their carrier bikes. The addition of an electric motor, apparently with the battery carried on the rear rack, adds about 2,110 Danish Krone to the price (about $425), which seems pretty reasonable as well. It would be nice to know more about it. Of course, an electric motor can be added to other bikes as well.