I’ve not yet had kids, but when I do I might buy a Taga – a hybrid bicycle and baby carriage developed by Dutch and Israeli designers.
The Taga is a bike, a stroller or a biking stroller. All 3. And it’s good for little kids (babies), bigger kids too, as well as twins and kids of all sizes.
We can see the Dutch influence (I’m half Dutch too), while the baby part is very much an Israeli thing. Unlike in some metropolitan cities where young families move to the burbs after the birth of their first, Israelis tend to stick around in the city if it’s in their blood. And they have lots of babies, much more than the average family in Europe or the US.
Well the Taga certainly looks a lot more safe than strapping your kids into one of those bike wagons that tows behind your bike, something that may work in the pastoral streets of quiet Amsterdam but not likely in the crazy frenetic Middle East streets of Tel Aviv.
Described as a “multifunctional urban vehicle for parents, not a bike or a stroller but a whole new concept,” is the description of the Taga given by Hagai Barak, the general manager of the self-titled company producing this new invention.
Not only is the Taga a hybrid that lets you wheel your kids around the city, the contraption can be transformed into its riding component or just a carriage within minutes. Made for city living, the Taga transforms so that mom or dad or nanny can fly around the city and then easily jump into a shop or mall.
Israelis are certainly picking up on alternative modes of transport. You can see an electric or hybrid Israeli-made Trekker fly by every minute or so, and more and more people are buying take-them-anywhere folding bikes. I wouldn’t recommend one of those for Tel Aviv though. It’s much safer and comfortable on a regular bike.
According to Gizmodo (they first ask: is it a bike, stroller or wheeled trebuchet?), “The 44 to 64-lb. Taga kit tops off with a Shimano gear system (found on most mid-range bicycles), as well as front, rear, and parking brakes. The whole kit folds down to car trunk size. Again, take Timmy out first.”
The $2,000 Taga has won a host of prestigious awards, including the King-Jugend Innovation Award 2008, the Eurobike award and the Red Dot Design Award 2009.
“It’s not cheap,” says Barak, “but there are strollers that cost NIS 6,000 and people also spend a lot on bikes. There is a reason for the price; it is very sophisticated and a lot of work went into its design. It’s built to a very high standard, so it can be used for many years and many children.”
Taga, the movie:
Some are buying one in lieu of cars, something that the car-less German city of Vauban would certainly appreciate. Launched in 10 European countries in April including France, Spain and the UK, today you can find the Taga in about 20 stores. In the coming months expect to see it in Israel and the United States. I am sure it will be a hit with yuppies. Thinking again on that $2,000 price tag, I’d probably stick my kid on a bike seat attachment and carry her around in a knapsack on my back.