Any other Madsen owners here?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Any other Madsen owners here?

    How's it working out for you? Where'd you get it? Any problems? Upgrades?

    Photo of a Madsen 'bucket bike' for those who don't know what they are:

    600 pound total capacity, 8 speeds (geared low enough for most), front disc brake, seating for up to 4 (!) small children in back, handles pretty much like a normal bike. $1300 complete.

    I'll kick off the thread by answering my own questions:

    We got ours last summer when Bike Gallery, our LBS, put them on sale for $850. We had planned on waiting another year (when our preschooler might finally outgrow our Chariot Sidecarrier kid trailer) before buying a cargo bike, but at this price we couldn't pass it up. One test ride and we were SOLD! My wife loves it as much as I do, and the little guy loves it even more. He very much prefers to be taken to school in the Madsen than by car.

    We've put at least a couple hundred miles on it and it's proved very versatile. Once we went on a 10 mile ride with our son and a neighbor boy sitting side by side (I did have to threaten to pull over RIGHT NOW when they got a little too rambunctious at one point), and on several occasions we've carted the little guy along with a week's worth of groceries (4-5 full paper grocery bags). I've added lighting for winter and swapped out the stock saddle for a green Brooks, but otherwise it's stock - so far.

    Next upgrade is pedals. Sharing a bike can be a bit of a challenge for my wife and myself, since she uses Speedplay Frogs and I use ATACs. Fortunately she's fine with platform pedals for cargo-bike purposes, so we'll add a set of ATAC Z platform pedals shortly and hopefully we'll both be happy there.

    My one complaint is braking. Not as bad as the drum-brake Bakfiets, but even with a light load it could certainly better - and a full load doesn't help. At least the front Promax disc brake is impervious to rain, but it's not near as powerful as I'd like, nor is the generic rear brake. This spring I'll be upgrading to a front Avid 185mm disc, a rear Single Digit 5 with Ritchey pads, Speed Dial 7 levers and new, carefully installed cable housing. Should make a world of difference.

    Drivetrain is entry-level 8sp derailer stuff, but I have no complaints. Although I am a big fan of internal-gear hubs (I commute on a 3sp hub in winter, and my wife adores her Nexus8-equipped Bianchi Milano) but everything works great and it sure kept the price down. Sometimes you get chainring rub in extreme gears, but not enough to be really annoying. And thanks to the little 20" rear wheel, the gearing is low enough for cargo use and our moderate hills.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  2. #2
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    Bucket full of kids. Funny. Looks like a fun ride, though that bucket certainly challenges the imagination: "Hmmm... What else can I put in here?"
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

  3. #3
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    I actually interviewed with the owner last year, really nice guy and it's a pretty good company. I spoke with him about the brake spec and apparently they are running into an import issue because they are built and assembled overseas, so at the moment they could not spec Avid on the bikes.

    Let's see a wheelie picture!

  4. #4
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    The two most common suggestions are:
    - water. You could tape over the drain holes, fill it with a foot of water and make a nice tub for hot days.
    - beer and ice. Great party bike.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  5. #5
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    Dan,

    I think it's a pretty cool bike. A very close friend works for BG and got one when they picked up the line so I've had many opportunities to ride it. It certainly feels better to me with some weight in the back but I think they could steepen the HTA a bit and add more offset to the fork to get rid of that floppy steering.

    For the price, it's hard to beat.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I know it is an old thread...

    ...But I was poking around and I found this. I got my Madsen directly from Jared Madsen when they first hit the market. It has been a good bike overall, but I am looking to go to an Xtracycle solution. When I got the bike, I had four kids who didn't ride well on their own. Most of them can ride now. I also have a handicapped son who needs more support than the bucket can be reasonably adapted to offer. The bike is also bulky and none too nimble. My wife doesn't like to ride it.
    It works very well for hauling a lot of kids and cargo, but is not as versatile as I would like. It is also not a trail bike, even a little. The bulk of the bucket and the extreme (more than a tandem) length, coupled with low clearance in the rear make even a simple trail impassible.

    By and large though, it has been a great bike for hauling groceries, kids, tools, paint, or whatever around town and the gearing is broad enough to allow a decent cruising speed and still get you low enough to pull up a hill.

    I have, however, found that there are situations that require a more versatile platform, a shorter wheelbase, or a lighter, narrower bike. I also have a specific need for very supportive child seats which there are no options for mounting on the Madsen. it is also more awkward with long items or anything that can't just get tossed in the bucket.

  7. #7
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    The only thing I don't like about them is the bucket if that part could be change they would be great but how do I know for sure I have never got to ride one and don't think I ever will either but I still like it over all I just dig cargo bikes.

  8. #8
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    I passed through Salt Lake City and test rode at...

    the Madsen 'factory'. I wanted to buy the bike so bad but I just couldn't justify two-and-a-half cargo bikes in the family. Before I rode it, I was kind of skeptical of the whole bucket thing. I had a hard time imagining that being either stable or stiff. But I had my wife climb in back and it's solid. She weighs about 130 and the bike handled really well. I even had here sit as far back in the bucket as possible and it was still a good ride. This bike is stiff, probably not as much as Yuba but definitely better than my Big Dummy.

    I'm definitely gonna get one eventually.

    If you get a chance, stop by his shop in SLC. Jared Madsen was super nice and more than willing to tell you all about the bike.

  9. #9
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    only a few posts on the Madsen? is it the disparate wheel sizes?

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