Thursday, March 30, 2017

Radwagon Family Cargo Electric Assist Bike 1st Long Ride

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Used Radwagon Cold Ride to School in Hilly Vermont

Canoe strapped him in for a temporary kid seat on a cold ride home from school during a rare day off. Got this bike handle coming: Bicycle Armrest Handrail, YIFAN Bike Child Safety Cycling Rear Saddle Handlebar - Black: Link:

Might go for the monkey bars and mount if my wife likes this bike enough to use it. It's heavy for her. But she tried it today.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Testing: Family Cargo Bike. Used Radwagon. Electric assist, regen breaking, 1000+ miles

Me on the Radwagon at night, before monkey bars. 
Monkey bar caboose with extra t-grip handle
I got a used Radwagon family cargo bike! Testing it and documenting it here.

I see the e-assist cargo/family movement as strong, but also the reality is a bit like RVs and Boats. They will probably be used less then one thinks by most people due to weather, maintenance, and laziness. But so far, my e-bike rides to town and with my kids are amazing!

Test though! On quiet streets. These bikes can be heavy. On a recent test of a Radwagon/Yepp Seat config, my daughter actually fractured her arm (not a bad fracture). Total parent fail, and the bike wasn't even moving! So testing is crucial. More on that soon in another post.

Here's a great summary of cargo bike reviews here from Electric Bike Review here.

I think this frame will last a long time and eventually I'd add a mid-drive system to have better hill climbing using the 21 speeds. Something like the Befrag 8-Fun BBS02 Mid-Drive, which should be cheap by the time I need it!

We tried a Yepp Maxi Easy Fit seat, it was very well made and easy to use. But setup didn't work of my wife. Too back-heavy. 

Yepp seat on back was found to be well made, and very easy to use, but the Radwagon was too back and top heavy with two kids for my wife. 

This setup worked well for me, but needed monkey bars for safety. 

Radwagon rear child handlebars, monkey bars, handles. 

 This one works for my 5 year old to hold on to so far. $12.00. Bicycle Armrest Handrail, YIFAN Bike Child Safety Cycling Rear Saddle Handlebar - Black
by Yifan.

I'm wondering bout other seats like Bell Incs. Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier Link:
I wonder if the base is wide enough to fit over the rear rack?

I think Thule bought Yepp. But they did have this too: Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat by Thule Link:

Riding the Radwagon 3-20-17

After huge work weekend for our first graduate school residency on the main Marlboro College campus I got some time to ride the Radwagon to town. It was a dream to ride on the flat surfaces and small hills to down. On the way back I went up a big hill, over 15% incline at times and that's when the motor and weight of the bike could be felt. Keeping the motor at under 500W draw as advised, on pedal assist #2, still required a little hard pedaling on the worst of the hill. With two kids, would have been hard on this hill. But at Pedal Assist #5, it would be easier and since the hill was short, that would be ok.

Got a Used Radwagon tonight
Used Radwagon in my 2009 Subaru Forester. Hatch closed, with child seat too.

So excited. I found someone in town who is upgrading to a RadCity and had a Radwagon with just over 1000 miles on it. The battery is going go probably soon. The seller gave us a wonderful deal and it fit in my Subaru Forester tonight!.

 I'll be going over the Radwagon Best Practices. And the owners manual.  

The seller emailed me the below, they were really nice. We wont' be driving at night. 

"Enjoy the bike and be safe.  Seriously think about high power lights, streets are dangerous d/t distracted drivers. Good quality lights are not cheaper but more less expensive than an ER visit. Protect yourself. Enclosed are some links you might find helpful.
Another good link.  I bought the Radwagon purposely for the regenerative braking.  I like the regen feel and appreciate saving on brake pads. and are great ebike resources.   Enjoy the ride!"  

Someday...Radwagon can take a MidDrive motor. 

1000W mid drive on the Radwagon...nice: Endless Sphere Forums conversion post.

