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Thread: Let's talk about Box, baby!

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    dasgeh's Avatar
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    Default Let's talk about Box, baby!

    Dear bike shop owner

    When a person calls you, having done a lot of research (including test rides) about a specific type of bike, of which you have little to no knowledge, but looking into the possibility of having your shop add on to that bike in a way that you are supposedly expert, don't disparage that type of bike in favor of complete bike builds you have in store. I was never going to buy the type of bike you stock, and now I'm not going to have you work on the bike I do buy. Or the other bike that I need to have fixed in the way you are supposedly expert.

    (I know, not a missed connection, but a truly annoying experience).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Dear bike shop owner

    When a person calls you, having done a lot of research (including test rides) about a specific type of bike, of which you have little to no knowledge, but looking into the possibility of having your shop add on to that bike in a way that you are supposedly expert, don't disparage that type of bike in favor of complete bike builds you have in store. I was never going to buy the type of bike you stock, and now I'm not going to have you work on the bike I do buy. Or the other bike that I need to have fixed in the way you are supposedly expert.

    (I know, not a missed connection, but a truly annoying experience).
    You mean like switching out components or adding a rack or something along those lines? Can you give us a hint on which local shop this would be??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    You mean like switching out components or adding a rack or something along those lines? Can you give us a hint on which local shop this would be??
    It was adding e-assist to a bakfiets. There's only one local shop that does e-assist, that I know of, so that should be a good hint.

    On the topic of bakfiets, if anyone is seriously interested, the closest bike shop that carries them (in Brooklyn) is going to put in an order soon for delivery end of May/beginning of June. Having done a lot of research, this is the cheapest you can get a box bike (even with delivery). Combining delivery might save some $$. PM me.

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    Also on the topic of bakfiets! The Daily Rider on H Street stocks the Larry v. Harry Bullit and the Gazelle Cabby. And last I checked BicycleSPACE near the convention center has a couple of Christiana Trikes (and maybe another brand of bakfiets?).

    And installing the electrics shouldn't be too difficult. Though I suppose a front hub-motor would need a longer run for the power and throttle connections. Mind if I ask what kind of build you're looking at? I've been pining over an electric Metrofiets for a long while now.

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    We're almost definitely going with this: http://rollingorangebikes.com/cargobikes/bakfiets-nl/

    I should call Daily Rider, though. I had heard they have box bikes, but they are silent about them on their website. Does anyone know how much they're selling for? At Rolling Orange the regular bakfiets is $2050 and the eassist is $3700. Even with shipping, that's significantly cheaper than I've seen other box bikes. Plus, bakfiets builds thousands of bikes per year for the Netherlands, so the quality is well know (and respected). And certified for use with kids.

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    I wish I knew how to move these posts into their own thread under the family biking section...

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    I'm not sure what the Daily Rider is selling it's models for, but based on their prices for other stuff I suspect they're comparable.

    Rolling Orange looks like a great dealer and their Bakfiets.nl offering seems like a nice turn-key solution. Though when the battery conks in a couple of years it would probably be much more cost effective to replace it with an off brand battery from a vendor like Ping. A 24 Volt 10 Amp replacement would only set you back about $200, compared to the $500-700 I've seen for stock replacements.

    Congrats on the decision! I'm envious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 83(b) View Post
    I'm not sure what the Daily Rider is selling it's models for, but based on their prices for other stuff I suspect they're comparable.

    Rolling Orange looks like a great dealer and their Bakfiets.nl offering seems like a nice turn-key solution. Though when the battery conks in a couple of years it would probably be much more cost effective to replace it with an off brand battery from a vendor like Ping. A 24 Volt 10 Amp replacement would only set you back about $200, compared to the $500-700 I've seen for stock replacements.
    Hey all, thought I'd pitch in with some answers where I could.

    BicycleSPACE stocks the Boxcycles Christiania, a cargo trike, which retails for around $2,700
    The Daily Rider stocks the Gazelle Cabby--a lighter-weight bike in the Boxbike style--and I believe the price point is $2,700 - $2,800

    Daily Rider also stocks the Larry vs. Harry Bullitt. The Bullitt is becoming a very popular boxbike in the U.S. because it is built on an aluminum frame and is therefore both lighter and faster than a traditional, wood-and-steel Dutch boxbike. They are also compatible with the BionX electric pedal-assist system. The Hum of the City family in San Francisco (Humofthecity.com) went on a cargo bike-seeking odyssey last year after selling their minivan, and after weeks of exhaustive testing, they settles on an electric-assist Bullitt to carry their two kids plus groceries up and down the hills of San Francisco. There are two downsides: (1), Larry vs. Harry is expensive (buying just the platform, no box or cover or anything, will get you close to the cost of a complete Bakfiets), and (2) they are built modularly, which means you'd have to order a box and raincover for your kids separately or have them custom built. Finally, they are built for taller people--starting at 5'6" or so. I tried riding one last year at the ABC's of Family Biking and just could. not. do. it. because the top tube standover height is several inches higher than my inseam (owie). All that being said, if you're not too short and are in the market for a true car replacement--and are budgeting accordingly--Lvs.H is a GREAT way to go and is really picking up steam among American cargo biking families.

