I have been traveling for work the past couple weeks, so I am a bit behind on the blog (as usual). Recently though, reader Pierre Fabre shared a couple of interesting French cargo bike designs with me, so I want to take a minute to share them with you.
The 4/ A modular cargo bike by Douze Cycles is an interesting design by Thomas Coulbeaut, a French designer who has been working for the past three years in Hamamatsu, Japan at Yamaha musical instruments. According to Pierre:
“Thomas developed the concept and prototype all by himself and begun marketing it through his own company (Douze Cycles),
The frame is so far manufactured in Belgium and the bike sold with or without an electric Sunrace motor. From now on it will be produced and distributed by Gitane and benefit from the wide distribution network of Cycleurope. But the most innovative development with this cargo bike comes under the name Alter +, a research and development program for powering it with an fuel cell using compact replaceable lightweight cartridges containing metal powder that supplies all the elements to fuel the hydrogen engine Pragma Industries is developing and already testing on running prototypes. No electrical power source is needed. Aside from this fuel cell motorization, I think the assets of this cargo bike are its simplicity, sturdiness, and versatility: the fact that it can receive several types of engines, and that the loading area frame is detachable and interchangeable.”
Correction: The bike was originally produced in Belgium, but production of the latest version was moved to Taiwan (for quality reasons). Parts come from Belgium and France, where the bikes are still assembled. See the comment from Thomas below for more clarification.
In addition to the photos shown here, take a look at the Douze product page and image gallery to see a variety of the cargo section lengths and options. Definitely interesting…and I am looking forward to hearing more about the fuel cell powered option as that develops.
The Kiffy leaning tricycle, by Norbert Peytour and French design firm Agence 360, is another innovative cargo design. The 28 pound trike folds to a 2’ by 2’ size, so limited storage space isn’t a problem like it often is with cargo bikes in urban apartments. In addition to folding, the design separates into two halves, so the cargo section can be used as a shopping cart. See the Kiffy website and Agency 360’s Kiffy page for additional images and more info.