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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 05-22-07, 04:58 PM   #1
georgiaboy
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What is the most amount of weight in cargo you have transported?

Post how much weight and the setup for hauling it.

Last weekend when I commuted to work I carried my lunch, a change of clothes, my laptop, some books I needed for studying, and some other nick nacks.

Total weight is 52lbs. Carried on a rack and panniers.

It totally changed my riding technique. Especially, clearance to brake. Not much acceleration when carrying this much weight.

I did it successfully, but do I want to do it, again?
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Old 05-22-07, 05:38 PM   #2
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I carried a new battery for my wife's minivan. I didn't weigh it but car batteries aren't light, I'm gonna estimate 40 lbs. Enough to get rim-to-pavement contact when I hit a pothole at 35 mph (yeah going down the hill was a blast. Climbing 300 feet on the other side SUCKED ***).

I'm sure we're gonna get trumped by someone with an extracycle who carried the bricks to rebuild his garage or something .

[edit] Am I a good guesser or what. According to Autozone.com, the battery for that vehicle is 38.4 lbs.
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Old 05-22-07, 06:12 PM   #3
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71 pound trailer for 208 miles.

I was pulling the gear on tour for both me and my wife. It wasn't as bad as I thought!

We had to cut it short, not because I was having problems, but because my wife got sick on tour.
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Old 05-22-07, 06:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
I'm sure we're gonna get trumped by someone with an extracycle who carried the bricks to rebuild his garage or something .


Counting the canoe, cooler, ice, food, drinks, fishing tackle, etc., there's easily 100+ lbs. on that trailer.
The most I've ever carried was this set up + shotgun, shells, decoys, etc., for duck hunting. I estimate that load at about 150.
Stopping can be a new adventure when it's drizzling rain and your brakes are wet. That's when it's nice to have a coaster brake in the back.

Tom has me beat, though. The furthest I've ever pulled this rig in one shot is about 12 miles.
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Old 05-22-07, 06:48 PM   #5
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Most I've done is in milk crates zip-tied to the rack on a trip to costco. Around 45 lbs. worth. Riding with liquids suck, the wobble on slight bumps was crazy, good thing it's only 1 mile to costco.
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Old 05-22-07, 06:53 PM   #6
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>100# trailer is easy. Easy to load, I mean. Starting w/ 70# of kids. Add a TG turkey and you're pushing 100# of cargo before you eve get to the root vegetables! I think I've topped out around 120# between trailer and panniers. I've never pulled that much more than like 3 miles I don't think, though. However, apparently that is long enough if you do it often enough, the trailer's stated capacity is 100#, and the wheels are definitely pigeon-toed now (or is it inverse-pigeon-toed? Pointing out at the bottoms anyway).

I've had some really jam-packed panniers, too, riding w/ them opened. Never really overflowed the panniers, though. Carried all kinds of marine life. Salmon on ice, tails flopping in the breeze, live crabs, oysters.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiaboy
Last weekend when I commuted to work I carried my lunch, a change of clothes, my laptop, some books I needed for studying, and some other nick nacks.

Total weight is 52lbs. Carried on a rack and panniers.
OK, I'm visualizing the IBM "portable" computer from, like, 1986 and half of Britannica...unless you work at Medieval Times and your "change of clothes" is armor.

Most I've ever done is about 30 lbs, split between a backpack and tied on top of the rack.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:21 PM   #8
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I often tow around my 3 kids on a trail-a-bike and kiddicarrier trailer along with all their gear and toys for a picnic day at the park behind my LHT, some days we go further afield and may spend 2+ hours on the bike. About 150lb being towed, no big deal.

I've towed over 200lb on a cargo trailer. A challenge up any decent grade, and you don't want to go too fast downhill!
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Old 05-22-07, 07:37 PM   #9
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maybe 50 pounds of groceries between crap shoved into my handlebar bag, a completely stuffed duffel bag on my back, and a 24-bottle flat of water and a jug of milk strapped to my rack on my hybrid. That was dicey.
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Old 05-22-07, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiaboy
Post how much weight and the setup for hauling it.
3 cases of beer in 16oz returnable bottles 24 bottles to a cardboard case. 36 quarts of beer. Plus a couple of loaves of rye bread. All held on to the rear rack of my 3 speed Sears, and later, Raleigh bike by bungee cords, one case on top of the other. Alsohad my bag with bike tools. The beer distributer and Jewish/Ukrainian bakery was right near the Ortlieb Brewery in Phila. and about six miles from my house. I made this shopping trip about once a month for several years in the 70's. Estimated weight 120 pounds.
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Old 05-22-07, 08:21 PM   #11
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I estimate I've maxed at around 120lbs - between either a full load of groceries, moving stuff or with my daughter (who is herself around 30 or so pounds) plus all the gubbins that she needs/wants with her. I figure the load + trailer (Little Tikes thing from Toys 'r' Us) is around 120lbs.

My test rides with both trailers I've had were with 80lbs of cow manure in the back, max. weight rating of both trailers were 100lbs - I don't think I've exceeded that at all.

Max. distance riding with the trailer would probably be about 20 miles recreational riding with my daughter in tow. All other were 'commutes' to/from store or bringing back some toys of hers to my new place, which is a 13 mile ride from where she lives. All in the same city, nothing majorly strenuous (though going up from the beaches is a really tough work out).

