The Rocket Bike

We’ve been thinking about getting a new cargo bike lately because our kids are getting a bit small for the bakfiets. The main problem is that Daniel is too tall when the rain tent is on – which is all the time – and so the kids have to sit on the floor of the bike instead of on the seat.

The cargo bike is our car and gets used every single day. We even go on longish rides with it and it will be many years before Daniel is capable of cycling around the streets on his own bike. We also have no intention of ever purchasing a car.

Consequently I have spent a very enjoyable Sunday morning ogling at cargo bikes on the web. There are so many amazing bikes out there with very creative features and designs. But this one takes the cake:

IMG_4333-e1433858951486

It’s called the Boxer Rocket and is made in the UK by a British startup in Dorset called Boxer Cycles. The company is currently seeking funding.

I had the same reaction as this reviewer when I saw it which was, “Shut up and take my money!”. The bike seats four kids on two benches which face each other. There’s lockable storage in the nose of the bike and it also has front and rear indicators. I often find myself wishing I had indicators on my bike as sticking an arm out when you’re about to turn on a heavy cargo bike is not really the safest thing to do. It comes with an electric motor and also a jet engine simulator which sold it for Daniel. The kids’ seats recline creating a bed if they want to lie down and sleep which would be great on long trips. It’s not cheap, though, with a price of £4950.00. What do you think?

36 Comments

    1. Those things are only for small kids. That particular one takes a combined weight of up to 25.5kg which is probably Elizabeth’s weight alone. Most cargo bikes will take weight up to 90-100kg. I also think it’s more dangerous having kids on the back like that. I’m not sure why as it probably makes no difference. But you can’t see them. And if anyone hits you from behind ….

      Cargo bikes are also very stable. I never have any problems with balance on mine.

    2. Chariots with kids behind the bike are nowadays the default here in Bonn. There are also two-person chariots. You can also use them as buggy. Not as flashy as a rocket though.

      1. Do people in Bonn use those chariots for everyday transport? In my experience, those are mainly used by families on weekends for leisure activities rather than as a mode of transport.

        I think my problem is that most of the cargo bikes are made in Amsterdam and Copenhagen where there are wonderful off-road cycle paths. This means that once a child reaches 8 or 9 it’s very safe for them to cycle on their own bike and so there’s no point catering for an older child. But that’s not the case in the UK and I don’t see any children of this age cycling by themselves on roads here.

      2. I think that part uses them for everyday transport, yes. At least on dry days. But you are right that the children are normally smaller and Bonn may well have better bicycle paths than Edinburgh, even if they are terrible compared to The Netherlands.

    1. The Boxer Shuttle is also very nice but they don’t seem to have any of those available. In any case, I think the rocket is a bit out of our price range and I’m not sure whether I want a trike. I have the feeling a two-wheeled bike handles better especially on corners.

      1. Apparently the Shuttle is available! I contacted BoxerCycles and there’s a problem with their site. The bikes are made to order so am seriously getting a Shuttle now. I would prefer the Rocket but can’t really justify the price. Plus the Shuttle has a really handy bracket you can get which will let you carry around a children’s bike as well. They’ve also said they’ll custom make the rain tent to fit the height I want which is wonderful.

    1. Why not? We sit facing backwards on trains all the time. I don’t think my kids would care in the least. They’re often playing on devices or watching a film when we go for longer rides anyway.

  1. What about rickshaws? They are of a comparable price. Although I can see that this cargo bike has advantages in being able to transport stuff around (I remember the Christmas tree!!) that would slide out of a rickshaw. It’s also nice to think of supporting a start up company with such a great design and idea. Maybe the rickshaw is more visible to traffic, being taller though.

    1. Yes, that’s definitely a possibility. I didn’t realise they were so cheap. My main concern is that they’re quite large and so I probably wouldn’t be able to go on the bike paths or navigate around the bollards they put at the start and end of bike paths. I’d also prefer a two-wheeled bike anyway so I don’t think we’ll get a Rocket since it has three.

  2. My first impression wasf Steampunk! Hell yeah! I’d be dressing my kids in victorian gear and smoky goggles. 🙂 But that’s a lot of $. My favorite uncle made our first bikes and made bikes for any kid in town who needed one. Wish he was still here to design new bikes like this!

  3. A good place to get sound advice on all things bike:

    http://forum.ctc.org.uk/

    I had a tandem with kiddycranks and also a trailer bike; if you want luggage too you can also attach a one wheel trailer.

    Even a triplet would be an option.

    But once kids are beyond about six, they generally want to cycle themselves and by eight, they can go further than most adults, in my experience.

      1. True. I also think how we cycle with kids is different to how other families cycle with kids. For most other people I know, cycling with kids means going to the park or a bike path and then cycling for leisure for a couple of hours one Sunday. When they want to go somewhere involving roads they take the car. Our bike is our car and so we cycle everywhere – to dinner, to the beach, to swimming, to the University, to school ….

    1. Yes, that’s certainly true and I have thought about that. It would probably retain its value, unlike a car, which depreciates fairly rapidly after purchase.

      1. The Boxer has front and rear indicators though, as well as lockable storage and somewhere to hang a children’s bike on the front. They can also paint the box to make it look cool 🙂

    1. Unfortunately, no. The US has some really great bikes but they can be hard to get over here. In any case there’s quite a good selection in Europe it’s just hard choosing!

  4. It made me laugh (in a good way). Agree with climateindie, it would be cool to have more bikes like that on the road. But I must naturally be more conservative, as my preference is the Urban Arrow.

    1. Everyone loves the Urban Arrow. It is a very nice bike and I like it too. The only downside is I think Daniel is too tall already to be able to use the rain tent and we really need that in Aberdeen. I’m not someone who only cycles when the sun is out and takes the car all those other times. I cycle regardless of the weather and I don’t want the kids arriving at school soaking wet. Another option is this one – http://triobike.com/projects/triobike-mono-e/ – as they’ve also said they could increase the cover height for us. However they’re the most expensive of all but the bike is also incredibly light which is appealing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s