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.
This week at the shop we've been working on a new prototype bike. We have some pretty cool plans for this bike, which include producing a cargo bike to be used in developing countries.
For our first phase we're going to test it in Africa to see how it gets used, what improvements need to be made, and research what an affordable range cost range is. After our test we'll tweak as needed then we'll either do another test run or, if the initial test goes well, we'll do a small production.
In simple terms we've stripped down our existing bucket bike and simplified the drive train. It's a single speed bike with coaster brakes, and we are planing to keep a front brake (not disc). We're really liking the knobby back tire by the way even though it was only on there cause it was the only thing we could find in the shop.
For carrying cargo, we've made some fancy mockup cardboard baskets, which we plan to have be made from either bamboo or willow. The baskets shown in the photo are roughly 32" long, 15" high, 8" wide at the bottom opening up to about 14" wide at the top. Each basket hangs off of the rack with hooks, the baskets are removable and will have a hand sized hole on the ends of each one for carrying.
One of the challenges that we still need to address is fabricating the rack so that it can fit into a bike size box without taking away from the overall function and capacity. This prototype is a little too wide which means there's more work to do. No complaints, we love tinkering around in the shop. Not sure our neighbors like all the noise we make when messing around (candy shop, glass shop).
We plan to make this bike will be available in the US at some point once we go into production, but our first market will be in developing countries. We're hoping our supporters have the same passion as we do for this project and are willing to help us achieve our goal.
We're working on a few ideas about how we'll price the bike both in the US and out and will be releasing more details as we develop the plan - so stay tuned! Post your comments, we'd love to hear what you think about the bike and the plan!
Although it was a soggy and windy weekend in Seattle (anyone surprised?), the cycling community came out in mass to the annual Bike Expo sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club. We had the opportunity to show our bikes off to hundreds of people at the show, and many people took test rides regardless of the rain. You might imagine the rain cover was popular (photo).
We had the privilege to place bikes with two area bike shops that we're proud to partner with. Stop in a see the MADSEN bikes at Recycled Cycles and Aaron's Bicycle Repair Inc. When we left Aaron's shop, he was talking about installing a Stoke Monkey on one of the bucket bikes! We can't wait to see the results since we've had several questions about electric assist on MADSEN bikes.
The Cascade Bicycle Club has produced this Expo since 1988 as a "celebration of all things bicycling" We will be outside in the test ride area with the MADSEN truck, trailer, tent, and plenty of bikes to test ride! Stop by and say hi, take a ride with the kids or your unwilling spouse who really wants to try riding in the bucket but won't admit it in public.
We'll also take the opportunity to stop in to see our friends at Bike Gallery in Portland, OR and we will be in the Eugene area talking to shops as well!
Last Saturday we had a blast doing a photo shoot. The week leading up to the shoot was a little stressful, but we had some great people helping us and thanks to them the actual shoot on Saturday was great! Thanks to Sean (director), Gaige (photographer), Nikee (stylist), Brittney (hair & makeup), all our great models and everyone that helped put the shoot together.
Nikee and Brittney primping Jill
We did the photo shoot because we wanted to show some of the lifestyle behind the MADSEN. We got a lot of feedback from people that looked at our site who didn’t understand you could put big stuff into the bucket. Big stuff like your whole family, an Adirondack Lawn Chair or your guitar and amp. Watch the Madsen website for the new photos.
Getting ready for spring. Our warehouse is full. We have unloaded the last container of bicycles topping off our warehouse for the spring rush. We will be getting one more delivery of buckets from our rotomolding factory. If this spring bicycle season brings good luck we will have to add some additional warehouse space.
Unloading a container
Morgan slowly works his way to the back of 40’ hi cube container. Customs did a complete inspection of our container. This means they unloaded every bicycle. When customs reloaded they packed about ½ the boxes upside-down. We now have to inspect every box and bicycle for damage, So far it appears that upside-down packing is not harmful to the MADSEN. A few of the boxes were damaged and some paint scratched or chipped. Contact us for a possible deal on a scratch and dent MADSEN.