When reviewing products I often get asked about them from people around me. Some things are not available yet for most people and some just aren’t common so it makes some sense. Reviewing the Taga this tendency went from occasional to extreme. I had people literally stop their cars in the street to ask about it. Go around the supermarket and at least two people will ask about it. The questions are always the same. What is it – does it transform? It is good? How much is it and where can I get one?
So I’m going to kick off this review by answering those questions. What is it? It is a pushchair that can turn into a bike or a bike that can turn into a pushchair and yes it does so easily in about 20 seconds. Is it good? Yes. There are some downsides to it but on the whole it’s great. How much is it? The base model starts at 1589 Euros or about £1125. Where can I get one? The Taga website.
There are many decent pushchairs in the world and some bikes that can take a small child on the front or the back. The special thing about the Taga is that it is both. It needs no tools to get from one mode to another and only about half a minute in time. Watch the video below and you’ll get the basic idea.
The video is marketing but it is almost that easy. If your child is over about two you’ll need to take them out of the seat first and it takes a few goes to get good at it but it is that simple.
So what does this let you do? Most places let you take a pushchair in but few let you take bikes in. The Taga lets you cycle to get there and then push inside. Quick trip to the supermarket? Easy. Want to go on a bus? Doable. The reality is that it isn’t quite that simple. Public transport is very theoretical as while you can take a pushchair on a bus you are usually expected to fold it down if asked and the Taga cannot be folded down more. We took it on a train and while it was possible it was very very tight and not recommended in peak periods.
The ability to go from one to another means that it is never quite a master of either. As a pushchair it is large and heavy although very manoeuvrable and as a bike it shares most of the problems that folding bikes have – small wheels and a heavy frame.
Wide age range and flexibility
The Taga bike has a very wide age range. The stroller can be used from around 6 months (or from birth with the cars seat adopters) to around 4 years (15kg) and the bike up until about 5 or 6 (25kg). This means that if you got the Taga when your child was six months old you could get 5 years of use out of the bike and 4 out of the stroller. Add in the possibility of a second seat on both the bike and stroller and your potential range of use expands even more.
To make it even more flexible there are a range of accessories. These include the normal pushchair rain cover and mudguards and then get a little more interesting. First is a double wooden seat that lets two kids sit facing each other. A cargo basket that fits instead of the seat to the bike. Maxi Cosi and Graco car seat adapters that let you use the little one’s car seat instead of the Taga seat.
About Taga – the company
The idea for the Taga bike and the very basic design was thought up four years ago as a newer version of the Dutch Cargo Bike. A group that had experience in pushchair and bicycle design, fashion, textiles, and medical devices was formed and many iterations later the current design was arrived at and patented. It launched in the US and Canada and has recently expanded to ship worldwide and have a European office. The company is in the process of expanding and looking to recruit a network of resellers.
RRP 1589 Euros or around £1125 for the basic Taga and Seat with accessories ranging from 19 euros (£13) up.
Retailer: Direct from Taga or in the future from a network of retailers.
Included in the price
The basic Taga Bike comes with the main bicycle, seat and an allen key. It requires a Phillips screwdriver, pliers and about an hour for assembly.
Size: Bike mode – 73cm x 165cm x 102cm
Size: Stroller mode – 73cm x 120cm x 102cm
Weight: Main body – 20kg
Weight: Single seat – 4kg
Colour: Grey frame with Red, orange, green or blue seats. Grey and black accents.
Tyre pressure: Recommended 60 PSI
Environment: Designed for paved or gravelled roads. We used it on grass with no problems and in mud as a pushchair.
Warranty: “Taga offers a 2-year limited warranty on most of the Taga parts. There is a 2-year limited warranty on frame and gear against manufacturer’s defects. The fabrics, brake pads, tires and cables are covered for one year after the original date of purchase for manufacturer’s defects. The warranty does not include natural wear and tear such as flat tires and brake adjustments. This warranty is only valid to the original purchaser.”
There are two strands to the target audience of the Taga – the child and the adult. The child can be anywhere in age from 6 months (less with a car seat adapter) to 5 years. The rider is more difficult. The Taga works best in an urban environment where bikes are used a lot and (ideally) without too steep hills. The rider is probably going to be fairly fit or looking to become so and wanting to embrace a situation where they use the bike as a means of transport.
Ease of use
If you are presented with a Taga in bike or pushchair mode it is straightforward and easy to use. Put the child in and cycle or push away. Steering takes a little getting used to in both cases – as a bike because the handlebars are so far apart and as a pushchair because the front wheel is fixed and needs to be lifted.
