FAQ: What accessories are available for your cargo bikes?
The cargo bikes we carry come with a large range of accessories, which come in handy for a variety of different cargo carrying reasons. I've written next to each title what style of bike you may find these accessories on, so you can find the ones that are compatible for your bike. To learn more about these four categories, click here.
Usually, we would say to allow for 10 to 15% on top of the bike price for accessories. Some common accessories you'll find on our cargo bikes are:
The first and most important accessory on a cargo bike is the front tray or basket. That is because once you've got one, two or three kids on the back, you need to be able to put the stuff that goes with them, whether it's a picnic lunch, some nappies or the school bags. This accessory doesn't apply to frontloaders, as they come with the following accesory;
Frontloader Boxes (Frontloaders)
The name of these is a massive giveaway to their purpose, but essentially these are boxes you attach to the front of your frontloader which you can store your things in. These can operate just like panniers but allow you to store all your things in one place, and also give you the option to carry your more precious cargo, whether thats your dog or three children.
Panniers are essentially where you can carry all your non-human cargo, when the rear isn't busy with multiple children. They come in regular or oversized sizes, which allow you to usually fit a childseat alongside for the former, whilst you usually need the whole of the rear free for the latter. Great way of carrying a big load of groceries on a longtail, or getting a bit more stuff on a frontloader when the front is busy.
Child's Seat (Longtails, Midtails, Utility)
The next thing is of course, to choose the right child seat. Child seats are great for kids under 5, and our favourite seat is Yepp Maxi Kid's Seat because most of our cargo bikes are compatible with the Yepp easy fit system. The easy fit system is the one that many cargo bikes are designed around, and they slot into a receptacle that is built into the frame. They are the quickest to mount, and they sit the most securely. There are also options for child seats for within the box of a frontloader as well, that can carry up to three children with cushions and seatbelts.
Sideboards (Longtail, Midtail)
Sideboards allow bigger kids who are ready to sit directly on the back to have their feet firmly planted on the bike,that run the length of the rear rack so they work with a variety of different combinations. There is also the option for footpegs here, but we find they don't work quite as well as they don't offer the same amount of flexibility.
Soft spots/Sidekick seatpad (Longtail, Midtail)
If you're kids are sitting on the back, they're going to need something to sit on! Each of the brands has their own form of seat pad, to give them a bit more cushion to sit on. These usually come with some sort of quick release system, but there are waterproof options which can be left on the bike for day to day use.
Monkey Bars/Clubhouse (Longtail)
These are essentially a frame that goes around the rear rack, so your kids can sit within the frame and hold on to the sides of the frame. This secures them in the back of the bike, allowing them to be surrounded with barrier that will stop them from falling out. A great accesory for kids getting used to a cargo bike, but with a bit of time a lot of parent prefer using the following accessory.
Hold-on/Side Kick bars (Longtail, Midtail)
This accessory gives something to hold on to when they are on the back of the bike. These are very popular because it is easier for the children to hop on and off the bike, and offers kids a more engaging ride. Once they're comfortable, most kid's won't need to be restrained in place in the back, since as long as they have something to hold onto they behave well.
Child Covers (Front Loaders)
We are able to get in a range of child covers for our cargo bikes, but the only ones we recommend are for our front loaders. This is because the covers extend up, and with the Wellington wind this can be an issue. The front covers for the frontloaders don't extend up as high as a cover on the back of the long tail would, because there's no wheel underneath the load bay, meaning the cover is as low as absolutely possible. So for front loaders, these are a great option if you want to get your kids to school dry and happy on more drizzly days.
Our longtail and frontloader cargo bikes all come with double kickstands, whereas our mid tails and utility bikes come with single kickstands. The option to add a double kicks stands are really important for your kids to be able to climb onto the bike without you steadying it. They're also rated to hold the cargo weight rating of the bike, meaning that you don't need to worry about them breaking when you're loaded up.