The booth was a hit. The crowds came to see the MADSENs and Jared's hand-made cobble-stone floor. It was great to make new friends and sign up new dealers. We'll be shipping out a bunch of bikes this week. Thanks to all the die-hard cargo bike enthusiasts that took the time to come by and see us.
we just finished our first production run of hard lids. we haven't installed the locking latch yet. But it should be available in about a week. Still waiting on our custom hinges. I will snap another photo as soon as I get the latch on.
We have received a lot of emails and calls asking about the seating set up in the bucket. Here is an explanation :
The MADSEN comes with one black padded vinyl upholstered seat in the front. It is removable and has 2 seat belts. The
rear seat and 2 more seat belts can easily be installed. The seats are set into place resting on a molded rim in the bucket. Some velcro is used to prevent the seats from sliding around when they are not loaded up. A quick word about safety: the belts may help your kids from moving around, keeping the bike more stable. They may also stop kids from climbing out while you are moving (personally, I think kids are smarter than that). The belts may also help smaller kids from sliding off their seat. In the unfortunate chance that you are involved in a crash while hauling kids around, there is a ongoing debate about all bicycle child-carrying devices ie: bike trailer, rear child rack seat, handle bar child seats. The debate is: If the bike tips, is it better not to strap kids in, allowing them to just fall out onto the ground? Or is it better if they are attached to the bike? Every crash will be different and it is impossible to know each different situation.
This is my opinion on this debate (and it has changed a few times): like clipless pedals or brake-free ski bindings, I see why you would not want your child to be attached to a bike during a fall. But no one wants a child to accidentally fall out off the bike, nor do you want an active child jumping around throwing the bike off balance and causing a crash. Nor do you want a small child slipping off the seat and getting hurt inside the bucket. When I take my kids for a ride, I strap in my two-year-old and let my eight and five year olds go without a belt. I have talked to my older boys and they know not to jump around, hang out of the bucket or stand up while we ride. And Mom now has a strict rule that we always wear helmets! Always ride safely when kids are on board. Go crazy when you are by yourself, but take your responsibility seriously when you are giving a ride to someone else. Remember if you ride a bike you may fall over, if you drive a car you may crash if you fly in a airplane, it may fall out of the sky, go swimming you may drown, live and do nothing you may have a heart attack. So live a full life, and ride a MADSEN cargo bike!
This is a sticker found inside the Bucket On a MADSEN. While loaded the MADSEN can be extremely unstable if not properly loaded. Before you load your MADSEN up with kids or stuff take a moment and preplan the best way to load up. Always place the heavy part of your load forward. If you have two small kids have then share the front seat. If you are giving a ride to one BIG kid and one small kid if they share the seat the load will be side heavy. Have the BIG kid sit on the front seat right in the middle and the small kid sit in the rear seat right in the middle. A MADSEN can take a lot of weight about 600lbs (the rider + bike + load). But you will have the most stable ride if the load dues not exceed the weight of the rider. Make sure you are comfortable riding the MADSEN with no load before you load it up. Take a few test rides before you throw your kids in. The MADSEN is designed to take cargo by following these small steps your ride will be a little safer, stable and more fun to ride (if more fun is possible).
After hauling six neighborhood kids (my Mom in the photo) around in a wheel barrow bucket bolted to the front of our first prototype, we started to realize what a bicycle can really do. My wife and I fell in love with the bakfiets during a bicycle tour through Holland.This was put together in my fabrication shop shortly after that trip. While testing this cargo bike we learned about some of the advantages and disadvantages of having the cargo and the small wheel located in the front.
First prototype 2006
Although we love to be able to see our kids in the bucket as we ride, we never could get past the strange feel of riding a forward cargo bicycle. But most of all we did not have the control we wanted. We have a lot of dirt trails, paths, roads, and a lot of not so friendly bicycle roads. We need to ride through bumpy gutters, potholes, and off curbs. You can't ride like that on a forward cargo bike. We started to build bicycles with the cargo in the back. Although you can't see your cargo, you have so much more control. Jumping curbs, riding down stairs, and hitting potholes won't bring your head to the tarmac. We worked through a lot of different frame configurations.
This is our first ever rack and attachment. We could haul around two adults each weighing 200 lbs with me riding at 200 lbs. The total weight was 600 lbs. (this is where we got the idea our bike should be able to hold up under a 600 lb. load). The seats we used are the best. They were two for $10 from the office surplus store.
We finally made a custom bucket for the back (the wheel barrow would not work). We thought about making a wooden bucket but felt it would not hold up to the riding we decided our cargo bike should be able to take. One hard hit to a plywood bucket is all that is needed to blow it apart.
First ever China-made sample. Wow! It took a long time to get to this point.
One more of many samples out of our China factory. I wish I would have documented the R&D in China better.
I could not get that man standing next to us to get on. I wanted to test how it handled with more weight, but one man is all I could get on this ride.
My interpreter even took the bike for a ride. She is from Taiwan and hadn't ridden a bicycle for years (even though she works for a bicycle company). She was convinced to take it for a ride because I wanted to see how it fit a small lady. She did great, and the fit was good.