Switching from one mode to another takes a little practice to figure out how the lock unslides and how to move the main body of the bike without hitting yourself – long story – but after a few practice runs it is straightforward.
In the longer term the Taga is both a bicycle and a trike. It needs a certain amount of adjustment and maintenance such as inflating tyres, adjusting brakes and the gears and general cleaning. We had no problem doing this in our month with the Taga but did have a couple of other issues. The wheel alignment was slightly off at one point so it was virtually impossible to go in a straight line and at another point the mechanism designed to hold the wheels stable in pushchair mode kicked in whilst in bike mode letting me go straight ahead but not turn left or right. In both cases I was able to fix the issue within a few minutes and with a little thought.
Taga does have a couple of Youtube videos up dealing with realigning the front wheel when a pushchair and adjusting the front brake pads as well a longer video that covers general use, tips and how to ride the bike. Beyond that point you are on your ingenuity and engineering knowledge.
A note on accessibility: Unlike many things that we review the Taga could be dangerous or possibly have legal questions if misused on a public road. Always pay attention to the laws of the road and use common sense.
It is accessible to anyone with a mild-moderate visual impairment, including those who experience visual symptoms, like photophobia (light sensitivity), eye strain or colour blindness. No parts of the Taga have any form of color coding or small text. Maintenance on the Taga requires a good level of vision, particularly for things like aligning the wheels but there is nothing to require the driver or pusher being the person riding or pushing.
It is accessible to anyone with a mild – moderate hearing impairment, including the deaf and those who experience auditory symptoms, like tinnitus or hyperacusis (sound sensitivity). The bike makes a certain amount of noise especially at speed but is silent otherwise. It also has a single bell that can be rang by the driver at any point.
Input and touch
It isn’t accessible to anyone with a mild – moderate upper body impairment and those who experience symptoms that affect their hands, wrists and shoulders, like a tremor, fatigue, reduced dexterity or precision. Despite the fact that as a trike the Taga is quite stable it does require good strength and control in the upper body to be able to ride and as a pushchair it requires a reasonable amount of strength to control.
The passenger does not have to have any upper body strength and the seat and straps are quite supportive.
The Taga is controlled as if it was either a bike or jogging pushchair.
In the pushchair mode it is a jogging chair which means that the wheels are all fixed. To steer you push down on the handlebars and lift the front wheel then rotate left or right to change direction. It sounds cumbersome but I found it very straightforward once I’d worked out the trick of it. The length of the pushchair also meant it was quite good at dealing with steps and difficult surfaces/
As a bike the Taga is easy to ride at slow speeds but is difficult around corners especially when moving faster. This is due to the trike wheel formation which means that you cannot lean into a turn as you would on a conventional bike. If you are used to riding a bike this might actually be harder to get used to than if you are only a casual rider.
The controls on the handlebars are conventional with a gear selector, front and back brakes and a bell.
Movement and mobility
It isn’t accessible to anyone driving or pushing with a mild – moderate mobility impairment, including wheelchair users and those who experience physical symptoms, like severe fatigue or chronic pain. A passenger could use it as a child’s wheelchair very well.
Motion sickness and balance disorders
It is accessible to anyone who experiences a mild sickness or dizzy spells, especially in pushchair mode or at very slow speeds.
It is accessible to anyone with a mild – moderate cognitive impairment, including those with a learning disability like dyslexia and those who experience cognitive symptoms, like problems with memory, concentration, planning and organisation.
In theory the amount of social interaction involved in the Taga should be quite low. The position of the child in front of the rider or pusher means that you get a good chance to talk to your child. I found that the biggest problem I had was that our little one would not understand that when Daddy was cycling us a hill I really didn’t have the breath to carry on a conversation.
The flip side of this is that the Taga is something new and interesting and that most people will not have seen before. I was stopped a lot with the Taga and asked about it. If this type of pushchair/bike gets more common then this might decrease over time but for now expect people to talk to you and ask questions.
This product contains no common allergens. The seat is made from nylon and the bike is made of aluminium with foam padding in multiple places.
There is no doubt about it – the Taga Bike is an attention getter. Whether you are out for a ride, on a bus or in the supermarket it will get people’s admiring attention and questions. Living for a month with the Taga I have to acknowledge it has some problems but when I am asked if I recommend it my wholehearted answer has to be yes. The Taga is not cheap but with the standard seat the Taga can be used from around six months to around 5 years. If in that time you had planned on one or possibly two pushchairs, a bike for yourself and a bike seat for your little one the price is far more in line with what would be expected. The design is clever and as fast to change as advertised. Highly recommended and if our little one was littler again I’d be going out to buy one.
The review is based on the Taga Bike kindly loaned by Taga