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The Double Trouble Build
Bike Builder: Hello Paradise Warehouse, how can I help?
Customer: Hi, your shop told me to give you a call. I am looking for a new bike.
Bike Builder: Alright then. What sort of bike are you thinking about?
Customer: Well, I’m due to end my maternity leave in a few weeks, after having my second child. So, I will need to be able to take two toddlers, and my current bike doesn’t have enough room for a second child seat. What do you recommend?
*COMMENCE CUSTOM BUILD PROCESS*
The Double Trouble Build
Come rain or shine this bike needs to be a substitute for a family car. Two toddlers, and some luggage is a lot to handle on a daily basis. This combination could easily lead to some stressful moments. The ideal solution would be some kind of cargo bike. Of course, not everyone is able to store a big cargo bike inside, but also wouldn't want to invest a lot on one that has to be locked outside.
The challenge presented was to try and build a bike that can keen two toddlers safe, minimise frustrations when loading and unloading, and could easily be converted back to a solo ride when you don't want to be encumbered by the plastic chairs. It should be easy to use on a daily basis, and of course it should be a pleasure to ride.
- Dynamo lighting was an excellent choice, as you don't want to find yourself with both children loaded onto the bike and then remember that you have left your lights inside. They are always there, highly visible, and always on whether you thought about it or not.
- The heavy duty, twin leg kickstand was an essential addition. Free up a hand by not needing to support the bike when loading and unloading.
- A front rack means you can distribute the load over the front a bit. The bonus here is the child in the rear seat won't have a backpack an inch from their nose, and will hopefully enjoy riding the bike a bit more as a result. And the rider is less likely to get sweaty when putting the power down to get to an appointment on time.
- Steerer stabilising spring. Helps keep the handlebars facing forwards. If you load the rear seat first then the bike might tip backwards from a front tripod to a rear tripod, catching you in the ribs with the handlebar. This little spring stops that from happening.
- Sturmey Archer internal hub gears mean that you can change down at the lights without needing to pedal it round. So, you can always pull away in the lowest gear, which will help when hauling 20kg.
- Upright posture gives you a commanding view of what's going on. And aerodynamics went out the window when we added child seats anyway.
- Step through frame design, makes getting on and off a simple lift of the foot, rather than a swing of the leg.
- Marathon Plus tyres, because a puncture scenario would be a nightmare.
- Full mudguards are just sensible. If you don't feel like cycling because of the weather, then putting a jacket and gloves on is all that’s needed to master the elements.
- Upgraded brake pads from KoolStop are the best out there for a controlled emergency stop or use in wet weather.
This brief was a fun challenge for us, and we’re very happy with the result. It looks good even with all the bells and whistles added. It rides beautifully, loaded and unloaded. It pretty much does everything the customer wanted it to.