Utility bike life changing stories…

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  • Utility bike life changing stories…
  • Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    The xrtacycle hasnt, in itself, been life changing. However I do use it fairly regularly when the weather is nice to take the kids to school, although Jr #1 is big enough now to cycle on his own, so the extra frame isnt necessary.

    Of far greater impact though was getting the Croozer trailer.

    Both Mrs S and I ride a lot and are big outdoors fans so on the arrival of Jr #1 it was fantastic to be able to still do the exploring we love both on holiday and at home. Especially when we spend up to 4wks at a time away in the campervan in France.

    This was our first one. It was stolen in France two years ago and so I replaced it straight away for Jr #2. He’s now outgrown it and it’s now moved on to another STWer who I hope he and little’un get as much use out of it as we did.

    [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Rw0qqK_dE0E/TgjnsMOIAYI/AAAAAAAAAA0/oRUigRG-pq0/s400/IMAG0032a.JPG[/img][img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r9h3OP13G7E/TgjnxmgM7wI/AAAAAAAAABg/6zRIWQSkW44/s400/IMAG0237.jpg[/img]

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Thanks Stoner… that’s another bit of kit to consider now!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    mrblobby – I think “life changing” was mentioned on my thread about shopping by bike – http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/shopping-by-bike.
    He’s still taking sign ups, so sign up, then you’ll have to get something πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Thanks DezB shall check that out. Like most though, I’d be worried about leaving, say, a couple of grands worth of Surly chained up outside my local supermarket!

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Been reading a lot about utility bikes (Big Dummy, xtracycle, that sort of thing) as been looking for something to carry kids and cargo. A few people have mentioned that they are life changing.

    So what adventures/experiences have you had with yours? How has it changed your life? Pictures a bonus. As are adventures involving your kids.

    Convince me that I need yet another bike πŸ™‚

    29erKeith
    Member

    I can confirm Stoners old Croozer’s in almost daily use, Hi Mark.
    Three days a week I take my 10month old to Nursery and back on the back of my CDF which has a rack and pair of Ortliebs too for work kit and shopping. 4.5miles with the trailer and then 2.5 on top to work, I leave the trailer in the nursery garage during the day.

    It also gets used for walks\runs round the village and the forest on the other days too.
    I really do try to not use the car unless I can help it.

    I’ve got one of those cheap Bob copies too which I use for large bits that wont go in my panniers. I’ve pick up a few odd bits ranging from 25kg compost bag from the local garden centre and a new stroller buggy.

    The bigger and odder the better (provided it’s safe and road worthy), I like the challenge. By the looks of it I’m not the only one with that attitude by the looks of the photo’s on the other thread.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Before the Ute I used a trailer. Even through the worst of the Winter we’d tuck them in with blankets etc. Quite often one or both of them would be fast asleep when we got home…


    IMG_6524 by pten2106, on Flickr

    I’m lucky enough to have been involved a part of their day to day lives that other Dads/Mums dont. My job is 5 mins away. I’ve never been an avid chaser of the dollar so in weighing up what was important, the ability to do things like the school run etc, won out. Bikes are massive part of my life, I’m never happier than when I’m on two wheels, rain or shine. The Wife, sadly, doesnt share my passion but my lads seem to. If you’ve young kids, & it can fit in with your lives, then things like trailers, cargo-bikes etc, just make everyday mundane chores another opportunity to have a bit of fun.

    theflatboy
    Member

    FWIW, I use my Pomp constantly for shopping trips – weekly shop with two panniers, trips to all sorts of different retailers for bits and pieces. I have no problem leaving it locked outside different places and don’t really worry about it too much. I never leave it for that long, no problems so far.

    Can carry a huge amount of stuff on it, can only imagine the possibilities with a Big Dummy or similar!

    Babyjack
    Member

    School run on my big dummy everyday. My boys (5&2 yrs old) absolutely love it.
    Yesterday I loaded it up with;
    Two kids,two school bags,a massive lock, 4 carrier bags of food, a scooter and a balance bike.
    If the family go on a big ride, and the boys get tired, I just throw their bikes in the panniers and they jump on the back of the dummy . Not”life changing” but a fantastic way of getting around.

    cbike
    Member

    I’m thinking our new Tandem is about to be pretty life changing for my GF. Mobility and a bit of fitness. It’s not even here yet and she is already floating about 10 feet of the floor.

    And I can get the shopping on it!

    yunki
    Member

    Here’s the old wagon (trailer has been upgraded now as the boys got too heavy for my recycling centre trailer)

    I’m a stay at home Dad and we’re a one car family, so whilst Mrs yunki is at work, this is our sole means of transport during the day..

    The only drawback I have discovered is the fighting that can break out when one or the other is crabby, which was ingeniously solved by a mate the other day, who suggested a heavy duty cardboard partition akin to the West Bank in Gaza..

