Category: cargo bikes

Our friends at who helped us build the Cotton Candy Trike, just let us know that their business is growing. They announced a new website called where they’re offering remarkably affordable cargo bikes. Take a look at these fine specimens.

Look at these Bakfiet style cargo bikes called the Boxter. Prices start at $800…which is pretty competitive if you ask me.

We’ve had some inquiries about the Cotton Candy Trike build and what’s going on with it. Well I’m happy to say we’ve been busy making cotton candy for various fund-raising events. We’re also stepping up our game by acquiring a generator to pull on a trailer in the near future. That way we can be a fully mobile cotton candy trike. No that doesn’t mean we can make cotton candy while we’re riding, but that means we can be self sufficient, we don’t have to be plugged into a wall socket to produce the sweet stuff! Stay tuned!

So we set out to create a new project for We wanted to debut the project at the Two Wheels One Planet Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. The proceeds of the event was donated to the American Cancer Society; Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We reached out to because we thought their Cargo Trike would be a perfect match for this build. They saw our vision and graciously sent us one of their Cargo Trikes.


Once un-boxed, we started building it up. Here’s a photo right after we assembled it. We did make a few changes. We added a bell and a white saddle. But the major changes are coming!cargo trike

As you can see from the cargo area, there is quite a bit of potential. What we did next was very important to the build. We sourced wood from old pallets. In fact, the wood came from broken down pallets that Two Wheels One Planet received from deliveries. We did have to get 2, 2×1 lumber pieces to help with the framing. With all of our materials in-hand, we started cutting and piecing things together.12074968_10207174347184637_4451090786850402141_n

This is the floor of the cargo area that is supported by 2×1 pieces that are bolted onto the frame of the trike.12079541_10207196393895791_1585582633886914512_n

Flipping the trike upside down made it easier to create a jig so we can make sure that our floor was installed evenly. 12088383_10207196394135797_4526714278549380360_n

Floor is pretty much done. We then started building the upper shelf with more 2x1s and then used the pallet wood against the bars of the cargo area. Once everything was screwed in and bolted down, the shelf was pretty secure.IMG_5063

The next step was to box in the upper shelf to keep our goods secure. Again we used reclaimed wood, measured twice and cut once. We’re almost done! Now we just have to finish up the rest of the wood work and then we’ll get to try out our new build.

So here’s what we set out to do…serve cotton candy for the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. We figured the pink cotton candy was a great match to the event’s theme color.12122398_10207259838761873_4199634754740551532_n

Yes, cotton candy! So here’s the final product…We installed a commercial grade cotton candy maker on the upper shelf to help us serve massive quantities of cotton candy.IMG_5088

The upper shelf also has 6, 1″ holes that holds the paper cones for the candies. That sign was hand painted by my 14 year old daughter and it came from a used pallet! The bottom shelf is great for storing extra goods such as sugar, cones, extension cords and etc. We installed the 200 Smiles Per Gallon plates right in the front so people can see it!IMG_5089

Notice the white wall tires? Those were provided by Two Wheels One Planet! I went with the white theme because the fenders were white and I upgraded the saddle to a white one. I’m considering running white bar tape too. IMG_5090

Here I am explaining to a “customer” how cotton candy works. I told him that cotton candy is “delicious science!”trike

Here’s one of the great things about the Cargo Trailer. It fits perfectly in my mini-van. That way if I want to do another event for a school or other non-profit, I can easily load it up and go! 12088045_10207263810461163_1412244360725008626_n

Believe it or not, we served more cotton candy to adults than kids! In fact we served some to a whole family who have never had it! Both mom and dad as well as their daughter have never touched it. This photo is of Muni, one of the employees of Two Wheels One Planet, he wanted a cotton candy bigger than his face! Challenge accepted!12143259_10207266149319633_5574283332260106554_n

Overall the reception of the Cotton Candy Trike was well received. People kept asking about the trike and where they could get it. When I explained that the wood was sourced from the bike shop, I got more nods and approvals.














We want to thank the folks who supported this build such as, Two Wheels One Planet and of course (someone’s gotta pay for supplies). I also have to thank our friend Loren Brewster who guided us in building the wood sections of the trike. We anticipate many more events where we can feature the cotton candy trike. We’re hoping that we can bring it out to more bicycle events like Ciclavia, Ride of Silence and even local races.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “why cotton candy?” Simply put, people love that stuff and it’s easy marketing. We can pass out stickers, business cards and tell them all the great things going on at as well as

If you’ve been following this site over the last few years, I’ve mentioned sidecars more than a few times. You see, I grew up in the Philippines and for the most part, families that didn’t have a car usually would have a sidecar. It basically acted as a form of transportation. In addition, you can hire a sidecar for a few pesos to get you from point A to point B.

