Elsewhere

In anticipation of some free money being sent to most Americans to try to shake the US economy back into fizziness, we were joking in the shop with lines like “Save the economy: buy a Chinese plasma TV” or “Rescue America: buy a Dutch bicycle!” We think the last one, while ironic, at least wouldn’t represent blowing a bigger bubble as, for instance, the “patriotic” gas-guzzler buying spree that followed 9/11, back before oil had hit $100 a barrel and sprawled-out housing valuations tanked harder than urban. Well, then we saw an incoming link from peak-oil writer and subsistence farmer Sharon Astyk, to whom we have linked once before. Item #17 in Sharon’s Economic Self-Stimulus: Ideas for One Last Financial Orgasm amounts to “get a Dutch bike.” So get busy, consumatrons!

In the comments to Sharon’s post are a couple suggestions to get an Xtracycle instead. Same difference: we love them too. I’ve said before that dollar for dollar, pound for pound, inch for inch there’s no better way to carry lots of stuff or people on a bike than with a longtail like an Xtracycle. The word continues to spread. In Portugal, at a clever new bike business called Cenas a Pedal co-founder Ana Pereira has written the most comprehensive overview of longtails I’ve seen, tying it back in the end to Dutch tweelingfietsen. I don’t read Portuguese, but Google offers an intelligible translation. Good luck, Ana!

14 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  • Ana Pereira

    Hey Todd,

    Thanks for mentioning my post and my company. :-) We at CaP dream of being some kind of CleverCycles when we grow up. ;-)

    I know Fritz, at Cyclelicious, is preparing a similar overview/comparison of longtails, with first hand experience with the production models. I can't wait! :-)

    Best regards,

    Reply
  • AC

    I am envious the Bakfietsten. Still liking my him Xtracycle, nevertheless! Thus recreation for delire the posts Portugese Google-traduzido.

    (translated from English to Portugese to French to Greek back to English by Babel Fish)

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson
    Bruce A. Wilson February 6, 2008 at 3:51 am

    I don't really know Portuguese, but I do know Spanish, Latin, and Italian, so I can make a stab at it. The translation is pretty accurate, and I think I can unscramble the few places that are not, at least to get the gist.

    Reply
  • Roger Mason

    This post begs the question: Why not a Dutch Xtracycle? Could this work? Sounds like the best of both worlds.

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson
    Bruce A. Wilson February 7, 2008 at 6:00 am

    If you mean adding an X extension to one of the normal-sized Dutch bikes (say, an Oma/Ompafeits), I don't see why not. I think that adding an X to a BakF would produce a contraption mutch too long. After all, there's probably a good reason why they don't make tandem BakF's.

    Reply
  • Ana Pereira

    Bruce, I remember Todd made the experiment: http://flickr.com/photos/cleverchimp/1405040629/

    It's a short Bakfiets, though. A long one really might be too much. A long-nose-long-tail? :-)

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson
    Bruce A. Wilson February 8, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Well, I guess that's the answer to those who want to know if you can put a Stokemonkey on a Bak--yes, if you X it first. (Not, necessarily that it would be a good idea.)

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    I'd like to modify the rack to accept a Burley Piccolo. My kids are getting big now and I need to harness some additional pedal power to keep this thing moving...

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson

    Do they make tandem baks? I've never seen one, or even a picture of one, but there are a lot of things I've never seen.

    Reply
  • Todd (admin)

    Scott, it's been tried with an Adams trail-a-bike. The handling really, really sucked. I know that the Piccolo is a better product in this class, but i wouldn't expect the handling to be night-and-day better. KidzTandem? http://www.kidztandem.com/tandems.htm. We have one at the shop at the moment if you want to give it a shot. Note also that the gearing of your older bakfiets isn't as low or wide as those we've sold; you're definitely going to feel the hurt on hills more.

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    Todd,

    My experience has been that the handling differences between an Adams trail-a-bike and a Burley Piccolo are significantly different. It's like comparing a Bakfiets to a HPM Long Haul. I would still like to modify the bakfiets rack to accept the Piccolo hitch. If nothing else, just to see how it works. :0)

    Kid's tandem is nice, but unless I can have the carrying capacity of this one
    http://www.kidztandem.com/images/LOGOBROWNC3.jpg It doesn't serve a different need than the tandems we already own.

    Oh, and your point about the gear range on the older bakfiets I have been riding is well taken.

    Scott

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson

    I just stumbled across this:

    http://www.ripon.edu/velorution/index.html

    Let's hope that the idea catches on at other colleges. One thing that I see that I would change about it is that the bikes the kids get have no racks; surely it wouldn't cost that much more to add some racks for bags and panniers.

    Todd, have you considered getting into such a program with one of the Portland-area schools?

    Reply
  • Devin Quince

    I am getting my xtracycle tonight!

    Reply
  • Bruce Alan Wilson
    Bruce Alan Wilson February 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Congradulations, Devin. Details?

    Reply
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