Whilst on holiday at Butlins Caravan Village Skegness in June I had the pleasure of riding the beautiful and practical Butlins Fun Bike (a Single Bench Classic Surrey Cycle) for roughly one hour with my family (wife and two children). I was pleasantly surprised by the speed you can achieve. You’re not going to win any races, but who’s going to enter a race on such a bike? Actually, I’d quite like to see that happen.
The bike has a steel frame, which means it is a heavy piece of kit (190lbs/89kg/a well-built adult), but what do you expect when it needs to support up to five people (three adults and two children). With that in mind, it’s probably worth understanding the loading capacity – a staggering 272kg!
As the bike is made from steel, you can expect a bike that will last for a long time. To ensure this, the entire frame is powder-coated for extra protection.
Wheels & Brakes
Unfortunately I couldn’t see any markings on the wheels of the bike I used, but the manufacturer’s website came to my rescue and tells me that the front wheels are 16 inch and the rears are 18. I originally thought it was quite odd to see different sizes, but I think it has something to do with steering. Smaller wheels turn easier, right?
In terms of braking, the bike is graced with two rear drums for stopping. To use them, there’s a lever next to the right-hand steering wheel. You can see a picture of the lever in the next section.
Don’t be fooled by the two steering wheels – only one works! I tried both positions and I found it very difficult to resist the urge of turning the passenger steering wheel, despite it doing nothing.
In terms of the steering wheel itself, it has clearly being built to last, with a rubber casing all-round. You won’t find powered steering like you do on modern cars (would you expect it?), but I must say it was still easy to turn and it always felt responsive.
The Bike is powered by a non-descript single-speed drivetrain, but that is part of the beauty of this amazing contraption. Gears would mean you could go faster, but is that something you really want when there are children everywhere? Probably not. Furthermore, that would just increase the maintenance required, which isn’t what this bike is about. It’s made to be reliable and stand the test of time.
One thing I did note is the length of the crank arms. You may be able to tell in the picture below, but I found them to be quite long. Combine that with an un-adjustable seat and my short legs and you’ve got a slight wobble going on whenever you try and pedal. However, I can completely understand why we aren’t able to adjust the height of the seat.
If you happen to be at a holiday park such as Butlins, where the bike is available to hire, or you’re in the need of a five person bike in your personal life, then I definitely recommend this beauty. Children will love sitting in the front as it offers a commanding position with unobstructed views. For adults, it’s a little tiring, but worth the smiles and giggles coming from the front. I’d like to think that my daily commute to and from work on my Specialized Allez helped me to stay somewhat composed after an hour of pedalling.
- Price: $1,995 (buy online)
Extra Super Fun Happy Stuff – An Electric Motor!
If you thought this bike couldn’t get any better, then you’d be wrong! The manufacturer’s sell an electric motor that can be attached to the back of the bike. I’m all for electric bikes as it could mean more people (or families in the case of this bike) take up cycling as a hobby.