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Utility bike or tricycle?

Old 10-25-09, 10:16 PM
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Utility bike or tricycle?

I have been researching utility bikes to carry my two daughters (6 and 8) and groceries/work stuff, etc.. I just want to replace the car if I can.

Would a bicycle or tricycle be better for this kind of hauling? Why?

Thanks for your help and/or opinions!
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Old 10-25-09, 10:51 PM
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What I notice with my Worksman front-loading trike is that it is wide enough that you pretty well take a lane whether you want to or not. A bike is a little easier to get around in an auto world.

Realistically, for 6 and 8 year old kids, I'd be looking for a way that they could pedal, too. That's pretty big to tote around as dead weight.
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Old 10-26-09, 08:59 AM
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I tried a trike and found it to be slow and dangerous. I live in a hilly area and I can't see being able to ride around without tipping it over from time to time. The 2 wheel bike is faster and handles better.
If I was riding slowly around a densely populated flat city, the ability to keep my feet up and balance easily at really slow speeds might make the trike more desirable.
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Old 10-26-09, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wanatrike
I have been researching utility bikes to carry my two daughters (6 and 8) and groceries/work stuff, etc.. I just want to replace the car if I can.

Would a bicycle or tricycle be better for this kind of hauling? Why?

Thanks for your help and/or opinions!
This from people who haul kids on a trike everyday............
https://www.dutchbikes.us/sortejernhest/

American trike to build from.......(Worksman Front Loader)
https://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...frontload.html
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Old 10-26-09, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wanatrike
I have been researching utility bikes to carry my two daughters (6 and 8) and groceries/work stuff, etc.. I just want to replace the car if I can.

Would a bicycle or tricycle be better for this kind of hauling? Why?

Thanks for your help and/or opinions!
It depends. a trike is very useful on flat ground and for short distances. If you start factoring in hilly terrain then I would consider a Surly Big Dummy. Also if your kids are six and eight I would consider having them on their own bikes. Why? Hauling 60 to 90 pound kids is an awful lot of weight to start with; however, include a moderate amount of groceries in wide loaders and you may very well be in chain breakin' territory.
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Old 10-27-09, 05:55 AM
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Thanks for your input! I don't want to have them running loose on their own bikes quite yet on busy streets etc.- around the block, behind the house for fun, sure, but not for everything.

I am now checking out tandems. Schwinn makes some reasonably priced cruiser tandems that with a couple of baskets could haul a lot of stuff.

So maybe what I need to do is get a nice simple used solo bike for me when I'm not in kid-hauling mode and then the tandem decked out with baskets and an extra seat stuck somewhere on there for when we're doing the school commute, etc. Having at least one of them helping peddle would be great on a couple different levels. And as they grow I think it would be fun to do tandem rides around as well.

Your points about the "tipability" of the trikes are interesting to me. I just assumed that they would be rock solid... I am looking at the Twin Tri-Rider tandem trike but that ain't cheap and it looks like it could be real work to get that thing moving! I will look up reviews.

Thanks again!

Edited to add - my kids aren't anywhere near 60 and 90 pounds but I know at least the Yuba Mundo is rated to carry 400 pounds so I think if we went towards the utility bike route it should be possible to carry it off. Now hubby is aghast at the idea of our two girls on the back rack of a bike - even tricked out with safety measures. Does not consider it safe at all.

Last edited by wanatrike; 10-27-09 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wanatrike
Thanks for your input! I don't want to have them running loose on their own bikes quite yet on busy streets etc.- around the block, behind the house for fun, sure, but not for everything.
I understand. It probably would have frightened my parents if they knew how far away from the house I went as a young kid.
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Old 11-23-09, 08:02 PM
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I've got a Nihola trike, the thing about tipping is that you have to re-learn how to ride a bike. On a conventional 2 wheeler you are use to leaning into a turn, so much so that you don't realize you are doing it. Once on a trike, it becomes readily apparent that you should not lean into the corners. It takes a couple of turns to figure out and feels unsettling at first.

The Nihola is a great trike, drum brakes on the front and disc or v-brake on the rear, 7 speed with a weather resistant cover and built in removable seat with seatbelts.
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Old 11-24-09, 11:08 AM
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I have a utility bike which is just a touring bike with racks so that I can put panniers on it, and I also have a trailer (cycletote) which I can pull. On each trip I use whatever I think that I am going to need, from a single pannier, up to a full load with panniers and trailer. Allows me to be more efficient that way. The cycletote trailers can be reconfigured between cargo, kid, adult, or animal modes.
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Old 11-25-09, 10:06 AM
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Anyone familiar with the HPM Tri-Hauler?
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Old 11-27-09, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Elkhound
Anyone familiar with the HPM Tri-Hauler?
Personally, the pedicab-based hauler looks preferable to that thing. https://www.pedicab.com/pedicabs-peda...p-pedicab.html Not that I'd recommend it for the original poster's application. I'm thinking they had these for $2,000 or maybe $2,200 on Ebay here recently, though I don't see them now.
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Old 11-27-09, 11:16 PM
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What about some of the machines from Lightfoot Cycles or Organic Engines?
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Old 12-08-09, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Elkhound
Anyone familiar with the HPM Tri-Hauler?
i have first hand experience with this bike as i used to work for hpm's side courier business, and would regularly carry 600-800 pounds in this thing. it had a low center of gravity and never tipped on me once (i rode fast with a lot of weight), great hydraulic braking, good gearing for climbing hills with cargo. basically an awesome workhorse. if hauling cargo is your main thing, it's a great bike for it.
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Old 12-08-09, 04:37 AM
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For kids of the age described, this is what I see some Dutch parents using. One kid gets to pedal, another seat can be bolted to the top tube between the pilot and his/her steering column. 2nd kid gets footpegs. The configuration can be modified. When older kid wants her own bike, younger one moves froward into pedalling position. When the next kid moves on, eliminate the front pedalling position and bolt a plywood box to the rig to haul bags of RediMix.

I see some parents with kids in position 1 and 2, and another one in a child's seat behind the captain. Looks very Dr. Seuss-ish.
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Old 12-10-09, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Metzinger
the onderwater / ondervater lets one choose whether you want the kid pedal or a plastic box as in a flibus or bilenky cargo, have not ridden one myself though
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