Cargo Bikes | What to look for and what to avoid!
Cargo bikes are a HUGE trend that’s really starting to infiltrate parenting in Queensland. They’re convenient, they’re cool and they’re crazy-fun for parents and kids alike. But what should you look for when buying a cargo bike?
What is a cargo bike?
A cargo bike is a secure bicycle that has been modified to include a box or carrier of significant size. The kind of modern cargo bikes we’re seeing used in Queensland at the moment often have the carrier or box at the front of the structure. The adult or strong teenager driving the cargo bike will be seated behind the child or children in the box. The structures typically have three wheels but this changes depending on the engineer.
These modes of transport can be pedal-powered but many have an option to have an electric option as well – a handy solution for some of the huge hills in our south-east corner!
Why a cargo bike?
Why indeed! We love these bikes for quite a few reasons.
- Safety. This is a structure that is a lot sturdier than a two-wheeler. The pure weight of the contraption grounds you on the road a lot more. It can mean that it’s not as smooth around corners but you certainly won’t get the wobbles. This is also convenient when you’re waiting at lights.
- Convenience. The photos in this article are of the cargo bike of one of our writers. There is room for up to three children (each of whom have their own individual straps), shopping and even a dog or two! This cargo bike has a 60kg weight allowance in the box which means it’s possible to be out on the bike and stop to grab groceries on your way past the milk bar.
- Visibility. These things attract attention and being seen on the road is never a bad thing. We’ve found that drivers tend to give these a very wide berth and they don’t attract some of the ‘aggro’ that you often see directed to cyclists.
- Fun! Many a time we’ve been out on the bike and people have driven past absolutely delighted by what they see. It’s like the circus has come to town!
How do I choose a good cargo bike?
At the moment this is still a niche market which means the majority of these bikes are custom built for your needs. Some questions we recommend asking are:
- How many children / animals am I planning on transporting in my bike? Will this work for my family size?
- What is my local area like? Will pedal power be enough (remember these are heavier to ride than normal bikes) or should I get electricity as an option as well?
- How safe is it? Are the handlebars nice and wide to control range of movement? Does it have lights?
- Where will I safely store my cargo bike? While the bike itself is definitely weather proof, leaving it outside with the box uncovered means rain, dirt and other sundry will get inside.
Got any tips for buying a cargo bike in Queensland?
Our tip is to stick to the professionals. Look for sellers who have authenticated, registered websites. These machines are great (they’ll change your parenting!) but you’re really putting the safety of your family in someone else’s hands.
The guys at Dutch Cargo Bikes will be a good first port of call. They can help you figure out what you’re looking for and where to go from there.
When your bike is crafted and all ready to go, make sure you use it to take advantage of some of your area’s most beautiful bike paths! Happy travels!