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Thread: Want to buy rickshaw? Watch out!

  1. #1
    Sweden rickshaw's Avatar
    Sweden rickshaw Guest

    Thumbs down Want to buy rickshaw? Watch out!

    I have seen the notis about the bajjal auto rickshaw.
    I have been in India and saw them. Some of them are very beautifull but lot of them are just junk. I have seen bajjal that in the first site you could see it's only a big junk! But it sure was working!!! There are several huge problem to import the bajjal auto rickshaw. I know that the EU has aproved to use it in Europe.
    They have EU-certificate.
    You have to have a huge among of spareparts. And you have to have a knowhow to repair it. It's not the cost of the auto rickshaw when you buy it. It's the problem when it brokes. I was very atempted for cuple of years ago to import it to Sweden. I'm happy I didn't!

    I have imported spare parts for my chinese rickshaws from India. Not one, was the right spare part!
    Even with the exactly specifications of the spare parts AND photos. You don't send 20 T freewheel if the customer ask for 18 T. And so on.

    I have imported rickshaws from India. 2 different models for 2 years ago. 1 with 5 gears and 1 with 3 gears AND 375 w 24 Volt electrical motor.
    I liked the model and the idea of geared rickshaws was attempting. They NEVER leave my garage!
    First: I payed for new rickshaws. And get used ones!
    The gears are a joke. You don't drive a rickshaw with 48 T chainwheel!!! I know they do it in india... But on a little sloopy road you have to pull the rickshaw. I know it's healthy too, but no thanks...

    The "controll" for the electrical motor is a joke and made by children...
    I can't even sell the rickshaws as they don't work. I have ordered smaller chainwheels from India for 8 month ago. I'm still waiting...!

    I didn't learned my lesson...
    I went to India last year as I get a very good and friendly contact with one rickshaw manufacturer. To keep it short. I ordered a 2 seat and a four seat rickshaw. The idea was good... But it toked 10 month to get them!
    Lot of details was very bad manufactured. One day, one of the new rickshaws was about to go out for a job. It took 2 minutes then the gear system was broken!!!

    The "rear breake" is a joke on all of the Indian rickshaws. Does not function and never will! I told to the seller about the problem with the rickshaws. He understod the problem and he will "fix it"! It was in september 2004. I still wait for spare parts...

    Oh yeah! He IS alive! And he is promising. But nothing happens.
    I went to a workshop to get at least the gear system manufactured. They want 150 EUR to manufacture just one. And it is a "friendly price!"
    I payed for the 2 rickshaw 550 EURO. And all the cost for sea transport, customs and so on, cost me 5000 EURO plus!!!
    Shall I mention that I have not yet used one of my Indian rickshaws?!? And they are NOT an "ordinary" Indian rickshaw. The first two ones are very special design which I fall in love in, in the model. The other two are manufactured after my whishes.
    They didn't understand me how I want the rickshaw to be build. And still I have been there helped to manufacture it. The result is a curiousity about "how to NOT manufacture a rickshaw"!

    I'm talking of not one but two different rickshaw manufacturers.

    My lesson: Never ever buy a rickshaw from India!
    Very nice people, very friendly, but they don't know the word: quality. And everything takes VERY, VERY, VERY long time to get it fixed. If ever! I know. I have been there!
    You have to stay on their back to guide them. That is my experience.

    Is there anybody else on this planet who has the similar experience about India?

    Sorry for my whining. But sometimes, enough is enough!

    How about China?
    As I'm yet whining, I can tell you that I have 20 Chinese rickshaws. I want to buy tires for them from china. As they need very special rickshaw tires. They don't wanted to sell smaler amount then only a whole container! It's about 5000 pcs of tires!!!!
    I wanted to buy "only" 300 tires.
    It tooked me almost 6 month of pray and begging to get my 300 tires. Now I can use my chinese rickshaws for at least 10-15 years! I have all the spare parts and tires I need for them.

    I wanted to buy front wheel axle at the same time. 60 pcs. They only sell minimum 2500 pcs.!!!!!!!
    Remember this if you intend to buy rickshaw or electrical rickshaw car from China! They sell it to you very cheap. An electrical 3-4 seat auto ricksaw cost only 500-600 US$. And then you have to buy a whole container of every sparepart you need!!!
    Don't even try to buy only one rickshaw or auto rickshaw. You never get any spare parts to them!

