What is that and where can I buy one?
How much did it cost?
Splendid Cycles keeps an updated price list here. The cheapest model is $3,000.
and maybe $500 more for lights and accessories (rack, bags, box, rain and snow gear, lights, etc.)
I bought it in 2011 because riding my bike with my kids transformed the hassles of driving into the joy of having fun with my kids, hearing the sounds of nature, bumping into friends and lots of spontaneous fun. I didn’t expect it to save me any money, but after 2 years riding the bike in all weather conditions I realized that we no longer needed a second car. The AAA estimates that the average cost of owning and operating an average car is $9,122/year. We have spent less than half of that on the Bullitt. Total operating costs have averaged about $20/year (tubes and brake pads).
But can you really ride it in any weather?
We have a vinyl shell that goes over the front to keep the kids warm. If it is really cold we can throw in a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer. The bike handles just fine in the snow. Having the front wheel out front of the box provides remarkable stability. The bike ‘wants’ to stay upright. It is very hard to tip even at slow speeds.
Can you really haul everything you would in a car?
Sometimes more. This is me riding with both kids, a full load of groceries, and a canoe from Dick’s.
Is it hard to ride?
The steering feels funny when you first get on, but after awhile you appreciate the remarkable stability. The low box keeps the center of gravity low and having the load up front makes it easy to manage. Many “longjohn” riders claim that they have a 9 block learning curve. You feel hesitant for 9 blocks. After that you love it. Honestly, the bike is so smooth it is an absolute joy to ride.
Can you really go anywhere on bike in Manhattan?
Yes, and it is getting better every year (and you can help by offering your input here). I figure I am always within a 20 minute bike ride of anything in Manhattan. At a leasurely pace of 12 mph you can go 4 miles in 20 minutes. That will get you all the way across town.
Are the kids comfortable riding in it?
I don’t know of any dealers nearby that keep them in stock, but if you want to try one out, let me know and you are welcome to ride mine.
Are there cheaper box bikes similar to the Bullitt?
Double Dutch Bikes has similar bikes for $1399. Reviews are mixed. The Bullitt has a real premium feel, but you pay for it. The Double Dutch looks good for the price. A good inexpensive alternative used to be JoeBike’s Boxbike, but they stopped making them last year.