Back in the day, cargo bikes were commonplace in Europe, whizzing about with artisans at the helm. A baker with a bikeload of baguettes or a butcher with a side of beef in his bin, were simply a part of the landscape.
Today their descendants are pedalling a cargo bike renaissance through the modern marketplace in a uniquely brand-able ways, joined by an increasing number of parents embracing cargo bikes as a fun and sustainable way to transport ankle-biters and groceries.
THE RIGHT CARGO BIKE
Cargo bikes are great for all kinds of uses, be it ferrying kids to school, carting groceries from the market or running a business from a bike. Perhaps your intended use will be a combination of these. Many families are discovering the ease of dropping kids to school by bike, then riding onwards to work. Perhaps on the way home you’ll pick up the kids then a round of groceries from the supermarket. The bigger the capacity of the cargo bike the more you will find you use it and the more liberated you will feel from the woes of carparking and traffic. It’s like one big life-hack. Make a list of all the things you’d love to be able to do by bike, and keep those in mind as you consider our big range of cargo bikes. You can fill out our cargo bike questionnaire here, and we'll get back to you with some ideas of which of our bikes may work for you.
We carry four styles of cargo bike, all suited for different needs. Here's a short description of each of them:
Utility bikes- An electric utility bike is to us is any bike which has a rear rack, and a frame mounted front rack. These bikes are best for someone who doesn't need to carry a huge amount of stuff, but still wants the ability to carry significantly more than you usually could on an a regular bike.
Midtails- These bikes are a step up in size from utility bikes. They can usually carry a full grown adult or one or two children on the back, whereas the utility bikes generally you need to have a child seat and can only carry a smaller child. Despite this, Mid-tails still feel and ride much like an ordinary bicycle since the overall length of the bike is very similar.
Longtails - Like an ordinary bike but with a really long rack on the back. They ride much like an ordinary bike but have the ability to carry big loads of stuff or up to three children depending on the model chosen. They also grow as your family grows, since they are just as capable of carrying a full grown adult as they are of carrying toddlers. Date night anyone?
Front Loaders - These bikes have a large cargo bay or box between the front wheel and the handlebar. Great for loading kids or gear into without needing to strap things down. They generally have an optional rain cover, allowing all weather riding while keeping your precious cargo dry and warm. This style of cargobike is particularly popular in Europe and is becoming much more familiar in New Zealand.
For more information about the different styles of cargo bike that we carry, click here.
All of our dedicated Electric Cargobikes employ powerful mid-drive motors from Bosch or Shimano. The power of the motors is generally in step with their hauling ability. For example the grandaddy of Longtail hauling ability, the Yuba Spicy Curry and more compact Tern GSD are currently fitted with the super powerful Bosch Cargo Line motor, which has been specifically designed for cargo bike use. Our Bullitt bikes also have the option of either the Shimano e6100 motor or the more powerful e8000 motor. If you carry lots of stuff and live up a steep hill, then choose the more powerful option. If you mostly ride around the flat, then you may find the lesser powerful motors offer more than enough assistance. For more information about the new Bosch Cargo Line motor, click here.
Each model of Cargobike we sell has it’s own set of accessories to suit your intended usage and/or the age of your children. The long tail bikes have optional child seats to suit any age of child (even the grown up ones) as well as pannier and basket options for all the extra stuff and groceries you need to carry. The front loaders and trikes all have bench seat and y-belt options as well as box covers and/or passenger rain hoods. Browse through the options or simply drop by or give us a call so we can share our knowledge with you of what works best for your given use. For more information about the best ways to carry your little ones, click here.
A cargo bike is simply a bicycle designed to carry more than one rider and their light baggage, this may be a full week’s shopping, a couple of kids, building materials, a lazy friend, or a combination of all of them. Generally, they are designed to have such high carrying capacities that they can truly act as car replacements in an urban or suburban environment.
Most of our full size cargo bikes can carry up to 100kg of cargo weight in addition to the rider, so likely your legs will determine how much you can (or want) to take with you. Our team is always happy to chat and discuss how you can carry the loads you’ve got in mind for your new cargo bike. For a more detailed post about cargo bike load capacities, click here.
Cargo bikes are put under very different loads than standard bikes and ours are all built to withstand this heavy use. However, when it is time for a tune-up it’ll be important to make sure you use a mechanic experienced with cargo bikes and that they can get the proper replacement parts for your ride. Items like brake pads, chains, and wheels come under considerably more strain than on a conventional bike and should be selected specifically for this task. The team at Bicycle Junction is always about to help you keep your cargo bike running tip-top. For more information about how often you should get your bike serviced, click here.
Absolutely. With a bit of practice and time, all our cargo bikes are very achievable to ride and a lot of fun. If you're unsure about whether you'll be able to handle a fully-loaded up cargo bike, we made a post adressing this specific question here.
The best way to see for yourself whether you'll be able to manage one of these bikes is just by taking them for a test ride. If you want to book a test ride for one of our bikes, then you can do so here. If you're unsure of what you should test ride first, then either pop into store or give us a ring and we'll work from there.
"My Yuba Supermarche cargobike isn’t my second car, it’s my first car. It’s my people mover, family wagon, work vehicle. Everything is just so much easier by bike. It brings smiles to peoples faces. And it’s fun. It’s a life changer. I’m lost without it".
Kirsten Macdonald - Piano Tuner and cargo bike whisperer
SWING BY FOR A TEST RIDE
You shouldn't have too much trouble finding us, and the friendly folk in the Laneways area will point you in the right direction if your compass is off. We're on the corner of Marion St and Ghuznee St. Look for the painted lady.
We all have differing requirements of our Cargobikes and there are many shapes, sizes and styles to choose from. It can be tricky to decipher these many options into the right choice for you. While our Cargobike FAQ's will help to guide you, sometimes its also good to have the field of options narrowed down.