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Bakery delivery bike - advice sought.

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  • DouglasS
    Introduction: I am a bike nerd in Palo Alto, California, with a herd of three active bikes maybe a half-dozen frames in progress, another half-dozen bikes
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 3, 2012
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      Introduction: I am a bike nerd in Palo Alto, California, with a herd of three active bikes maybe a half-dozen frames in progress, another half-dozen bikes built for my immediate family and another half-dozen bikes built for friends. One of my three active bikes is an Xtracycle FreeRadical on a old cross bike frame.

      Project at hand: My wife's childhood friend has a daughter that runs a vegan bakery. Said daughter wants to delivery bakery products by bike. Most of the bakery products will be in 10" x 10" x 4" boxes or
      10" x 14" x 4" boxes. I have volunteered to build the bike and the cargo container that accepts the bakery boxes.

      Current plan: Somewhat vague, but I plan to get some sort of step-through frame, maybe a women's mountain bike, with 26" wheels, and build it up with the fattest tires I can fit under fenders. Mate it to a FreeRadical and then build a plywood structure on the back that will hold bakery boxes. Put doors on the plywood structure to keep the bakery boxes in place and to prevent casual theft. Use a Kickback or something like to hold the bike upright.

      So. I am new to this group, but I am told it is the go-to resource for projects like this. Anyone have any advice, prejudices, ideas, doctrine, resources or plain out-and-out mania to contribute to my design?

      -Doug Shaker
    • David Chase
      Considered a Sun Atlas Cargo? Gets you a somewhat lower top tube, one-piece bike, cost-effective. Are the boxes cardboard (hence, cannot be stacked too much)
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 5, 2012
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        Considered a Sun Atlas Cargo? Gets you a somewhat lower top tube, one-piece bike, cost-effective.

        Are the boxes cardboard (hence, cannot be stacked too much) or stiffer than that?

        Given the 4-high 10-deep form factor, I imagine something a bunch of 4-inch high, 10-inch deep shelves running the length of the back of the bike. Not sure about the "doors"; I imagine a grill of horizontal sticks, 4 inches apart, that would either line up with the shelf edges ("open") or obstruct their openings ("closed"). Depending on how paranoid you are about theft, the "sticks" might be just bungie cords (lighter weight, a little stretchy) or thin-wall aluminum tubes.

        Another possible door might be something like ribbed polycarbonate greenhouse panels; strong, light, and if you put lights in it or behind it, that might be really pretty.

        David

        On 2012-01-03, at 4:43 PM, DouglasS wrote:
        > Project at hand: My wife's childhood friend has a daughter that runs a vegan bakery. Said daughter wants to delivery bakery products by bike. Most of the bakery products will be in 10" x 10" x 4" boxes or
        > 10" x 14" x 4" boxes. I have volunteered to build the bike and the cargo container that accepts the bakery boxes.
        >
        > Current plan: Somewhat vague, but I plan to get some sort of step-through frame, maybe a women's mountain bike, with 26" wheels, and build it up with the fattest tires I can fit under fenders. Mate it to a FreeRadical and then build a plywood structure on the back that will hold bakery boxes. Put doors on the plywood structure to keep the bakery boxes in place and to prevent casual theft. Use a Kickback or something like to hold the bike upright.
        >
        > So. I am new to this group, but I am told it is the go-to resource for projects like this. Anyone have any advice, prejudices, ideas, doctrine, resources or plain out-and-out mania to contribute to my design?
      • Troy
        Plywood seems like it would be heavy unless you re going to put some cash out for some really nice, high-ply, thin sheets. Coroplast is a material that is
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 6, 2012
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          Plywood seems like it would be heavy unless you're going to put some cash out for some really nice, high-ply, thin sheets. Coroplast is a material that is cheap, light, and relatively strong and can be fairly attractive if some thought is put into the design. You could even have graphics or logo painted on or with a vinyl graphics (i guess that goes for most any material choice).

          Just brainstorming here... another option would be a tube frame structure with canvas or other heavy cloth strung between the tubes to create the walls and shelves. That would be very light. Probably fairly difficult to do well, it would involve some good sewing skills.

          Maybe use nice plywood for the exterior and then coroplast or other cheaper material for interior dividers and shelves?

          Sounds like a fun project. What is your budget? Are you donating this, or is the bakery buying it and willing to pay for a good base frame and quality build?
        • anthonyeberger
          I checked out a Torker at my LBS and it looked like it would fit a Xtra frame nicely. It s the Big T model but it used to be called something else and came
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 6, 2012
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            I checked out a Torker at my LBS and it looked like it would fit a Xtra frame nicely. It's the Big T model but it used to be called something else and came with a 3-speed IGH.

            The frame is seriously beefy, easy to get on, and looks like it will take some fairly wide tires.

            The real question though is what is your budget? Cargo bikes can run the gambit when it comes to price.

            I'm looking forward to other responses as I think this is an untapped biz opportunity.

