We just came across this unknown to us custom bike maker up North (that means Canada) who makes these really cool looking custom cargo bikes and trailers. They are fabricated by Manuel Cappel, and from the photos we’ve seen they are quirky looking and a bit industrial appearing but have a minimalist charm. One of his unique bicycle trailers is pictured here. We were not able to download a photo of one of his cargo bikes, but check out his website at http://cappelcustomcarts.com for more cool photos. If you’re in the Toronto area, it looks worth checking out one of these.
With the electric bicycle craze taking off globally, the electric Bakfiets may be the next big thing. An electric carrier bike or cargo bike truly makes this category a practical car alternative for the mass market. Without the limiting requirement of sturdy and tireless thigh muscles, a large number of casual cyclists are expected to embrace the carrier bike category. An electric carrier bike or bakfiets opens up the market to those needing to cycle longer distances than their legs will allow and those in hillier regions. Carrier bike market leader Zigo is reported to be developing an electric Zigo for launch next Fall. Several electrified Zigos, modified by dealers or consumers from aftermarket kits, have already been showcased on the Zigo Facebook page.
There are already a number of electric bakfietsen available, or able to be built from aftermarket kits. For example, Sparticle Electric Bikes in the U.K. offers a converted dutch bakfiets, though at a hefty starting price of £3,140 (US$4,116), plus the cost of any accessories. The U.S. sales price of the electric Zigo is expected to be $2,999. Gloworm in Australia offers a converted dutch bakfiets for Australian $4800 (US$4,839). On Bakfietsweb one can find an electric bakfiets listed as low as €849 (US$1,113), featuring a 36V 9ah Li-ion battery. However, this sounds a bit too good to be true. The rest of the specifications of the electrical components and the supplier are not listed.
Regardless of the brand and components, we expect the electric carrier bike/bakfiets/cargo bike market to boom in the next several years.
The Kona Ute longtail bike is a rugged-looking longtail bike with a nod to mountain bike aesthetics, as might be expected from Kona. The integration of the rack with the bike frame is a nice design touch. Retailing at US$1249 on the Kona website, it is nicely positioned in terms of price/quality, featuring an aluminum frame, many Shimano components, double kick-stand, and disc brakes. Like other longtail cargo bikes, the Kona Ute has an extended rear with a wooden platform for mounting cargo or bags of all sorts. It is not as heavy duty as some other longtail bikes, but quite practical for average city use.
The longtail bike trend seems to be growing in the United States, with new models being introduced each year. Since our post on Xtracycle, we have researched a number of other longtail bikes. By way of introduction, a longtail bike is designed with a long wheelbase and extra room behind the rider for cargo. The frame, wheels and drive-train need to be sturdily constructed to handle the extra loads. In the future we will be offering reports on longtail bikes from:
- Sun Bicycles
- Surly; and
Xtracycle makes a couple of really nice products for cargo hauling. The xtracylce Radish is dubbed “the complete family bike” on the xtracycle website. The Radish is a complete cargo bike and not a conversion kit. The Radish features a chromoly frame and weighs about 45 lbs. (before adding cargo kits). It features front and rear SD-5 v-brakes, a SRAM X-5 rear derailleur and a SRAM 11-34 cassette. The Radish can be outfitted with a variety of cargo attachments, depending on what you plan to carry. For light hauling, there is the Eco kit. The Classic kit is for heavier goods, while the Trucker, you guessed it, is for even heavier loads. The Family kit includes a PeaPod baby seat and an adapter for child hauling. The base Radish is $900, and the various cargo kits range from $135 for the Eco to $540 for the Family or Trucker kit. The xtracycle Radish, and similar long-tail bikes, are a nice cargo alternative. For transporting kids, we still favor a carrier bike with a forward positioned carrier, but for cargo, the xtracycle radish is a contender.
CETMA Cargo bikes are hand-built in Oregon in the good-old United States of America. The CETMA cargo bikes come in two sizes, Largo and Margo, which differ in wheelbase by about 6 inches. The CETMA Largo weighs 75 lbs and claims a cargo hauling rating of 300 lbs, while the smaller Margo comes in at 60-65 lbs with a similar load rating. The CETMA cargo bike is sold as a frameset for $1,850 plus shipping. This means that you then need to have the bike built and purchase and add on all the components. It is not for your average suburban mom! The CETMA cargo bikes come with a basic cargo platform integrated into the frame. On to this, you can add a box for carrying anything from children to the kitchen sink, converting it into a classic bakfiets style. The box that CETMA offers is $300, but you can build your own (or have one built for you).
It is nice to see that we are still building things (let alone bicycles) in the U.S.A.