Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Carlton green
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Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by Carlton green »

Stradageek wrote: 8 May 2022, 10:49pm
Carlton green wrote: 8 May 2022, 8:12pm I’m struggling to picture how anyone can carry / transport bikes on a trailer.
I was stretching a point a little. I have a length of angle iron with brackets that bolt it to the trailer V-upwards. One bike sits in the V, toe straps hold the wheels in the V and luggage straps hold the bike upright. Two more bikes can be lashed to the upright bike.

The angle iron is longer than the trailer but extends more backwards than forwards.

It very effective and stable but a bit heavy with three bikes in tow :)

Oh, that’s quite an interesting thought to follow up. I have a car roof rack bike carrier and wonder if it could be bolted down onto a flatbed trailer. I suspect that the trailer will probably be nose light bit that might not matter, maybe the towing arm could somehow be extended to allow (via a more centrally positioned rack) a better balance …
Dingdong wrote: 9 May 2022, 12:35am The cheapest way to have a Cargo bike is probably to steal one to order :lol: :lol: :lol:

Well I guess that that’s one way :lol: but I’m happy to pay a fair price instead. :D
Don’t fret, it’s OK to: ride a simple old bike; ride slowly, walk, rest and admire the view; ride off-road; ride in your raincoat; ride by yourself; ride in the dark; and ride one hundred yards or one hundred miles. Your bike and your choices to suit you.
colin54
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Joined: 24 Sep 2013, 4:34pm

Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by colin54 »

How about an Xtracycle kit which converts a bike into a longtail cargo bike?
They're not made any more but here's one that recently sold on ebay for £200.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Xtracycle-Bl ... 7675.l2557
Test, and Xtracycle website links with some info, if you are not already aware of them.
https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/acces ... al-review/
https://www.xtracycle.com/leap-freeradical/
Nu-Fogey
Carlton green
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Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by Carlton green »

colin54 wrote: 9 May 2022, 2:08pm How about an Xtracycle kit which converts a bike into a longtail cargo bike?
They're not made any more but here's one that recently sold on ebay for £200.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Xtracycle-Bl ... 7675.l2557
Test, and Xtracycle website links with some info, if you are not already aware of them.
https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/acces ... al-review/
https://www.xtracycle.com/leap-freeradical/
Thanks, yes I had wondered about that route. IIRC the add on unit worked well but there was some question about overall frame rigidity and with the exception of occasional second hand sales the add on unit is no longer available. Thanks for raising that alternative though.

Thank you too to all those who have supported my thread. Your time and effort is appreciated.

No new to me cheaper ways to a cargo bike have emerged, but I had forgotten about Tandem conversion. In rough order of capital cost for shifting stuff we have:
1. Use your existing bike with a better rack.
2. Add a trailer to your existing bike - or, in my case, make better use of the trailer that you already have.
3. Buy an Elephant / Postie bike - eBay have some second hand deals too.
4. Buy a (second hand) Tandem and then turn it into a Long Tail - but there are questions about the multilevel load deck design.
5. Buy a (second hand) Long Tail.

I haven’t included make your own frame ‘cause only a small percentage of folk could successfully do that.
I haven’t included traditional Tricycles with one wheel at the front; I have some doubts about them and wouldn’t wish to unwittingly point anyone towards them.
I haven’t gone beyond a Long Tail ‘cause after them the prices can be a bit serious - even a second hand Long Tail is quite a lot of money.

Edit. I haven’t included Butcher / Grocer type bikes with large baskets at the front because they are rare and typically expensive for what utility they offer. Like the Postie bike they’re more courier than cargo, but the items can be bigger.

Edit. It occurs to me that good hub gears can be rather expensive and that the cheaper wide ratio ones of questionable mechanical efficiency and repairability, maybe it’s best to stick to wide ratio derailleur gears on inexpensive cargo bikes. The SA AW is good for shifting some weight and I’m a fan of them, but ultimately its limited ratio range compromises what it can offer the rider. Some of the older and entry level box bikes have three speed hubs (Shimano and maybe Sach) with back pedal brakes in them. The cargo bikes before them, the originals, had no brakes and fixed gear. Limited SA AW use aside on large cargo bikes its best to go the derailleur gears route - and don’t forget to change down early.

Edit. As I continue to look at the topic I increasingly notice the versatility of the Long tail type cargo bike and particularly so when the foot rails are also used as cargo platforms, the whole back of the bike is (subject to model variations) a substantial multi surface cargo rack built over a load carrying wheel - they’re certainly no less and might arguably be more capable of moving very heavy stuff than two and three wheel bakfiets and what doesn’t fit on a long tail (due to the item’s shape) can be carried on a trailer.

Edit. Whilst I hadn’t considered this in particular before it is worth while considering the weights of the different options as well as their costs. The cheaper options tend to weight less than the dearer ones. A Long tail does weigh more than an ordinary bike but they’re noticeably lighter than the two and three wheel box bikes (which are both more expensive and already somewhat heavy before you even start to think about adding a load into them).

A Postie bike might move me a little forward from where I am now, a converted Tandem could be better but I think that I might struggle to store it (Tandems typically ain’t small). There are no easy and (also) good answers, but a suitable Tug Bike and Large Trailer seems to work so I’ll stick with that for now and see what else turns up.