            Tony B.
            Riverwest WI

            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "DouglasS" <doug.shaker@...> wrote:
            >
            > Introduction: I am a bike nerd in Palo Alto, California, with a herd of three active bikes maybe a half-dozen frames in progress, another half-dozen bikes built for my immediate family and another half-dozen bikes built for friends. One of my three active bikes is an Xtracycle FreeRadical on a old cross bike frame.
            >
            > Project at hand: My wife's childhood friend has a daughter that runs a vegan bakery. Said daughter wants to delivery bakery products by bike. Most of the bakery products will be in 10" x 10" x 4" boxes or
            > 10" x 14" x 4" boxes. I have volunteered to build the bike and the cargo container that accepts the bakery boxes.
            >
            > Current plan: Somewhat vague, but I plan to get some sort of step-through frame, maybe a women's mountain bike, with 26" wheels, and build it up with the fattest tires I can fit under fenders. Mate it to a FreeRadical and then build a plywood structure on the back that will hold bakery boxes. Put doors on the plywood structure to keep the bakery boxes in place and to prevent casual theft. Use a Kickback or something like to hold the bike upright.
            >
            > So. I am new to this group, but I am told it is the go-to resource for projects like this. Anyone have any advice, prejudices, ideas, doctrine, resources or plain out-and-out mania to contribute to my design?
            >
            > -Doug Shaker
            >
          • Spencer Scott
              If it s a dedicated delivery bike, you may want to go for a trike.   A little harder to pedal but easier to load and unload.   Worksman is a solid trike
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 6, 2012
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              If it's a dedicated delivery bike, you may want to go for a trike.
               
              A little harder to pedal but easier to load and unload.
               
              Worksman is a solid trike maker that I can recommend.  Their bikes/trikes are a bit heavy though.

              From: anthonyeberger <anthonyeberger@...>
              To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Friday, January 6, 2012 1:12 PM
              Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Bakery delivery bike - advice sought.

               
              I checked out a Torker at my LBS and it looked like it would fit a Xtra frame nicely. It's the Big T model but it used to be called something else and came with a 3-speed IGH.

              The frame is seriously beefy, easy to get on, and looks like it will take some fairly wide tires.

              The real question though is what is your budget? Cargo bikes can run the gambit when it comes to price.

              I'm looking forward to other responses as I think this is an untapped biz opportunity.

              Tony B.
              Riverwest WI

              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "DouglasS" <doug.shaker@...> wrote:
              >
              > Introduction: I am a bike nerd in Palo Alto, California, with a herd of three active bikes maybe a half-dozen frames in progress, another half-dozen bikes built for my immediate family and another half-dozen bikes built for friends. One of my three active bikes is an Xtracycle FreeRadical on a old cross bike frame.
              >
              > Project at hand: My wife's childhood friend has a daughter that runs a vegan bakery. Said daughter wants to delivery bakery products by bike. Most of the bakery products will be in 10" x 10" x 4" boxes or
              > 10" x 14" x 4" boxes. I have volunteered to build the bike and the cargo container that accepts the bakery boxes.
              >
              > Current plan: Somewhat vague, but I plan to get some sort of step-through frame, maybe a women's mountain bike, with 26" wheels, and build it up with the fattest tires I can fit under fenders. Mate it to a FreeRadical and then build a plywood structure on the back that will hold bakery boxes. Put doors on the plywood structure to keep the bakery boxes in place and to prevent casual theft. Use a Kickback or something like to hold the bike upright.
              >
              > So. I am new to this group, but I am told it is the go-to resource for projects like this. Anyone have any advice, prejudices, ideas, doctrine, resources or plain out-and-out mania to contribute to my design?
              >
              > -Doug Shaker
              >



            • Proxy
              I think you re prolly going to have to prototype something and come up with a revised carrier. Some risks I see, and have experienced with my Xtracycle, just
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 7, 2012
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                I think you're prolly going to have to prototype something and come up with a revised carrier. Some risks I see, and have experienced with my Xtracycle, just carrying any sized load:

                * Top weighted vehicle. This doesn't apply just to a single kickstand. I've fallen over in intersections or cornering when tired and going to fast. I've seen the bike tip over with just a few boxes of donuts on it because I reached down to the ground to pick up my helmet and just had one hand on the handlebars. Whatever you build really needs to lower the center of gravity. See if you can mock up a load of equitable maximum weight and get it up to the height of that load and see how it handles for you. Consider wind. Test out turning corners while going uphill under load.

                * Wind resistence. I don't remember many windy days in PA, but I was always in the office or at a CalTrain station. If you build a high drag structure on the bike, you don't want to risk product when it flips over.

                * Flip risk: product cost. Bouncing and tipping a bike is inevitable, so what is the potential loss if you have 24 iced cakes all suddenly slide to one side in their boxes, or a wedding cake when you strike a pothole. If you need to keep you load leveler, I'd suggest investing in a longjohn (bakfiet, Bullitt, etc), trike, or trailer.

                * Reconfigurability, just thinking about a wedding cake, or a load of baguettes makes me think that if you build fixed shelves, you might not be able to accomodate odd sized items. A rack with movable shelves or iron rails with bungees as shelves is a wonderfully clever idea.