    I have a friend. He imported one electrical autorickshaw from China 5 years ago. He got a well used, rosty and by accident demaged auto rickshaw!!! The factory didn't aknowleged that the autorickshaw was not new! He could NEVER started it. No spare parts and no one who could repair it.
    Today he is out of business.

    With my bad experience I hope I stopped some of my fellow rickshaw drivers over the world who are hungry to buy rickshaws. Think twice before...

    Or buy my Camping rickshaw. (MULTI purpose RICKSHAW). Never EVER in your lifetime any repair cost or problems!

    I thank you that you read my note all the way and learned something.

    Have a nice day. And HAPPY EASTER!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Barcelona, Spain
    Thanked: 23
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    Thumbs down Warning: Rickshaws from India!!!!!!!

    Dear Josef,

    thank you very much for your posting. As your experience is very important I moved it from the "Everything else" forum the the "Newbie-Forum".

    I will be at the Costa Brava and desconnect some days. I will forget about pedicabs and go with my cayac ;-)

    Have a nice weekend and much sun !

    All the best to Stockholm!!!!




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  3. #3
    Sweden rickshaw's Avatar
    Sweden rickshaw Guest

    Red face Am I going to cause a WAR!?!

    Dear Gerald!

    Thank you my son for your kindeness to put my lines right!

    I hope I don't get any "Shalman Rushdi" effect!
    The writer who wrote the "Vers from satan! They still want to kill him after 20 years!



    Quote Originally Posted by
    Dear Josef,

    thank you very much for your posting. As your experience is very important I moved it from the "Everything else" forum the the "Newbie-Forum".

    I will be at the Costa Brava and desconnect some days. I will forget about pedicabs and go with my cayac ;-)

    Have a nice weekend and much sun !

    All the best to Stockholm!!!!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Barcelona, Spain
    Thanked: 23
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    Exclamation Am I going to cause a WAR!?!

    Am I going to cause a WAR!?!


    Just be careful opening any letter from India ;-)

    A couple of days ago I received a handwritten letter of a Rickshaw manufacturer from India. Wow! I was impressed. He got my postal address via internet...but he answered with a handwritten letter...I was really impressed! Searching addresses in India of operators in Europe or USA and offering their products. Imagen: A letter, a real letter. Handwritten. With a stamp! I do not remember when I received the last time a handwritten letter.
    I am not joking. I was impressed. Somebody at the end at the world
    found my address and sent me a letter. A handwritten letter.
    This is much better than any advertisement on TV!!!!

    I have never been there but I would like to go and to see how they work and how they manufacture rickshaws. I love the book "Chasing Rickshaw", a present of my friend Guido Struss, manufacturer of Velocab in German.

    Yes, you started a war, but you will always find a "refugio" in Spain

    They reason, why Velotaxi, Main Street Pedicabs, Velocab , Cycle Maximus and many others so successful is the QUALITY! Your posting tells us a much about it....

    Newbies: Compare quality - the price is important, but as we say in Spain: Lo barrato sale caro .... The cheap stuff will finally result expensive....

    Thanx Josef and take care!

    Abrazo fuerte!


    Last edited by; 24-03-2005 at 23:16.


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  5. #5
    bikecab999's Avatar
    bikecab999 Guest

    Angry Do Not Buy India or Chinese Rickshaws!

    My friend from Sweden is right. I too almost 5 years ago bought a rickshaw from India. They were very nice people and the design looked great. The price was great. So I bought one. It took 6 months to deliver after paying. The shipping and import taxes were double the price of the rickshaw.

    Every part that came with the rickshaw was bunk. I call them the pull and pray brakes. Basically you pull the handle and pray you stop. I mean totally useless. The frame was cracked when I opened the chicken coop crate it came in. They used lead based paint to paint the rickshaw. So repainting it was a biohazard.

    I wound up taking welding and machining classes an rebuilt the whole frame and added peices. I had to rebuild everything from scratch. It was like buying a jumbo life-size plan, that you had to make yourself and put together. In the end it cost me more than if I were to buy one new locally and after about 500 hours and maybe $2000USD extra it worked and looked great. After that you can build any cab. I have built many different designs since, so I am grateful about my bad experience. You learn from your mistakes and the mistakes from others. Now I can turn out a nice rickshaw using off the shelf parts at a good price.

