Bakses and Bakses! Trying the Bakfiets.nl and the Christiania 2-Wheeler
Heavy Pedals, and it's stocked to the gills with the likes of Bakfiets, Christiania, Larry vs Harry, Monarch, Winther, Nihola, Yuba Mundo, XtraCycles and, of course, the inhouse-designed Truck. I can't possibly try them all in the course of this trip, but I was very keen to at least finally try the classic Dutch bakfiets.
Bakfiets.nl 2-wheel cargo bikes come in two sizes, and the one I tried is the short version - which, mind you, is still large enough to transport two children. I cannot find the exact weight rating, but it is over 100kg (220lb).
cargo version is also available.
reviewed by others. The most typical bakfiets is the two wheeler with a wide wooden box in the front, like the one pictured here. It is an old design and several manufacturers make modern-day versions - including the Bakfiets.nl reviewed here, Workcycles and Babboe. One thing I would like to know is whether these manufacturers order the frames from the same source or make their own, so any insider information is welcome. As others have already written about these bikes at length, I will not go into elaborate detail about their construction and history here, and instead will focus on my impression of the ride quality.
longtail I tried earlier, the handling of the bakfiets is peculiar. But the peculiarity is of the ridable variety. As in, you are riding it just fine and thinking "Gee, this feels different" - rather than toppling over because of the difference, as several of us did with the Larry vs Harry Bullitt. If you've ever tried a Brompton, that's what the bakfiets handling reminded me of the most. The front end is a bit wobbly (with the box empty), but entirely controllable. As Wolfgang put it, it handles like a more extreme version of a classic Dutch bike. Yes.
on the road. It was actually difficult to photograph me, because cars kept passing from both directions and also from around the corner, ruining all the shots. But I felt pretty comfortable. There was no "learning curve" and by the end of my test ride I was ready to appropriate the bike for my own. This was very different from my experience with Danish longjohns.
test rode the three-wheel version, but this is an entirely different kettle of fish. Despite being Danish, this cargo bike resembles a bakfiets rather than a longjohn. In size it is equivalent to the longer version of the bakfiets - large enough to transport 3 children.
Christiania website, despite it technically having been out since 2009. If you can offer additional information, please do.
sweep of the handlebars, the kickstand design, the chainguard in leu of full chaincase, and lack of dressguards.
sweep of the step-through section of the frame is also different.
For those who plan to transport children, a very cute and useful feature is the little door in the box with a latch, which the bakfiets lacks. This allows children to walk into the box instead of having to step over the side. A bench with seatbelts is included, just like in the 3-wheel version of the Christiania.
Bullitt earlier. As with the bakfiets, I could ride the Christiania on the first try.
Heavy Pedals for the test rides!