POPSUGAR ME

This Isn't Just a Cool Bike, It's a Family-Friendly Lifestyle

24/05/2018 - 01:51 PM

A brightly colored bike with a huge plastic bucket and a bunch of kids in the back popped up in my Instagram feed once and I was instantly obsessed. How fun! How cool! How practical! A little research and my next thought was "how expensive!" At nearly $2k, the Madsen kg271/BUCKET bike [1] definitely did not qualify as an impulse buy. But I couldn't stop thinking about how this awesome and adorable bike could possibly change our family's life.

Fast forward 12 months and countless hours spent reading reviews, scrolling images, and debating the color options, and we finally went for it. It's an investment, for sure, but the bike arrived on our doorstep earlier this month and I can already say it's one of the best purchases we've ever made for our family.

Within minutes of opening the giant box [2] (the bike comes ready to ride; all you have to do it put on the front wheel and adjust the seat!), we strapped the kids in the back and went for a spin around the neighborhood. Huge smiles and laughter ensued. The next day we packed sandwiches and drinks, invited our cousins over, and rode to the park with four kids in the back. On Sunday morning we threw on helmets and headed downtown to get bagels. The next weekend we biked 15 minutes to an Easter Egg Hunt that we would have absolutely otherwise driven to. On Tuesday I dropped the kids off at preschool before getting in a workout on my uphill ride back home.

You get the picture: It's only been two weeks and even with a lot of rainy days we've already used — and enjoyed — our Madsen SO MUCH. Need more convincing? Check out 13 more reasons I am completely obsessed with this bike.

It's All About Family Fun

Bike riding is a blast, but when you have small children that either don't know how to ride yet, can't keep up, or have disabilities that prevent them from doing either, there aren't a ton of options that allow you to go out for a spin as a family. Sure, you can attach a bike trailer or put one of your kids in a mounted seat (more on that below), but this bike is ready to roll and the kids love it. Throw the little ones in the back and go. That's it!

You Can Ditch the Monotonous Car Routine

Buckling and unbuckling car seats and loading and unloading the car are some of my least favorite things about motherhood. Sure, you still need to put helmets on your kids and snap them into the seat, but this bike is so much easier and way more fun than the car. You don't have to find a parking spot, or sit in traffic. You don't have to fight over which song is playing on the radio. You don't have to pay for gas! It's such a great way to switch up your routine and spend less time in the car.

There are Awesome Accessories

If you want to go all out, you can buy the Madsen fully loaded [3] ($2426), which includes all of their accessories: a soft top to keep the kids out of the hot sun or shield them from rain, front and rear lights for extra visibility, a front rack for additional storage, a more comfortable bike seat and handle grips, and a bell so pedestrians know you're coming. You can also purchase each accessory individually.

Exercise is a Bonus

As a working mom of two [4], gym time always falls below family time, which is why combining the two is genius. I hadn't consistently ridden a bike since my college years at a bike-friendly campus and I was immediately reminded what a great workout it is. This bike is guaranteed to get your heart pumping and your legs burning since you're pulling around extra weight. It's hard work! Downhill and flat surfaces are a breeze but even a slight incline will require extra effort when you've got 100 plus pounds of baby in the back. Luckily there are 9 gears to help with the heavy load.

It's More Practical Than a Trailer or Seat Attachment

Before we got the Madsen we had a bike trailer and I can count on one hand the number of times we actually hitched it to the back of our bike and put our kids in it to ride anywhere. The pieces were stored separately in our garage and it was a hassle to set the whole thing up. Our youngest wasn't able to ride in it either, since we would have needed an additional infant attachment to secure him. The Madsen eliminates the need for extra accessories and setup plus it accommodates multiple kids of all ages and weights unlike trailers and seat attachments that have weight limits and age restrictions.

I also like that the bike is all one piece, so even at 7.5 feet long, it's easier to maneuver, park, and secure than a bike with a trailer attached. The bucket is as wide as the handle bars, so you don't have to worry about an attachment not fitting or following you where you ride.

Also, it's way cuter.

It's a Great Conversation Starter

I imagine riding a Madsen is a lot like walking a really cute dog — people stop and talk to you, make comments, and even snap pictures. It's been a fun way to chat with neighbors and make new friends and I get a kick out of the fact that we're now known as "that family with the cool green bucket bike."

It's an Incentive to Get Outdoors

My toddler points to the back door asking to go outside from the minute he wakes up to the time he goes to sleep. Most kids are just happier outdoors and this bike makes that happen. The kids get to sit back and enjoy the breeze while you can breathe in the fresh air too! Just knowing it's waiting in the garage sparks ideas for new activities and adventures that we might not have otherwise tried with the little ones.

It Has a Huge Capacity

The weight capacity of the bike is 600 pounds! Which means you can fit a lot of kids (and even adults) in the bucket. Though the bike comes with 2 bench seats and 4 lap belts, the owners say the record for most kids in the back is 7. Keep in mind your cargo options aren't limited to humans — people use their Madsen's to haul mulch, ice, beverages, and even pets! The deep bucket also makes it easy to store a small cooler, picnic blankets, and extra jackets along with your passengers.

It's Comfortable For Kids to Wear Helmets

Bike laws vary by state, but in CA anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet [5] when operating or being carried on a bike. We always have our kids wear helmets when they're in the bucket and we've found that they stay on properly and seem to be more comfortable because there's nothing behind them pushing the helmet forward or even forcing it down toward their backs (which was an issue in the bike trailer).

While I've seen younger kids and even car seats strapped into Madsens, you should consult your city's cycling laws before deciding what you're comfortable with. There's not a ton of information on biking with children under the age of 1 but most information I've found recommends waiting until your child can sit upright and their neck can hold the weight of a helmet transporting them by bike.

There Are Endless Creative Ways to Use It

This is so much more than transportation. Families decorate their bikes with streamers for Fourth of July parades and come Halloween [6], people go all out incorporating them as part of their group costumes. Take it to the nursery to pick up a load of flowers or fill it with ice to keep drinks cold at parties. There is so much fun to be had with the Madsen.

It Comes With a Built in Locking System

This bike is conspicuous, so protecting it is a must, but you don't actually need to lug around a bike lock! The bike comes standard with an integrated locking system that locks the front wheel. If you want to secure it to a bike rack you'll need to bring a cable option, but the built-in system makes it easy to secure quickly and without any extra gear.

Extra-cute Photo Ops Are Inevitable

One scroll through the MadsenCycles Instagram page [7] and you'll see what I mean. How can your kids not have a smile on their face when you're snapping their pic in your brightly-colored bike? There's nothing better than making memories as a family and getting a good photo to remember it all.

You're Joining the Madsen Movement

I'm still new to the club, but Madsen owners, it seems, have created their own culture based on their shared passion for the product and the insanely fun lifestyle it encourages. I know I haven't stopped gushing about this bike since the minute I found out about the brand online and my obsession has only grown since becoming an owner myself.

Scroll through to see how other Madsen owners use their bikes!


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https://me.popsugar.com/mom/Madsen-Bucket-Bike-Review-43423601