The fat bike in winter. And, Stokemonkey powers cargo bikes again

20120901-202339.jpgFat bikes have tires wider than you’d see on your average mountain bike. Given the amount of snow covering roads around my house, I’ve been paying more attention to them and marveling that the audience for such bicycles isn’t especially weight conscious or poor, given that the average fat bike weighs 32.7 pounds and costs $2,200. (Singletracks)

Small-wheeled bicycles are nothing new. Here’s the best picture I’ve ever seen of Mr. C.H. Clark’s bicycle, which was featured in a 1919 issue of Scientific American. Just guessing, but I’d say the short wheelbase would make it difficult to keep this design traveling in a straight line. Turning the front wheel would also be challenging given the sideways arc of the long handlebar stem between the rider’s legs. Still, wouldn’t it be cool to find this bike in somebody’s attic? Here’s a bit more information. (Scientific American)

One of the challenges of a folding bicycle is moving it around after it’s been folded. The Bike Friday tikit rolls on its front wheel. Brompton provides additional skateboard-sized wheels—four of them if your bike has a rear rack. Tern also has a rear rack-and-wheels solution, one that allows the owner to trail the bike behind like a suitcase on rollers.

And now Tern’s Trolley Rack–and the bicycle attached to it–is an award winner. “Urban transport specialist Tern, together with bike accessory sister brand BioLogic, today announced that the Swoop Duo bicycle, Link with Trolley Rack and BioLogic FixKit have all been awarded 2014 Taipei Cycle Design & Innovation (d&i) Awards.” (International News)

Electric bicycles are getting plenty of press, but they’re still pretty thin on the ground in central Illinois. I mean, it’s not like I live in China. Still, I like reading about them. I enjoyed my brief time with the Trek Transport+, I’d love to have an electric Brompton from NYCeWheels, and I’m still interested in whether Faraday–with one of the most attractive full-size electric bike designs–ends up being a viable company.

I’m also a sucker for this year’s electric comeback story: a cargo bike-dedicated motor that deserves to succeed simply because of its name: Stokemonkey. According to Clever Cycles in Portland, Oregon, “We are again selling Stokemonkey installed on complete bikes that we sell locally or ship. These include Xtracycle’s Edgerunner and now Yuba’s Mundo, together with Surly’s Big Dummy.”

Interested in electric-powered cargo bikes? Give the Stokemonkey story a read. I especially like the philosophy behind the product: “We don’t believe in replacing human power with electricity; we believe in replacing cars for work that even the strongest cyclists seldom if ever choose to handle without a car.”

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About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
This entry was posted in Other bicycles, Tern Bicycles, Weekly Linker and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The fat bike in winter. And, Stokemonkey powers cargo bikes again

  1. Glenn says:

    The Stokemonkey would be even better with a step-through frame if you’re going to have a child inches from your saddle. Top tube makes for awkward mount/dismount if you can’t swing your leg behind you.

    • Agreed. It has to be a challenge for cargo bike designers to balance stand over height with frame rigidity, whether using auxiliary power or not. I think that’s one reason cargo bikes are so interesting–there are so many different approaches.

  2. Thierry says:

    Just saying, it’s always a pleasure to read your blog, keep posting :)

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