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.
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?
Velorbis makes a whole line of beautiful classic style bikes. The Velorbis Mobii is a cargo tricycle that can haul kids, groceries, or perhaps a pile of Scandinavian snow. Each Mobii has a steel frame, handcrafted in Denmark. The Velorbis Mobii is equiped with an SRAM 5 gear rear hub and front WinZip disc brakes. It weighs 36 kg (79 lbs) and has a cargo capacity of 100 kg (220 lbs). A version of the Velorbis Mobii with an electric motor is available as well. You can also customize the colors and patterns of the Velorbis Mobii. We cannot tell from the website or photos what kind of steering is used. We presume that the Velorbis Mobii uses tiller-type steering and not articulated steering. At US$3,895 it is not cheap, but the VelorbisMobii looks to be a well made trike.
The Winther Wallaroo bike, based on a classic Long John design, seems similar to the Gazelle Cabby. It is a two wheel carrier bicycle with a fabric covered platform in front for up to two children; it is said to take a load of 80 kg in the front cabin. The seats are equipped with a 5-point safety harness. We have seen it advertised as either 7-speed or 5-speed as standard. It has an aluminum 6061 frame, front disc brakes, and an integrated Nylon rain/wind cover over a polyethylene base. It does not seem much advertised, as a search of Wallaroo bike on Google does not turn up much. In fact, it is not even listed on Winther’s main website. The bike weight 33.5 kg (74 lbs), is 79 cm wide (31.1 inches), and 263 cm long (103.5 inches). It is advertised at Australian $3,750 by its Australian dealer, but we can’t find any other listing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.