Now that I’ve been in America for a few decades, I’ve been daydreaming about a sidecar to add to my collection of bicycles. So, when my mom decided to visit the Philippines over the summer, I asked her if she could see about bringing back or at least shipping a sidecar back to the U.S. During her trip I received messages from my uncle who was overseeing the project. He sent a message with just a photo:
The next message I received was from my aunt who stated that when my mom arrived back in the U.S., someone will need a van or a truck to pick her up because of the sidecar. At first I thought they were just pulling my leg, but sure enough my mom had come through!

So when I received the sidecar (thanks mom!), it looked liked this:
I then mated it with my daughter’s old Manhattan Hotrod:
There’s one problem with the sidecar setup; if you’re the driver, it’s wicked tough to pedal. It’s doable, but it’s hard. The small cranks on the hotrod didn’t help either. In fact, when Jack was in town for Interbike, we rode it around the neighborhood and he too felt the weight of the beast. So then I thought, “wouldn’t it be great if this was electrified?!?” So I contacted Bike Mike at Leed Bicycle Solutions. He provided the project with a custom made 8Fun electric motor mounted a 20″ wheel combined with a 10.4 Ah Li-Ion Battery powered by Samsung.
samsung electric bike
Then I equipped the sidecar with a set of matching LED spoke lights by PBLights
The modifications didn’t stop there. In fact, I was far from over. One thing I wanted to do was make sure that the sidecar/bike had matching colors. Since the Hotrod had a great orange color to it already, I decided to go with that same scheme. So I took it to Specialized Powder Coating in Huntington Beach. I chose “Safety Orange.” About 10 days later, this is what I got back. Not bad eh? The color came out so nice, I couldn’t believe my eyes!
When I got home that morning, I started reassembling the machine. Pressing cups, tightening bolts, etc. In about 2 hours, the bike was complete! Oh but before I show you the final product, I have to mention that our very own Jack Sweeney sent me a large roll of vinyl as my Christmas present. So I went ahead and redid the upholstery on the the bike seat, seat pad and back rest on the sidecar.
Ok so here’s the fully assembled sidecar/bike, sans the battery pack:
We’ve done a number of projects on BikeCommuters and over the years, but I have to say that this has to be one of my favorites that we’ve done. Anyone who rides the sidecar immediately falls in love with it. Not only was it fun to work on it, but my own daughter and I have had countless hours riding this thing around. In fact, she loves taking her friends on it and cruising the neighborhood. Heck, just this afternoon, we rode up to the local school and I asked the kids who were there if they’d like to have a drag race.
These kids didn’t have a chance! Ya I know that I’m a grown man and I was riding a sidecar with an electric motor, but still, I won!
For now the sidecar project is done…well not really. Now I’m focusing more on accessories. I want to get cup holders and possibly building some sort of canopy for it or even a wood floor.

It’s no secret that we’re unabashed fanboys of Xtracycle, and we spotted some new products in their lineup. We will visit their booth at the indoor show tomorrow for more details, but in the meantime, here are some shots of new products:

A new integrated frameset called the Edgerunner. Buyers are no longer tied to the Freeradical kit, as Xtracycle now offers at least a couple full cargo framesets. This one has a smaller rear wheel for more strength and stability:

The frameset has an integrated mounting area for e-assist kits.

Check out this complete kid-carrying system…from a bucket seat to guardrails all the way around!

We will be sure to get a lot more details tomorrow, and full specs. Stay tuned!

Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
Black Tiger Jerky

I’ve always been a fan of matching accessories on a bicycle. Take this photo for example. Fenders, racks, pedals, and chain guard pretty much match everything else on the bike.
commuter bike
But when I see this, I immediately think that I might worry too much about leaving a beautiful machine at a bike rack at the office where I can’t see it for hours at a time.
My old Redline commuter bike was unassuming, it had a grey/black color scheme and I even uglified it just to deter thieves from trying to take it. So I’m curious to know what are you thoughts, do you dress up your bike to look as good as this specimen, or do you dumb it down to detract attention from it. Or perhaps you have a bike like this and you consider it your “going out” bike. Something you use when you’re out getting coffee or grabbing a bite to eat at the local sandwich shop where you could still keep your eyes on it.