This is definitely a movement

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Family Cargo Bike Electric Assist Research for Family of 4 in hilly New England Town

I got a Used Radwagon

I Got a used Radwagon. It has just over 1000 miles. It was a very, very good deal. The seller was clearly giving me and the family a break on the cost and happy to be helping people "go electric." They are upgrading to a RadCity. I think this will end up being my bike, but we'll see how things go this summer. Definitely a good way to test the fantasy from reality.

But My Wife is Still Looking for Hers

Research on Family Cargo Bikes

My wife and I live within a few miles of schools and shopping, but there are big hills in Brattleboro, VT. We have limited shed space. We want to keep it sanely priced for our modest income at about $2000 or less. Our kids are 2 and 5. 

Our Current Favorite Family Bikes Around $2,000.00

  • Bike Friday Haul-A-Day is leading the charge. We need to test it though.
  • Yuba Mundo 7-speed with disc breaks and mid drive Bafang 750w is second.
  • A used Radwagon is being tested now. 
  • Virtue Cycles, Gondoliere Plus 
  • Tage 2.0 bucket Trike. The front bucket is hot design wise, perhaps designers are seeing natural evolution that happended in bike-friendly countries for decades.  People are social. They want to talk to, and share experiences with, each other as they ride.
  • A friend loved these trikes in Europe and they've gone electric assist too: Christiania Bikes
  • Here's a car practically, but hard on narrow town sidewalks and not good for busy narrow hilly roads the ELF tike car from Organic Transit.  


  • Too expensive, but we love the Yuba Elmundo V5, ERAD. $4k.
  • Xtracycle 24D Edgerunner, with e-assist. $just under 3k?, and Madsen Bucket Bike with a beefy e-assist
  • Love this design. This is the dealer in Burlington for the front cargo out of Netherlands that's been used for decades. I think their design is amazing. Low, front, but a bike not a trike. but $4000 with good electric.

Local Vermont Pro Bike Group

Vermont Bike Solutions is helping us. They are awesome for asking for info! Dave, the founder, is in our town and he's relentlessly positive about bikes: | Email:

My Notes

Yuba Mundo, 7 Speed (Est Total Cost $?)
  • $1000.00:
  • $ ??? Electric Assist:
  • Installation? Motor, breaks. We can do rack.
  • Shipping
  • Extras: $ Monkey bars for little kids. $ Child seat for toddler. $ Disc brakes. $ paniers/basket
  • Pros
  • Cons
Bike Friday (Est Total Cost $?)
Taga 2.0: New kid on block. Hills with two kids?
  • $2000 bike:
  • Installation?
  • Baby seat needed? $0
  • Shipping
  • Extras
  • Pros
  • Cons
Madsen Bucket Bike (Est Total Cost $?)
RadWagon (Est Total Cost $1,800.00) (800) 939-0310

Friday, March 3, 2017

Green Space Peace Place: It's easy to forget there's a international science team peacefully cooperating above our heads to help all earthlings.

What's off grid...WAY off grid, solar powered, makes 3.6 gallons of drinking water a day from urine it's such a good recycler, and is a beacon of peaceful international cooperation?

And just last week, a Dragon who loves electric cars arrived there bringing supplies you paid for?

Here's a Few Clues

This is a video of it passing between us and the moon.

Here's the View

The International Space Station

Easy to forget about huh? Amazing things are happening all the time up there.

Last Week a Dragon Arrived There With Supplies

Note: NASA video is usually boring because they aren't trying to make any money, but they have to put all media in the public domain on a small taxpayer media production budget.

This spaceship is revolutionary and more sustainable because it does vertical landings. 

How Big Is It?

Hard to tell how big that is though isn't it? NASA is famous for showing photos that are hard to contextualize or know if the photos are exactly real, or colorized, or composites or animations.

This is a real photo taken from the Space Shuttle in 2010.  It's bigger now.

About as big as a football field. 

 Here's the configuration as of 2016

Where is it?

It's only 240 miles away, but it's straight up through a brutal gravity tug. It's also hard to board since it's going 24,000 miles an hour and the bus only leaves a few times a year and the ticket costs millions.

You can track it here and often see it at dawn and dusk with the naked eye. Spot the Station.

You can see where it's over at anytime here at this live camera and map feed. Live, current view it has

What's It Like Inside?

Links for the International Space Station