My thanks again to all who have supported this thread. :D
Last edited by Carlton green on 15 May 2022, 6:49am, edited 7 times in total.
Don’t fret, it’s OK to: ride a simple old bike; ride slowly, walk, rest and admire the view; ride off-road; ride in your raincoat; ride by yourself; ride in the dark; and ride one hundred yards or one hundred miles. Your bike and your choices to suit you.
Winders
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Joined: 31 Aug 2015, 6:15pm

Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by Winders »

A mid price option might be a cargo fork that takes a 20” wheel? Something like a Crust Clydesdale fork maybe?
roberts8
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Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by roberts8 »

Just looked at our hoppa wheeled trolley and wondered if there is an extension to couple it to the bike.
My wife is getting a step through ebike which we will both use so this seems a sensible option.
My thoughts would be stability but interested in comments.
Carlton green
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Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by Carlton green »

roberts8 wrote: 11 May 2022, 11:46am Just looked at our hoppa wheeled trolley and wondered if there is an extension to couple it to the bike.
My wife is getting a step through ebike which we will both use so this seems a sensible option.
My thoughts would be stability but interested in comments.
There’s nothing commercially available that I know of that links a shopping trolley to a bike, and if there was I’d be concerned about the (resultant) trailer’s stability - or rather its instability. The Bike Hod trailer is a similar idea that worked, but it’s no longer made, and there are the similar(ish) Burley Travoy and Carry Freedom Leaf trailers. If you want more info then there are some threads specifically on trailers.
Winders wrote: 10 May 2022, 10:58pm A mid price option might be a cargo fork that takes a 20” wheel? Something like a Crust Clydesdale fork maybe?
That type of aftermarket arrangement doesn’t seem to be available in the UK. I wonder how well they work in practise in that the (large I assume) weight - or rather mass - over the front wheel might adversely affect the steering. I didn’t include the comparable butcher / grocer large basket type bikes in my list (see my post above) because they are quite rare here, usually very heavy and usually priced well beyond their utility value. Still, where the cargo fork is available I’d have thought it worth investigating, thanks for that suggestion.
Don’t fret, it’s OK to: ride a simple old bike; ride slowly, walk, rest and admire the view; ride off-road; ride in your raincoat; ride by yourself; ride in the dark; and ride one hundred yards or one hundred miles. Your bike and your choices to suit you.
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gaz
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Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by gaz »

Carlton green wrote: 11 May 2022, 2:08pm
roberts8 wrote: 11 May 2022, 11:46am Just looked at our hoppa wheeled trolley and wondered if there is an extension to couple it to the bike.
There’s nothing commercially available that I know of that links a shopping trolley to a bike, and if there was I’d be concerned about the (resultant) trailer’s stability - or rather its instability. The Bike Hod trailer is a similar idea that worked, but it’s no longer made, and there are the similar(ish) Burley Travoy and Carry Freedom Leaf trailers. If you want more info then there are some threads specifically on trailers.
Also Winther Donkey, Bellelli B Tourist and ETC Burro.
Only the truly enlightened know the sound of one pannier flapping.
hemo
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Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by hemo »

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234554841553 ... SwPqxigkNZ

The above is on ebay at the mo, if the price doesn't get silly will make a superb cargo bike.
Carlton green
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Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by Carlton green »

hemo wrote: 16 May 2022, 3:22pm https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234554841553 ... SwPqxigkNZ

The above is on ebay at the mo, if the price doesn't get silly will make a superb cargo bike.
Thanks for flagging this item up, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a lot of interest in it and it could be a bargain for someone; eBay buyers tend to shy away from anything that isn’t perfect so it might go for reasonable money. eBay sellers vary a lot and I really wonder what the seller of this bike is like, it seems strange to me to not reassemble the bike and I wonder why they haven’t …
Don’t fret, it’s OK to: ride a simple old bike; ride slowly, walk, rest and admire the view; ride off-road; ride in your raincoat; ride by yourself; ride in the dark; and ride one hundred yards or one hundred miles. Your bike and your choices to suit you.
hemo
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Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by hemo »

For what ever reason the bike was pulled.
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plancashire
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Location: Düsseldorf, Germany

Re: Cheapest ways to have a Cargo Bike.

Post by plancashire »

I just bought a Burley Travoy. I know you can turn it over. I also know that you can ride carefully and it is stable enough. I have not used it enough yet but the first impression is good - not perfect. You can find a video on Youtube of someone who moved house (well, flat) with it. For shopping it is ideal. It folds flat so is also good if you live in a small space. You would need to check that the coupling works for you: you need enough free seatpost at the right height. I'm about to take a large dead microwave oven in its original large box to the local tip in mine. Should work...

Round here the cheapest way to use a cargo bike (not have) is to borrow the local bike club's loan machine. But I live in Düsseldorf and the local bike club is the ADFC. Maybe an idea for Britain? The sharing economy.

A friend of mine has a cheap Chinese job with electric boost. It's the type with a big box at the front and a seat in it. He carries his wife and cat in it. He reckons it was about the best thing he ever bought for fun/cost ratio.
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