Forum Suggestions & User Assistance - utility cycling sub forum?
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Jean Beetham Smith
08-02-03, 05:08 PM
I'm not sure where it should be, perhaps as a sub-forum of commuting; a place for threads about the mechanics of going car-less or just going for less car use. I found it fairly time consuming to find a large rear rack for my real beater bike that I use for trips around town. I'm still not sure if I want a trailer for shopping. I'd like someplace to go for hints on this lifestyle change
It sounds like questions that are straight up commuting. I've seen these questions addressed before in the commuting section. If you do a search under these topics, I'm sure you'll find those types of questions addressed already.
what I used to do is put large panniers on my bike....and leave them there until fall. I kept a couple bungee cords for weird shapes; but I can see where you might want more carrying space. I found the idea of a trailer intimidating; although I know some of our posters do just that. Just how much stuff do you need to carry?
Jean Beetham Smith
08-03-03, 10:19 AM
I'm talking about significantly bigger items than fit in my panniers or on my rear rack (Blackburn). If I am ultimately going car less, I will eventually have to be able to haul fertilizer, plants, & Home Depot items, as well as groceries. The groceries are just the thin edge of the wedge, and can be accomadated by more frequent trips. It is the large, bulky items that make me think about a trailer. Additionally, utility cycling means that you are much more likely to have to park your bike in less secure areas. Most of the threads that have addressed these issues have been in the "yuck, yuck, look at the fred" catagory not the how-to.
If that is so, perhaps what you could do is address the issues in the commuting section so that it's less of a "yuck, yuck, look at the fred" category and more of the "how-to". Regardless of which way you look at it, it still looks like a commuting topic...
My 2 cents...
08-03-03, 10:42 AM
I believe a Danish company still manufactures delivery tricycles and it looks something like the one in the picture below. I will see if I can find the name of the manufacturer.
08-04-03, 04:43 AM
Jean - I choose to remain carless and have found a small trailer a real boon for shopping. I get the bulk of the weeks shopping in it of a weekend which means my wife or myself can easily carry any odds and ends (bottles of wine, fresh salad etc.) that we need. It's great for taking bottles down to the bank for recycling and ideal for the odd sack of coal in the winter or bark chippings for mulching the garden. I've had it for a year and wouldn't be without it.
08-04-03, 11:03 AM
I'm not carfree and probably won't because of job or family obligations. However, I tend to live car-lite and the advent of a car co-op will probably help me to get rid of having a car of my own.
To carry stuff, there are three options: deliveries, panniers or trailer. We tend to forget about deliveries, but it's a nice option for the odd bulky item.
Panniers are also nice for the odd errant. I like the fact that I can remove them of the bike and take them inside the office, the store... But for real all-around convenience, nothing beats a trailer.
On trailers, there are 3 options. The BOB trailer is very well liked for those who tour with a trailer, and especially for those who tour off-road, because it tracks almost perfectly behind the bike. But those who have tried it seem to find a few flaws for commuting: loading must be done carefully and there is a relatively low load limit.
So the 2-wheel trailer is best. You could go for a Burley Nomad (the best around, it seems), but for short or medium distances, I would rather suggest a child trailer. Not only child trailers are often cheaper, they are fairly easy to find on the used market. Compared to the Nomad, a child trailer has one drawback, namely more wind resistance, but it's not a major problem unless you shop many many miles away or intend to use the trailer for touring.
BTW, if you don'T intend to use the trailer for children, you might remove the seat or dossier to help carry more stuff.
A few things to check:
- hitch: get a good one that attaches near the stays or on the rear axle;
- width: my Chariot 2-children carrier measures 32 1/2" wide... which is 1/8" narrower than my outside door. I know I can fold the trailer outside or remove its wheels to store it, but it's nice to wheel a full trailer inside and place it near the fridge.
- a 2-children trailer can carry a full week load of grocery. No creative packing necessary under $150 (CDN) or 50 kg. For increased capacity, I pack carefully and/or also use panniers. Total load so far, I think, was 80 kg, good for 2.5 weeks for a family of 4. Hills seemed steep!
08-04-03, 06:41 PM
One alternative that no one has mentioned is the large wire baskets that are still made by Wald. If this is a towny, beater bike you could put the large baskets on the rear and another large basket over the front wheel. This would probably cost about $50 for the baskets and would turn the bike into a serious utility bike. you can check out the selection here. http://www.bikepartsusa.com/view.phtml?f_c=Basket&f_q=
08-04-03, 08:28 PM
Ok, I found the link!
CHRISTIANIA MULTI-PURPOSE BIKE
CAN BE USED TO:
Christiania bikes was, as the name suggests, developed in car-free Christiania, Copenhagen. Bicycle trailers,an early product, were followed on the market in 1984 by the first CA-Bike. The bikes were developed in dialogue with the consumers, and safety, quality and durability became the hallmarks of the design. Outside Christiania notice was taken of these solid environmental bikes, which are now exported around the world.
SOME TECHNICAL INFORMATIONS:
The frame is built of steel tubes and frames, soldered and welded together. The whole frame is electroplated in and out and then lacquered.
The box is constructed of 9 mm plywood.
Controls: Steering gear with conical roller bearings and hydraulic damper. Front wheels have drum-brakes. Rear wheels can have different gear hubs. Mudguards of stainless steel.
3-4-5-7 gears. Reverse. Hood with windows. Lock. Child seat with safety belt.
Special orders can be catered for.
08-31-03, 01:15 PM
I understand that the intent of Jean's inquiry was to suggest a subforum that might address matters related to the use of bicycles as vehicles for hauling cargo, not simply people, and the broader issues that raises in an automobile-dominated culture. Perhaps this can be addressed in an ongoing thread, rather than through a new subforum.
I live in Chicago and am "car-free." I have a beater bike with the Wald folding baskets that thbirks mentions, which I use for grocery and other errand shopping. On the subject of trailers, is anyone familiar with these:
To my knowledge, they are the ultimate in serious bicycle trailers available in the US. Not cheap, however. I actually saw one at a Home Depot in Chicago. Their use suggests what is possible, at least physically, with bicycles as cargo haulers!
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