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Station Wagon Bikes

Updated on July 8, 2013

There are all types of bicycles on the roads or off roads. The mountain bike with heavy duty tires, the street racer with thin tires and lightweight frame, the standard bike for the average biker, the Moped that allows you to engage a motor. Now, there is the station wagon or cargo bicycle to make deliveries or just be more practicable.

This bicycle is a supersized frame and either have their cargo area in the rear or in the front. The major difference is, of course, the longer frame. Some of the cargo bikes are able to carry two small kids. The specs for the cargo bike reflect its main purpose:

  • Capable of carrying 440 lbs.
  • They have low gear ratios to make pedaling with heavy loads easy
  • Some have 26" heavy duty tires
  • Up to three small passengers can be carried
  • The cargo area can be almost 32" long
  • Some have 20" rear tire and a 26" front tire to help with acceleration
  • Some have a 26" tire in the rear and the 20" front tire to help steering
  • They weigh from 45-60 lbs.

Cargo bikes are new in the USA and most of North America, but in various places in Europe, they have been around for a long time and are used heavily to move mail, packages and cargo in the more dense city environment. Only a few US bicycle manufactures exist, such a Yuba and Trek. Both have seen a doubling in sales of the cargo bike. While this is a niche product, it is perfect for some types of business. For instance, in Port Townsend, WA., near the boat docks, some 300,000 pounds of salmon or other fish are delivered by cargo bikes. One bike put on 2500 miles.

In Denmark, cargo bikes have existed a long time. There popular cargo bike is the "Long John", which has a 40" long x 24" wide cargo area in front of the driver. There are 40,000 cargo type bikes in Copenhagen and 28% of the population with two kids own one. The Danish bike is now being seen in and around NYC making deliveries to avoid traffic congestion.

One US manufacturer, Yuba, has a cargo truck bike called Mundo. Unlike other cargo bikes, this bike is "Chevy Tough". It is beefy with its reinforced frame and large tires capable of carrying 440 lbs. The bike weighs 58 lbs., and it looks like a long regular bike with a very long 31" long cargo area behind the driver. It is nearly 7 ft. long. With a dual kickstand, passengers can sit with no wobbling. Granted, carrying 400 lbs. is daunting on roads shared with cars or pedestrians and it takes time to learn how to control whipsawing sway.

The price of these new bikes is high. I suppose the low end is $1,250 to $3,000, depending on the various add-ons like disc brakes, better gear ratios and electric motors to help. Another thing you need to get use to is the attention they bring, much like a two man bicycle. One can see how they are useful in densely populated areas where traffic can be avoided. But, you still have the usual downsides as with any bicycle-fighting the elements and dealing with other moving objects! The cargo bike is NOT a sports car when if comes to maneuverability.

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    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 

      5 years ago from India

      Great hub on Station Wagon Bikes. Voted up.

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