The Evolution of the MADSEN kg271 (Part 1)

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After hauling six neighborhood kids (my Mom in the photo) around in a wheel barrow bucket bolted to the front of our first prototype, we started to realize what a bicycle can really do. My wife and I fell in love with the bakfiets during a bicycle tour through Holland.This was put together in my fabrication shop shortly after that trip. While testing this cargo bike we learned about some of the advantages and disadvantages of having the cargo and the small wheel located in the front.

Although we love to be able to see our kids in the bucket as we ride, we never could get past the strange feel of riding a forward cargo bicycle. But most of all we did not have the control we wanted. We have a lot of dirt trails, paths, roads, and a lot of not so friendly bicycle roads. We need to ride through bumpy gutters, potholes, and off curbs. You can't ride like that on a forward cargo bike. We started to build bicycles with the cargo in the back. Although you can't see your cargo, you have so much more control. Jumping curbs, riding down stairs, and hitting potholes won't bring your head to the tarmac. We worked through a lot of different frame configurations.

This is our first ever rack and attachment. We could haul around two adults each weighing 200 lbs with me riding at 200 lbs.  The total weight was 600 lbs. (this is where we got the idea our bike should be able to hold up under a 600 lb. load). The seats we used are the best.  They were two for $10 from the office surplus store.   

We finally made a custom bucket for the back (the wheel barrow would not work).  We thought about making a wooden bucket but felt it would not hold up to the riding we decided our cargo bike should be able to take.  One hard hit to a plywood bucket is all that is needed to blow it apart.

First ever China-made sample. Wow! It took a long time to get to this point. 

One more of many samples out of our China factory.  I wish I would have documented the R&D in China better.

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