I'm definitely more careful when going downhill, and just take the acceleration much easier - slower to build up, and my cruise speed with the MTB is usually no more than 13mph with it on the back. Last Saturday I pulled it with the roadie (mechanical issue with MTB forced the situation) and that was odd, I really felt the effect of the trailer, every bit of wind, etc. Damn thing is like a huge sail/parachute fighting against me
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Old 05-22-07, 08:27 PM   #12
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Yep, I've got an Xtracycle. "It Hauls" as they say... 100 lbs of wet stoneware clay.

Four, 25 lb bags of wet clay transported home from a ceramics class is the heaviest "certified" weight, not counting the 72 lbs empty weight of the bike. Two bags on each side. Fortunately, there were no large hills and a relatively short commute. Wobbly and slow going.

Though, I did carry a cast-iron kitchen sink home from a garage sale once... not too heavy, but interesting cargo.
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Old 05-22-07, 08:35 PM   #13
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Twelve pack of beer on one grocery pannier, milk plus other groceries in other bag, chrome kremlin filled with a six pack and eggs. One time I took home a folding table ~ 3x2 feet on the handlebars and a lady driving a car yelled at me that it was dangerous, that made the whole ten block trip worth it. It's fun challenging yourself to carry more
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Old 05-22-07, 08:42 PM   #14
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~120lbs on my shoulder. I was in the military and carried an M2 (full kit) from the arms room to motor pool. We were in something of a hurry and nobody thought anything of it (including me).
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Old 05-22-07, 11:09 PM   #15
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~120lbs on my shoulder. I was in the military and carried an M2 (full kit) from the arms room to motor pool. We were in something of a hurry and nobody thought anything of it (including me).
Just once I'd love to commute with one of those mounted on my cargo trailer, set up with a scarecrow dressed in jungle cammo all set up to fire it backwards. It might just discourage the road ragers and buzzers.
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Old 05-22-07, 11:15 PM   #16
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35 pound sack of dog food draped over the rear rack like panniers, 2x 12 packs strapped on top of that, and about 20 pounds of groceries in my backpack.

Figure a 12 pack of bottles weighs probably 10 pounds, so total load I was around 75 pounds.
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Old 05-22-07, 11:18 PM   #17
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I haven't carried a lot of cargo, but I was impressed with my folder's ability to carry an electric oven:

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Old 05-23-07, 02:03 AM   #18
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A few weeks ago in Seattle's U district, I saw a guy hauling a mattress (queen size?) on a hand truck with one hand on the hand truck and one hand on the bike's handlebar. It's probably not as heavy as some of the stuff listed here, but it sure looked dangerous.

The road he was taking was slow heavy two lane each way traffic.
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Old 05-23-07, 05:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phays
OK, I'm visualizing the IBM "portable" computer from, like, 1986 and half of Britannica...unless you work at Medieval Times and your "change of clothes" is armor.
FWIW, the 1986 PC Convertible weighed 16 pounds... 18 with the optional printer, IIRC. I had one that I got at Goodwill. The main problem with the PC Convertible was that it was LONG. I want to say it was 3 feet long when the printer was attached.

The 1984 PC Portable, however, weighed 30 pounds.
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Old 05-23-07, 06:22 AM   #20
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I took a car battery for the minivan back for the deposit last fall, it was a heavy battery (we got the option with a bigger battery) I think it was about 40 pounds. I just strapped it directly to my rear rack with a cargo rachetting strap. That was about a 15 mile trip.
I got some supplies in a trailer from the lumberyard in town, probably about 80 pounds worth, about 7 miles. The trailer is an old kid carrier, all I have right now.
I picked up a few sets of wall shelves at Lowes last year, just put them in my panniers, some on either side, sticking out the tops, and bungied the two sides together. That was probably about 30 pounds worth.
I do still use the utility trailer behind my car to pick up yards of sand, gravel, topsoil and wood chips; I'm not ready to haul 2500 pounds yet...
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Old 05-23-07, 06:24 AM   #21
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I carried about 40 lbs on a 500 mile bike tour. Made getting up the steep grades more fun. It was ok, but I have a preference for sag touring.
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Old 05-23-07, 06:39 AM   #22
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I carry around 90 lbs pretty regularly... two grocery panniers full of food, large bag of dogfood sideways across the rack and tops of the panniers, two 12-packs of soda strapped on top of that, and anything else that didn't fit in the panniers or would get crushed carried in my hands or hanging off the handlebars.

Definitely changes the handling characteristics of the bike! And the 300 feet of climbing between the store and home helps with my hill climbing training!
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Old 05-23-07, 07:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
I'm not ready to haul 2500 pounds yet...
Last time I posted something like that the "no cars" crowd told me I should have made 10 trips with 250 lbs each (or 20 trips with 125 lbs or whatever).
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Old 05-23-07, 07:54 AM   #24
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I did a self-supported kayak-bike trip a couple of years ago, the gear I needed for that was somewhere in the 70kg (155-160 pounds) range. A bit over 600 kms on bike. It's OK as long as one is not in a hurry.

--J

[edit] Forgot about the setup: bike, kayak trailer in tow, two rear panniers. Bulky stuff (such as tent) went inside the kayak. [/edit]
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Old 05-23-07, 07:55 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
Last time I posted something like that the "no cars" crowd told me I should have made 10 trips with 250 lbs each (or 20 trips with 125 lbs or whatever).
Of course it is possible; sensible? Some of our comrades place their emphasis on ideological purity rather than practicality.
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