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Box bike frameset

Old 10-27-19, 11:29 AM
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neilfein
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Box bike frameset

I'm pulling two kindergarteners on a trailer behind a mountain bike daily, and it's been great! The trailer - a Burley - has a maximum weight capacity of 100 pounds, and I'm pushing 70 pounds ATM. Kids have a habit of growing, and while I hope I can keep going until summer 2020, it's time to look at options for the future:
  • Keep one kid in the trailer and put the other on a trail-a-bike. Easy, but I need to mount the trailer on the trail-a-bike axle. Seems like it'd work... for a while.
  • Get a double trail-a-bike, ditch the trailer.
  • Get a box bike with enough weight capacity. The gearing on these things is generally terrible (I live in a hilly part of town) but this seems like an elegant solution. The posture on these seems much more upright than I want - I prefer riding more forward, like on a mountain bike.

I'm definitely leaning towards getting a box bike, but I'm wondering if I can get a frameset and build it up myself. I could get just the gearing I want that way.

Does anyone sell framesets for box bikes? Or am I better off buying a box bike and customizing it?

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-19, 11:46 AM
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I assume you're meaning a cargo bike of some sort.
Yubas have been out for a while and pop up used from time to time. I'm kicking myself when I didn't snag one for about $300 a couple of years ago.

Bike Friday may be able to sell a bare Haul-a-Day frame, although you'll still have to deal with the wheels.

Custom built?
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Old 10-27-19, 11:59 AM
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Kindergarten? So, 5 or 6 by next year?

I would certainly look at the Weehoo tandem, especially if you can find a used one, but it may not fit your needs for long.

There are regular triple tandems, that if done right could expand with the kids needs. They can even get couplers.

I think the Bike Friday Tandem will naturally fit people of all sizes, but I think only a 2 seat version.

Co-Motion in Eugene makes custom Triples. Probably not cheap, but worth exploring. You could probably get S&S couplers to haul around easier.

Man, this would have been a steal, even if not the classiest ride.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MICARGI-Tri...-/333355188562



But, if you are giving yourself, say 6 months, keep your eyes open and something better might pop up.

No matter your solution, by age 8 or so, you may well have the kids riding on their own bikes with you in traffic, if not sooner.
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Old 10-27-19, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I assume you're meaning a cargo bike of some sort.
Yubas have been out for a while and pop up used from time to time.
Yeah, a cargo bike. The Yuba Supermarché looks like it'd be good for me!

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Bike Friday may be able to sell a bare Haul-a-Day frame, although you'll still have to deal with the wheels.
I actually ride a Bike Friday Tikit - I pull the trailer with it occasionally. Small wheels aren't an issue for me. But the haul-a-day isn't quite what I'm looking for. I'm a musician and a box bike looks like it'd haul a lot of guitars and/or small PA speakers.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Custom built?
If I can't find what I'm looking for, sure. Funny you should mention; I was watching framebuilder videos on Youtube last night - fun but probably beyond what I want to do on my own.
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Old 10-27-19, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Kindergarten? So, 5 or 6 by next year?.
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
But, if you are giving yourself, say 6 months, keep your eyes open and something better might pop up..
Yeah, 6. And a box bike seems like I'd get a lot of use out of when the kids outgrow this. This is why a tandem or a trail-a-bike aren't my favorite options, despite being cheaper.
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Old 10-27-19, 01:48 PM
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Some of the front loading cargo bikes are really nice.

I know a local guy that built one, then put a board down the middle of the cargo box to give the two kids a rail to ride on, similar to what they wold have in the back, but lower and up front.

As far as I know, he really liked it. I don't have his contact info, but know where he can be found (at least a year ago).
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Old 10-27-19, 01:50 PM
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Ahhh... Here you go!!!!

https://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik...999884807.html




Is that single speed? You might need to work on the gearing a little bit.

Cushions? Fiberglass repair?
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Old 10-27-19, 02:35 PM
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We already had a tandem. My twins fought in the bike trailer and my 5yo can pedal, so right now I put the smaller girl twin in a kid seat on the tandem (or in same on Mom’s bike if present) and pull the twin boy in the trailer while the 5yo sits in the stoker position with “kidback” pedals
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Old 10-27-19, 03:21 PM
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Cetma sells a frameset for a box bike so you can build up yourself. The geometry is much more "aggressive" than a dutch style bakfiets or Urban Arrow, but not as sporty as a Bullitt.
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Old 10-30-19, 12:36 PM
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As a fellow parent of a kindergartner, I think you've missed the box bike phase. At our school pickup and dropoff, the only kids in enclosed bike trailers are pre-schoolers. I can't see a kid much older than 5 wanting to ride in a box bike, either. We have a Weehoo Turbo and a tandem that fits my 5yo. For you, a tandem trail-a-bike or a triplet might be nice for this phase. It won't be long before they'll want to ride their own single bikes to school.
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Old 10-31-19, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
As a fellow parent of a kindergartner, I think you've missed the box bike phase.
I think we have another year or so until the kids will want to stop riding, but planning ahead is good. I'll always have a need to haul stuff around town even when the kids are riding on their own.

A box bike has a huge cool factor, but a flatbed cargo trailer and an xtracycle or two would work be much less expensive.
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