I was recently at the Darebin Kite Festival with my small family, - 3
year old, 1 year old, and partner - and took time out to give my neck a
rest and turned to admire a cargo cycle, as in the ones that were until recently imported into Melbourne
from China, but not any longer.

We are tentatively considering a cargo bike to transport kids/shopping/etc, because my 3 year old boy has
actually outgrown our Burely double trailer. He's tall for his age...and we still have two kids to transport around.

We can't afford a $3,000 Gazelle, which would be the 2-wheeled cargo bike alternative.

This 3-wheeled cargo box bike is imported by Countdown Imports: it's a much cheaper alternative to the real-deal Christiania cargo bike. I've been in contact with Countdown to find out the amazing price (as in low) of these 'bikes'.

I'm looking for independent opinions from people who use them.

Does anyone in this group have an opinion about, or use the Countdown Imports bike?

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey hey Richard
Hope it's ok reply despite being un-independent.
I suggest you contact The Social Studio in Smith Street, they have one of Chinese cargo cycles they never use, they can get up the hill..
I will also gladly put you in contact with those of my customers who all have bought a Christiania 2 or 3 wheeler after realising how much more you can use it..
Good luck
MTB solution - sorta like this? (My newest 'family vehicle') :D

(The smaller one is not smiling because we stopped riding) ;)
Hi Cory
We ended up getting one of these (the boy's version) with a view to either:

a) getting a cheap tag-along from our friendly internet auction site so that the Max-man can get the sensation of movement/balance/we won't need all day to ride down to the local park/and so on

b) the trailer hitch: which won't require a).

However, I have mis-givings about the trailer hitch because any child seems to be leaning backwards, and the Max-man is 25+ kgs (he is a tall 3 and a half year old); is their a weight limit?

What's your experience been with the trailer hitch?
Snap. ByKs are great I reckon.

Ours is a TrailGator (and I haven't seen any other similar products in other brands). http://www.cycletow.com.au/faqs/ says child's weight maximum of 32kg... no mention of the bike weight however.

I don't have anything but praise for the TrailGator. Only had it about a month... but both myself, and the girl, LURVE it!

You'll read a few dissenting opinions on the web. I asked a few mates who have used TrailGators, and they all said 'user error'. After my experience, I'd agree with them. Takes a little setup, and then it's stress free. (I put some tape on her bike, to hopefully protect the paintwork a little).
I'm the proud owner of one of the 'until recently imported' ones from the link above.

As a rule, I'm not a fan of the three-wheeled variants. Don't handle like a bike. Big. Heavy. Can't be ridden on many bike routes because of their width.

However... that's also because I don't have a need for them. A friend has a Christiania, which I've ridden, and it works really well for him. He carts his whole family (his wife is quite petite) to/fro the beach on it.

So he needs the tip-truck end of the scale. I can get away with the ute ;)

I can't vouch for the quality of this supplier. What I will say is that the Chinese built CargoBikes are nowhere near the build quality of the genuine article. However, at a 1/3 of the price, they are much better than 1/3 of the build quality. Get a test ride. I would have LOVED a real one, but couldn't afford it.

Oh... and get in touch with aforementioned until recent importer... he had a few ppl interested in purchasing the business. If that's going ahead, you may be able to get the two wheeled chinese beast in a few months?
I'm surprised you find the Christiania heavy, the model light is 31 kg that's as far I know lighter than the cargocycle.. ofcourse 3 wheels do have more resistance when riding it..
Of the more than 300 bikes we have sold in Australia, no ever said there are places they can't go, more the opposite, we hear stories about people taking them on trains, (Exhibition station is an easy station to get in and out of) Warburton bike trail, inside Coles super market in Doncaster, in the elevator at 303 Collins Street, I wonder what many (85 cm wide) bike routes you refer to?
With a tall 3 year old and a 1 year old + need too also have a few groceries I don't think the cargo cycle's box is big enough, and with winter coming up the lack of a rain hood that allows 2 kids to sit next to each other with helmets on will stop many people from riding it as the kids get really cold.
I agree with Hielke a MTB can be the solution, but if you want more room, want it now, and not a trike, why don't you come try our Christiania 2wheeler, it's super light, have box big enough for 3 kids and stuff, and are cheaper than any other European cargo bike..
Hmm... Nice sales spin.

How would you actually know which model of Christiania I rode? :S FWIW, yeah, it was significantly heavier than my CargoBike, and significantly wider and there's a few places I ride my CargoBike that I can only just manage to get it through. (Oh, and I have a rain canopy that both my 1yr old, and 4yr old can fit under easily.)

You may also see that I was mainly saying that the bike was not 'for me'. I did follow up by saying a friend was very happy with theres. So... horses for courses. If I had a need for one, I would certainly contemplate it. Perhaps just not from you ;)
Sorry if it sounded like a sales pitch to you, was just trying to make this a objective discussion and get the facts right.
You are absolutely right, I don't know what model bike Christianiabike you rode, but the heaviest model in Australia is the NoBox, it has a steel frame but no box, it weighs 33 kg. without any box on it, as far as I know, then I know all the people who have a model NoBox and fitted a box on them, none of them live by the beach, are you sure you did not try the Cargobike? How heavy/light is your Cargo Cycle? (Sorry I don't know what :S FWIW means)
The widest point on a Christianiabike is 865 mm, over the axles on the wheels, so far I have not heard of any bike tracks not wide enough for that, (first you wrote "many tracks" then "few places")
Only place I'm aware of, where the trike can't go, is at the end of Gipps Street in Abbotsford where the bike track turns into steps with a rail in one side, I find it very difficult taking my normal bike down that rail and the one time i took a Christiania I decided to ride another way home as there was no chance of me getting it up the track again.

I did not know there was different canopies to the cargo cycle, the one I tried is the clear dome-shaped one they have at The Social Studio and that did not leave enough space for 2 kids sitting on the seat w their helmets on, and the velcro did not keep the hood closed.
Yes you are right horses for courses, that why I wrote in the first place because I believe Richard would be better of with a Christiania trike.

Maybe your last sentence explains your actual reason for entering in this forum...
I'm not sure about the cargo bikes, but there are many places I've found where either a tandem or a MTB towing a child trailer has major problems on our so-called "bicycle network". Some obstacles are surmountable, some are not. Paths that are too narrow, paths with bollards in them, paths with metal pipe chicanes, paths with 90 or 180 degree turns with walls or fences around both inside and outside.

Anything other than a straight ordinary bicycle and I'd really recommend sticking to the real "principal bicycle network" - the roads.

Yeah, just like my first post in this thread where I said that Chinese bikes are nowhere near the quality, and that I'd much prefer a genuine one, but could not afford it. But yeah... it's all about you isn't it eh?

Oh, and try this
No Cory, it's all about you...
You have always been bagging the Christianiabikes, but frankly I don't believe you have ever have tried one, in your earlier post you claim they don't fit any bike tracks and are heavy, yet you don't answer what many biketracks they don't fit and you don't answer who's bike you tested at the beach. Why?
I'm fully aware a trike is not for you, but that do not give you any reason or ground to keep having a go at the Christiania trikes.
You are more than welcome to come by and try a trike or a 2wheeler or feel free to talk to any of the Christianiaowners you meet around and ask them, if you are so eager to be an expert on the bikes, until then please be honest and keep to things you know about.
Err yeah. I have tried them. A few different variants actually. Inc one of yours.

And no - if you read, I don't bag them. I think they're brilliant. But it all depends upon your purpose. My mate who has one - it suits his purpose perfectly.

For my purpose, I prefer two wheels. For a variety of reasons.

Meh. We're pretty-much on the same team here...


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