Today I visited Practical Cycles to test ride a variety of exciting cargo bikes, and the test ride impressions will be published over the next week or so.
One of the bikes which caught my eye, but which I didn’t test ride myself was the Circe Helios Family Tandem. I had already seen this bike on several websites, the design is particularly clever; a tandem with 20 inch (406 mm) wheels, with a telescopic seat-post allowing either an adult or child stoker.
The Helios tandem with added mudguards and bottle cages
The clever part is that the stoker seat-post can be removed when it is not needed, and replaced by an extended cargo rack similar to that of the Yuba Mundo:
The tandem can also become a cargo bike for one (this one thankfully has hub gears instead of a derailleur)
However, when I saw the bike in real life, one very small feature (which I can understand the manufacturer not going out of their way to promote) really impressed me:
The Helios in the Practical Cycles showroom
A close-up of the headtube. Looks familiar, no?
The headtube has threaded bosses for a Brompton luggage block. This is a very clever little addition, increasing the luggage capacity, especially when the bike is used as a tandem. I doubt there are any patent issues with this, two screw-holes on a headtube are unlikely to be granted any IP protection. Circe have very cleverly managed to provide owners of their bikes with the option of wide range of existing Brompton luggage without the expense of making their own proprietary luggage system.
Sometimes it is the little extra touches which can impress the most.