Bakfiets cargo bike

We’ve been after a child-carrying bike for a few months now. We started out looking at tricycles, the Trikidoo in particular. However we couldn’t find any reviews of it at all, good nor bad. Besides, there was no way for the children to be protected from the rain and our location is rather wet at times.

We looked at various models over a period of a couple of weeks, and thankfully there were quite a lot of reviews for many of the other models available. Whilst we were doing our research, a cargo bike appeared on eBay. It went too high, so we decided to beg our folks for some help to get a new one. The order process went really well and the bike shop was really helpful, even shipping straight to our address for no extra charge (we’ve on an island and usually have to pay a lot more for shipping). We decided after getting some good advice from someone who obviously knew their stuff that a two-wheeler is more stable and easier to control than a tricycle when carrying heavy loads.

The bike arrived today. First impressions: it is very solidly built with a great paint job, neat welds and well engineered. The components are good (Shimano disk brakes front and rear, Shimano 8-speed rear hub). The box looks well made as well, although some of the joins could be better, in particular the latch that locks the box under the seat. The seat clamp is cheap, handlebars and stem aren’t great either; seemingly just some generic Chinese-made jobs. The saddle is gel filled, much to Lorraine’s delight (I’m a Brooks man myself). The stand seems sturdy and holds the bike well while the children climb aboard. The harnesses for the children are really quite poor though. It’s a shame about that. The rain cover seems nicely aerodynamic but doesn’t button down at the sides. Seems like a gust of wind could get right under the rain cover and that could be a problem. It may be that we’ll try and come up with our own solutions for the harness and to keep the rain cover down a bit better. Oh, nice Schwalbe tyres on board too, but none of our four bike pumps fits the inner tube so we’ll have to get a new pump

That was another thing that put us off the Trikidoo; the web site makes no mention of components and I reckon that if they were worth mentioning, they would be mentioned. Don’t get me wrong, we did call the Trikidoo lady and she was very helpful, but for some reason I just didn’t get as far as asking about the components. But any product that uses celebrity power to market it and not much else seems to be lacking in something.

We took the bike out out just a short run this afternoon and it is remarkably stable. You need to get a wee bit of momentum going at first, but once you’re going it’s fine. The kids enjoyed it too. We’ve yet to try the rain cover but from the few hours that we’ve had the bike, it seems like we’ve made a good decision. The bike will be used for the school run mainly; it wouldn’t be any good for say cycling round the island, but the gears are good enough to get us up the steep hill on our street.

I’ll try and get it together to do a proper review once we’ve had it for a while. I know from experience that it’s important that owners of these bikes/trikes post reviews as they’re not cheap and you can’t really go on the marketing hype.

Oh, and one last thing – it fits in our shed!

Orange in honour of the VDC Changa!