Biking with kids: testing the Taga 2.0

After our long-tail e-bike experiment, there was discussion about trying a front-loading trike, specifically the Taga 2.0. Well, we finally got our hands on one (thanks Shaun!). It was a typical Vancouver rainy day and a perfect day to try it out. We definitely need a bike that can hold up well under that use case.

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For the first ride, we didn’t put on the canopy. The girls were enjoying the rain, but did get quite wet. The canopy was easy to install and our eldest still had sufficient clearance. The canopy unzips on both sides, so the girls kept one “window” open on the second trip.

How does the Taga 2.0 hold up for us?

It definitely meets our needs: David+kids, Lacey+kids, and one parent+one kid. The adjustable handlebars and seat mean that I can hop off and David can hop on.

Our eldest is probably a year or two away from being too big, but at that point we think she would be ready to either do a tag-a-long bike (which the Taga 2.0 supports) and/or ride on her own. The youngest would be able to ride in the bucket for about 4 years.

The version of the Taga 2.0 we tried has the electric assist. It was much simpler to use than the Yuba Spicy Curry. It provided the necessary assist that I needed and we didn’t have any jolting at stops.

The other great thing about the Taga 2.0 was that I could hop right on and bike with the kids. The stability was great at a slow pace and up and down the hills. We could get off and the kids could stay in the bucket without upending the trike. The parking brake is engaged by pushing a button as you squeeze the left brake.

However, David and I both felt that we might tip over going too quickly around turns/corners. There is definitely a difference versus riding a two-wheel bike and some adjustment in riding technique is required — something that we would get used to the more we use it. I was quite impressed by how tight the turning radius was.

I really enjoyed having the kids in front. It was much easier to converse. They were having a great time, too, though I am sure that novelty will wear off. They liked the amount of legroom and there is space under each seat to store stuff. I wonder if a rack on the back would be helpful for trips to the beach where we would have extra gear, etc.

Another plus is that it is 3cm less wide than our current trailer. It is much more compact than other cargo bikes on the market, too (e.g. Nihola). That said, it still won’t fit in most elevators, making it difficult to trip-link (i.e. SkyTrain or CanadaLine) or get to the bike room at the office.

The biggest concern we have is security. Although one of the selling features is that the components are easily removed for traveling (think popping it in the trunk of a car to go and bike at a destination), it does make it difficult to secure when out and about (e.g. at a restaurant). We were relieved to see that there is a location on the frame to use a u-lock. The bucket can be secured with a pad-lock and the front wheels with cable locks; these are not the best deterrents for the thieves in Vancouver, though. The digital display can be unscrewed and removed, so there is potential for theft. However, the technology is specific to Taga, thus being less valuable.

Last of all, the price. At around $3,000 CAD including shipping and taxes, the Taga 2.0 is less expensive than most other cargo bikes on the market (electric or not). This definitely raises the question about quality. Following the Facebook group, we’ve noticed lots of issues being reported with respect to the quality of components. Therein lies the trade-off: affordability versus quality. This is no small investment, after all.

So, will we buy one? The jury is still out.

Again, a big thanks to Shaun for letting us borrow his Taga 2.0 to test drive!

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