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!

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7 Responses to New American (ish) Cargo Bikes

  1. Aerospoke says:

    Very interesting & innovative bicycles !!!!

  2. Ash L says:

    I had a Madsen for a year and now ride a Joe Bike box bike (another Americanish cargo bike). The Madsen was relatively fast and handled well compared to other cargo bikes I’ve ridden. Their failure isn’t in their product but in their customer service. They are woefully inept at returning correspondence in a swift manner and their site had been promising a passenger rain cover to be available by Spring of 2011 but never followed through. They had a prototype in 2009 so the only reason I can imagine they haven’t produced one is a huge budget shortfall. As a year round rider in Chicago a cargo bike that can’t be made winter ready is of no use. Madsen makes a good product but until they get some additional employees or better work ethic, they likely won’t last long.

    • admin says:

      Such a bummer to hear – but great to get a product owner’s perspective on the Madsens! It’s a rough road, you want small companies to do well but the first years are always a trial for customers & company alike as things (hopefully) ramp up to the volume & budget that allows for the kind of service & innovation we’ve come to expect from established companies.

    • Shanna says:

      Any interest in selling your Madsen if you’re not using it anymore? I really need a cargobike to transport my younger 2 children, but can’t spring for a new one. I’ve been searching the internet for used cargobikes, but everyone loves them so much they never sell them!

      • Abakar says:

        , they’re perfect for aurnod-town kid-hauling/grocery-getting, etc. I put some platform-BMX-type pedals on, though the Madsen’s stock pedals are also quite wide and a great platform pedal, I just thought I’d put these on. I may move to the SKS grip king, but we’ll see. And the grips are just some I had lying aurnod and like the look of . It’s a great ride. Can’t wait to get back to Seattle and borrow it back from Car Free Days. In terms of the Madsen’s stock saddle/bars/pedals, it really is just a matter of personal preference. I like the wider Brooks B67 saddle, which I use on some other cargo bikes, so I went with that here. The standard saddle may be preferred by some, it just depends what you’re used to and what you like to ride. Because I went for the more upright riding position, I like the wider saddle. If I were using this bike as a bike messenger, for example, and racing aurnod town a little more, and/or preferred a narrower saddle, the stock one would be just fine. I think Madsen’s designers were wise to spec the bike with the saddle, bars, and pedals they did: they’re good choices, but easily swapped out if someone prefers.

      • Gabriella says:

        i’d say that a 3 year old child will be able to ride a bike with training wheles, and maybe when he/she is already used to riding, and can manage by his/herself, you can take off the training wheles..just make sure that a helmet is worn just for safety precautions as for the child riding a bike going somwhere with someone, it depends if the person he/she is with is responsible you should be the one to judge that..and the age for a kid to be able to ride a bike somewhere by themselves is also up to you, just make sure that he/she knows how to be safe, directions, and is always carrying a celphone in case something goes wrong.. best of luck to you : )

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