Our friend Tom Donhou, a British designer and framebuilder who’s now based in Greece, recently revealed an updated version of the Babypacker balance bike that he built for his young daughter in 2020. He was showing it at the Bespoked handmade bike show in London last month, where it was a fan favorite. He’s been sharing occasional glimpses of the bike in its raw steel form since it was first built, but now that his daughter has shown some interest in getting out to camp by bike, he figured it was time for a refresh, adding a few new mounts, a coat of paint, and some beautiful handmade bags.
Describing the bike’s design intent, Tom said, “There are a couple of neat design features, including the inverted headset. Watching kids ride these things, when they crashed, they tended to mostly have slow-speed crashes and land on top of the stem with their chest. That hurts! By inverting the headset, we could move the mounting bolts out of the way and take away the edge from the back of the stem, making slams a little less painful.”
Tom asked Greek bag maker ENA Bags to create a set of custom bags to fit the Babypacker, and the results are beautiful. In addition to being functional and adding a lovely splash of color to the bike, Tom says they also add a whole new level of fun and engagement for wayfaring toddlers as they push along. The set of bags includes a mini bar bag, feed bag, and fork bag. All of them are made to order in small batches using sturdy Cordura Truelock and environmentally friendly Challenge Ecopak EPX 200, which is made from 100% recycled polyester. The fork bags have reflective strips, and all of the packs are fully lined to help protect against water ingress. In Tom’s words, “Even a four-year-old should be prepared for all eventualities!”
The fork, handlebar, and feed bag are priced at £40, £69, and £26.50, respectively. You can learn more or purchase any one of them at DonhouBicycles.com, where you can also find more of Tom’s beautiful bikes. Plus, find more from ENA Bags in their web shop.
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