Cargo bike – this is a great alternative to motorcycles, as much cheaper, easier to use, and also safer for the environment. In addition, these bikes are able to carry large and impressive loads, despite its rather small size and simple, it would seem, design. Let’s talk about the types of cargo bikes, their advantages and disadvantages.
For what purposes do you need a cargo bike
As the name suggests, the cargo bike is designed to carry a variety of cargo. Depending on the model, the carrying capacity of such a vehicle – from 30 to 200 kilograms. Some models can “take on” more weight.
Such bikes are particularly popular:
- small business owners (it is convenient to deliver ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs, flowers, balloons and the like in places with limited vehicular traffic);
- when transporting goods in warehouses, factories and plants located over a large area;
- at airports and railway stations – when transporting luggage;
- at parents when transporting children as a recreational option.
Manufacturers of cargo bikes offer models with both two and three wheels. In addition, they are sold special trailers, on which it is convenient to place loads – this increases the carrying capacity of such bikes.
A significant advantage of the three-wheeled cargo bike is its stability. And thanks to the cargo platform, the weight is distributed evenly on all wheels.
If the trailer is placed in front of the bike – the owner can control his load while riding. When transporting bulky cargo, so they do not obscure the view, it is better to use bicycles with a trailer placed on the back of the bike.
Types of cargo bikes
These vehicles come in a variety of designs depending on the purpose for which they are intended.
A city bike is the simplest type of cargo bike. It can be equipped with luggage boxes (carts) or metal baskets-the latter are located both in the front and in the back.
A bicycle truck (Long John) is a common cargo bike with a larger wheelbase and a smaller front wheel. At the expense of this wheel is a cargo platform on which you can carry goods weighing from 100 kg. Such a vehicle is operated by an ordinary steering wheel, connected to the front wheel by means of a special design.
Long-tail is a cargo two-wheeled bike, often used to transport people. Such bikes have an enlarged wheelbase at the back, on which a trunk, cargo platform, or additional seats are installed to accommodate passengers.
Bicycles with three wheels – a vehicle for adults with a special compartment for cargo, which is placed between the wheels of the front or rear axle. The configuration of these bikes reverse or straight deltoid. The trunk size of the tricycle can easily be increased, which increases its load capacity.
Bicycle cargo trikes are also gaining in popularity due to the expanded possibilities of operation – they can be equipped with an electric motor or a gasoline engine.
Low frame trikes are a great vehicle designed for older cyclists. Bicycles of this type have a comfortable low riding position, which allows you to sit on the seat without much effort. Cargo can be carried in the trunk at the back.
Lying trailers with a body – for fans of a comfortable and relaxed ride. A feature of these bikes is that the pedals are placed in the front, and on the seat the cyclist is semi-recumbent.
Folding trikes – the choice of people who have limited bicycle storage space. They fold up compactly, which allows you to store them in a city apartment and even on the balcony.
Tandems – rather oversized three-wheeled cargo bikes of complex design. They have a comfortable large seat, and there is a large trunk at the back for transporting goods. Tandems can be equipped with an umbrella (tent) against the sun, if used to transport passengers.
A two-seat bike is a popular three-wheeled vehicle with a cargo carrier under the seat. It is also possible to place the trunk between the front and rear wheels.
Three-wheeled choppers are a similar design to trikes, although the cost of such bikes is much higher. They often have two seats, as well as a strong three-wheeled base, which is not afraid of traveling off-road. This vehicle is made to order.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of cargo bikes are quite a lot, so they are becoming increasingly popular:
- Due to their load capacity, these bikes allow you to move large and heavy loads;
- thanks to a variety of containers, trailers, and mounts, you can evenly distribute the weight of the load on all wheels;
- three-wheeled bicycle structures are stable and safe. The balance is maintained when the vehicle is stopped;
- Most models of these bikes have a reasonable cost, which can afford even a person with limited financial resources;
- and another plus is that you can save on subsequent costs, since cargo bikes do not need fuel.
Unfortunately, cargo bike designs also have drawbacks:
- the vast majority of models are undesirable to use on rough roads and off-road, otherwise you can damage the load being carried;
- Be careful on bends – you can tip over.
To choose exactly the model of cargo bike that you need, pay attention to these nuances:
- Type of wheelbase. Three-wheeled models are the most stable and reliable. Unlike two-wheeled, they do not roll over when making sharp turns, and they do not tip over when transporting heavy cargo.
- Evaluate the size and capacity of the luggage rack, for what purposes you will use it. For bulky loads trunks must be large enough.
- Also pay attention to the type of trunk. Compartments in the back and front seats distribute the weight of the load evenly. Note that if the trunk is located in the front – you can watch the load while riding without fear for its safety. But the same can interfere with the rider, if the load is too voluminous – in this situation, you should prefer a cargo bike with a rack at the back.
- Consider the number of seats in the design. Will you travel by yourself or with passengers.
- For the elderly and disabled people, it is possible to buy special recumbent bikes, in which a person will be on the seat in a semi-reclining position.
Popular models of cargo bikes
To date, there are many models of cargo three-wheeled and two-wheeled bicycles of Russian and foreign production. Let’s consider some of them.
One of the best models of cargo bikes, capable of carrying loads weighing up to 225 kg. Durable chrome frame allows you to sit comfortably on the seat and quickly get off it. There are two brakes: front brake and brake lever. This bike is not only comfortable to ride, but also safe in the dark – there are reflectors.
Stels Energy 1
Standard model of three-wheeled cargo bike with a basket under the seat, with dual brakes – manual and mechanical, strong curved aluminum frame and rigid fork. This bike is great for riding on smooth country roads, as well as supermarket shopping and transporting goods.
A good option for a tricycle with two baskets. Tires with wide tread allow you to move on any surface, installed a steel lightweight frame. A distinctive feature – the model folding. Assembled bike can be transported even in the trunk of a car.
Lonestar Baby Boomer
Leaning 7-speed bike with a large seat with comfortable back support. It has a high, durable handlebar, which makes steering the bike especially comfortable and stress-free.
Electric cargo tricycle bike has two baskets, a lowered frame that is comfortable when getting on the bike, as well as double rims with steel spokes. A reliable cargo bike that can travel considerable distances even on uneven terrain.
Schwinn Town and Country.
Sturdy, sturdy aluminum frame of this bike makes it possible to carry bulky loads. Thanks to its understated shape it allows the owner to easily jump on and off the seat. Also mounted on the frame is a cupholder for a bottle. The model has 3 speeds. This cargo bike is notable for the fact that the height and slope of the handlebars and saddle can be adjusted independently, choosing the most comfortable position for yourself.
Cargo bikes have many advantages. They are economical, because they do not consume fuel, their operation is not particularly financially expensive. Such bikes do not pollute the air, so they should be used in closed areas of factories or warehouses.
Of course, they have their disadvantages: the weight of the load, as well as the distance over which they can carry it – limited. A person has to use muscular power to set the bicycle in motion, which requires good physical shape. Unlike motorists, riders are more unprotected in urban traffic. Because of these factors, many refuse to ride cargo bikes. However, the problem with using muscle power can be solved by installing a motor on the bike, and in many cases cargo bikes are simply indispensable as a means of transportation.