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I'm Back at it: CETMA versus JoeBike

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I'm Back at it: CETMA versus JoeBike

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Old 04-30-12, 10:34 AM
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davidmcowan
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I'm Back at it: CETMA versus JoeBike

Last fall I bought a Joe Boxbike off of Craigslist that has seen a ton of use. As many of you who helped might remember, most of the cons (not great for long distances, smaller box, flexier frame, tight cockpit) have all been present though not enough to ever make me regret the decision. In the next week or so my second child will be coming into this world which has me thinking about how I will move her with her sister when she becomes "bike age".

I already have a big dummy, but really see the boxbikes getting me through the toddler years with the little ones. The problem is:

The JoeBike Box is pretty small and therefore I can't see a kid and a carseat fitting in there.

So I'm considering selling the Joe Boxbike and upgrading to a CETMA Largo.

Things that I'm on the fence about include:

Will the longer bike handle in a way that I won't like?

Will the steel, and better built frame really provide the difference I"m looking for in handling?

Is it really THAT much better for longer rides (considering the cockpit doesn't look to be much bigger, what makes it so much more comfortable?)?

Will I be able to haul a 3 year old, an infant (in a carseat) and groceries easily or will things get tight fast?

I'm really interested in anyone who has made a similar change or from CETMA owners that can talk about their bikes or other utility bike owners that have approached this challenge differently than going the CETMA route.

Me not riding my bike while she gets bigger isn't an option.

-Dave
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Old 04-30-12, 02:18 PM
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I would consider customer service as well - my experience with Joe isn't great, don't know about Lane.
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Old 04-30-12, 02:30 PM
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Xoalaska,

I already have the JoeBike, so their support is a moot point. Haven't needed much customer service from them, though he suggested Blaq Designs who made my cover and now design CETMA's covers. (I think they may have used my cover for their final prototype as I noticed an upgrade they made to mine after they sent it to me on the new CETMA covers)

Originally Posted by xoalaska View Post
I would consider customer service as well - my experience with Joe isn't great, don't know about Lane.
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Old 04-30-12, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmcowan View Post
Xoalaska,

I already have the JoeBike, so their support is a moot point. Haven't needed much customer service from them, though he suggested Blaq Designs who made my cover and now design CETMA's covers. (I think they may have used my cover for their final prototype as I noticed an upgrade they made to mine after they sent it to me on the new CETMA covers)
Sorry, next time I'll read your post!

I follow some of the mom-bike blogs and noticed it gets crowded in there fast. The general recommendation, perhaps you know this since you already "own" a child, is was 'til the neck is strong enough to support the head. So from this I can see you getting a Yepp or something for the little one, the older one perhaps ready to sit holding a set of dummy bars or in his/her own Yepp so you'd be covered wrt to kids. In a box bike I could see it getting crowded fast, particularly with all the toys and things kids require.

Of course if you'd like another bike that's a different story.

This woman is a great resource for having beta tested various things: familyride.wordpress.com
There's a blogroll of other mommy bikers there as well.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:18 AM
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I have ridden the Joe bike and I own a CETMA. The CETMA is significantly longer in the cockpit, and so can be very comfortable for long rides. On the other hand, i can see making some adjustments to the Joe bike cockpit to make it fit the way you want. Look up brompton seat post adaptors, and you can see what people have done to give their bakfietsen more roomy cockpits.
if you are handy, you can build yourself a shelf to raise the car seat above the floor of the bike. This will give extra leg room to the kid on the seat. I could fit a milk crate in my CETMA or my friend's bakfiets, but i don't think one would fit in yours.
I also often used a bugaboo stroller (top part) instead of the infant car seat for the baby. I just strapped it down with tie-downs.
I have carried both kids and groceries many times and while i often need to be creative, i have never had a problem fitting ridiculous loads in. On the CETMA, i sometimes strap some of the load to the side of the box. It might require some drilling and sewing, but you could probably rig a Xtracycle bag to the side of your Joe.
With the CETMA being significantly longer than your Joe, there is obviously a wider turning radius, but I find the CETMA to be much more stable and so it is easier to maneuver precisely.
I really like my CETMA, and I use it nearly every day, but I am pretty sure I could make a Joe bike work with two kids.
Lane is easy to work with, but he is just one guy, so don't expect instant product availability. I think he usually has a waiting list, and it is now spring, so it might be longer than other times of the year.
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Old 05-03-12, 01:15 AM
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Door #3

http://www.catoregon.org/
is another Eugene based builder ,
and teacher in the cargo & utility bike production biz.