    The Daily Rider, along with the local Larry vs. Harry distributor (who is a total sweetheart!) will be exhibiting at The ABC's of Family Biking on 4/28.

    FINALLY, Rolling Orange stocks one more bike that I really think you should take a look at, dasgeh and others: http://rollingorangebikes.com/urban-arrow-cargo-bike/ The Urban Arrow is the latest entry in the "modern electric boxbike" category and has been generating a lot of excitement among the American family biking community. Dena, who leads the growing Philadelphia Kidical Mass ride, just recently acquired an Urban Arrow and LOVES it (http://bikemamadelphia.blogspot.com/, Twitter @lachute). As does her toddler son, who apparently has been known to climb into the box an hour early just because he wants to ride it so much. :-) I haven't tried one in person, but looking at pictures, it appears to be more friendly to the vertically-challenged of us (ahem) than some of the other boxbike options.

    I hope this helps! I'm looking forward to hearing how your choice goes. Are you planning to come to the ABC's of Family Biking next week? There will be Larry vs. Harry, Gazelle Cabby (hopefully), and I believe also a CETMA boxbike.

    Good luck!

    Megan

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    I've done a lot of research about this, and here's what I've come up with:

    Locally: (Bike shop - bike (notes) - price)
    Daily Rider - Gazelle Cabby - $2800
    Daily Rider - Bullitt (coaster brake in the rear, disk in front, unsure whether the box is included) - $3200
    Daily Rider - Bullitt (disk in front & back, unsure whether the box is included) - $3600
    Daily Rider - Babboe City-E - $4200
    Daily Rider - Babboe City - $2500
    Green Commuter - cetma (21 spd w mechanical disk brakes, no box)** - ~$3000
    BicycleSpace - Christiania CB 2 Wheeler - ?

    Green Commuter can convert bikes to e-assist, starting at $1450 ($1200 for kit + $250 for labor)

    Not local -- add shipping. (So far the only firm price I've heard is $800 to get a box bike from NY to CA, but that's a good starting point)
    Rolling Orange - Bakfiets wo e-assist - $2050
    Rolling Orange - Bakfiets w e-assist - $3750
    Rolling Orange - Gazelle Cabby - $2850
    Rolling Orange - Urban Arrow w e-assist and NuVinci - $4650
    Metrofiets - Basic e-assist (no upgrades) - $6200
    Clevercycles - bakfiets wo e-assist with NuVinci- $3410
    Clevercycles - cetma (no box) - $1850
    Clevercycles - Gazelle Cabby - $2800
    Tom's Cargo Bikes - Custom - $??? [Thanks jopamora]
    JC Lind (Chicago) - Winther Wallaroo - $2750
    JC Lind (Chicago) - Workcycles bakfiets - $3200
    Dutch Bike Co (Chicago or Seattle) - bakfiets wo e-assist - $3000
    Splendid Cycles - Bullitts:lots of options - $3000 - $4500 (basic ebike) - $6000
    Adeline Adeline - bakfiets wo e-assist - $3200


    A few notes:
    -- I'm specifically looking for a box bike - there are other options that might be great for others, but I'm only looking at 2 wheelers that have a box-like thing in front
    -- I'll add to this as I find other things. If you have a suggestion, please let me know and I'll add.
    **Note: the owner of Green Commuter described the cetma differently than what I can find on the web, so it might be a different bike.


    If you have other/more info, please let me know. I'm happy to keep updating this (check below for last update).

    Thanks
    Gillian
    Last edited by dasgeh; 04-22-2013 at 05:09 PM.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
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    Thanks, Meganomics. That's a lot of great information! The Urban Arrow looks drool worthy. I'm just not convinced NuVinci and drool-worthiness is worth $900 (those seem to be the differences between the bakfiets e-assist and the U.A.). I'm going to try to make the ABCs, but I'll be alone with both kids, coming straight from church, so no promises. We have a Weehoo if you need one to display. I can't get it there, so we'd have to arrange that.

    83(b) - thanks for the tip. If you have more info and cheaper e-conversions, I'm all ears. Unfortunately, we're not going to do the work ourselves, so we'd need to have it installed. I'm not the biggest fan of the G.C. at this point, though I can't speak for their work on e-conversions.

    I put all my research up there. As you can see, the rollingorange e-Bakfiets comes in at less than $4550 (depending on shipping; it'll probably be less). It might be possible to install an e-assist on a cargo bike locally for a little less, but probably not. Plus, I know and trust the Bakfiets brand for moving little ones around.

    That's where I am now. I welcome thoughts, though.
    Last edited by dasgeh; 04-17-2013 at 01:49 PM. Reason: separating things out.

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