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Looking to replace the rusting car

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Looking to replace the rusting car

Old 01-26-20, 05:18 PM
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Korina
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Looking to replace the rusting car

I'm looking at an e-bakfiets for occasional shopping; the husbeast and I aren't getting any younger, and while the riding would be mostly flat, shopping is a distance away. What do you guys think of Amsterdam Bicycle Company? Their E-Cargo Trike Classic - Narrow looks like it would fit the bill. I know nothing about cargo bikes or e-bikes, so any feedback would be gratefully received.


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Old 01-27-20, 10:11 AM
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When you say "a ways away", what do you mean? Like Costco runs from Arcata? Or running into Arcata from Bayside? Because those trikes are great when your terrain is relatively flat (even with electric assist), and when you're not too concerned about making good time and/or taking corners with any sort of speed. Two-wheeled box bikes are a lot more enjoyable to ride as a bike, and narrower to go more places more easily, although of course not as stable when stopped. Do you need that specific type of stability? If not, then I'd look at the two-wheel versions.

For all these "bakfiets.nl" bikes, they are built for the flats of Amsterdam with the geometry and components to match. So those roller brakes are nice in terms of maintenance, but aren't good on hills with a heavy load. The Shimano electric system is great. Nothing to worry about there.

Also, why the front box bike as opposed to a long-tail? Don't get me wrong, I own a box bike and love it. But long tails take no learning curve to master and can still haul a load from the store.
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Old 01-27-20, 09:13 PM
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Nightdiver , exactly Costco runs from Arcata. Also WinCo, which has one biggish hill on the way. I've never ridden either, but the box bike just looks more stable, and both of us are getting older; he's 61 and I'm 57. It also looks like it can carry more groceries; we generally do one big monthly trip, but that might change. I'm just starting to look, so I'm mostly guessing.
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Old 01-28-20, 10:05 AM
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Totally agree with you, that box bikes are ideal for cargo hauling, as they put the weight so low and in the middle of the bike. The reason I asked is because I notice a lot of people considering purchasing one with needs that would be equally or better served by a long/mid tail. But for a larger grocery trip, box bike is great.

For your intended route, I would again strongly suggest the two-wheel version over the three wheel, unless you think that handling the two-wheel would be a problem. The three wheel style is really suited to short city trips of hauling the kids to school a mile away where a more leisurely pace is fine and the ability to take a curve at speed is sacrificed. Also, would suggest you look at some other models that have a bit less relaxed riding geometry. The electric assist only does so much work, and putting in some pedaling effort, especially going up hills of any sort will be greatly improved with a less "Dutch" geometry. Even just going from the Plaza up to Wildberries you would notice a difference. And when you're heading out to Eureka and the winds are really kicking up off the bay, the added efficiency of the two-wheel and slightly more aggressive geometry would be noticed.

But if you haven't experienced them first hand, a trip to SF or Portland might be in order.
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Old 01-28-20, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightdiver View Post
Totally agree with you, that box bikes are ideal for cargo hauling, as they put the weight so low and in the middle of the bike. The reason I asked is because I notice a lot of people considering purchasing one with needs that would be equally or better served by a long/mid tail. But for a larger grocery trip, box bike is great.

For your intended route, I would again strongly suggest the two-wheel version over the three wheel, unless you think that handling the two-wheel would be a problem. The three wheel style is really suited to short city trips of hauling the kids to school a mile away where a more leisurely pace is fine and the ability to take a curve at speed is sacrificed. Also, would suggest you look at some other models that have a bit less relaxed riding geometry. The electric assist only does so much work, and putting in some pedaling effort, especially going up hills of any sort will be greatly improved with a less "Dutch" geometry. Even just going from the Plaza up to Wildberries you would notice a difference. And when you're heading out to Eureka and the winds are really kicking up off the bay, the added efficiency of the two-wheel and slightly more aggressive geometry would be noticed.

But if you haven't experienced them first hand, a trip to SF or Portland might be in order.
{sigh} The poor old car came up lame; front driver's side tire is flat (stem issue). Not sure it would make the trip anyway.

Can you suggest some good two-wheelers to look at? And thanks for all your help.
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Old 02-06-20, 10:41 AM
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Sorry, forgot to hit the post button. Some other brands that make electric box bikes include: Larry Harry Bullitt, Riese and Muller, Yuba, Douze, B****e, Urban Arrow. Of those, B****e and Urban Arrow share the same Dutch geometry with the Bakfiets you're looking at already. The Bullitt only comes with a tall top tube, so no low step through frame options, which I consider a must have for your needs. So that leaves R+M, Yuba, and Douze.

Not sure what sort of budget you are keeping in mind, but all of the above get to be quite expensive. You could also get a non-electric box bike and add your own conversion kit to it. More work on your end, but makes it possible to save a little money.

Another option to consider is getting a "normal" ebike with enough motor power to tow a trailer. Then pick up a decent trailer capable of hauling the grocery loads you're thinking of. This will give you the most flexibility, and be more cost competitive since you can now start looking at ebikes that only cost $3k instead of $5-6k and add on a $500 trailer. And then you have a normal size bike for all the riding you want to do that doesn't involve hauling a load.
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Old 02-08-20, 06:20 AM
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+1 on the trailer idea. I must admit to periodically drooling over bakfiets, and I even test-rode an Urban Arrow model once. (It was great.) But from a practical perspective, I can't justify it. It's generally easy to find a barely used kid trailer on CL, etc. that can be converted, and you can use the bike in a regular non-cargo fashion when you're not shopping. And you pretty much need a garage for a bakfiets if you want to store it inside. They're really awkward to bring inside a house or apartment, especially if you have to go up even a few stairs to get onto a porch. With the trailer, I unload and detach it outside, then bring the bike and trailer in separately.

So my recommendation for the most practical and cost-effective solution would be to start with a sturdy 90's rigid MTB and install a Bafang mid-drive motor (replaces bottom bracket and crank). They have them in a range from 500 to 1500W depending on how much extra help you want. With the battery, figure on $1000-1500. Expensive, but not as much as a new e-bike. Then get a good kid trailer used and modify it however you like to make it a grocery-hauler.
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Old 02-08-20, 02:16 PM
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Thanks, Nightdiver and AeroGut . As it happens, I picked up a used trailer on CL. So, so much less expensive than a bakfiets. Don't know what I was thinking. The nice thing is, I can wait on an e-bike conversion until my legs give out, and hopefully the technology improves even more.
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