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Thanks all.

    I’m lucky enough to have been involved a part of their day to day lives that other Dads/Mums dont. My job is 5 mins away. I’ve never been an avid chaser of the dollar so in weighing up what was important, the ability to do things like the school run etc, won out. Bikes are massive part of my life, I’m never happier than when I’m on two wheels, rain or shine. The Wife, sadly, doesnt share my passion but my lads seem to. If you’ve young kids, & it can fit in with your lives, then things like trailers, cargo-bikes etc, just make everyday mundane chores another opportunity to have a bit of fun.

    Takisawa2, thanks for that πŸ™‚ Just about sums up my situation too, though luckily the wife also enjoys time on the bike. Took the nipper to nursery today on the back of the bike, was great, just an opportunity to mess about on a bike and have some fun.

    If the family go on a big ride, and the boys get tired, I just throw their bikes in the panniers and they jump on the back of the dummy . Not”life changing” but a fantastic way of getting around.

    Babyjack, thanks, this may have sold me on one!

    Big dummy is increasingly tempting.

    29erKeith
    Member

    We’re a one car family too and my wife’s usually got it, which is fine by me, although she said she might ride to work tomorrow 😯 8) 4 miles of gravel track through the new forest from one village to another, why wouldn’t you?

    he usually sleeps about half of the time in the trailer at the moment

    we had nice morning the other day where we went to see the great grandparents and a trip to the library while my wife was at work

    lightman
    Member

    Ive got a Yuba Mundo Version1.
    I did a short tour up north last year, which is the reason I bought it for because I wanted a bike that would be almost impossible to break on tour no matter what shitty road/path I went along!

    Nightmare path from Glen Lyon to Loch Rannoch.

    Was kinda worth it though, Loch Rannoch.

    When not touring, it is in (80kg or 100kg) training bike mode!

    And over winter, it is in wood collecting mode.

    While I wouldn’t say its changed my life, it has certainly made it easier now I no longer have a vehicle.

    Lots of people use Mundo’s etc for wheeling their kids about ~

    Loads more pics.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Babies sleeping in trailer pics make me smile πŸ™‚

    theflatboy
    Member

    Sadly my wife can’t cycle due to a knee problem, so all this talk of family outings by bike make me very jealous. However, you can get a handcycle adaptation for the front of these:

    which we are very tempted by!

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Reading this thread I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t have an utility bike / trailer πŸ™‚

    d45yth
    Member

    I’m very jealous of folk who use these type of bikes on a regular basis.

    Reading this thread I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t have an utility bike / trailer

    Too much wet weather and bad/narrow roads?

    29erKeith
    Member

    lightman/anyone else, what’s that baby seat on the front of the Mundo?

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    lightman/anyone else, what’s that baby seat on the front of the Mundo?

    Looks a bit like one of these.

    29erKeith
    Member

    cheers, I like the look of that
    not so in the way of your knees as some

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    Lightman

    What was so nightmare-ish about the Glen Lyin to Rannoch path?

    And dear lord, how much gear did you take? When you say short, do you mean several months? πŸ˜€

    Cheers

    Sanny

    PS Trailers rock. I don’t have a utility bike but my Salsa Fargo ticks all the right boxes for me and has been brilliant for carting my little one around.

    T1000
    Member

    good thread! used to use a butchers bike for work as an electrician on a RAF station and carried tool boxes etc and an industrial Bain Marie once in the front…. now I’d question doing that guess I’ve become conditioned to the infernal combustion engine…..

    now that we have another little person on the way and for once I can work from home I’ll have to look at the whole trailer / utility thing….

    DrP
    Member

    I’m hankering for a cargo bike atm, but finances on hold for the present…
    However, I can absolutely preach the virtues of a decent trailer set up for kids/cargo!
    We got our when Little’un was born, and was used almost daily for the first 18mths of his life (cycle to nursery come rain, shine, or snow!), and now is used less, but still invaluable!

    Has carried him, friends, cousins, bikes, tents, food etc etc!

    Yes, it’s a lot more ‘faff’ than a cargo bike, and probably can’t carry as much, but for a tiddler it’s a really comfy, weatherproof solution.

    DrP

    huws
    Member

    cheap Bob copies

    Any info on these? I’m in need something for allotment duties.

    Premier Icon Baldysquirt
    Subscriber

    I, ideally, wanted a trailer to tow our little one in but for a number of reasons this would have been impractical. Now I have an xtracycle converted hardtail and my daughter loves it (doesn’t seem to mind whatever the weather which is great). It hasn’t been life-changing but it has meant I can continue to not need a car day to day and my daughter seems to be settling into the idea that bikes are normal – so it may be transformational after all. It’s bloody heavy and slow on Sheffield’s hills, though, so I may have found it even more useful had we lived somewhere flatter.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Thanks all. DrP love the photos. Thinking one of those Coozer trailers at the moment. Would really like an xtracycle but they no longer have an European importer and the cost of importing looks bloody steep.

