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The Haul-a-Day is a Nimble Ride for Your Most Precious Cargo

The best and worst part about being a gearhead parent is that the minute you perfect your setup, your children grow out of it. Since my daughter was 6 months old, I’ve used a convertible bike trailer to cart her and her brother around our neighborhood. But now my 3-year-old and 5-year-old shriek and punch…

The best and worst part about being a gearhead parent is that the minute you perfect your setup, your children grow out of it. Since my daughter was 6 months old, I’ve used a convertible bike trailer to cart her and her brother around our neighborhood. But now my 3-year-old and 5-year-old shriek and punch each other as I struggle to squeeze them into the trailer’s small seats.

It was time to upgrade our ride. I’ve consistently seen Bike Friday’s e-assisted Haul-A-Day on family bike forums being recommended for smaller parents. My interest was piqued.

Bike Friday is a Eugene, Oregon-based builder known for high-performance folding bikes. I’ve racked up about 45 miles of toting my kids on the Haul-A-Day. There are valid reasons this bike might not be for everyone, but so far it’s one of my favorite family rides. It doesn’t cost a fortune, and it offers exceptional value for the money.

Small Change

Photograph: Adrienne So

Like all of Bike Friday’s models, the Haul-A-Day is made to order, so yours might vary a lot from what I requested. In general, the chromoly steel frame has a distinctive geometry, with 20-inch wheels and a low tube that runs from the head tube to the seat tube.

Basically, it looks like a folding bike, which got people very excited at the idea that I might be riding a folding, electric, two-kid cargo bike. I’m not. Sorry!

Bike Friday’s bikes do have a unique feature. The tube telescopes into itself, which lets you shorten the frame. It can accommodate riders as short as 4-foot-6, which is two inches shorter than the shortest rider that competitor Tern GSD can accommodate. At the shortest setting, the bike’s full length is 70 inches. Customers have fit it onto Thule and Yakima racks, but it’s not recommended. You can also disassemble it into two or three pieces for packing.

I should warn you that if you choose to tinker with the bike, you’ll need to be careful about tightening the bolts. I shortened my bike, lowered the seat post and handlebars, and strapped my kids on. I’d never known a bike to feel floppy around the middle before, and I had a very short, scary, squirrelly ride until the mechanics at my local shop identified the problem and tightened the bolts a little more.

Bike Friday sent me the complete package for young kids, with wrap bars on the rear rack, a cushion, footrests, a pannier, and a front rack with a basket. Complete with e-assist, the total came out to $3,361, which is a very decent price for an electric-assist cargo bike with all the accessories. Yes, there’s the RadWagon, which costs $1,499, but tho

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