Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-04-07, 03:27 PM   #1
kemmer
*****es love tarck
Thread Starter
 
kemmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Bikes: so many
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hauling three kids on one bike?

I have been bike commuting for over a year now and have all but abandoned my poor VW in the driveway. It hasn't been driven in months and last time I tried to start it I couldn't. My wife on the other hand is still doing a lot of driving. We have 3 young small children and transporting them all by bicycle is a challenge even for me. I'm currently using a bike+trailer-cycle+trailer for kid hauling duties and I think it all adds up to about 300lbs. She is not a very strong rider (yet) and I don't think she would be able to do it for any practical distance. I was thinking of using an electric assisted bike and a free radical. Has anyone carried 3 kids with an xtracycle? How do they fit? How is the handling? What other problems might I run into with this set up?
__________________
kemmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-07, 05:22 PM   #2
Cosmoline
Biscuit Boy
 
Cosmoline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Speeenard 'laska
Bikes:
Posts: 1,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How small are you talking? I used to ride up front until I got too big-that's me in my avatar.
Cosmoline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-07, 05:28 PM   #3
vulpes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I saw an article somewhere on the Internet about a guy that commutes 33 mi. each way hauling 2 toddlers in a trailer. He commutes from Corrales in the Rio Grande Valley just west of Albuquerque to a daycare near UNM. After he drops off the kids there, he cycles back downtown to his job as a public defender at the court house. He says everyone thinks he's crazy, but he just refuses to participate in the car culture.
vulpes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-07, 06:53 PM   #4
kemmer
*****es love tarck
Thread Starter
 
kemmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Bikes: so many
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry, I guess ages of the kids are important. The are 5, 3, and 1. The 5 year old does great on the trailercycle but she doesn't contribute much. I think the 5 and 3 year olds would do good on the snap deck, the little guy would need a child seat of some kind. Maybe I could use a child carrier for the youngest and secure the other two side saddle on the snap deck somehow. I just don't know if there's enough room. Trailers work ok, but my oldest is too big for the trailer and for a carrier. The trailer cycle and trailer system we are using now works, but it's unwieldy and not at all practical for daily use. It's very hard to get through the gates to the MUP and you need a ton of space to turn around. Don't even get me started on how much of a pain it is to hook up. Here's a picture of the whole family, imagine that but with a regular bike instead of the tandem:

__________________
kemmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 06:17 AM   #5
cooperwx
Senior Member
 
cooperwx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Asheville, NC
Bikes: Trek 7.5 FX
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great fam, Kemmer. They all look like they enjoy it. My kids are 4, 2, and 11 months. My carport looks like your avatar (with the minivan, not the tallbike). My wife does not ride, but my oldest is on training wheels and middle is on a trike.

Good luck in your carfree effort. Car-lite seems to be the best we can do right now.
cooperwx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 08:29 AM   #6
le brad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: portland, or
Bikes:
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
that is such a great picture. My 3 year old thinks our car is broken. She just got her first bicycle the other day and today I'm going to make her ride it to the store with me, in the rain.
le brad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 12:57 PM   #7
rockmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Bikes:
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Would an electric assist with the existing trailer set up work?

We mostly walked and used the bus when the kids were smaller.
rockmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 02:09 PM   #8
squegeeboo
******
 
squegeeboo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: Specalized Tri-Cross
Posts: 951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by le brad
She just got her first bicycle the other day and today I'm going to make her ride it to the store with me, in the rain.
Thats so evil

Is it uphill both ways and are you making her do it barefoot?
__________________
In the words of Einstein
"And now I think I'll take a bath"
squegeeboo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 02:48 PM   #9
rapidskies
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unbelievable. Unless your wife really wants to do this I would have her use the car. Asking your wife to pedal around 3 toddlers full time is crazy. Also I would keep your car for emergencies (ER visits for the kids, tsunamis, etc).
rapidskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 02:51 PM   #10
rockmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Bikes:
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can out run a tsunami if you recognize it. However, I don't think tsunamis are likely in Utah anyway. Earthquakes are possible, but a car wouldn't do you much good.
rockmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 03:28 PM   #11
rockmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Bikes:
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Could you do an xtracycle with a kid in the peapod seat, one on the snap deck, and one in a trailer?
rockmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-07, 07:11 PM   #12
group105
Master of the Obvious
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Muncie, Indiana
Bikes: Fuji
Posts: 456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://bloomington.craigslist.org/bik/332470133.html
group105 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-07, 08:57 AM   #13
le brad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: portland, or
Bikes:
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by squegeeboo
Thats so evil

Is it uphill both ways and are you making her do it barefoot?
no, just pouring rain. It went well except training wheels are effing cheap crap. One of the wheels broke and I had to carry the whole thing home.
le brad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-07, 11:44 AM   #14
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,717
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 288 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kemmer
Sorry, I guess ages of the kids are important. The are 5, 3, and 1.
Think ahead just 2 years. The kids will be 7, 5 and 3, according to my math. The 7 year old will be on her own bike, the 5 year old will too, maybe even off training wheels, and you'll only have to schlepp the 3 year old. Things will be easier!!!
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-07, 06:47 PM   #15
spambait11
Seņor Mambo
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Fremont, CA
Bikes: Ti Sports roadie, Cannondale CAAD 3, Tern Cargo Node, Helix (soon)
Posts: 1,352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Here's your inspiration:
http://xtracycle.com/gallery/view_ph...blic&id=Final1
http://xtracycle.com/gallery/view_ph...d=P1010063_001

The worst thing about an Xtracycle (besides the squeaking) is that there really is no off-the-shelf kickstand solution for precious cargo. You'll have to buy a custom kickstand that will set you back either $120 for a Rock Sturdy stand, or $210 for Val Kleitz' stand. Completely shameful on Xtracycle's part if you ask me. The Greenfield kickstand is not sufficient, but you'll see that for yourself.

