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Old 09-06-2012, 06:18 AM   #61
FinlandThumper
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Originally Posted by HOT DAMN! View Post
Word.

The trendy self righteous yuppies spend 2K+ on electric assit cargo bikes, while practical functionality for a few hundred dollars looks like this. My area is flooded with used $50 Burley kid haulers prime for simple conversions to cargo.

Yep, I have been thinking about doing a similar thing and fixing up a small trailer. I have a few bicycles but one is a good steel frame cruiser with seven gears. Getting a trailer would be just the ticket for things that don't work on the cargo racks.

I think you need to have a serious use for a dedicated cargo hauler bike to justify the large expense. Otherwise, a simple quality cruiser with racks (front and rear) and center stand will do most anything, and then get a trailer for pretty much anything else. Gotta be serious: if you have five hundred pounds of stuff to haul, you're gonna use a car.

Edit:
As to the original video, I mean seriously. It's good to see people learning that they don't need a car for everything, but it's not like they just invented cargo bicycles. The entire nation of Holland and a decent proportion of northern Europe just rolled its eyes, yawned, and said "nice work copying our shit".

Don't get me wrong...I made the decision to simply stop using cars to the extent possible several years ago after moving to Europe, and my life is better for it. But they're not doing anything that people all over the world aren't already doing...but somehow when you're rich, you act like you're being revolutionary. It's strange. The video reminded me of a recent article in the BBC which was gushing enthusiastically about a new company's idea to use modern technology to build wind-powered cargo ships. And they basically said, "It's so amazing, nobody ever thought about using wind to power a cargo vessel before now!" Yeah, weird nobody in the course of human history ever thought about a so-called "sail-boat".

FinlandThumper screwed with this post 09-06-2012 at 06:48 AM
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:30 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
Industrial tricycles are pretty popular in Northern Mexico.

You might Google "Workman Cycles". They are a US manufacturer of industrial bicycles and tricycles and have been around for ages.
That's how our luggage was transported thru boarder control from Peru to Bolivia. $10 soles ($4 US) paid for a cart full .We could have carried it but then we would have had to lug it thru customs and it was just easier to let the porters take care of it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:40 AM   #63
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So, going for a motor hub & eletrification kit is off the table for me. Doesn't appear to pass my durability /convenience tests. Whether it wears down or gets stolen, it strikes me as a an eventual hassle, and the battery is more maintenance than I'm interested in devoting to my bike. That 'lectric hub & controller was probably Trek Transport's primary appeal.

I think it's gonna be a big dummy build for me. Seems like all the input has been pretty positive on that.

And that internal gear hub stuff is damn attractive!
Just my 0.02, much of that electric stuff just gets in the way anyway. I don't think you'll miss it. I'm sure that it would be nice on heavy ascents and certainly Helsinki (where I live, but I'm an American expat) doesn't have too many of those, but I think you'll get a LOT more longevity out of something more utilitarian. Simplify, man!

My cruiser bike is a Finnish made Helkama. It is a military bike frame but outfitted with a more comfortable seat and seven speed internal hub gearing. I love the internal hub for round town cruising. You can shift even without pedaling (like at a light) and the internal hub reduces the maintenance in comparison with a cassette. The thing weighs in at about 40 pounds but damn is it smooth.

Mine has traditional cruiser geometry but with steel racks and I added a front setup. If you want cargo hauling ability I recommend finding a center stand, as opposed to a side stand. Not only will loading onto a side stand cost you money (because you'll break those kickstands pretty often due to over-stress) but the bike loads easier and stands on its own. Many companies make nice center stands.

As I mentioned above, a dedicated cargo bike isn't worth it in my case, so I'm looking for a trailer. Surly makes a pretty nice looking one...
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:24 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
I think you need to have a serious use for a dedicated cargo hauler bike to justify the large expense. Otherwise, a simple quality cruiser with racks (front and rear) and center stand will do most anything, and then get a trailer for pretty much anything else. Gotta be serious: if you have five hundred pounds of stuff to haul, you're gonna use a car.
If you're comparing apples-to-apples, the expense is pretty much a wash. Getting a cargo bike conversion is about a $400 affair, retail. and so is getting a trailer, retail. The only real question is which fits your needs better...carrying a medium amount of crap w/ a lighter, more maneuverable setup, or carying a shit load of stuff with a slightly less convenient setup. They all count as cargo bike arrangements, imo.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:03 AM   #65
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Just my 0.02, much of that electric stuff just gets in the way anyway. I don't think you'll miss it. I'm sure that it would be nice on heavy ascents and certainly Helsinki (where I live, but I'm an American expat) doesn't have too many of those, but I think you'll get a LOT more longevity out of something more utilitarian. Simplify, man!
Ya, that was the gist of why I tossed the idea. Simple and as reliable as I can get it to be.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:05 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
If you're comparing apples-to-apples, the expense is pretty much a wash. Getting a cargo bike conversion is about a $400 affair, retail. and so is getting a trailer, retail. The only real question is which fits your needs better...carrying a medium amount of crap w/ a lighter, more maneuverable setup, or carying a shit load of stuff with a slightly less convenient setup. They all count as cargo bike arrangements, imo.
This is true! Sorry for my mistake, I had thought you were talking about one of these full dedicated cargo bikes that come in at a couple grand; more of the Bakfiets or WorkCycles heavy duty cargo bikes (or similar brands, obviously), and not the conversion. Certainly for the conversion you are definitely talking similar money. The conversion is a pretty cool little setup too.

