Author Topic: Cycling with twins  (Read 3743 times)

Cycling with twins
« on: 19 May, 2017, 02:21:05 am »
Chatting to a friend today, she was expressing frustration about her current car commute, and speculating about the prospect of switching back to riding.

It's about 11km (so quite a nice riding distance), but complicated by the fact that it's both her commute and the school run, for twin boys who are almost 6 - their school is about halfway, but up a significant hill. She has been contemplating a cargo bike (or trike) - maybe a Bakfiets or Christiana, almost certainly with electric assist because of the combination of passengers and hill, but isn't completely happy with that idea because of the boys' comfort and boredom levels.

I suggested she look at a Circe Helios as a jumping-off point for other ideas (I knew but hadn't fully registered that Circe can offer both electric assist and a triplet conversion, which on thinking about it might be a good combination), and something like a Me'n'u2 could be a possibility too, albeit probably needing an aftermarket electric kit and maybe a bit more suitable if there were an age and size difference between her potential junior stokers.

Any other bright ideas? It sounded like price wouldn't particularly be an issue1 for the right kit, though she lives close to Geneva so local availability might be.

(I've seen a few threads in the Tandem board, but figured this wasn't necessarily a tandem subject, even if it turns out to have a tandem solution.)

1: As ever, to a point. Cheaper is always better once the quality's been achieved, and she's been looking at secondhand boxbike availability (plenty in Germany, apparently), but I don't think £5k on a Helios electric triplet would necessarily be out of reach if that's her best option.


  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #1 on: 19 May, 2017, 09:15:45 am »
A bloke used to deliver two children to my son's primary school in a Christiana trike. They didn't seem to get bored at all, though I guess it depends to an extent on the kids, how long the journey is, etc. The school was hafway up a steep hill so he pretty soon added electric assist, even though he was a distinctly fitter than average person. I think the problem with either a Christiana or a boxbike is that after a few years the kids will outgrow it; though I guess by then you can move on to tandems or own bikes and sell the cargo wotsit.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.


Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #2 on: 19 May, 2017, 09:51:50 am »
Well, I have a 7 yo and 2 yo twins.  Personally I really want to save up for a Helios triplet, but am not too bothered about a box bike. 
Once my son was 5+ I would expect that he could manage 5km, especially on a tandem, so the triplet was my first thought.  The triplet also allows access to space that is too narrow for a box bike and is more easily stored indoors (though I know that Switzerland has different restrictions than the UK).   If she is looking to totally ditch the car and will need a cargo loader then a boxbike is good, but if the car will still be used for shopping then the tandem will see more use over time imo.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #3 on: 19 May, 2017, 10:09:43 am »
Real shame that the u+2 is out of production as that was a good tool for this job (it was a tag-along two wheeler, gave stability and other options). Great for kids who can do a bit of pedalling.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #4 on: 19 May, 2017, 10:28:41 am »
The Thorn Me'n'u2 triplet is available as a frameset £900 or built up for £2000.

SJSC also sometimes have second hand models


  • Can't climb; won't climb
Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #5 on: 19 May, 2017, 11:34:26 am »
In Holland you can get a triplet where the mini riders are at the front and the helmsman is at the back.

PB could always do an electric conversion. ;)
216km from Marsh Gibbon

Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #6 on: 20 May, 2017, 01:48:39 am »
That Onderwater machine's interesting, though a supplier closer than Ontario would probably be helpful!

Ah. Nijmegen - that's a bit more convenient, though still not ideal. And they suggest it's best suited for kids from 4-8, which might be a bit limited lifespan.

Helios electric triplet comes in at £4.6k, apparently. From the pic they've sent me adding a trailer appears de rigeur as well - it's an impressively long vehicle.

The Thorn Me'n'u2 triplet is available as a frameset £900 or built up for £2000.

Aye, I'd seen that they've done another limited production run. Someone in Ireland's advertised a s/h one this week too ...

Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #7 on: 21 May, 2017, 09:17:22 am »
I know someone in York who owned one. Trouble is with those machines is that generally they suit when the main pilot isn't huge - the owner in York is about 5' 2".
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #8 on: 22 May, 2017, 05:01:58 am »
I bought our me 'n u2 triplet from a family, who the mother and father both used to ride it. The seat height adjustment was plenty to accommodate. They had 2 stems on the steerer and would swap the bars between stems if the mum was doing the school run or the dad.  Seemed a nice a convenient solution.  I didn't get rid of the lower (shorter) stem in the years we rode it. 

Re: Cycling with twins
« Reply #9 on: 23 May, 2017, 10:30:41 am »
Maybe look at the Hop Onboard project for some ideas. There is going to be a TEDX style talk in July (sadly a weekend when we are camping), talking about cycling with children. At least one of the families involved has 4 fairly small children.
Quote from: Kim
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