Friday, 27 June 2008

Long Bikes

I've mentioned before how stable my bike is with the rear child seat. A lot of people will find that a rear child seat makes a bike much less stable. The reason it works so well (as a nice poster explained to me) on my bike is because it has a long wheel base and the rear rack is closer to the centre of the bike , due to the battery.

Theres a few bikes on the market that take this to the extreme. These bikes are also solutions to the famous qaundry of how to carry two kids on a bike. All these bikes are long wheel base bikes.

  • The current hip favourite is the Xtracycle and all its derivatives
  • Another fave is the Yuba , a project for africa that became popular in Europe
  • New on the market in 2008 from a big brand the Kona UTE
  • And from Holland the filiduo or tweelingsfiet (the same bike seems to be branded several ways, so a bit confusing)

Apparently there are waiting lists on most of these bikes. Must be a gap in the market for a bike that can do a little more. Still havent seen one yet but it must only be a matter of time. Its funny how bikes that are really useful have big waiting lists. Bromptons, my own Agattu, these Long Bikes, some of the new cargobikes. Do mainstream bike companies just not understand that people are using their bikes for everyday tasks and not just sport?


mother in law said...

Hello Cycledad!

Just wondered if you could help me. I'm looking to buy a bike to cycle round with my 1 yr old daughter as we have lots of beautiful riverside paths and parks. However, we are in London and there are roads too.

I have a very small budget, probably the most I could stretch to for the bike alone is the £270.

I am thinking of a secondhand Pashley, or what do youthink of this

Also do you recommend the Hamax Plus seat? I have no idea what to look for!

Sorry for the all the questions!

Love your blog btw.

cycledad said...

Hi mother-in-law!

Londons flattish so you dont need many gears or anything very racey. That said, the bike on the evans site is single speed, which will probably be too restrictive.

I like your taste with a second hand Pashley! Your obviously a classy woman. You see a lot of mum + kid on Pashleys in Cambridge and they all look head-turningly good. These heavyweight classic bikes make good stable workhorses for transporting children and shopping. (More modern bikes will be lighter and have a shorter wheel base, which will make the ride twitchy when a child is mounted on the back)

If your in London, check out The buying a bike section has some good links. The one that caught my notice is Theses bikes are superb value for money! Plus its a man and wife shop so you should get good advice.

PS I love the hamax plus seat, theres a lenghty review on this blog, if you want to read further. It is brand new on the market and so you'll not get it cheap. An older very good alternative is the co-pilot limo, but you'll not be able to fit rear luggage.