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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.

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Old 05-18-09, 05:17 PM   #1
Artashes
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Few silly questions.

Hey all,

I am a new member and a total newbie to anything related to bike mods. I am trying to get back in shape after injury and commute on my 5-year old IronHorse here and there. I live in Montreal, the ideal city for city cycling with many KM bike paths (total of 560 KM this summer) and newly introduced Bixi - I (believe we are the first city in North America). The city is compact and you can really get across town (any direction) in under 30 mins if you are fit enough. Actually, its a fact that in Montreal, bikes are faster than cars for distances under 5 kilometres.

Anyway, I am looking for a solution that will allow me to carry a passenger. I checked the local highway safety code and it states:

"No person riding a bicycle may take a passenger unless his vehicle is equipped with a fixed seat for that purpose.
1986, c. 91, s. 485."

Which pretty much means that if I have some kind of a seat installed, then I can take one person with me. Problem is - I am looking to carry one adult (my girlfriend) to some of these trips as its so much less boring and provides for better exercise for me.

So I am just not sure what kind of a solution I can go with!


Also, I see people ride on pegs (foot support). I really don't know much about what their purpose is (foot pegs that is) and if someone can tell me what they are for, I'd be grateful. I was considering adding them so perhaps I can just give people a ride when necessary.
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Old 05-18-09, 05:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Artashes View Post
Hey all,

I am a new member and a total newbie to anything related to bike mods. I am trying to get back in shape after injury and commute on my 5-year old IronHorse here and there. I live in Montreal, the ideal city for city cycling with many KM bike paths (total of 560 KM this summer) and newly introduced Bixi - I (believe we are the first city in North America). The city is compact and you can really get across town (any direction) in under 30 mins if you are fit enough. Actually, its a fact that in Montreal, bikes are faster than cars for distances under 5 kilometres.

Anyway, I am looking for a solution that will allow me to carry a passenger. I checked the local highway safety code and it states:

"No person riding a bicycle may take a passenger unless his vehicle is equipped with a fixed seat for that purpose.
1986, c. 91, s. 485."



Which pretty much means that if I have some kind of a seat installed, then I can take one person with me. Problem is - I am looking to carry one adult (my girlfriend) to some of these trips as its so much less boring and provides for better exercise for me.

So I am just not sure what kind of a solution I can go with!


Also, I see people ride on pegs (foot support). I really don't know much about what their purpose is (foot pegs that is) and if someone can tell me what they are for, I'd be grateful. I was considering adding them so perhaps I can just give people a ride when necessary.

First of all congrats on BIXI!! Secondly, look for a used tandem. She's not going to like standing on pegs for very long.
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Old 05-18-09, 05:57 PM   #3
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Pegs are for doing tricks, so are not legal for passengers. Xtracycles are equipped so that is an option.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:05 PM   #4
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First of all congrats on BIXI!! Secondly, look for a used tandem. She's not going to like standing on pegs for very long.
Oh, thank you for the welcome.

She is a sporty lady herself, so while I am sure she can handle a 15-minute of standing, I think a little more comfort is a good idea. A tandem - isn't it a whole new bicycle? Our place is not that large to fit two bicycles, so is there some kind of a tandem I can connect/disconnect to the existing bike (like a trailer)? My bike has a Y-frame, is that's any useful.

ps: Bixi is a real treat, all stations are mobile and powered by solar energy, and soon to cover the whole city as a substitute for public transit. Bike paths are very well made, safe and separated from traffic. First 30 mins are free, like in Paris, and if you live in the city, usually enough to get from point A to point B. No headache to live your own bike out as well.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:07 PM   #5
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Pegs are for doing tricks, so are not legal for passengers. Xtracycles are equipped so that is an option.
That is great! Close to what I think I am looking for, except that it looks like a lot of work converting the bike back and forth all the time.
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Old 05-18-09, 10:18 PM   #6
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That is great! Close to what I think I am looking for, except that it looks like a lot of work converting the bike back and forth all the time.
Yes, a lot of work, so the xtracycle conversion is more or less permanent. But the bike still rides good (maybe even better) so that's no prob.
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Old 05-19-09, 01:11 AM   #7
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I think there is no easy or cheap solution for what you want. Look into a folding tandem for both of you http://www.bikefriday.com/node/1584

or a folding bike for her http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/ .

