16 August 2009

Three Wheel Vending

Food Bike
I spotted this converted Sorte Jernhest cargo bike at a harbour festival. It was equipped to sell food of some sort. I've blogged quite often about Copenhagen's cargo bike culture and the wide variety of cargo bike brands in the city. There seem to be some patterns.
The Sorte Jernhest, with it's rear-wheel steering capabilities, is a popular cargo bike for converting into other incarnations. Ole [above] converted one himself into his famous Coffee Bike, Fully functional and rideable and great coffee, too.
Hot Food
This Sorte Jernhest [it means 'black iron horse', in Danish, with 'iron horse' being one of the many nicknames for the bicycle in Denmark] serves hot vegetarian food and even has a trailer attached.

Ice Bikes
Another company, lesser known, makes vending bikes as well. Esimex converts their Acrobat short john bikes into a variety of models. Here, the Copenhagen Zoo sells ice cream around the gardens.
The Sushi Bicycle
And here's a sushi bike at one of our beaches.

By all accounts, the Sorte Jernhest is the best cargo on the Danish market for heavy-duty vendor usage. The Esimex is cumbersome and the centre of gravity is all wrong. I tried one at the zoo and it was frightfully unstable. While you could ride for miles [slowly] on the Sorte Jernhest, the Esimex isn't very inviting when you have to ride a distance out to the beach or even around town. I've never seen any ice cream seller riding in the Zoo, only pushing them about.

For two wheeled entrepeneurship, there's always the Bullitt.


Melbourne Cyclist said...

Question: which two-wheeled cargo bike would you (or anyone else here) recommend for every day (parental) use? And are there any particular features that I should be looking for when choosing one?

At the moment I have a standard bike with a pair of panniers on the back, which serves me well for all our food shopping, getting to work with everything I need, all that kind of thing (I'm obviously not in Copenhagen, but I'm determined to live the cyclist's Copenhagen dream anyway!). But thinking ahead, we're planning on bringing some little people into our lives at some point, and I don't think carrying them in panniers would be a good idea, whereas it seems a good cargo bike would be perfect, at least once they're old enough to sit up and strap in. Plus it would have enough space in the front to easily do a beer run every so often :-)

I've seen the Bullitts on this site of course, and am experiencing a great deal of 'want' after checking out their website, but the price of getting one to Aus is possibly an issue (I'll think about it though - I could probably justify it if it meant we could remain car-free!). So, any other suggestions, or should I just convince myself to get a Bullitt?

Anonymous said...

"'black horse' being one of the many nicknames for the bicycle in Denmark"

Actually, it's 'iron horse' that is one of the many nicknames for the bicycle in Denmark. Not 'black horse' :-)

Mikael said...

anon... that was a typo. :-)

melb cyclist: there are a few brands on the market. what is available to you in Melbourne is another question.

The Dutch have their 'bakfiets' and the Danes have the Bullitt and Christiania Bikes' new two wheeler.

The Bullitt is on it's way to Australia, but the Christiania Bike two wheeler, which we rode around on during our holidays, is available in Collingwood at PS Bikes.

Ejoi said...

Reading your blog is really inspiring. Keep up the good work and hopefully Kuala Lumpur can become Copenhagen in the near future.

BTW, check out this nice refurbish Japanese bike that being sold in a remote area in Borneo :

Melbourne Cyclist said...

I love this comment, explaining the Christiana bike to the Aussie market: "The fantastic design allows you to transport anything up to a 100 kg plus the driver, that’s 3 kids and groceries or 20 power tools or 7 slabs of beer."

And we wonder about some of the stereotypes the rest of the world have about Aussies! :-)

Any thoughts on a three-wheeler (such as the Christiana) vs a two-wheeler (such as the Bullitt)? I'm assuming three-wheelers are more stable, but two-wheelers are probably more manoeuvrable...?

Mikael said...

it's a matter of taste and need. three-wheelers are most popular in denmark because we don't cycle so fast. they're cosy and relaxed.

although we do have the infrastructure to accomodate them. with that said, a two-wheeler may be more appropriate in melbourne since it's not much wider than a bike.

Melbourne Cyclist said...

Yeah, that's kind of what I'm thinking - our infrastructure is quite the mixed bag, and so a slimmer bike is definitely a good thing. Also, there are quite a few places where I (illegally) ride on the pavement already (often just during the peak/rush hours), because the roads are just far too dangerous (low visibility, tons of fast traffic, no space), so I would of course continue riding on the pavement with a cargo bike with kids in, meaning the one that takes the least space would be best. We shall see though - I'm starting to keep an eye out for stockists that I can get to in Melbourne, to have a good look at all the options, so we know what we want by the time the little people turn up in our lives in a few years' time :-)

William said...

Having tried a Sorte Jernhest, a Christiania bike and a Longjohn, I'd say that of the trikes, the Sorte Jernhest is by far the better, especially when loaded (with cargo, not beer), but the difference in stability is.. well...
The trikes are so stable that you can brake and dismount without at any time using your hands. The longjohn feels more stable than an ordinary bike, but can still tip.

Considering that they're a replacement for a car, they're actually so cheap you could buy both ^-^

Melbourne Cyclist said...

Don't encourage me William!!! I'll end up with a whole stable of bikes that way! :-)