Three cycling products that make me laugh but shouldn’t

bike-hod-shot-on-website

The Bike-Hod bicycle trailer

Cost: £299 from Bike Hod website.

I spotted this product a couple of years ago when it was recommended by Andy who left a comment on the blog:

“When I was at college I carried my ‘cello around using the Bike-Hod. It’s coped with 24 bottles of champagne (and 12 litres of orange juice). I’ve used a Bikehod for 30 years – it’s a similar idea to the Burley Travoy without being either so complicated or ugly.”

The Bike-Hod makes me chuckle because it reminds me of what grannies in Greece would use when they would head down to the market to buy fresh food.

However, I really shouldn’t be laughing as The Bike-Hod efficiently solves the problem of carrying your shopping from the supermarket to your house. In fact, it’s value is even recognised by Waitrose who own a number of them that are available for cyclists to borrow to get their shopping home.

Ridekick

Cost: $699 from Ridekick Website

I can’t imagine riding around London with the Ridekick attached to the back of my bike as I’d feel like I was being followed by a little scary robot. Plus, without a flag on there I’m pretty sure someone would drive over it.

However, on that final hill climb home with a load of shopping in my bag and in the trailer, I’m sure I’d love the extra speed the Ridekick could give me.

taga-bike

Taga Bikes

Cost: £1400 – currently sold out

The Taga is a two in one solution combining a bicycle and pushchair. The cheesy product shots are not the only reason this product makes me laugh. It’s also the idea of riding around with a child in tow. That’s because it’s something I’m just not accustomed to seeing around London. However, in other countries where bicycle use has become more of an everyday occurrence this is common place.

Which of the above products would you find most useful?

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22 Responses to Three cycling products that make me laugh but shouldn’t

  1. Tim 09/05/2012 at 8:32 am #

    Someone at our nursery uses the Taga, although it seems a fussy way to do things. We used a Croozer trailer (costs around £400) which sits two, and quickly converts to a pushchair, leaving you not having to buy a new bike. Otherwise, to get two children around, you can just buy front and back child seats (we paid £185 for two seats).

    The most practical thing I think I’ve seen is something like the Workcycles bike, which can take two or three children in a variety of configurations, plus shopping, and is a step-through frame.

    • Andreas 09/05/2012 at 9:42 am #

      The Croozer looks good Tim. Thanks for the heads up on these products – will be useful for any readers who are parents and looking in to the same thing.

    • Alan Moore 09/05/2012 at 12:19 pm #

      I also want a Workcycles FR8! Once the kids have got off the child seats, you can still use the carrying capacity for shopping, picnics, drunk friends..

  2. Peter 09/05/2012 at 9:15 am #

    The other day I saw a lady on her bike, whilst “walking” her dog. Upon closer inspection, I could see she had fixed some kind of mount to the frame, whereby a metal bar extended about a metre to the left, and there a lead was attached. It seemed to work well but I could see it go terribly wrong if the dog suddenly got too close to the wheels. It looked ridiculous too.

    • Andreas 09/05/2012 at 9:59 am #

      Haha good way for the dog to get its exercise as long as it stays away from the wheels! I’ll never forget walking around Vilnius in Lithuania and someone was walking their pet ferret. One of those where you have to do a double then triple take.

    • Barton 09/05/2012 at 1:51 pm #

      There is actually a dog biking contraption that keeps the tension such that if the dog tries to run for a squirrel it won’t jerk you off the bike with it. You can find it at http://www.thedogoutdoors.com. A friend who has a Deerhound has this: she cannot run fast enough to get the dog exercised properly and lives in an area where the dog cannot run free (of course, she is so short that the dog’s shoulders are way above her top tube when she bikes, it’s quite funny to behold).

      • Andreas 09/05/2012 at 4:24 pm #

        Truly amazing what people have come up with!

  3. Andrew Ebling 09/05/2012 at 10:00 am #

    Anyone else think the child in the front of the Taga looks in a rather vulnerable position? Cyclists can and do crash into things and go over the handlebars.

    I think a child seat behind the saddle on a conventional bike is much safer.

    • Tim 10/05/2012 at 11:26 am #

      I have to disagree. You never get up to much speed with a child on board, and they get belted in anyway. The real joy of having them in front like that is that you can talk to them so easily.

    • debencyclist 11/05/2012 at 11:18 am #

      Agree with Tim on this. I never had a child seat on the back of my bike due to the number of friends who fell over using them. We had a Trailgator from when my daughter was about 4. Its a metal tow bar and you attach the kids bike to your own and pull them along. Better than a tagalong because when you get where you’re going you can detatch kiddie and let them do their own thing. The Taga looks good but very expensive for something you’d probably only use for a couple of years.

  4. Alan Moore 09/05/2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Also re the Taga – it seems rather an over-engineered and therefore expensive solution for, what, 2-3 years of use?

