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Apr 28, 2011

Babboe City Cargobike First Impressions

Babboe was created in 2007 in The Netherlands by 3 folks who saw the need for a more affordable, yet durable cargo bike.  Their first offering was the 3-wheeled "Big" with the bakfiets style "City" as their latest offering.

First up is a quick review of the City with a review of the Big coming in a few weeks time.  Lets start at the front of the bike...

- Oversized, glavanized steel frame with oversized and galvanized steel fork offering a tough chassis that should last for many years of hard use
- braking provided by a Shimano roller brake for years of maintenance free, all weather stopping power
- battery powered LED lighting.  Although we prefer dynamo lighting whenever possible, the light on the City is bright enough and keeps the costs down

The cargo box on the City is one of its finest features and one of the nicest we've seen
- German made, marine grade Birch to handle many years outdoors
- multiple panels are replaceable in the event of damage and held togther with stainless steel hardware
- rounded box design is a real treat preventing ouchies from corners and more comfort for your children
- foot holes on the bottom of the box allow for easy entry for the children
- 2 sets of safety harnesses for the kiddies, with an additional seat available for larger families
- rain cover available
- 100kg weight capacity

The bike itself is shipped in 3 separate boxes allowing for much cheaper freight, but more importantly, better packaging and a bike that arrives to you in great condition.  This photo shows how the front half connects to the back with the beautiful kickstand visable too.  Stainless steel hardware holds everything togther.  One of the things I love about this bike is the kickstand.  You can deploy it from either side of the bike (no latch), does not rattle at all, and is spring loaded making it easy to use even with a full load on board.

Moving towards the rear of the bike...
- full coverage fenders front and back keep you clean
- full chaincase keeps your clothes clean
- Rustbuster chain standard
- battery powered taillight with integrated reflector
- drivetrain supplied by Shimano's ubiquitous Nexus 7-speed workhorse
- low gear range makes hills a breeze even on this heavy bike
- braking power is the same as the front, Shimano roller brake
- integrated ABUS wheel lock
- rack mounts (if you decide you want a rear rack)

<- The Babboe City in its natural habitat.

The bike has a remarkably light handling feel, especially considering its length and weight.  As with most bakfiets-style bikes, it actually feels better with weight in the box and is quite easy to ride once you've figured it out.

The seat tube angle on the bike is very relaxed offering a wide range of people the ability to ride this bike - everyone from 5' to 6'+ will find the bike comfortable to ride and easy to handle.  The handlebars are also height adjustable making it easy to find the perfect riding position for most people.

Riding the Babboe City is easy and comfortable even though is is over 6' long.  The steering feels light and responsive even with a couple of kids onboard and the gear range is low enough that most people should be able to handle most terrain found in the city.  One thing I really like about this bike is how low the back of the cargo box is - allowing for out-of-the-saddle pedaling on hills - nice! 

Cargo bikes are a real alternative to the second (or third) car and offer families an amazing way to get out togther and explore your community, grocery shop, picnics - your imagination is the only thing limiting the possibilities of these amazing machines. 

Test rides are available.

Apr 27, 2011

Beautiful Bicycle Giveaway!

We are hosting a contest with the organizers of Calgary's Bike To Work Day to give away this beautiful LINUS Mixte 3-speed. You want to win it, right?

Sporty Chic! The LINUS Mixte 3 

Entering the contest is easy. Here are the details...

- snap a photo of yourself riding to work and post it on Twitter mentioning @Bike2WorkDayYYC and @BikeBikeYYC.
- If you are not of the Twitter persuasion, post your picture on Bike To Work Day's Facebook page or our own BikeBike Facebook page
- Maximum 5 photos per person
- The lucky winner will be drawn on Bike To Work Day and contacted by the ride organizers

During the week leading up to Bike To Work Day on Friday May 6, Breakfast Television will be talking about various aspect of cycling in Calgary - including a bicycle style segment on Monday May 2 at 7:52am hosted by us!

Apr 21, 2011

Bike Rentals!

Bike Rental Rates and Information

Batavus BuB 3-Speed City Bike
Day $30
Overnight $45
Weekly (5 Days) $120
Rentals include a great lock, and if desired, a helmet too.

Batavus BuB


Bicycles for riding with family, moving bigger loads, or simply for fun.  Call us for availability.
Day $50
Overnight $75
Weekly (5 Days) $150
Rentals include a great lock, and if desired, a helmet(s) too.

Call 403-457-2453 for more information or to book your rental.  

Apr 10, 2011



I am completely blown away by Calgary area cyclists yet again.  A bunch of us met on a cold February day just 2 months ago and within that short period of time we are here, launching a bike festival like nothing Calgary has ever seen before.

10 days of events for all types of people - part of me thinks that Calgary may never be the same after this first year.  Lets hope!

For those of you reading this who are not familiar with what the festival is all about, check this out to get the skinny.  For those of you who like to organize things - check out the organizers information here.  Organizing an event does not need to be a big production - set a date, invite your friends, and go ride your bike!  It's that easy.

We've already added 2 events to the festival - how are you contributing?

Apr 5, 2011

World's Finest Folding Bikes Are Here!

We finally received our first batch of Brompton's and last week in between snow storms I took our demo bike out for an hour and a half test ride to see what all the "fuss" was about.

What do I mean by "fuss"? Well, Brompton owners absolutely love their bikes and have such passion for their little bikes that it's hard not to be drawn in by it.  These owners use these bikes for everything under the sun - daily commuting, grocery shopping, travelling, touring, and even racing.  Brompton's are well suited to all of these endeavours for a number of reasons - super small dimensions when folded (easy to carry on a train or bus), light weight, available luggage, travel cases, and rack options, and models available with super fast tires and gearing.

Below are some photos of my test ride...

The bike is so small I was able to bring it inside the market while I picked up lunch.

Guarded.  Our demo S6L with S-Bag in parking mode - simply flip the rear wheel under and presto! Parked.

The Elbow River meeting The Glenmore Reservoir.  Amazed at how fast and stable the bike is.  It has a much longer wheelbase than most other folding bikes giving it a remarkably stable ride.

Overpassed.  During my test ride I had to fiddle with the fit quite a bit but had it sorted by the end.  Only one complaint, the grips were a bit uncomfortable.

At rest.  I loved the 6-speed system and found it easy to find the perfect gear.  Brompton's gear system is all their own with specially designed Sturmey Archer hub and Brompton's own "derailleur".

The S-Bag attaches to a block on the headtube keeping the handlebars free to turn and placing the weight nice and low.  Incredibly stable and very well balanced.

***May 2014 Update***

Meanwhile, here in Calgary, we are fortunate to have a transit service that has been willing to embrace the multimodal capabilities that folding bikes offer.  So long as your bike is folded up and inside a bag you can bring it onto buses and trains during rush hour, offering a solution to the "first and last mile". 

Instead of waiting for the bus to take you to the train then waiting for another bus (or walking) to take you to your final destination, employing a folding bike allows you to take control of your time needed for commuting and frees up a seat on the bus for someone who may need it more than you! 

Here is a little video Stewart Midwinter and I created to show how easy (and fun!) it can be -

We have a fleet of bikes currently in stock and demostrator models are available for test rides.  Give us a call or pop in sometime to test out these remarkable little machines.

Apr 4, 2011

Are We On The Cusp Of A Cycling Renaissance In Calgary?

There has been a lot of chatter in recent months about The City of Calgary's Comprehensive Cycling Strategy and whether we might finally see some progress towards getting safe, onstreet cycling infrastructure built here.

Am I dreaming in technicolour?  I don't think so.