I’ve been so excited about this purchase, that I’m going to get this article published earlier than usual. I like to use something for a few months before I write about it, but this one is already getting a lot of attention, so I’m going to start here and update as time progresses.
Sidecars. I read that they gained popularity in WWII to easily transport two people (or cargo) with one motorcycle. They were practical and stylish. But then automotive manufacturing changed to mass production then cars became more affordable. Then the demand for sidecars dwindled, and manufacturers met the demand and stopped production.
But so many things come back in vogue if you wait long enough, and sidecars might be coming back – but for bicycles more than motorcycles. I don’t know enough about vehicular trends to speak about them, but I can tell you that the moment I saw a nice bicycle sidecar I gasped and wanted one.
So I bought one, and I love it.
So I bought…a bicycle sidecar.
A basic definition of a bicycle sidecar is a partially enclosed passenger seat that attaches to the side of a bicycle. That’s my personal definition at least.
Q. What sparked the purchase?
A. I wish I remember! I think I saw one on Pinterest and immediately fell in love. Easy.
I needed to know if the sidecar I fell in love with would actually mount onto my newest ebike. When I got serious about the sidecar I was already waiting on my RadMini ST2, and I couldn’t find specific details about the mounting bracket online – so I didn’t have any measurements or detailed photos to work with. I asked the sidecar dealer (who presumably asked the maker), and received their assurance that the bracket wouldn’t be a problem – so I trusted them. Three months and $3,000 later I had the sidecar mounting bracket in hand and confirmed that YES, the bracket fits my bike. Whew, that was a high stakes gamble.
Repeat. Scandinavian Side Bike’s long bracket fits on a RadMini ST2. You’ll need to remove the cord wrap from the bike frame to get the bracket nice and tight, but that is easy. You’ll also need to remove the derailleur guard from the frame. The sidecar bracket actually protects the derailleur, so you’re not losing that function.
Clarification for anybody I just confused
- My electric bike is a RadMini ST2
- The sidecar is made by Scandinavian Side Bike
- Mad Dogs & Englishmen (MD&E) is the USA dealer for Scandinavian Side Bike
T I M E L I N E
- I fell in love with a bicycle sidecar photo online.
- Bought a RadMini ST2 when ebike portability became more important to me (further details in Public Note; re: comparing RadCity ST3 and RadRunner+).
- Got serious about sidecars, and wrote about that research journey in Public Note; re: shopping for a sidecar. I thought my kid would love it too.
- Was worried because none of the Scandinavian Side Bike cars in photos or videos were on Rad Bikes. Lack of visual proof delayed my purchase until they assured me that the bracket would fit the geometry.
- My salesperson at Mad Dogs & Englishmen called me and we confirmed details – white sidecar, black striping, number 13 decal, red seat, red rain hood, one child seat, one seatbelt, eyebolts for dogs, black fender, two brackets.
- I paid just under $3,000 over the phone.
- SURPRISE! 89 days later USPS delivered the sidecar to my porch.
- I had to reach out for detailed installation instructions…I was supposed to receive instructions long before the product. For the record, I also never received any shipping information either – so the dealer dropped the ball, but the maker definitely came through [by providing detailed instructions in English, and confirmed that I am missing the extra mounting bracket I ordered].
- I mounted the bracket to my bike!
- Working with a RadMini ST2 & Scandinavian Side Bike’s long bracket
- Removed the cord cover from the bike
- Removed the derailleur guard
- Firmly attached the sidecar bracket to the bike frame
- I turned the bike on for a quick maiden voyage, and…bupkis; I had power and lights but no motor or throttle. I emailed Rad immediately, and in three business days Rad helped me fix my no-throttle issue – thank you Tyler!
[My motor connector just needed some attention, easy fix.]
- Learned that my kid needs time warming up to the sidecar. I’m taking it slow so that it’s a positive experience.
- Received the second bracket – yay! This one is for Mister Jupiter’s RadRunner Plus. I’ll install it in a few months, no rush on this one.
So that’s where we are now
- the sidecar is on my bike and I love it
- my kid is warming up to it – no requests to ride in it yet
And now…we wait.
If you have any specific questions you can comment below and I will be happy to answer when I update this post.
// Published & last updated on 14 November //
19 October – updated timeline
14 November – updated timeline (to include second bracket receipt, and my kid’s slow acceptance of the sidecar)
I’ll be back to update and detail
First Use Reactions
Changes After First Use?
How I Use it in Our Environment
How I Use it in Our Life
Overall Impression [including accessories and current use]
Usage Details That I Learned First Hand
Thoughts for Future Use or Modifications