Zigo Bakfiets Carrier Bike - Converts to Bike and Stroller

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Whatever Happened to Taga?

Taga Stroller

Taga Bike and Stroller

The Taga stroller-bike was a clever design and slickly made, and certainly it gathered a lot of press and publicity (notably Tori Spelling trying one), but it seems that the product is no longer available.  Some time ago, a letter went out to Taga’s dealers in Europe notifying them that it was not certain when supply would again be available.  No update has been forthcoming.  The Taga website no longer lists any dealers and just says “we are currently out of stock”.  A review of the Taga Facebook page reveals many comments indicating that the product can no longer be found, and forlorn inquiries from owners seeking support or accessories. There are also posts from various obscure companies in Taiwan claiming to offer Taga.  There seems to be no participation any longer from the Company on the Taga Facebook page.  On top of this, there were previous reports (see: http://carrierbike.com/2011/04/13/taga-chinese-knockoff-buyer-beware/) of a Chinese Taga Knock-off.  Sadly, it seems that a nicely-made product that might have expanded the appeal of cycling is now gone.  It is possible, of course, that production will commence again or that a buyer will appear for Taga, but for now it seems at best in limbo.  This pretty much leaves Zigo for the moment  in a class by itself in the Convertible Bike Stroller (or Stroller Bike) category.

 

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Taga Chinese Knockoff – Buyer Beware


Taga Knockoff

Taga Knockoff

Recently an email was received by Taga dealers stating “We offer a product Kangaro Bike – we are owner of the patent and the manufacturer in China”, and included the photo to the left. This is a shameless knockoff of the Taga bike, along with a claim to ownership of the patents. This company has also of couse appropriated the Kangaroo name, which is used by the well-known Winther Kagaroo. The supposed European representative of this Chinese company is based in Poland.

This email prompted Taga to post the following on Facebook yesterday:

“Warning: a Chinese company is selling a fake of Taga called Kangaroo bike. They claim to have the original design and patent, which is simply a lie. We received several messages from consumers who bought it and had severe accidents. The two parts of the bike are separated during the ride resulting with injuries to both the child and the rider. Please make sure you don’t buy a faked Taga and take unnecessary risks.”

Taga also notes:

“Taga is going through a transition period in operations and therefore we are currently out of stock. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will update when the product is available again.”

No doubt this Chinese company is hoping to take advantage of Taga’s transition period to attempt to launch this imitation.

It is also known that in the past carrier bike company Zigo identified an attempted knockoff in Czech Republic but was able to prevent its production by legal means.

So buyers beware.  Do not buy counterfeit product when your child’s safety is at stake.  Buy only from the designer and manufacturer who designed, developed and tested for safety these carrier bikes.  In this case, you get what you pay for.  If the price of a knock-off is too-good-to-be-true, it is for a reason.

 

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Stroller Bike, Bike Stroller, Bike With Stroller, Strollercycle, Strollerbike…what should we call it?

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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 Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Stroller Bike

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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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Moving Bikes Moving You

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?

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott on a Taga Stroller Bike

Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott with children

Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott with children

Apparently Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott were spotted riding the Taga Bike-Stroller around town.  OK…it was back in April, but we’ve just seen it.  Is this the start of a trend in the United States for Carrier Bikes, such as Taga and Zigo?  We just need a few more celebrities to adopt them and it could herald a sea-change in attitude.  Will cities across the US soon look like cycling cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen?  Recently observed Zigo group rides in New York City give us hope.  Perhaps a celebrity endowment for complete streets and bike paths?  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would look good on one of these…or on a Dutch style Bakfiets or Danish Nihola etc…

Zigo in NYC

Zigo in NYC

 

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

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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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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.

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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