Tuesday, 1 March 2016

When A Bicycle Can Do MORE Than A Car

This recent post by Edinburgh Cycle Chic has attracted a lot of attention. It features just one example of being able to fit more onto a bicycle as cargo than could ever be shoe-horned into your average passenger car.

We have a few examples in our household too, featuring our own Circe Helios.

The Helios easily handles the weekly shopping trip for a household of four adults.

It also is more than capable of being a rubbish collection & off-road works vehicle, when Adam undertakes clearance work on his local segment of the National Cycling Network (route 6).

But that's not all.

Add a trailer....

...and the possibilities expand three- to fivefold.

Adam can run a viable (economical & practical) business as a mobile bicycle mechanic.

We could easily take advantage of massively discounted insulation at our local DIY store.
Perfectly normal bargain-hunter's haul, but trying getting all this lot into your average car!

Short of using a van or estate car with rear folding seat -- or indeed some other motor vehicle specifically designed to haul cargo not just people -- then when the need arises, a bicycle can easily handle more than your average family car. 

Just one more reason why we don't have a family car:  It isn't practical!

Oh and did I mention... the Circe is a darned fine touring tandem, too. 


  1. I've never heard of a Circe, what a cool bike! I don't think I've ever seen anything so versatile. The rear seat post just comes out and then you take off the pedals? Also, that has to be the most panniers I've ever seen on one bike!

    1. I am struck again and again by the versatility of the Circe Helios. It's designed and built by a Cambridge company: http://www.circecycles.com/products/helios/ Most parts are standard and the bikes are very easy to customise and upgrade in so many ways. Yes, to convert to cargo mode, you take out the rear seat post and remove the pedals, then fit the extra long rack that Circe make (separate purchase but worth every penny).

      We first heard about them from a friend who worked for many years for a sight charity and described doing a charity ride with a partially-sighted stoker on a Helios in tandem mode.l Because the size/fit is so adjustable, they are perfect for use by a regular turnover of teams of all shapes and sizes! He rented a Helios for a week and after doing the charity ride persuaded his non-cycling wife to ride with him to the pub for lunch on it, and she was very pleased with the experience.

      We have another friend who is a nanny with a small child of her own, and she can transport both her own child and the children in her care, accommodating the changing types of child seats that they need as they grow. Plus she can whiz around and do errands on her own without changing much, if anything

      It's a brilliant bike. Highly recommend one if your thoughts are turning in that direction. :)

    2. Oh and yet another friend bought one to transport her youngest child to school (while the older one could ride his own bike). As both children have grown, the Helios has accommodated that. The elder son did his first audax on it, riding as stoker with his uncle as captain!

  2. Circe Helios is a fab bike and takes Brompton bags on the front. My son and I cycled from Hatfield to York on ours last year. Really good bike.

    1. Yes, we had hoped/intended to use one of my Brompton bags on the Helios, but found unfortunately that the holes for mounting the luggage block are not the correct distance apart, so the block won't fit. Machining error! We've not been too fussed about the "loss" of that capacity, though.


Share This