I mentioned recently that my daughter had a bakfiets on loan. She was going to make the purchase of a Nihola but it was not available at the promised time, so the Melbourne based dealer sent her the Bakfiets in the meantime, giving her the option of purchasing either bike should she prefer the Bakfiets. Ultimately she decided on the Nihola to transport her two young children around, and this leaves the Bakfiets for sale locally. The dealer said they will offer a substantial discount to a local Newcastle purchaser who wishes to buy this bike as it is already here and assembled. If any readers are interested, please contact Dutch Cargo Bikes or you can contact me via my email and I will pass the message on. (NB I am not receiving any incentives for posting this and neither are any of my family members)
I have ridden both bikes, but only for short distances. I would have preferred the Bakfiets as it seems like more of a proper (ie two wheeled) bike, but I can see why my daughter prefers the Nihola …See my grandson smiling and waving to me out of the side window!
The Nihola is wider but shorter than the Bakfiets and I felt that the three wheels would make it not seem like a bike to ride and would make it difficult to maneouvre, but I have seen how my daughter has become adept at riding it in a very short time and can see its advantages.
It has a cover which is useful in all conditions for sunshade, wind protection and, when totally enclosed, for rain protection ….You can also see how the two children fit into the cabin, both facing the front. Needless to say, they both love this mode of transport and the seat restraints work well to hold them safely in place.
The internal hub brakes make braking safe in all weather and the mudguards work well to keep everyone dry. On top of each mudguard is a double bracket, this one holds a light.
I found cornering the hardest part to get used to when riding this bike, as the three wheels mean the bike will lean to one side. My daughter said she very quickly adapted to this and now enjoys cornering at more speed than she did at first, and I have noticed how nimble she has become with riding it, even around the stupid bollards sometimes encountered on bike tracks. This photo also shows the short wheel base of the bike, the Bakfiets is much longer. I found the steering on the Bakfiets odd for the first few metres but I soon got used to it: it felt like driving a car and there is a rod under the box which steers the front wheel, whereas the Nihola has a more direct steering method though I am not sure exactly how it works…
There are eight gears in the internal Shimano hub and, while that gives an excellent range, allows her to ride up all but the steepest hills. Living close to Throsby Creek, she can easily access the city and inner city beaches and markets, as well as Westfield and Lambton Pool in the opposite direction, via onroad, offroad and footpath riding.