Last edited by badmother; 05-19-09 at 01:11 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-19-09, 07:12 AM   #8
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Yes, in your case, I suggest you look into folders. The better ones ride like regular bikes (if not better for some things). I have a Downtube Mini and it is great. Go to the folder section and get addicted to folders!
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Old 05-19-09, 08:05 AM   #9
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I think that the solution that meets your criteria best is the Xtracycle,I have put over 2500 mile on mine since the second week of June last year.My other Three bikes haven't been ridden since then,because the X if so much fun.
I have only hauled a person on mine once, I was truly surprised at how well it handled. I can also haul just about anything else that enters my mind.
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Old 05-19-09, 10:21 AM   #10
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Why not 2 bikes....you noted a small living space perhaps a wall stand similar to http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...00_10000_17502

you noted your GF is sporty, she might prefer her own bike.

the downside to this solution is that you have to keep the bikes clean so they look good on the wall.
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Old 05-19-09, 04:41 PM   #11
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How about a saddle clamped onto the seat tube? They make kiddie carriers like that. If she is petite, it might work. The child carrier comes with foot pegs that go on the down tube, but side saddle might be more comfortable if you can rig one that is safe and meets the legal requirements. Something like the moon saddle perhaps? http://www.moonsaddle.com/

Or a homemade saddle that looks like a downsized unicycle seat? Just thinking out loud here, don't blame me if you both die.
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Old 05-19-09, 04:56 PM   #12
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I posted before reading squitdad's brilliant idea. She needs her own bike. It seems obvious after hearing it, as good advice so often does.

Tandem or xtracycle would work if she won't, but that's not another bike as you suggest, it's another bike and a half. Make room in your home for another single bike.

I don't think the xtracycle is something you can easily put on/take off like a trailer, but I could be wrong.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:53 PM   #13
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"Why not 2 bikes...."
Yeah, that's the obvious solution. I don't think most people would care to be toted around on someone else's bicycle very much.
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Old 05-25-09, 10:33 AM   #14
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Why not 2 bikes....you noted a small living space perhaps a wall stand similar to http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...00_10000_17502

you noted your GF is sporty, she might prefer her own bike.
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
I posted before reading squitdad's brilliant idea. She needs her own bike. It seems obvious after hearing it, as good advice so often does.

Tandem or xtracycle would work if she won't, but that's not another bike as you suggest, it's another bike and a half. Make room in your home for another single bike.
Apart that she doesn't want to hear me speak about bicycles, just as I don't want to hear about shopping, she is into her own sports, so I know for a fact another bike will be a waste and she won't use it. The only reason she would ever ride a bike if we were to go for a nice stroll and a picnic. Girls will always be girls.

Btw, squirtdad, that's a great wall unit suggestion.

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I think there is no easy or cheap solution for what you want. Look into a folding tandem for both of you http://www.bikefriday.com/node/1584
or a folding bike for her http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=221 .
This is interesting, but its a a whole new bike and getting it to just use a few times a year would be an overkill.


I found something like this:
http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-...AdIdZ129893772
or
http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-...AdIdZ126512601

But I am not sure how to tell if its for an adult or a child on pictures, or which ones are good. There is also a question of it fitting on my bike. Its a Y frame... I think it's easier just to make a picture of it, which I will later today so you can see for yourself.

EDIT: I ran out to take a few pictures of my bike:
http://www.pixairline.com/pic.php?u=4EGiHb&i=1435
http://www.pixairline.com/pic.php?u=4EGiHb&i=1436
http://www.pixairline.com/pic.php?u=4EGiHb&i=1437
http://www.pixairline.com/pic.php?u=4EGiHb&i=1438

Last edited by Artashes; 05-25-09 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 05-25-09, 12:35 PM   #15
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The trail-a-bike is for small children.

I would buy a folder. Let her use it when you are going somewhere together. Also I am sure if she is nt using it you are going to find you use it yourself, more and more- until you end up selling your old bike and buy one more folder, and one more, and...

Tell her riding a bike is not a sport, it is about efficient and cheap transport. Total freedom.
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Old 05-25-09, 08:03 PM   #16
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If it's only for a few times a year you might consider renting another bike or a tandem for those occasions.
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Old 05-26-09, 09:11 PM   #17
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If she doesn't want a bike of her own then an xtracycle conversion or tandem is your best bet.

With an xtracycle, you could still use it as a utility bike in case you broke up with her (hey, it happens...)

A tandem would most likely be more romantic in her mind, which might bring it's own set of rewards.

Either one is going to take some extra room for storage due to the extra length of the bike. Neither one is going to be efficient for you as a commuter (since you highlighted that aspect in your thread) unless you haul a bunch of freight, in which case the xtracycle would work. A folding tandem might help in terms of storage space, but then again you might be stuck with a tandem. She might stick around but then changer her mind and not like bikes anymore (it happens).

Short answer-there's no cheap option other than the pegs. Give her the peg treatment for a while and if she sticks with it and stays interested, then maybe it will warrant the additional cost of a tandem, xtracycle conversion, or a bike of her own. I'm not too experienced with pegs myself but if you're using the quick release clamps they might not be compatible.

Last edited by subclavius; 05-26-09 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 05-31-09, 04:35 AM   #18
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You have Bixi, which is free for 30 minutes, which is enough time to get across town... why would you want to carry someone when they can borrow a bike for free?
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Old 05-31-09, 08:33 AM   #19
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Just FYI: Blogger's Law states that no question is ever silly until 80% of the other bloggers tell you how stupid it was


Thank goodness we aren't bloggers!

Last edited by Rollfast; 05-31-09 at 08:37 AM.
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