Cargo bikes???(10 Posts)
Having recently arrived here, I'm investigating options for transporting kidlets by bike and avoiding the traffic/parking!...
Do any of you ride those amazing cargo bikes? Is there a second-hand market? The three-wheelers look less scary. Is this true?
The smalls are a tall 5 and 2. Will they fit? Any thoughts or pointers very welcome! :-)
I haven't got one myself, but my understanding is that they can be quite sought-after second-hand!
schoolruncentre.co.uk/, based off Mill Rd, will give you an opportunity to try some bikes out. I've heard that they may even help facilitate second hand sales, but haven't heard that from them directly, so could be wrong.
They've also got an FAQ which includes things like child age schoolruncentre.co.uk/?page_id=48
In terms of the different types of bikes, tricycles are more stable, but handle very differently from a two-wheeler, because you can't lean when turning (or you tip). A bakfiet type two wheeler obviously has weight in a different place from a normal bike, but does handle more similarly. Also tricycles can be difficult through some areas because of pinch-points and wider wheel base. Best thing is to see if you can try them out to find out for yourself.
I don't know whether anyone will read this reply to an old-ish thread, but I finally bought a Bakfiets Long (two-wheeler with a big box in front) last summer in order to manage a long-ish (3.2-miles round trip, or about 5 miles for after-school club) school run with our 4yo and 2yo. It is pretty heavy, but I instantly found it really great for getting around quickly with kids, shopping etc, and wished I'd gone for it four years ago.
However, I still found the school run itself very hard going; the two safest school-run routes out of several fairly rotten options both involve noticeable hills (not that I'd noticed them particularly on my ordinary pushbike, but it's amazing what ~70kg of bike and kids will do for your awareness of gradient) and by the last return journey of the day I was tired enough to find it hard to steer properly at times, which in my expert opinion is not 100% safe in traffic. After a few months of getting wound up about it, it finally dawned on me that it's possible to fit these things with motors. I got that done at the end of January (at the School Run Centre off Mill Road) and it's brilliant. The motor makes headwinds, uphill stretches and heavy loads vanish as far as my legs can tell (even the bridge over the railway line on the Tins path to Cherry Hinton, so steep it's impassible when icy, is trivial in normal weather), I can accelerate away at traffic lights faster than proper motor vehicles, I generally do a steady 23kph without noticeable effort, and I can ride this thing on cycle paths and wheel it along footpaths and park it pretty much anywhere.
The two drawbacks are that older/taller kids might not fit under the rain cover (a tall 5yo might or mightn't), although unless the weather's properly grotty I often just cover the lower halves of my two with the flat luggage cover; and, more substantially, the bike costs very close to 2K new (I paid about 1.2K second-hand, but the preloved Bakfiets market is decidedly brisk) with the motor retrofit another 1.5K all-in. For us it's a car replacement, tons more practical than a car in Cambridge (does the school run in barely more than half the time) with none of the expense of fuel and insurance and negligible maintenance costs, but 3-3.5K is a lot for an optional extra.
Thanks so much HelenLynn. That's a really helpful and practical review. We still haven't got one. We're keeping eyes and ears open for any second hand. I love the sound of the motor! I can imagine it's a bit of an iron-man (woman) doing what you do every day without the help of the motor! Thanks again. 😉
We found ours on eBay - it was in York, but the seller was happy to arrange a courier. It's worth setting up searches on eBay and Gumtree with email notifications, if you haven't already.
I second Lintonian's suggestion to take a look at Outspoken's cargo bike training if you are at all interested in try-before-you-buy - Outspoken are great!
Have you tried the kangaroo bikes. We love ours and we certainly feel more comfortable and secure compared to other cargo bikes we tried out. www.wintherbikes.com/en/category/kangaroo
Your 5 year old might nearly be ready for his own bike and I'm not sure how much use house get out of a bakfiets for him. Have you considered a Circe or similar? Give me a minute and I'll dig out a link.
I trailer my two.
Here you go:
You can fit two kids - 5 year old as stoker and 2 year old in a seat.
A friend has a Kangaroo bike which apparently takes kids up to 5' tall.
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