    Any photos of child and dog in a trailer? Would quite like to ride out to a park with boy and dog. May need some sort of partition though.

    lightman
    Member

    Sanny – Member

    Lightman

    What was so nightmare-ish about the Glen Lyin to Rannoch path?

    And dear lord, how much gear did you take? When you say short, do you mean several months?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    While the path would’ve been not to bad for a mtb or a lighter bike, for my bike (about 85+kg) it was terrible because of the rocks and boulders that were sticking out of the ground. I was getting bounced around all over the place making traction very difficult, and because some of the sections were over 20%, it was just not the best place for that bike.
    I actually broke one of my 48 rear spoke on the section!
    Oh, and it was during the short hot spell, so it was around 25c and with no wind either, I was dripping with sweat!

    While I did take a lot of gear, I think it just looks more when its all in one bag (one bag was much cheaper than 4x waterproof panniers), plus I was planning on being self sufficient for my 3/4 day cycle up to Rothes, so I had all my food plus more just in case. I only needed to get water on the way.

    Here’s a picture looking back along the path, and the absolute nightmare which greeted me at the other end!

    Even skinny walkers would struggle to get through this~

    Around 45mins of getting eaten by midges before I managed to get through. I will be taking a hacksaw next time a go on tour!

    DrP
    Member

    Thinking one of those Coozer trailers at the moment

    Get one! – yes, they are at least TWICE the price of the cheaper models (Mine was about Β£380) but honestly, the quality is remembered LONG after the price is forgotten!

    DrP

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Lightman – i presume that is only the main gate locked?
    I love that ride, it is a great path!
    What’s not to like?



    mcmoonter
    Member

    Lightman, that ‘road’ is on my to do list. It doesn’t look so bad. As you say bike choice would influence your view.

    Do you have any more pics from that trip?

    lightman
    Member

    Yeah, it threw me off a bit when the start looked very promising with 2 nice big easy to open gates and a nice bit of gravelly path to start me of with, but it just got worse and worse.
    But yep, would be good on normal mtb though πŸ™‚

    mcmoonter, deff do it, but its all about the bike!
    This was my first ever tour, so I was still getting the hang of where and when to take pictures, so not that many/interesting ones, but I think you should be able to see these.
    The Garmin route details are at the bottom of the album.

    After Loch Rannoch, I had planned to go over to Loch Ericht and up the side of that, but after “The Path”, I decided to play it safe and just go along the road.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Quick Croozer question. Notice it fits onto a bolt that goes on the rear axle. Do you chaps reckon this would be ok with horizontal dropouts?

    Edit: … and is there much storage if you have a couple of kids in there? Looks like there is a bit of a boot space but I really can’t tell how big it is from the photos.

    DrP
    Member

    I’ve ran mine on horiz dropouts with no issue..
    And the great thing about the croozer is there is loads of boot space – the cheaper ones down come with much at all (and the more expensive chariot has a much smaller boot also…)

    Can take pics sometime later today if you want?

    Drp

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Would be great to have some pics, thanks. Though I’ll probably have ordered one by then πŸ™‚

    One more question. The seat that they come with, is it suitable for a 15 month old? I notice they do an extra seat that’s one up from the baby sling. Would I need that?

    DrP
    Member

    15months will be fine in standard seat….

    DrP

    DrP
    Member

    Here you go – I’ve used a 1l bottle of sugar free pop, and alan 110g of cranberry sauce as a size reference….

    DrP

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Thanks, useful pics. Appreciate the use of those standard measures!

    29erKeith
    Member

    Cheap Bob Copy for the chap that was asking

    Keep an eye out on ebay and gumtree for Croozers they don’t come up often but do every now and again.

    a few weeks before I bought stoner’s of of him one came up locally to me and didn’t even get any bids at about Β£100. It was a double and I was after a single as it’s narrow enough to go through a standard door way.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    That trailer is the same as the one I picked up off eBay for Β£30 (brand new πŸ™‚ ).

    Its ok now.. but the first time I used it it caused the weekend trip to the Isle of Wight to almost be a disaster – the QR was so weak that the first turn I made snapped the end off and we were stuck at the ferry port.
    So:
    1. Don’t overload it
    2. Pick up a replacement skewer to take with you just in case. I got mine from Edinburgh Bicyles – they have the same trailer branded as theirs. Unfortunately don’t stock them at the moment. Will post if I find one.

    [edit]close look at the listing shows the skewers to be the same as the Edinburgh one, so it’ll be ok.

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