07
Sep 2007
by mark

bakfiets: “It can haul groceries”

100 mile radius potluck at the park

Someone commented about my new bakfiets cargo bike this morning that “now I could I haul groceries on the bicycle”.

I had been getting groceries fine on my “normal” bike fine for some years. But you couldn’t tell that from casually looking the bike.

I never once made a trip where I couldn’t bring home everything I wanted. Usually just some saddle bags were used for the hauling, but occasionally a trailer was used to fetch a large bag of dog food.

But on most trips the saddle bags and trailer are left at home, so the carrying capacity isn’t visible.

The importance of the bakfiets in the US now is that it is obvious that the bakfiets is built to haul. And it does in fact haul a lot. I believe it’s rated to haul about 250 lbs of cargo or kids, plus the weight of the driver. (That’s 175 lbs in the bucket, and 75 more on the rear rack).

The bakfiets instantly communicates its practicality, without the need to explain how racks, saddle bags and a trailer can extend the capacity of a common bike.

With a bakfiets cargo bike, it’s easy to visualize how a parent could take a kid or two kids to the grocery and have room to haul everyone and everything back. The bakfiets is much easier to see as a car-replacement vehicle.

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  • http://www.fullhandsx3.blogspot sara

    Hey Mark~
    I have been exploring the idea of a rickshaw to commute with my six year old twins to school (where they attend & I work) here in New Haven. My husband commutes with our three year old by bike (seat on back). A friend recently told me about bakfiets and I am totally interested in this option. Curious to hear about your experience. Did you buy yours online? Any advice?
    MANY THANKS,
    sara

  • http://mark.stosberg.com/ Mark Stosberg

    Sara,
    Yes I bought mine remotely, without ever test-driving one myself, and had it shipped to me. I’m not sure what the closest dealer to you is. The dutch bike shop that just opened in Chicago might be of interest.
    With kids your age, Something like a tag-a-log might also be worth considering. Also, I would also put an XtraCycle, or longtail bike design on the table as option. They also work for kid and cargo hauling, but are cheaper and weigh less than the bakfiets.

  • daniel

    Great bike, I just bought mine here in NYC for $2100 shipped from the Netherlands and am loving it!…

  • Mark Stosberg

    daniel,
    That sounds like a good deal. Who did you buy yours from?

  • daniel

    Hi Mark,
    I found mine on http://www.doubledutchbikes.com
    I have investigated and compared others before I decided to go with mine as it simply is the best buck for your money, These guys import these into the US so there is no hassle with import duties, freight charges and what not.

  • http://mark.stosberg.com/ Mark Stosberg

    Daniel,
    I’m afraid you’ve bought a cheap Chinese model (one that someone recently posted here to import directly from China for $1000). You can see photos of these kinds of bikes falling apart after a year of use in Amsterdam. The hinge in the middle (which makes them easier to ship, not ride) seems particularly like a bad idea. See a sagging hinge here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10392335@N07/3209520358/in/set-72157612693597651/
    More photos like that:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10392335@N07/sets/72157612693597651/
    Also see this review of what may be the same company operating under a different name:
    http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2008/12/08/guest-post-experiences-with-faya4you-bakfiets/

  • daniel

    Hi Mark, Yes I have seen these bikes you are referring too as well when I was looking into these bicycles and they indeed look pretty bad, thanks god these bikes are not the same as the one I bought as mine looks solid and still in top shape wile leaving it outside for over 4 months now, I ride it to work every day and so far I am extremely happy with mine :-) I will keep you posted on its state!