For me personally, I think it comes down to the issue that I would only need the cargo capacity for a fraction of my riding miles, and so the conversion wouldn't make as much sense as a trailer. Then I just pull that trailer off the bike and have a normal geometry ride for most days. So in my personal case I would want the versatility.

But to each his own...either way, biking is great. You feel like a kid again every time you ride and when I do, I feel happier all day. It's not just saving money or not using gas or whatever...there's just something so damn nice about being on a bicycle.

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Ya, that was the gist of why I tossed the idea. Simple and as reliable as I can get it to be.
Simple is beautiful, and less is more. Most often that is the case, anyway.

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Old 09-07-2012, 04:19 AM   #67
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For me personally, I think it comes down to the issue that I would only need the cargo capacity for a fraction of my riding miles, and so the conversion wouldn't make as much sense as a trailer.
Yeah, the full-on frames are only really useful if you were in the market for a complete new bike. I happen to be in the market for a new bike, since my old bikes are pretty worn out...all of them at least a decade old, w/ some hard use. I'm aiming for the quality of passive readiness. It'd be more useful to me if it's at the ready w/o me having to premeditate the need. So, I like the longbike arrangement...just like really huge panniers.

The travoy looks like a great option for you...commute duty, w/o the bulk of something designed for hauling rugrats. Folds up small, and can haul 60lbs.

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:18 AM   #68
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Yeah, the full-on frames are only really useful if you were in the market for a complete new bike. I happen to be in the market for a new bike, since my old bikes are pretty worn out...all of them at least a decade old, w/ some hard use. I'm aiming for the quality of passive readiness. It'd be more useful to me if it's at the ready w/o me having to premeditate the need. So, I like the longbike arrangement...just like really huge panniers.

The travoy looks like a great option for you...commute duty, w/o the bulk of something designed for hauling rugrats. Folds up small, and can haul 60lbs.
Now that thing is cool! I need the trailer mainly for going to the market square on weekends for food shopping, and that would be the ticket since it seems I could actually detach it and then take it inside with me. I could then wait and see if a flatbed type trailer is needed in future, but honestly I am not so sure I would have use for one, more than once a year...

As an aside, today I was at the bike shop picking up the Marin. I got a new wheel on warranty since the thing was breaking spokes left and right and the bike was only 5 months old. (shop did right by me and did the work under warranty, and put a nicer mavic rim on it)...anyway, spying a Bakfiets brochure I thought of this thread and, ahem, took one home. Well, if I do decide to blow a bunch of money on yet another toy, at least bikes are cheap compared to motorcycles...
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:51 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
I think you need to have a serious use for a dedicated cargo hauler bike to justify the large expense. Otherwise, a simple quality cruiser with racks (front and rear) and center stand will do most anything, and then get a trailer for pretty much anything else. Gotta be serious: if you have five hundred pounds of stuff to haul, you're gonna use a car.
Agreed. The $3K dedicated long bike builds around here are comical. Once the trendiness, look at me aspect wears off, most of 'em sit in the corner of the garage because their usefulness is so limited. Or, you see them for sale like it is some type of appreciating collectors item.

A quality ride, with the addition of racks for small/medium use, and a trailer for larger loads is all that's needed for real world use. Which, when not used as intended, can quickly be turned back into just that, a quality ride for everyday use.

Don't get me wrong, I have a garage full of bikes , love'm and don't need any excuses for not adding another one. Having ridden many, I just find long bikes extremely limited in their usefulness and certainly would not have one as my sole ride.

Your Europe comments are spot on as well, I resided in Germany for a good portion of the late eighties and even then, bikes in our small town were the predominant means of transport.


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Old 09-07-2012, 07:54 AM   #70
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The travoy looks like a great option for you...commute duty[/IMG]
Nice.

Is that some sort of self-contained/sandbag locking mechanism on the from wheel?
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:07 AM   #71
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I'm not sure how nice that travois would be to pull.
If you look at that high hitch and the fact your pivot point is in front of your rear axle,
I belive a substantial load would get wobbly quick.
Cool idea though.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:24 PM   #72
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I'm not sure how nice that travois would be to pull.
If you look at that high hitch and the fact your pivot point is in front of your rear axle,
I belive a substantial load would get wobbly quick.
Cool idea though.
yeah, I was thinking about that. on a steep downhill deceleration, you're going to feel the hand of god pushing you out of your turn. But it's rated at 60 lbs. 60lbs mounted to your seat post is analogous to 30 lbs in a messenger bag on your back. Not so bad.

The scenario *I* want to see happen is when you get a wheel kicked up by a rock, and start a bit of cyclic loading. I really don't think it'd be all that scary unless you're trying really stupid stuff. But if you do attempt stupid speeds...I wouldn't be surprised if it got hairy.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:25 PM   #73
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Nice.

Is that some sort of self-contained/sandbag locking mechanism on the from wheel?
I was wondering what the hell that pile of crap was too. No clue.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:02 PM   #74
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I guess I'm picturing the wheels turning opposite the desired direction when leaned into a corner?
Picture that on the way down a good hill with a curve.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:38 PM   #75
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Good point about turning and how it mounts. Based also on the size of the wheels, you're clearly not mounting that thing for speed, either. In my case it would (if I bought it) go on a cruiser that never gets much above 12mph, and luckily we have no serious hills here in town.

I found out that my local bike shop I do my business with has one in stock...might go take a look anyway. If not, they also have flatbed trailers. I really like the Surly flatbed, but that brand is harder than hell to come by in northern Europe.
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