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Thoughts on Bakfiets.nl and LvH Bullitt Cargo Bikes

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Old 06-21-17, 09:01 AM
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Oppi
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Thoughts on Bakfiets.nl and LvH Bullitt Cargo Bikes

Thought I'd do everyone a favour and put up an opinion on box bikes after researching for months and recently purchasing a bakfiets.nl cargo bike.

I couldn't find much online comparing these two bikes objectively. Mostly owners of one trying the other. So here's what I've learned.

1. The reviews that speak about the instability of the Bullitt are overstated IMO. I test rode a built up version and had zero trouble with it - I was up and running with my kid in the box immediately. It was a pleasant ride and different to the Bakfiets.

2. Where the Bakfiets is stable, easy to ride and stately (think Cadillac), the Bullitt is much lighter, more responsive and feels more agile (think BMW). The aluminum frame is a little buzzier ... but the payoff is a cargo bike that rides and handles more like a bike. It's also much easier to get up hills and you have more drivetrain options in building it up.

3. The Bullit has a lot less space and width than the Bakfiets in the builds that are available directly from LvH. It's not as kid friendly - no way for them to climb in on their own, good but less stable stand, etc. Two kids would be tight. Two kids and any cargo will be a nightmare. Seat belts are lap belts only (not 3 point belts like the Bakfiets).

4. The Bakfiets is heavy, larger ... but much more family/kid friendly. The weight and build give you a very smooth ride once you're rolling, and it is definitely a little easier to ride than the Bullitt ... but not enough to make a meaningful difference to an already confident cyclist.

5. Even mild inclines suck on the Bakfiets. Not impossible .... just not pleasant. Ours has the Nuvinci 380 hub. So lots of range - that's not the issue. She's just heavy.

I unfortunately test rode the Bullitt after already purchasing the Bakfiets. Not sure I would have chosen the Bullitt over the Bakfiets in hindsight (my wife is a less confident rider, and it is $1000 more in Canada when built to match the Bakfiets' utility) ... but it would certainly have been a contender.

Hope this helps anybody else out there comparing these two options. Big thing is to not discount the Bullitt because of supposed instability.

Cheers!
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Old 06-21-17, 09:52 AM
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I rode them all at last week's International Cargo Bike Festival in Nijmegen. Bakfiets, Bullit, Dolly, Douze, Urban Arrow, Yuba and whole lot of others.

The nicest one I rode was the Yuba Supermarché. The handling was so much more responsive and better than the rest.
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Old 06-21-17, 10:02 AM
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North America has a few cargo bike builders of their own, if the cost of getting one shipped from NL or DK is a little excessive.
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Old 04-30-18, 03:22 PM
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Just an FYI, Splendid Cycles out of Portland orders the LvH Bullitts direct from Taiwan in shipping container lots, and then distributes to dealers in North America. So shipping need not come from Denmark.
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Old 05-01-18, 03:05 PM
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yea, the Danish company is yet another contracting with Taiwan's Manufacturing capacities..

Human Powered Machines In Eugene makes a variant of a Long John,
and CETMA in So Cal has another variant.
His are separable into 2 parts for lower cost delivery..
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Old 05-06-18, 06:44 PM
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Thanks, we also looked at the bakfiets options made in North America. They have their following too.

We test rode the LvH Bullitt E8000 in Copenhagen and test rode Bullitts with our local dealer in AZ and were very impressed with the Bullitts. We have an E8000 Bullitt on order for delivery in about a week.
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Old 05-10-18, 11:11 AM
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I only know the Bakfiets.nl, uphill the mechanical drag of the NuVinci probably isn't helping but it's quite heavy. It's very well made, the manufacterer is well known for his contempt for flimsy or otherwise unreliable and undurable bikes and bike parts, but that comes with extra pounds. It's designed for a flat environment or there is the E-version. They are more expensive than most competitors here but generally considered excellent value for money, but that's without shipping and customs costs.
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Old 05-16-18, 02:23 PM
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How about the Douze? Has anybody tried it?
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Old 05-16-18, 07:14 PM
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Douze are great. I've tried a couple of their bikes. Love the modular feature although I can't really see many people taking advantage of it except for transporting the bike in vehicles. I rode a low-step one with the Brose motor and that was killer. The geometry is somewhere between an Urban Arrow and Bullitt.
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Old 05-20-18, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
How about the Douze? Has anybody tried it?
We looked at the Douze at the International Cargo Bike Festival last month in Berlin. It looks very good.

The Brose motor in the Douze is very well thought of - better than Bosch and Shimano in many regards - that is, quieter and more powerful. Plus the Brose has an extra freewheel at the crank so you can pedal without power - decoupled from the drag of the motor. Brose is now setting up a service center for North America in Seattle, so service on a Douze would be easier.

The Douze has front suspension, something that would be pretty nice on a bakfiets style bike. Our Bullitt E8000 rides a little rough on poor pavements.

Only issue with Douze for us is finding a shop selling them in North America. Maybe once Brose establishes itself in Seattle, Douze will come to the Americas?
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Old 05-20-18, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by augsburg View Post
We looked at the Douze at the International Cargo Bike Festival last month in Berlin. It looks very good.

The Brose motor in the Douze is very well thought of - better than Bosch and Shimano in many regards - that is, quieter and more powerful. Plus the Brose has an extra freewheel at the crank so you can pedal without power - decoupled from the drag of the motor. Brose is now setting up a service center for North America in Seattle, so service on a Douze would be easier.

The Douze has front suspension, something that would be pretty nice on a bakfiets style bike. Our Bullitt E8000 rides a little rough on poor pavements.

Only issue with Douze for us is finding a shop selling them in North America. Maybe once Brose establishes itself in Seattle, Douze will come to the Americas?
They're sold in the US, just very limited retail presence. I know Clever Cycles in Portland sells them, and a few other shops around the country.
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Old 05-22-18, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by augsburg View Post
We looked at the Douze at the International Cargo Bike Festival last month in Berlin. It looks very good.

The Brose motor in the Douze is very well thought of - better than Bosch and Shimano in many regards - that is, quieter and more powerful. Plus the Brose has an extra freewheel at the crank so you can pedal without power - decoupled from the drag of the motor. Brose is now setting up a service center for North America in Seattle, so service on a Douze would be easier.

The Douze has front suspension, something that would be pretty nice on a bakfiets style bike. Our Bullitt E8000 rides a little rough on poor pavements.

Only issue with Douze for us is finding a shop selling them in North America. Maybe once Brose establishes itself in Seattle, Douze will come to the Americas?
Thanks! It's very, very flat where I live, so I don't think I'm interested in an e-assist; the selling point for me was the separable frame. I'm planning to test-ride one in Milwaukee, which is the only city with a Douze dealer east of Portland!
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Old 05-22-18, 07:25 PM
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Cetma frames also separate. Might be hard to find one in a shop anywhere, but owners tend to be very proud of their bikes and likely to volunteer a test ride.
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