First look: FietsKlik rack and cargo tote

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The gang from FietsKlik knows how to solve a problem I can relate to. Despite the ubiquity of cycling as transportation in their native Amsterdam, the dilemma of how to carry a crate of beer on a bicycle is a real one.

Some design sketches and some local manufacturing later, and a startup was born. The FietsKlik is an integrated system that combines a locking rear cargo rack with a number of integrated accessories, most notably the Crate.

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Made and assembled in the Netherlands from recycled plastics, the rack bolts permanently to your rear cargo rack, and the crate mounts easily and is locked in place with the turn of a plastic key. Side wings form attachments for a line of pannier bags that can also be locked from the inside. While the key is universal and made from plastic, it is enough to prevent grab-and-go thefts, especially in a place like Amsterdam where bikes are everywhere.

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The crate itself is a pretty marvelous design: the integrated handle can be extended for towing it along while it rolls on a set of small wheels. You can bring it in the store, fill it up, then click it on and go. When not in use it folds in on itself for storage.

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The rack itself also has a smooth, plastic top, which is great for your date to sit side-saddle on, which is also about as common in Amsterdam as breathing.

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I spent a week in Amsterdam attending the FietsVak tradeshow and visiting with local advocates, and FietsKlik loaned be a bike and a Crate to use. With the local infrastructure providing easy access to the entire city by bike, the Crate was the perfect accessory for bringing along my backpack, groceries, or whatever accouterments I was carrying.

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So you’re sold, you want one, you’re ready to buy? Well, for the time being you’ll have to wait. Right now FietsKlik is running a crowdfunding campaign for its next product: a child carrier seat. The funds will go to finalize the design and pass various safety certifications.

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While in Amsterdam I routinely saw parents with kids (or two kids, or THREE kids) mounted on their bikes in various forms of carriers, and the FietsKlik design allows you to switch between carrying the child to school and getting the family shopping done without having to unbolt and install a whole different rack system. The concept may seem foreign to Americans, but it we can dream, can’t we?

So right now you can order any of the FietsKlik products through the Kickstarter page and get a bit of a discount. A Klik rack and crate is $99. The campaign runs through Friday, May 2.

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