                Best of luck!
              • Beth
                With what I am envisioning you describing; I would worry about stability and height. I am known to pack my bike and just got a kick back and it s great until
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 7, 2012
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                  With what I am envisioning you describing; I would worry about stability and height. I am known to pack my bike and just got a kick back and it's great until you go to take off then tippage is still a possibility. I would look at building side carriers. Not top cabinet. Use wide loaders and build up from there. I made mine out of PVC pipe. Light weight but strong and with free rad bags running underneath even better.
                  Beth Aiton
                  Nordic Ski/ Track Coach
                • DouglasS
                  Thanks for all the suggestions and advice, so far. I checked out the Sun Atlas Cargo bike. It looks great, a real deal for the price, but it isn t compatible
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jan 7, 2012
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                    Thanks for all the suggestions and advice, so far.

                    I checked out the Sun Atlas Cargo bike. It looks great, a real deal for the price, but it isn't compatible with WideLoader bars. I think I need something like WideLoaders to support the cases.

                    I appreciate the warnings to keep the center of gravity low are well-taken. I can keep the weight low, but I also expect that, sooner or later, the delivery person will dump the bike and take out a load of vegan treats. I need to mention that risk to the bakery owners and see if they would prefer a trike. I don't think they will, but I need to ask.

                    I don't know of any pavement issues in their area, but my experience is that Big Apple tires on my Xtracycle is that they are fat enough to eat up most of the bumps. Right now, I am planning on using
                    and old Japanese mixte frame. I will have a frame-builder add braze-ons to the fork for cantilever brakes and then use 26" tires instead of 700c tires. That should give me plenty of room for a fat tire and fenders.

                    I need to think seriously about the construction of the cargo carrier. I agree it should be lightweight. I don't think wind resistance is a serious problem, but I can see that the bakers could have a hard time maintaining control of the bike if the system was top-heavy. Right now, I am thinking of a light hardwood frame, maybe 1" x 1" maple, that is clamped to the WideLoaders, skinned on the outside with 1/4" plywood or chloroplast, and with runners on the inside to hold plywood shelves, one or two boxes of baked goods per
                    shelf. I don't know about the doors, maybe plexi with tiny neodymium magnets to hold them in place.

                    On 1/6/2012 10:12 AM, anthonyeberger wrote:
                    >
                    > I checked out a Torker at my LBS and it looked like it would fit a Xtra frame nicely. It's the Big T model but it used to be called something else and came with a 3-speed IGH.
                    >
                    > The frame is seriously beefy, easy to get on, and looks like it will take some fairly wide tires.
                    >
                    > The real question though is what is your budget? Cargo bikes can run the gambit when it comes to price.
                    >
                    > I'm looking forward to other responses as I think this is an untapped biz opportunity.
                    >
                    > Tony B.
                    > Riverwest WI
                    >
                    > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "DouglasS" <doug.shaker@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Introduction: I am a bike nerd in Palo Alto, California, with a herd of three active bikes maybe a half-dozen frames in progress, another half-dozen bikes built for my immediate family and another half-dozen bikes built for friends. One of my three active bikes is an Xtracycle FreeRadical on a old cross bike frame.
                    > >
                    > > Project at hand: My wife's childhood friend has a daughter that runs a vegan bakery. Said daughter wants to delivery bakery products by bike. Most of the bakery products will be in 10" x 10" x 4" boxes or
                    > > 10" x 14" x 4" boxes. I have volunteered to build the bike and the cargo container that accepts the bakery boxes.
                    > >
                    > > Current plan: Somewhat vague, but I plan to get some sort of step-through frame, maybe a women's mountain bike, with 26" wheels, and build it up with the fattest tires I can fit under fenders. Mate it to a FreeRadical and then build a plywood structure on the back that will hold bakery boxes. Put doors on the plywood structure to keep the bakery boxes in place and to prevent casual theft. Use a Kickback or something like to hold the bike upright.
                    > >
                    > > So. I am new to this group, but I am told it is the go-to resource for projects like this. Anyone have any advice, prejudices, ideas, doctrine, resources or plain out-and-out mania to contribute to my design?
                    > >
                    > > -Doug Shaker
                    > >
                    >
                    >


                    --
                    -Doug Shaker
                  • Fearghas McKay
                    ... Have you looked at Christiania style bikes ? Basically a trailer box at the front. either a trike
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jan 7, 2012
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                      On 8 Jan 2012, at 01:58, DouglasS wrote:

                      >>> So. I am new to this group, but I am told it is the go-to resource for projects like this. Anyone have any advice, prejudices, ideas, doctrine, resources or plain out-and-out mania to contribute to my design?
                      >

                      Have you looked at Christiania style bikes ? Basically a trailer box at the front.

                      either a trike

                      http://cargocycling.org/2007/07/christiani-tricycle-a-danish-original.html

                      http://www.christianiabikes.com/

                      or other people do variations with two wheels but my google fu is failing for them. Both are very common around town in Copenhagen, the latter more in Amsterdam.

                      HTH

                      f
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