any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

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foxyrider
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any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 24 Aug 2018, 4:38pm

Okay, i'm now a grand parent (yay for me) and i've been given the task of being designated cycling person for the sprog. Whilst it will be some time before i'll be let out with said young person i'm already looking at bike options.

Whilst i'm not against child seats or even trailers they both have drawbacks if we get as far as more than a park ride. In my travels i've come across various answers from a cycle 'bus' to assorted passenger trike arrangements. However the one that has attracted my attention, for various reasons is the two wheel, front cargo arrangement possibly in Ebike format (i'm not getting younger and we live in the Pennines).

On the face of it it looks like a very good solution to the age old problems of ease of loading, maneuverability and adaptability.

The plusses as I see it for this set up are
    easy control
    'normal' width
    Good forward view for pilot and passenger
    Easy conversion from child to luggage transport and adaption as child grows
    Enough space for child's entertainment/luggage
    Only one vehicle to transport

Downsides
    heavy (but so is a trailer)
    Storage issues
    Expensive (even un powered)
    Difficult to transport

Have I missed anything there?
Does anyone have any experience of using this set up? (maybe even as just a cargo mover)

I'll not be needing to buy for a year/eighteen months so it's not urgent but I'm keen to start accumulating information. Currently i'm looking at the Riese & Mueller machines, Load, Packster 40, 60 and 80 but i'm more than open to other potential machines. Whilst there are budget considerations, I don't want to reduce options by setting a silly low budget.

So over to you guys.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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Cunobelin
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby Cunobelin » 24 Aug 2018, 6:20pm

My task was the wife rather than a child!


We had a situation where she could manage to cycle into town of her el;esctrically assisted recumbent trike, but we were limited to what we could do when we got there.

After some discussion we looked at a Christiania trike. It could take the "boot size" mobility scooter folded and allow for shopping

When we researched it we discovered that 85 Kg of Scooter was a bit much without e- assist

Never regretted it!

For kids cargo bikes are fantastic, and the greatest thing is that being in front you can talk and communicate, you can also start at a young age as a car seat fits pin securely and the solid box gives protection


They can also make it theirs.

One acquaintance had their Christinia box painted with blackboard paint. Now one of teh "rituals of getting ready is for the kids to get coloured chalk and decorate the bike before they go out

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foxyrider
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 24 Aug 2018, 10:23pm

Cunobelin wrote:After some discussion we looked at a Christiania trike.. . ..

Not a brand i've heard of, Danish?
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

random37
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby random37 » 24 Aug 2018, 10:53pm

Those Noomad trike conversions looked impressive. You can have whatever bike you like at the back, and they aren't pig iron heavy which is what always put me off the cargo bikes. I have no idea if you can still buy one though.

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Cunobelin
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Aug 2018, 9:25am

foxyrider wrote:Not a brand i've heard of, Danish?

Yes - Made in the Christiania commune

They have a fair range of models from small cargo which is fine for a single child to a mahoosive version that has bench seats for up to 6

Image

There are UK dealers, but they can be fairly widespread

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Cunobelin
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Aug 2018, 9:35am

The plusses as I see it for this set up are
easy control - Bikes OK, Trikes can be an acquired skill with cambers
'normal' width - Trikes are bigger, but I have never had an issue
Good forward view for pilot and passenger undoubtedly, unless it rains when the rain cover can reduce visibility for passengers (think Cowboy wagon)
Easy conversion from child to luggage transport and adaption as child grows Easy, they are supremely adaptable, and with a solid wooden (marine plywood) box, fittings and fixing is possible
Enough space for child's entertainment/luggage depends on model, but there is basically a removable bench (lockable) seat for additional room. When you buy, get a box that suits you - bikes have less range
Only one vehicle to transport These are not transportable without a van!!!

Downsides
heavy (but so is a trailer) Lots of Steel and Wood - function dictates weight
Storage issues trikes can be easier!!!! They can be stored vertically on the front of the box
Expensive (even un powered) Undeniable, but niche market and import etc.... you may want to get in before Brexit
Difficult to transport As above.... you will need a van



This is the rain cover for the smaller boxes :
Image

The "Wagon" which gives more head room.
Image

Not as bulky as they look. Two hoops that fit onto the side of the bike, and the cover folds up to fit under the bench seat (Note on the blue box above, you can see the cover hoops in place on the side)

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foxyrider
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 25 Aug 2018, 5:57pm

Anything that needs a van is out - I don't drive and the youngsters have a small hatchback.

