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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 07-15-17, 12:20 PM   #1
cutterfilm
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Large box transport with my road bike

I want to either get a very large backpack or possibly a large mesh backpack. OR... even something i can tie or bungie cord large boxes to. I occasionally need to transport large boxes that won't fit in panniers or my current backpack. They're usually not heavy or need to travel far. But they're bulky. I just need to make the one mile or so trip to the post office or Fedex. Anyone have a solution.

In a desperate moment I made a quick one with rope, felt, and a staple gun, but it's a pain AND it's ridiculous.

I'd like to be able to take boxes as large as 20x16x12... or even larger maybe.

I have a Tubus Airy rack. I don't know how I'd get boxes that big to balance on the small rack top.
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Old 07-15-17, 12:40 PM   #2
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There is a company that makes something called a "Trash Bag".

https://gearjunkie.com/trash-bags-bi...s-monster-pack



For the most part, I like to just snag my bike trailer when I have larger or bulkier loads.

Another option would be to use a packboard like is often used for carrying game, or to take an external frame backpack (often found at thrift stores). Remove the bag, then simply tie your box to the pack frame. Although, perhaps not quite optimized for use on a bike. Too long? Too heavy of a belt?
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Old 07-15-17, 02:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cutterfilm View Post
I'd like to be able to take boxes as large as 20x16x12... or even larger maybe.

I have a Tubus Airy rack. I don't know how I'd get boxes that big to balance on the small rack top.
The big Wald basket?



You zip tie that to your rack. Even if the box doesn't fit inside the basket, you could set the box on top and have lots of places to attach bungee cords.
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Old 07-15-17, 02:55 PM   #4
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I would be digging through scrap bins and watching a lot of YouTube videos to make one of those one-wheel trailers.
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Old 07-15-17, 03:02 PM   #5
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Lots of good ideas. Love the giant backpack. Price is a little steep since it's for occasional use.

The no frills basket with zip ties that I could use for each occasion could be great.

The backboard idea is something I thought about. I didn't know they were called backboards. I'm going to look into them.

The one wheel trailer won't work. Our space is on the 10th floor and it's already hard enough getting in the elevator just with the bike.

Thanks for all the input!
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Old 07-15-17, 03:09 PM   #6
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The backboard idea is something I thought about. I didn't know they were called backboards. I'm going to look into them.
Oops, I'm seeing a lot more links under packboard.

Also a lot in military surplus.

I'd still lean towards making my own out of a bare aluminum pack frame.
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Old 07-15-17, 04:31 PM   #7
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For the price of most compromise solutions (like that $475 refrigerator sized backpack) you could buy another bike better suited to hauling heavy and bulky loads.

I mention this a lot but what the heck... look for a long wheelbase comfort hybrid like the Globe Carmel. Those things have massively overbuilt aluminum frames, very similar in design to the Yuba Boda Boda cargo bikes. Even the tall quill stem is massively overbuilt, a four-bolt thing shaped like a fist that could be used as a weapon. Ditto the ridiculously overbuilt seat post and saddle clamp. Clearly this thing was meant to be something other than a typical hybrid. Maybe a rolling bludgeon.

Yet you can buy a Globe for a fraction of the price of a Yuba and modify it into what it was meant to be -- a cargo bike. At nearly 35 lbs stripped it's too heavy to be the sort of comfort hybrid most casual weekend cyclists would want, so it shows up occasionally on craigslist for cheap. I've seen 'em like new for as little as $75. Usually sellers start out asking more than $200, a bit high but still reasonable.

Mine has a Bontrager BackRack S, very sturdy for only $40 or so, with proper stiff tube supports rather than those bent pieces of spring steel. I routinely haul 40-50 lbs of stuff on it, between the panniers and top of the rack. If need be I could stuff all three cats into our large pet carrier and haul 'em to the vet for medical care. I've hauled large boxes to the shipping store. The long wheelbase and chainstay eliminates heel strike even with longer panniers and overhanging loads. It's 5'9" long, tire to tire, still maneuverable in tight spaces compared with full-on cargo bikes.

I had to make a few modifications to make mine a better hauling bike:
  • After popping a spoke and warping the original single wall rim I replaced it with a basic Wheelmaster pre-built wheel with Weinmann Zac-19 double wall rim and heavier gauge spokes. The front is still the original Alex Z-1000 single wall. Probably fine unless I start loading down the front end too.
  • I substituted a flat handlebar for the original 1-1/2" riser bar. Between the tall quill stem and riser bar the grip height was too high and inefficient for climbing hills. The flat bar is much more efficient.
  • Replaced the original Specialized Hemisphere tires with heavy duty, puncture resistant Michelin Protek Cross Max, possibly the best buy bar none in all terrain, all weather tires. I don't even bother carrying a pump or patch kit. The tires have never had a puncture flat on terrain that has flatted every other tire I've ridden. And I Slimed the tubes just to be safe.

The heavy Suntour spring suspension fork is a bit of overkill, although comfortable on rough roads. And the weight helps balance the bike when the tail is loaded down. But my long term plan includes replacing it with a rigid fork and installing a front rack or basket. The spring suspension fork occasionally feels a bit like a pogo stick with the bike loaded down with 50 lbs or more.

Decent components, usually Shimano Altus, RevoShift twisty grip shifters, Tektro linear pull V-brakes, heavy duty loose bearings/cones hubs. Not fancy but not junk, fully functional.

The frame could easily accommodate a massively sturdy custom rack as well, enough to carry an adult passenger, or seriously bulky and heavy loads.

It ain't sexy but it's cheap. I'm still surprised Specialized/Globe never thought to repackage it as a family cargo/kid bike, like the Yuba Boda Boda but shorter for apartments, elevators, etc.
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Old 07-16-17, 10:48 AM   #8
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Sell your road bike and buy a good quality folding bike and the problem is solved. You can carry a lot on a folder becouse of the long stem and seatpost.

or

Buy a Surly Travoy trailer. Good for more than just parcels and pack down to super small for storage.
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