    By the time the child is the age of the one in the picture, it can sit in a saddle. So use a Leco top tube seat. My daughter loves it, so does my neighbour’s – it’s just like riding Daddy’s bike.

  5. Barton 09/05/2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I totally want one of those Bike Hods! When I go to the farmer’s market, to pick up my CSA/veg box, or just to the grocery store itself, I have to consider weight load, balance and capacity on my panniers. And invariably, even though I know I can get the equivalent of one sack of groceries in each pannier (assuming I have thought ahead and brought two), I always buy too much, or have to forgo the gorgeous flowers b/c they’ll be crushed. Of course, with something with seemingly loads of capacity, I will still overbuy and then never be able to get over the river bluff from the market to my house.

    • Barton 09/05/2012 at 2:02 pm #

      And now I just looked at the price. I could get a burley that could do multiple things (including carry the senior family pet who likes to go riding, as well as the little cousins) for that cost.

  6. Phil 09/05/2012 at 2:28 pm #

    They all seem rather expenisve for what looks like a few bolts and some welding togther to form a trolly in the case of the first two. The ridekck from the photo doesnt look like it holds much more than i fit into my backpack. I dont think i would be able to justify the cost for the number times i,ve needed to cart 2dozen bottles of champagne back with me.

    Interesting none the less though.

  7. KM 09/05/2012 at 7:20 pm #

    That other country “where bicycle use has become more of an everyday occurrence” is called Chiswick: so many parents with so many kids on bikes.

  8. Amoeba 09/05/2012 at 11:10 pm #

    I have a Carry-Freedom Y-frame large.
    For flexibility, I opted for a flat-bed, to which I can add various crates for shopping, or lugging stuff to the dump [lumps of concrete from fence posts, scrap iron, wood & junk etc.]; a bike carrier, when I need to transport a bike; or a 77 x 54 cm placard and cow bell when I went on the Big Ride [44 miles round trip]; bags of compost; bags of concrete; fence posts and timber up to 3.6 metres long* [just a bit too long]; toolboxes when I need etc.
    *Note: I also have an extension arm for longer loads.
    I would find a trailer with a fixed box far too limiting and inflexible.
    If I need a waterproof container, I’ll just bolt one on.

    I wouldn’t like to put a Cello on it though! I suspect the ride might be a little rough.

    In my experience all the trailers I’ve encountered so-far are NOT road legal as regards lighting and reflectors. I don’t know about the examples above. I have bolted on additional reflectors, brackets and lights, so I can tow legally and safely at night etc.
    http://www.camcycle.org.uk/resources/lights/

  9. Charles 10/05/2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Am I my on my own here or do people yes especially in Chiswick simply have too much money to throw away ?

    300 quid on a glorified cut down shopping basket and 700 bucks on the ridekick is insane !

    Agree with the previous poster £30 child seat on top tube is safer and cheaper solution than the expensive Taga

  10. Tom 11/05/2012 at 10:22 am #

    There is a lady around here that uses what seems like a butchers bike with a big bucket low down on the front that her kid sits in, I think it’s so dangerous looking, especially as she seems to shun the cycle paths for the road.

    I just don’t think I’d want my kid as my crumple zone and definitely not at that price!

  11. Goonz 11/05/2012 at 11:17 am #

    Tom I echo your concerns and whilst the Taga is a good but costly idea, I would not want my child as my bumper!

    Perhaps suitable for nice rides in a park but at £1400 can’t justify buying that!

  12. Andy 11/05/2012 at 10:24 pm #

    Still using that Bike-Hod, although it cost me something like £70, 30 years ago. Still carrying up to 24 bottles of champagne at a time (I’m a wine merchant). I’ve been through 3 estate cars in that time (slightly higher mileage tho’). It’s not a ‘cut down’ anything although I would agree that the mudguards do glorify things somewhat. As to kiddy carrying, you need your head tested if you’re prepared to put a toddler on the crossbar between your legs. We have a Chariot Captain – now on it’s second occupant in ten years (although friends have borrowed it between times so it’s been in continuous use). Worth more now second hand than the price we paid new (they’re about £1000 new today). Still the ONLY brand of child carrier on the market to be crash tested against a car at 30 mph (by those ‘elf & safety crazy Canucks). If you want to get really flash twice a year, you can even put skis on it… What are your offspring worth?
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-Leco-Tube-Child-Black/dp/B002ANCDV4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336771414&sr=8-1
    or:
    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/chariot-captain-xl-trailer-cts4-trailer-only-prod15260/

    • Andreas 12/05/2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks for coming back Andy to post on the blog! Really pleased to hear you are a long time reader and thanks for leaving that comment all that time ago – was interested to come across the Bike-Hod – a way better solution than the one I’d spotted :)

  13. tom 18/07/2012 at 11:42 am #

    Did anyone heard about child trailer that can be connected to boris bikes?

    Bike hod with child seat would be ideal as it seem you don’t need to add anything permanent to your bike.

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