Back to cargo bikes!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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Cunobelin
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Aug 2018, 6:10pm

foxyrider wrote:Anything that needs a van is out - I don't drive and the youngsters have a small hatchback.

Back to cargo bikes!


The width is smaller, but the actual weight are similar, but length is greater. A Bakfiets, Christiania bike, or other options, will not fit in a car

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foxyrider
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 25 Aug 2018, 8:03pm

Cunobelin wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Anything that needs a van is out - I don't drive and the youngsters have a small hatchback.

Back to cargo bikes!


The width is smaller, but the actual weight are similar, but length is greater. A Bakfiets, Christiania bike, or other options, will not fit in a car


But may fit on a roofrack and more importantly, will fit in the storage available!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

martinn
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby martinn » 25 Aug 2018, 8:49pm

Https://www.kidsandfamilycycles.co.uk

The above link might give you some ideas of the different types of cargo bikes out there.

We used these guys, we are in Bristol. The stockists are spread out. There is one in London, Oxford and Cambridge. I am sure there is one further north as well.

Try before you buy...... We ( my wife) changed her mind once we had ridden then all.
Ours is an ebike, transports the 4 kids to school......
I also have a trailer, a tandem and a follow me! All have their uses and nothing works for all situations.
The main issue with the trike is the width, the A frames obstructions you get on a cycle path, generally your stuck and you can't get through. So that might be a consideration. Some of the trikes, you can fit a baby car seat in.

Martin

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Aug 2018, 9:00am

Friend has a wheelchair carrying christiania. They are brilliant.

Gear down a bit, have e-assist if you want it (crank drive and keep a hub gear?)

Transport of anything this size is an issue, they don't tend to fold (partly because of the compromise in terms of strength) so you end up with something fairly bulky.

Transport by riding it where you need to go?

The other issue will be anti-cyclist barriers, but you can use the roads with relative impunity, get much more space, particularly if you have kids up front...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Cunobelin
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Aug 2018, 11:10am

[XAP]Bob wrote:Friend has a wheelchair carrying christiania. They are brilliant.

Gear down a bit, have e-assist if you want it (crank drive and keep a hub gear?)

Transport of anything this size is an issue, they don't tend to fold (partly because of the compromise in terms of strength) so you end up with something fairly bulky.

Transport by riding it where you need to go?

The other issue will be anti-cyclist barriers, but you can use the roads with relative impunity, get much more space, particularly if you have kids up front...



Waving happy children are a very efficient form of HiViz!!!!!!

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bigjim
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby bigjim » 27 Aug 2018, 10:50am

Cunobelin wrote:Image

I can't work out why those kids are wearing all that headgear.
Nothing left to prove.

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Cunobelin
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby Cunobelin » 27 Aug 2018, 12:50pm

The pedestrian in the white top looks equally bemused

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RickH
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Re: any experience with cargo style child carrying bikes?

Postby RickH » 27 Aug 2018, 10:28pm

When I looked at the cycle options when our eldest grandchild was small (around 2010 when he was 2 & he has 2 younger siblings now as well) I ended up going for the Circe Helios tandem & I haven't been disappointed & I think with the newer options now available (including electric assist) it is even more versatile. It is also a capable machine for riding considerable distances with 2 adults riding.

A few positives for me have been:-
  • Being able to "smuggle" it onto trains that officially don't take tandems as it fits in most bike spaces (at least the ones that are big enough to actually fit a solo bike - which some aren't but no-one has ever complained even then), although I've never tried hanging it up by the front wheel on the Virgin Voyagers I've used at times over the years, I've just left it on its stand on the floor, for short hops rather than long distance, & never had any complaints.
  • With crank shorteners children can graduate to stoking - & contributing to the propulsion :D - from around 3 to 4 years old (it is more height dependent than anything else).
  • It rides quite well when ridden solo, you don't feel like you are fighting a monster.
  • It also doubles as a capable load-lugger with the cargo rack fitted (the original was a one piece rack that replaced the stoker saddle & seatpost, the current versions are split so you can leave the rear part & still use the rear tandem position).
  • It fits through pretty much all of the obstacles that get installed on cycling/shared use routes (you may need to trim down the length of straight bars a bit to facilitate this).
The only very slight downside I've found is that children are behind you if you need to see what they are up to & their forward view is therefore also limited.