    Chinese rickshaws on Ebay fro $200USD. Don't even get me started on those. My friend own a bar They bought about 6 of these rickshaws fro people to sip cocktails in, use for photo ops and a martini table. Having never been ridden, they cracked in half. In half! I saw it with my own two eyes! Not one but most and having never been ridden! I have seen these rickshaws in operation and these types of cabs could be the death of the industry. Imagine having pulling the brakes in an emergency situation and not having them work, or having a frame split in two? Not pretty.

    Shanghai has some OK factories that do ok work if you give them the design. Basically, a lot of Taiwanese bicycle money has been dumped into Shanghai. So they have the technology and machines to turn out good products. The only problem is they lack pride in their quality. If you get 100 pcs 60% will be ok the other 40% will be jenky. They want to do quantity not quality so that leads to bad pedicab manufacturing.

    Taiwan on the other hand. They are starting to turn out rickshaws. Give them a year or two and we will all be buying Taiwanese rickshaws with pleasure. I have been to a few factories in Taiwan. They get the best distributor pricing on quality parts because they are all made in Taiwan. Taiwanese are like the Germans or Japanese were in the 80’s. At the peak of there manufacturing cycle paying close attention to quality and customer relations. They have great human and robot welders too. They are still working on a few designs but when they are ready, no other rickshaw manufacturer will be able to compete with the price or quality. That's a fact!


  6. #6
    bkazma's Avatar
    bkazma Guest

    Default Starting a rickshaw business-please help


    As the title states I currently thinking about starting a pedicab business. I have read many e-mails about not purchasing rickshaws from certain countries. What companies would you recommend? Being from the US there is a company in colorado, co. called pedicab co. have you heard of them? Also, most of the pedicabs that I have seen look the same size. Is there a standard size that you believe works the best? Should I buy a rickshaw that seats 2 or one that seats 3? Is advertising on your rickshaws an important part of your business? IF so how much are you charging for the advertising space? How are your drivers paid? I was told it's easiest to rent the pedicabs to drivers for a daily fee. I apologize for the amount of questions but I'm extremely excited to get this started as soon as possible.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default Quality rickshaw better in the long run

    Having worked with or tried more than 12 different types of rickshaws in the last 3 years & also having made experimented with home builds myself, I am most deffenatly agreeing with trixi, that cheap is expensive in the long run.

    The best trikes that I have come across & worked with, (so fare) have been Maximus, mainstreet & but some others though not so great for London were made by people with a good history in trike development. The trikes work very very hard & may do as much as 55miles in on day with at least 2 people per ride (rider & passenger), this is a hell of alot of work & strain for rider, frame, breaks & any moving part on your Pedicabs.

    What you will need, is a very good frame (number one trike killer), good rims & breaks, spokes & great gears!!! The good thing about some of the older trike makers is that they have already seen the bike break & so know what to change in the trike you now buy. Some (maximus) even retro fit every trike they made with a known possible problem, try to get that service from a place or an individual that builds you a one off!

    The other thing to bear in mind is does the manufacturer have product liability, as this will help you get insurance & save some of your bacon when it’s not your fault. This should not stop you from making your own but don't use it on the street for giving rides; I tried this & ended up with a broken wheel & scratched passengers!

  8. #8
    Sweden rickshaw's Avatar
    Sweden rickshaw Guest



    As simple as best!
    I don't know the company in Colorado. The standard size is allways 1 meter broad. The lenght can varry. There is no standard size to recommend. Everybody drive what is best for the driver. Try to choose from 1000 of different rickshaw models!!!!!!!
    It's impossible. You have to make the hard way to be a rickshaw driver. You have to try different rickshaws.

    I recommend my own ALL purpose rickshaw trailer which you attache to an MTB bike. No repair cost ever. Good looking. And you can buy accessories which will cover all the customers need and demands. To carry advertising is very importend for your survivel!
    You buy a good new MTB-bike and you change it every second year. You have allways the latest bicycle with better gears, breaks, frames a.s.o.. Your never going to have trubble with your working tools as long you are working as a rickshaw driver. As you change your bike often you don't have any repair cost. The ALL PURPOSE RICKHAW you just buy and drive! After some years when you quit drive rickshaw you still can sell the trailer and get your money back!

    Regards: Josef

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