The Beauty and Utility of Cargo Bikes

If a normal bike won’t haul all your gear, even with cargo-capacity boosting panniers and baskets and such, there’s a variety of cargo bike options that may be just what you need. It’s incredible the creativity and variety, not to mention the beauty and utility of cargo bikes.

There’s a few different basic approaches:

  • Longjohns, with the load in front, like this Metrofiets. This is a solid approach, and beautifully made. They even made a bike that hauls two beer kegs and a tap tower!
  • Load in back, from Madsen bike. I like this approach to carrying a load; sort of a cross between a longtail and a longjohn.
  • Longtails, such as the Xtracycle. This company makes bikes, longtail kits, and accessories for hauling. The new Edgerunner uses a 20” rear wheel, which sounds great for space utilization and a lower center of gravity.

 

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It seems that a bigger bike would require a lot more effort to pedal, but it’s really not the case. If you have a heavy load, it’s tougher to get started, and to stop, and hills seem more daunting, but when you’re rolling the bike seems to keep going without undue effort. Here’s some cargo bike geekness about weight, effort, wind resistance.

I can definitely see the appeal of electric assist if you live in a hilly place.

 

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Wow, here’s a lot of info. There are quite a few manufacturers and fabricators, but looks like it’s mostly low-volume fabricators. Some homebrew bikes look pretty good.

 

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What a slick machine. You get transportation, fitness, fresh air, and easy maintenance in a low-cost machine that is also good for our cities and emits no pollutants. Now if I can just figure out how to ride more.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably with

  • green building
  • permaculture
  • green cities

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