Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ice Cream Wagon?

So, why did I go with my giant trike instead of a streamlined longtail cargo bike like the xtracycle bikes,or a two wheel bakfiets like the CETMA, Bullit, or even the Virtue Gondolier.

For me, the cargo capacity was the deciding factor, combined with the stability.  This was my old rig, cobbled together with various parts found on craigslist.

That's a WeeRide up front, and the trail-a-bike behind. When Tristan would fall asleep, the idea was that he'd lean on that nap pad in front. That didn't happen - he'd end up sleeping on my left wrist, and it messed up my balance and steering. If Daniel got distracted or tired, it caused a heck of a wobble. And because of the way the WeeRide mounts to the bike with that cross bar, I couldn't stop  or put my foot down as easily as I would like. Seriously, I don't know how you guy riders manage! I've had a trailer before, but I didn't like how it handled, and with a trail-a-bike I couldn't use a rear mounted baby seat (though my husband has one on his bike).

But having ridden this rig for a while, it gave me a good sense of what I did and didn't want in a cargo bike. I didn't want to have to worry if a sleeping toddler would throw off my balance. I wanted a lot of cargo capacity that wouldn't require lots of straps and bungees for a casual trip. I wanted Daniel to be able to ride along without worrying that if he got excited about something he saw, we might fall. And most of all, my husband and I are hoping to be able to have another baby in a year or two - I wanted something that I'd be able to ride comfortably through pregnancy and strap an infant car seat in, should the day come.

With all those criteria, a longtail was definitely out for this phase in our lives. When the youngest kid is about 3, it might be worth looking at an EdgeRunner or a Bike Friday HaulADay,|
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to free up some shed space and allow for a more nimble ride. A bakfiets like this one from Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles could have been an option, but I wasn't all that sure how 1) it would handle, 2) if it would haul everything I would want, and 3) if I'd be able to hold it steady and park it.

The trike offered serious stability at low speeds, enough room for four small kids (or two kids and a baby seat), lots of hauling capacity, awesome gearing to get going from a dead stop, and an easy seat posture.

So easy my 12 year old can do it!

So, there you have it! Why we went with the big trike.

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