My son has almost outgrown his Yepp Mini front seat and soon will be going on the back of a bike. I've tried a number of options, but standard sized bikes just feel too unstable to me and I'm keen to get the centre of gravity as low as possible. So after quite a bit of looking at alternatives, I've settled on a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day.

Bike Friday are mainly known for making folding bikes, but their latest offering is a long tail based on a small wheeled bike frame (20" wheels).

I've ordered a frameset (red) and will build it up with Nuvinci N360 internal hub gears, maybe shimano roller brakes (for the simplicity of maintenance) and dynamo lighting.

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Looks awesome! I've seen a few cargo bikes with kids in them around the arthur street/magill area lately it is amazing to see!

I've decided to be a bit lazy with this build and dropped into the guys at BMCR to talk about getting them to build the bike for when the frameset arrives.

I've settled on a few components for the bike:

  • Saddle - Brooks Cambium C17
  • Gears - Nuvinci N360
  • Lights - Shutter Precision dynamo, B&M Lumotec IQ Premium Fly (front) & Toplight Line Plus (rear)
  • Tyres - Schwalbe Big Apple

I need to pick a handlebar, I want to use a swept back bar like a North Road style, just need to find one with a grip area long enough for the Nuvinci gripshifter and brakes.

Brakes will be hydraulic discs, which I'll leave to Pete and his team to recommend. Rims, bottom bracket, cranks etc, will also be left to Pete and his team.

The Nuvinci N360 is likely to be geared with a 44T chainring and 18T cog giving 1.7m to 6.8m gain, which would be similar to a road bike with 50/34 compact and 15/42 cassette. The high gear will be plenty for a cargo bike and the low gear should be more than adequate for surburban Adelaide. 

Bars something like these?  They're not on the bike at the moment, so next time I go to our place in the hills (off-site storage!) I'll check out what brand they are.  They were bought new about 3 years ago.

They are very similar to the Cruzbike Quest bars.  They fit a grip shift and brakes without issue.

Hi David, that's exactly what I was thinking of.

I have set of handlebars on another bike that would work well, which are marked Promax ENC HB-3211, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere else. 

Mine (now spare) is "HL" brand, alloy, overall width 580, 22.2 x 25.4.  I think I got it/them from the bloke in the Port Market. 

(This bar was on the Mongoose when I rode up The Corkscrew, and a few rides down to Morphett Vale and back.  It has now been replaced on the Mongoose with something similar in style and shape to those on the Ebike and the Gitane.  I can't use flat bars or drop bars as a result of of RSI.)

I'm very jealous!

Simon

Quick update. A few parts arrived;

  • Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (47-406)
  • B&M Toplight Line Plus rear light
  • Shutter Precision PD-8 dynamo (I already have a B&M Fly Premium for the front)
  • B&M rear vision mirror
  • Brooks C17 Cambium saddle

Also I've decided to not use a Nuvinci N360 and instead will use a conventional deraileur setup, simply because I have some parts from a previous unfinished project. I have a SRAM Apex crankset, 11-36 cassette, SRAM X5 rear deraileur and a used SRAM Apex front deraileur. This will provide a high enough gear for my needs and some really low gears for carrying heavy loads up hill. It's basically the equivalent gearing of a road bike with a MTB 26/38 double and 11-36 cassette.

This is an interesting build Mark. I've had a pretty good look at the BF 'long bike' too. I have read one comment about it being a bit 'squirrelly' - all other reviews seem very +ve.

Personally I have given away the really back-swept North Road bars such as you are discussing. There's nothing wrong with them and lot's right, but on a number of small-wheeled bikes I have (which also tend to be 'small' in terms of cockpit length) I have found myself wanting a bit more upper-body room - a bit more lean-forward. If this ends up as your experience on the BF, I can recommend that you ask Peter & Co to get you one of the excellent Kalloy 'All Rounder' bars. I think they are designated AL-030. They seem to be a copy of the old GB or Reynolds 'All Rounder' as seen on many bikes in the 1960s and have a good combination of rise and swept-backness while still facilitating some lean-forward for hills. I think 25mm rise and 34 deg backsweep. They're very cheap too - around $20. In my own cargo-biking experience they've been just a tad more practical than the North Road bars. If Pete or Lia look at you blankly, just say 'a bar like Sam's'!

FWIW and IMHO, if you are looking at the B&M dynamo headlights, I think the Philips Saferide is better value and a better light if you can get one (Bike24 is good). Hope to see this bike on the road soon!

Savvas.

Hi Savvas

Thanks for the tips on the handlebars. The frame has arrived and I'm waiting on a few more parts, hopefully I'll be sending to BMCR soon. 

I've changed some of the parts for the project. I picked up an Alfine 11 really cheap, so will these instead of the Nuvinci. I decided not to use a Brooks saddle, as the bike will often be parked in public places. The wheels will be built on Alex DM18 rims.

I've already got the B&M Fly front light. I've used B&M lights quite a bit and have been extremely impressed with the Fly on my partners bike. I think it's the best all round commuter light on the market, primarily because it has great daytime visability. It has 6 LEDs that really light up during the day. At night time the main light's illuminate the path (more than adequately for city riding) and the 6 daylight's continue to shine, making you extremely visible. I think the combination of lights to be seen and lights to see make this the best light for urban commuting.

I've also ordered a Yepp Maxi for my son on the rear and some big Dutch style double panniers to sling over the back.

CheersMark

Just been to BMCR to pick-up the bike. It's 90% complete with a few bits missing like grips, mudguards, lights etc.

Changed my mind on a few parts, primarily I used an Alfine 11 instead of Nuvinci N360 and a Shimano XT Deore dynamo hub instead of Shutter Precision. Brake levers and calipers are Shimano Deore 615, but the trekking series, which basically have longer levers.

When I get some more time, I'll take some better photos, make a full list of parts and give a bit of commentary on some of the issues with the build.

Ride report?

Savvas.

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