Bakfiets and Nihola Trikes go head to head!

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Our Nihola and Bakfiets.NL Trikes are reviewed ‘head-to-head’ in the latest edition of the excellent Velo Vision Magazine.

You can read the review by clicking here (it’s a large document – give it a few seconds to open)

Photo courtesy of Peter Eland, Velo Vsion Magazine.

Book Fiets or Bakfiets?…

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

…Well both actually!

Viewers of the Culture Show on BBC last night will have seen Bakfiets Trike full of books from the nominated authors of the 2011 Booker prize.

The trike is oneof two that Practical Cycles recently delivered to the Comrie Development Trust who kindly loaned the bikes for use during filming for the show.

You can watch the trike in action (it appears several times!) on the BBC iPlayer page – click here to go straight to the footage (only available for another 6 days!)

You can read about the day we delivered the Bakfiets Trike sto Comrie – in a previous post.

For those with no time to watch the whole show – here are some screen grabs:

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Don’t chug…tug!

July 9, 2011 1 comment

It’s busy here at Practical Cycles so we will be breif on this our newest post for a month or so!

Years have gone by here without a single trailer ever darkening our doors and then, following the annual pilgrimmage to Eurobike in Germany last year, we spotted TWO that would meet our high standards!

The Burley Travoy – a bike trailer that you can also pull as a hand trolley. This makes it great for shopping and business use. A range of different bags mean it can be a shopper one day and business trailer to carry your breifcase and overnight on the train or plane!

The Surly Cargo Trailer (below) comes in two sizes – the Bill (long) or Ted (short). Both are exquisitely put together (what else do you expect from Surly) and are begging to be customised with your own deck, box, or possibly into your own bike-propelled bikeavan or hearse (for eco funerals!).

Both the Travoy and the Surly Bill (long) trailer are available for a good old tug at Practical Cycles now.

Bringing communities together

June 11, 2011 1 comment

Earlier this week I had a delightful journey up to Perthshire, Scotland to deliver two beautiful Bakfiets Trikes to a customer.

The Bakfiets trike is one of our favourite bikes in the Prctical Cycles ‘stable’. It’s fully ready to be a child carrying beast of burden capable of conveying 4 children each with their own 3-point harness. Add the Rain tent and the kids are good to go anywhere in all weathers.

Travelling by trike is really safe. No matter what your cycle handling skills and balance, a trike is very hard to fall off (unless you are Krusty the Clown) and also really quite difficult to tip over. Amazingly, despite the size and width of the Bakfiets Cargo Trike, it is immensely easy (and fun) to ride – the turning circle is especially tight and it should also fit through most doorways.

Our customer in Scotland is Comrie Development Trust. Comrie is a beautiful small Scottish town sitting on the River Earn that nestles beneath the Trossachs in a flat river valley that is perfect for riding the Bakfiets Trike!


Arriving at the CDT headquaters, I was greeted by Andy and a very excited team. After introducing the various ‘things to know’ about the trikes they were soon whisked off on their first ride!

The Trikes will be available for use by the people of Comrie to do shopping, go to the allotment, take children on picnics – in fact just about anything. The intrepid may attempt to take the trikes to higher altitudes but for the majority the Bakfiets Cargo Trike will cope just fine scooting gracefully around the streets of Comrie. I would imagine that the town of Comrie has just found itself two black and red celebrities. I wonder what they will name them?…

Cycle Sunday – Lytham Hall – June 19th 2011 – 10.30 – 4pm

As part of the ongoing fundraising events to save the historic Lytham Hall falling into disrepair, a Cycling Sunday has been organised. Practical Cycles will be there to support the cause in the grounds of the hall. We’ll have a selection of our Cargo Bikes, Child Transport Bikes and Utility Bikes on show. Short test rides will be possible and the grounds will be closed to motor traffic!

There will also be other bike retailers, cycle smoothie maker, Go Ride Racing, Veteran Cycle Exhibition and Blackpool Cycling Demonstration Town will also have a presence.

Entry is FREE for all!

Join our mailing list for more up to date information nearer the time!

http://www.lythamhall.co.uk/index.html

Categories: Uncategorized

Kids on bikes

A hint of sunshine, no gloves required, 3 months until the longest day! Time then to get out on your bike; and having one two or more ‘wee ones’ shouldn’t stop you having fun on two or even 3 wheels.

A new bike, sorry trike, has arrived at Practical Cycles. But it’s hard to describe this machine as ‘just a trike’.

You see, the Zigo is actually all things to all men,… mums,…er parents!

At its simplest the Zigo Leader (to give it the proper name) is a 7 speed Nexus, hub drive bicycle. This is no concession in design or afterthought – the Zigo bike is a really nice bike to ride and actually looks pretty cool too. 20″ wheels give it the look of a folding bike but without the fold! The only giveaway that this is more than a bike is the hinged clamp nestling just behind the headtube – this is one of the connection points for the Zigo Child Pod.

