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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 04-23-13, 06:46 AM   #1
Nakedbabytoes
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Cargo bike long tail ? Size help?

Want cargo bike...size?
Hey all!
I have wanted a Big Dummy for the longest time! There are two currently that are in my price range, but is an 18" newer BD too big for a 5'3" female?
I have a 16" Pugsley and a 51cm Casseroll, both fit really well although I did have to put a shorter stem(45) on my pugs because stock was too stretched out.

One I am looking at is a 16" with the swoop TT in army green(I like this one more color wise, look wise, and it has the wooden boogie board and brooks leather saddle and grips) but it is $1600 and I will have to ship it to NE.

The second one is a 18", newer drop TT(like my pugs) and has the same rear bags but with the plastic? Boogie board and the guy made frame bags for it and it has a Surly Nice Rack on the front also. I can drive 8 hours to get this one AND it is $1000.

There is also a Trek cargo bike on my local CL, here in Lincoln but it is a LG size(has lowered TT like 9zero7 frames do so I think SO is fine but reach might suck) but I am not crazy about aluminum for frames. I sortof am a steel lady.

So? Size for cargo bikes......same as regular bikes? They fit about the same? I plan to go carefree eventually, so this is a long term investment for me.
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Old 04-23-13, 07:09 AM   #2
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Measure or look up the effective TT size of your Pugsley and see if the 16" or 18" is closer in size. The Casseroll is a drop bar bike and unless you plan on running drop bars, I wouldn't really use that bike to compare. I would imagine going by your height and the sizes of your other bikes that the 16" would fit you better.
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Old 04-23-13, 07:38 AM   #3
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Yeah, I wouldn't think I would ever run a drop bar on the cargo bike but you never know since I have Mtn drops on my pugs right now but that is because I am doing a gravel grinder on it in summer(Nebraska winds on the Plains can suck!)
But for around town and errands, I think upright is fine. The price difference I think is mainly that the army green one has an IGH. So worth it? Leaning that way......
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Old 04-23-13, 10:35 AM   #4
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I looked up the top tube length on the 16 and 18 inch BDs, and the top tube length of the 16" Pug... the 18" BD has an effective TT length approx. 1" longer than the 16" pug, which you said was already a tough long and requires a very short stem.

However, if you needed the short stem to fit your drop bars on the pug then flat bars with a short stem might be OK. Might be OK - but still not ideal. The fit of the bike is the most important detail in making a bike that works for you. Don't comprimise if you can help it.
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Old 04-23-13, 11:12 AM   #5
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Thanks!

green one is sold, so that is out. I am going to test ride the probably too big Trek this evening just because it is local and the price is nice and I am curious. Was my biking night anyways, stopping by isnt an issue.
I ran my Jones Loops with stock stem and it was okay. I did ride the shorter stem for about 2 weeks with the Loops before I switched to drops for summer(if we ever get summer here this year, that is!) and it definately made me feel more upright! Crazy what a few inches can do!

I haven't ruled out a new 16" BD. But it blows my budget for the next 6 mos, so it would be a layaway purchase(which my LBS does). I was just hoping for now. But obviously fit is important! So I will wait if it means a good fit. I just know these utility bikes tend to have an upright feel, so I thought maybe a longer TT won't feel so weird to a normal MTBer or Roadie who is used to being stretched out.
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Old 04-30-13, 12:56 PM   #6
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Got the Trek. Wasn't too big and the aluminum didn't bother me.
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Old 04-30-13, 02:01 PM   #7
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Sweet!
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Old 05-07-13, 09:38 PM   #8
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Curious, what kind of Trek is that? What are the specs? Wonder if it would be a good touring bike?
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Old 05-08-13, 07:06 AM   #9
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It is a Trek Transport.
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ity/transport/

I have had it for just over a week now and have put 75 miles on it both hauling kids and groceries, plus misc empty bag riding. I made a few mods of my own(seat cushion on rack for kid, stoker handlebars, footpegs, and wheel skirts around footpegs). It is a very nice riding bike and doesn't feel much different than a normal bike. You notice the length when you turn and it doesn't trail as closely to your front wheel path but you still lean and turn like usual. I notice the more upright feel of it compared to my road tourer(Salsa Casseroll). And even though it is aluminum, it has substantial heft because of all the framework in the rear. It weighs about the same as my Surly Pugsley(about 45 lbs). I got the non motorized version.

I think it would make a good tourer if you tour with a ton of stuff or take big camping items that don't fit well onto normal panniers and rack systems. But just normal tours, it probably is overkill. But it definately rides well and can go fast and isn't as heavy as it looks.
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Old 05-08-13, 10:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
I think it would make a good tourer if you tour with a ton of stuff or take big camping items that don't fit well onto normal panniers and rack systems. But just normal tours, it probably is overkill. But it definately rides well and can go fast and isn't as heavy as it looks.
Or touring with kids. I keep thinking about this bit (no kids yet). It seems that cargo bikes (especially longtails) make touring with young kids possible, even if only for a couple days. Of course, then you need to figure a way to protect the munchkins from rain, intense sun, etc.
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