Spotted in the Wild: a Madsen bucket bike!

the Madsen, a reasonably affordable heavy-duty cargo bike and hottub.

Last weekend, (I'm always a week behind our actual life with this blog. sigh.) we had a lovely, lovely Sunday in Seattle! The family Oil met up outside our apartment just as I returned from work and rode over to Cal Anderson Park to play in the sun. The playground was packed and Little Oil and I were totally thrilled to spot this lovely Madsen cargo bike parked over by the swings.

The Madsen is a longtail bucket bike. My impression is that in use, the Madsen is like a bakfeits in reverse.

a madsen from Tacoma Bike Ranch

I've never owned a Madsen, or tested one for more than a few miles, but I hear great things. Here are some reviews I've found that are pretty comprehensive:


Tacoma Bike Ranch

Car Free Days

These bikes appear to be ridden primarily by bloggers, so further information is readily available online.

I am making an effort to photograph and write up every family biking setup we encounter in the wild, so I was very happy to find this great looking Madsen at our playground.

that's a mighty big bucket

271 kilograms, to be exact

cool bike haulin' hitch from Haulin' Colin.

Did you catch the seatbelts for four? Those benches also fold up and are easy to remove. I am so jealous of all that space! Particularly as I watch Little Oil grow massive on all those apples.

Also, I've seen at least three other Madsens that were missing the fender-stay in the back there. (A fender stay is a support that holds the fender up off the tire. I can tell that it is missing from those two empty bolt holes and that little rust line under the reflector in the picture up there.) Must be a cheapy nut/ bolt pair. Any Madsen owner in Seattle looking to replace theirs should contact me, I'll hook you up.

Now, I knew I'd seen this particular Madsen before, but where? It wasn't until I noticed the bike hauling hitch that I realized that this is the very Madsen I'd ridden previously, when helping my friend and colleague Morgan with a Family Bike Expo event. I knew Morgan removed her electric assist kit and sold the bike. I was eager to meet the new owners.

(psst! rumor has it that Morgan's truly wonderful bike test events and a lot more familybike programs will soon have a new home and new support at everybody's favorite Seattle bike education and recycling organization! more on this when we are ready to spill the beans.)

Just as I finished creeping around, snapping photos of this cool bike, up walked the awesome family of bike riders who belong to it!

 Dan, Alex, Lou and Oliver

They were super-nice and happy to talk about the bike. They say that of course the Madsen is a heavy bike, especially with two passengers and all their stuff but it suits their needs and keeps them out of the car for local trips.

they were very proud of their bike

Nice People. Nice Bike!

this looks awesome to me!

Nerdy But Enthusiastic Addendum:

Twitter told me that Madsen is cooking up something new. It looks to me like a longtail, 20 x 20, butcher's bike/ cycle truck/ transportfiets kinda thing. "20 x 20," refers to the fact that, rather than one little twenty-inch wheel in the back, this looks like it has two. Small wheels allow cargo to be placed lower relative to the bikes center of gravity and improves handling tremendously for cargo bikes.

I'm not gonna lie, I love this idea. I am convinced that cycle trucks and longtails are the two most promising models for cargo bikes and the convergence of them is just so encouraging!

I hope this bike makes it into production and that I can ride it and help you get on one, too!

Okay, bye, Nice People!