Notably : http://hpm.catoregon.org/?page_id=70,
a version of the traditional Danish Long John, done in in 4130..

which Jan has been building for decades
[helped Lane get going, in town too, when he moved up from Cal]

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Old 05-03-12, 02:01 PM
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Before we get too far into a debate about which bakfiet would work best, I already know from extensive research that should I spend anymore money on a different bakfiets it would be the CETMA. Though, coldbike, I like some of your ideas about adaptations to the Joe to make it work. I actually have enough room in the cockpit but it does feel uncomfortable after riding awhile. I'll look at those seat posts.

I've been thinking it might be easiest to add a child seat to the rear rack and go with infant in strapped down car seat (I didn't quite understand the difference between that and the bugaboo strapped down). But I've also thought about cutting up a car seat like they have done at totcycle with the Madsen so that the baby can be strapped in but still leave space for other things.

Also, have you seen anyone else that has created bags for the side of the box? That would be really interesting and might just work!
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Old 05-05-12, 10:09 PM
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The advantage to the bugaboo top strapped in is that the baby is higher up and so is not in the legroom of the older sibling on the bench. The same as the reason for putting the baby carseat on a shelf. Putting the older kid behind you should work, but it depends on the kid and you how much the loss of conversation while riding will impact you. Depending on the age of your older child, you can consider adding a Burley Piccolo to the back of your Joe (I don't endorse the popular brand of tandem add-on).
For my side loads, I usually just wrap some webbing straps around the sides of the box. On the Joe bike I think you might need to drill holes for the straps. There are some pictures of it on my tour writeup at http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view/?trip_id=272595 If you wanted to get fancy, you could sew a sling or a bag to the straps.
I do not want to discourage you from going to the CETMA, but I like to think I am pretty thrifty, and I don't like telling people to go out and spend a pile of money.
On my flickr page, I have some pictures of various loads that are mostly piled in but occasionally strapped to, my CETMA. http://www.flickr.com/photos/coldbike/
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Old 05-06-12, 07:21 AM
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More great information!

In terms of the seat on the back of the joebox, it would be to bridge a few months while teh little one's neck gets strong enough to sit up on her own inside the box. Probably 4-5 months at most so I"m guessing I'll miss some of the interaction but not enough to need to buy a new bike to make it happen? I really need to just pull a few car seats out and see if they'll fit (with a milk crate insert of some kind) My oldest is 2.5 and not quite big enough to jump onto a piccolo just yet. (i don't think)

I like the side strap idea, you could potentially hang two small cargo nets that could hold grocery loads. What about your hard panniers? Those look great for kids as they stay "expanded" and are easily washable.

Oddly I've seen your pics a bunch of times when cruising the web for CETMA and bakfiets pics. Feels a little voyeuristic.

Thanks for the time you put into your post, I think I'm getting closer to a solution here.

-Dave

Originally Posted by coldbike View Post
The advantage to the bugaboo top strapped in is that the baby is higher up and so is not in the legroom of the older sibling on the bench. The same as the reason for putting the baby carseat on a shelf. Putting the older kid behind you should work, but it depends on the kid and you how much the loss of conversation while riding will impact you. Depending on the age of your older child, you can consider adding a Burley Piccolo to the back of your Joe (I don't endorse the popular brand of tandem add-on).
For my side loads, I usually just wrap some webbing straps around the sides of the box. On the Joe bike I think you might need to drill holes for the straps. There are some pictures of it on my tour writeup at http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view/?trip_id=272595 If you wanted to get fancy, you could sew a sling or a bag to the straps.
I do not want to discourage you from going to the CETMA, but I like to think I am pretty thrifty, and I don't like telling people to go out and spend a pile of money.
On my flickr page, I have some pictures of various loads that are mostly piled in but occasionally strapped to, my CETMA. http://www.flickr.com/photos/coldbike/
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Old 05-06-12, 10:33 AM
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The hard panniers on my bike are bike bins. If you do a google of them you can find Vik's lazy rando writeup about them. I have broken a latch on one of them, but they are still fully functional. There is a cheaper alternative called the donkey box that I would probably choose if i had to get new ones. I bought the bike bins used from a guy who got them on clearance, so they were only $50 for the set.
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