Child Pod? Yes – this is effectively a child stroller – for two children. It has two 20″ spoked wheels and two folding casters to the front (more on them below).

The main frame of the Zigo Child Pod connects to the Zigo Bike at two critical points Рone with the hinged clamp behind the headtube (as mentioned above) and also by slotting a metal prong into the bottom end of the fork steerer tube of the bike (once the front wheel is removed). The prong is then secured by a hand tightened tap which keeps it in place but also engages the brake levers of the bike to work with the drum brakes  (yes drum brakes Рamazing!) of the Zigo Child Pod. The Bike and Child Pod linked together in this way becomes a very rideable, fun and Practical Child Transport Trike.

But the versatility of the Zigo doesn’t end there. The Zigo Child Pod has two more modes in which it can operate (if fairly inexpensive accessories are purchased). It can operate as a Jogger – ie a Stroller which you can run fast with. This is achieved using the Jogger Kit from Zigo – the two front casters of the stroller flip-up out-of-the-way and these two casters are replaced by one single 20″ spoked wheel that connects to the front ‘port’ on the Child Pod.

The final flourish of amazing Practicality that the Zigo offers is again with the Child Pod. This can be adapted using the Zigo Towing Hitch, to function as a regular child trailer. This offers families a great deal of flexibility. For example, mum could drop the children off at playschool – here she would quickly detach the Child Pod and leave that at the nursery – she would then ride off to work on her Zigo Bike (panniers on the rear rack with all her important meeting notes). At 3pm dad would tear himself away from his housewifery duties and trundle down to the nursery on his achingly cool fixie. Upon arrival at the nursery he’d find the trailer hitch that mum left stowed in the Child Pod, he’d hook it up and then off he’d go with it in tow. (He’d return 5 minutes later to pick the kids up that he forgot).

And not a car wheel would need turning to safely transport 2 children and 2 adults in the dry with minimum fuss and maximum fun.

If you’d like a test ride, you know where to contact us – http://www.practicalcycles.com

Civia Bikes

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since we posted here and for those who have been holding their breath for our next post, we apologise for your blue faces.

Our hiatus has been down simply to lots of hard work on bringing new products to the fold, and the general busy-ness of an expanding bike business.

That explanation includes Civia Bikes. We first fell in love (no we really did) with these bikes at Interbike 2008 in Las Vegas. Back then they had only one model (the stunningly beautiful Loring). Now Civia have developed a range of unique bikes that we are really really excited to be bringing into Practical Cycles this spring.

What sets Civia aside from ‘all the rest’ is their Practical choice of frames, accessories and gearing.

We will be bringing you the Loring, The Bryant, the Halstead and Kingfield bikes from Civia.

The Loring is a great quality stylish step through bike available in 3 and 9 speed SRAM hub gear versions. It comes complete with front and rear racks with bamboo Accents and full bamboo mudguards. It’s a bike for around town sophistacate, the urban parent, the daily shopping addict and the lazy commuter.

The Bryant and Kingfield are superb bikes that are helping Practical Cycles to break our Cargo Bike mould. The touring and commuting cyclist shares a similar aim to the person with a Cargo Bike – that aim is to ‘carry what I need on my bike today’. The Cargo Bike rider can carry lots but the Touring cyclist or Commuter doesn’t need to carry doors, bags of sand or beer barrels. They just need the important stuff to get them through their working day or round-the-Horn tour.

What we are trying to say here is we are branching out into touring and commuting bikes but in doing so we are keeping true to our roots of loving the liberating feeling of carrying your own stuff, under your own power by bicycle.

The Bryant and Kingfield are Touring and Commuting bikes – with a twist. There’s no derailleurs and there’s also no chains either. That’s because these bikes are hub geared (Alfine for the Bryant and Nexus for the Kingfield). The chain is replaced by a Gates Belt Drive. A belt drive is just as efficient as a chain but not as noisy, not as dirty and it lasts longer!¬† Both bikes are capable of having front and rear racks fitted so will be great at hauling your worldly goods.

We (and Civia) haven’t forgotten that you like to haul more stuff than other people think healthy on your bike. The Halstead from Civia takes care of this. It’s reminiscent of the old style of delivery bike (remember the Hovis advert on Gold Hill?). A 26″ wheel at the back and a 20″ wheel at the front for strength under the large flat front load platform. It’s a true tough delivery bike that can be used daily for businesses – it even has tabs on the frame to affix the advert for your business. But it’s also an everyday bike for moving the unusual stuff, doing the shopping, taking your child to school, and commuting to work. It comes with a derailleur gear system – to keep it sensibly priced but we will also offer it with hub gear builds too.

Demand for these bikes is going to be high. We should have the first bikes here in March (perhaps sooner). We will shortly be adding more information to our website - sizes, colours, prices – that sort of important stuff. We’ll be taking pre-orders in a couple of weeks, so feel free to contact us to put your name on one – we expect demand to be high!

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