Ok, so they might *not* all be MADE in the USA, but cargo bikes are something awesome to ride and make everyday trips hauling things way more fun than driving. Besides who has a car these days? Oh, so sorry… Here are some more awesome alternatives.
WIRED was seriously excited about the name of a new cargo bike in September.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the best thing about Soma’s new cargo bike was its name: the Pick Up Artist. But even with such an awesome moniker, the bike itself is even better.
Like other cargo bikes, the Pick Up Artist has a long wheelbase for stability. Unlike other cargo bikes, it achieves this length by shifting the front wheel instead of the back wheel. The small wheel is moved forward, underneath the load-bed, and is steered using a linkage system similar to the bakfiets bikes used to deliver goods and children over in Northern Europe.
This linkage also means that the wheel moves independently of the load above, which stays fixed to the frame. If you ever rode a Brompton with its frame-mounted front carrier, you’ll know that this setup is way more stable than a rack that moves with the wheel.
The Pick Up Artist will carry up to 200 pounds (91 kilos), which means that you could even load me on the front.
Soma is still undecided on whether to make the Pick Up Artist or not. I’d vote yes, if only because of the name. If it ever does make it into stores, it’ll cost around $1,500.
Sadly it doesn’t look like SOMA has made up their mind to produce it (or has decided not to & kept mum). What a bummer! Because most people can’t consider a $3,000+ european cargo bike to replace or supplement a car, but a $1,500 (plus a few personal upgrades/accessories) is a lot more approachable. Plus, the design is pretty unique and has a very American feel to it. I’d love to see a dozen of these at the local Trader Joe’s instead of a full parking lot or (when in NYC) a line of lined up cabs.
Ok, that doesn’t count because it doesn’t really exist.
How about PUMA’s cute entry, The Mopion. (these are really biomega (Denmark) bikes)
Kona has a cargo w/disc brakes offering that fairly screams, “Portland!”
Those are all big manufacturers. Traditionally the US has a dozen+ cargo bike companies that make small batches of funky but practical designs. One of the best known companies is Bilenky. You know they’re good when their bikes are $3,000+ and their website still sucks.
For a long time having a cargo bike meant having a custom made bike – and while that’s pretty awesome, it means that not many people have them. A great resource for digging into the subject and discovering different styles, companies (basically everything) is: http://cargocycling.org/
But I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for pretty things and being lazy. So imagine how thrilled I was to come across this:
A Bucket! Who doesn’t want a bucket ride? And it comes in super pretty colors! And it’s only $1,100 if you pre-order!
Except by judging by the dates on the website it seems like the company Madsen Cycles might not have gotten enough orders to actually go into production (yet). If I had one wish it would be to wake up to a world where instead of being annoyed by people in their ugly SUV’s it would be getting annoyed at people in their hilarious cargo bucket bikes. Make it happen!