MADSEN KG271 BUCKET CARGO BIKE
LOAD IT UP: 40 GALLON CARGO PASSENGER BUCKET CAN SEAT FOUR
With cycling having grown in such popularity as a way to commute and get around in everyday life, cargo bikes are now gaining traction as an eco-friendly way for people to transport more than just themselves. As popular alternatives to cars, cargo bikes are popping up in cities and suburbs, transporting groceries, delivering packages and even taking the kids to school. And while once boxy eyesores, cargo bikes have taken on the same sophisticated design aesthetic as other popular bicycles.
Cargo bikes have been quite popular in Europe for many years. Dutch tradesmen first used cargo bikes in the 19th century to deliver their goods before cars were invented. The traditional style of cargo bike, the bakfietsen (which is Dutch for “box bike”), is a normal two-tire bike with a cargo box mounted in front of the handlebars. Another common style, called a longtail, has a longer frame and an extended box over the back wheel.
There are many added features that modern cargo bikes offer. The Xtracycle EdgeRunner, for example, a popular brand in the US, can carry up to 250 lbs, has all weather brakes, boasts a selection of four different colors, and comes in two sizes. Bullitt makes a cargo bike built for speed and Yuba offers an electric cargo bike, the Spicy Curry.
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CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: XTRACYCLE EDGERUNNER; VIRTUE GONDOLIER; BULLITT; KIBISI BIOMEGA PEK BEJING; BABBOE CITY; YUBA SPICY CURRY
Businesses worldwide are using cargo bikes not only to increase their eco-friendliness, but to also cut costs and utilize a new form of advertising. At select Ikea stores in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, customers can rent a cargo bike to take their purchases home. In Copenhagen, the mail is delivered by cargo bike. The Whole Foods on Third & 3rd in Brooklyn partnered with People’s Cargo to create a custom solar-powered bike that includes a cooler for delivering groceries. United Parcel Service (UPS) has experimented with bike delivery in Rhode Island and Oregon. Cargo bikes are even being used in Sao Paulo, Brazil as “pop-up public squares”. If you don’t own a cargo bike, you can even rent one from online sites such as Spinlister.
If you’ve adopted cycling as your preferred mode of transportation, the cargo bike is the next step in the evolution of your pedal power.by Kristen Leen