Even though your kids are old enough to hold on to a stoker bar (as are my two oldest), if you go on longer trips, they'll get tired because they're not doing anything. That's why a seat solution of some kind, at least to me, is still the best option.

My third one's coming in a few months, so I might try making a custom deck similar to picture 1 for the older ones. The new baby will have the trailer all to himself; carseats are freakin' huge!
spambait11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-07, 07:23 PM   #16
Nycycle
Senior Member
 
Nycycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Taylorsville Utah
Bikes: Long Haul Trucker
Posts: 797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I haul 2 four year olds plus junk in my trailer.
Nycycle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-07, 07:27 PM   #17
Nycycle
Senior Member
 
Nycycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Taylorsville Utah
Bikes: Long Haul Trucker
Posts: 797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kemmer
. Here's a picture of the whole family, imagine that but with a regular bike instead of the tandem:

My hat is off to you.
Nycycle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-07, 08:30 PM   #18
donnamb 
tired
 
donnamb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Breezer Uptown 8, U frame
Posts: 5,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmom
Could you do an xtracycle with a kid in the peapod seat, one on the snap deck, and one in a trailer?
My thoughts exactly, with a Stokemonkey for pedal assist.
__________________
"Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."
donnamb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-07, 10:52 AM   #19
kemmer
*****es love tarck
Thread Starter
 
kemmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Bikes: so many
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm was hoping to avoid using a trailer, but it sounds like there's no way around it. The MUP in our neighborhood has gates that are a little difficult to get through with a trailer. A solo trailer might be easier though, so that's a possibility. Also, I was hoping to keep the option of taking the bike on the light rail if she has mechanical trouble or something. I suppose she could always lock the bike and trailer at the station and ride the light rail home if she had to. Thanks for all the input!
__________________
kemmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-07, 11:27 AM   #20
Redrom
Tossed some weight
 
Redrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northampton, MA
Bikes: '96 Specialized Rockhopper, '70's Fixed Fuji, '02 Organic Engines Troika Tandem Trike
Posts: 465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been riding my Xtracycle for almost two years with two boys on the back (now almost 3 & 4 years old) using one childseat mounted to the snapdeck and a peapod behind my saddle. I have to say that while I have gotten pretty good at it, this setup is tenuous enough without adding a trailer. Look, it's a lot to manage balance wise; I got the rock steady stand and I am able to load them on the bike by myself, but just barely - there's no way I could add a trailer to the mix.

We picked up a used tandem trike last year, and mounted two childseats to it, one behind each pedaler. I could see you letting the 5 year old pedal with you on this setup, using extensions for the pedals, and when the wife wants to come along, put the youngest into the trailer. This is going to be a lot more stable for you - you don't want to risk your cargo...
Redrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-07, 12:01 PM   #21
kemmer
*****es love tarck
Thread Starter
 
kemmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Bikes: so many
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrom
I have to say that while I have gotten pretty good at it, this setup is tenuous enough without adding a trailer. Look, it's a lot to manage balance wise; I got the rock steady stand and I am able to load them on the bike by myself, but just barely - there's no way I could add a trailer to the mix.

That's what I was worried about. Our current set up works fine for me, and pretty much any set up I could think of would be fine for me. I'm really trying to find something that works for my wife, and it doesn't sound like this would. *sigh* back to the drawing board I guess.

Maybe a trike could accommodate 3 kiddies. I should add that I have no reservations whatsoever about fabricating something, I have a welder and lots of huffys to chop up. The only constraints are that the end result must be fairly stable and reasonably maneuverable.
__________________
kemmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-07, 08:02 AM   #22
Redrom
Tossed some weight
 
Redrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northampton, MA
Bikes: '96 Specialized Rockhopper, '70's Fixed Fuji, '02 Organic Engines Troika Tandem Trike
Posts: 465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, I would strongly recommend a trike for your wife to handle 3 kids. I just bought pedal extensions and will be setting it up tonight for my 4 year old to start stoking for tomorrow's ride. Take a look at our vehicle (on vacation at Hilton Head). I'd offer to let you give it a spin, but I'm not going to UT again. The next step up from this is the Rhodes Car, but then she'll feel compelled to always ride it on the road and never on the bikepath or sidewalk. If you're going to build it yourself, put the two wheels on the back instead of the front to keep from having to deal with steering alignment issues. Also look here to spark the creative juices... http://www.organicengines.com/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg trike upload.jpg (13.2 KB, 28 views)
Redrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:50 PM.