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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 09-09-13, 12:27 AM   #1
Jewel
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Cargo Bike for Women Recommendations?

I'm considering getting a cargo bike, but am concerned about how heavy they can be. I am 5'4" and weigh 120 lbs. I don't need one for carrying children (my kids are all riding independently); however, I am looking to possibly replace my Burley trailer/stroller. Here are the things I'm looking for and *maybe* you can help me narrow it down

1. I ride/commute in a city, so parking in standard-sized bike parking is important to me (that's one of the things that bothers me about my current cargo trailer. Want to be able to lock it easily, too.
2. I *love* that I can carry large loads (e.g. 8+ standard grocery bags) in my Burley trailer, so I want something that can carry lots of Costco-sized groceries
3. I presently also have a Burley Travoy, but... after seeing it tip over when my husband's wheel hit a rock and seeing him almost go into traffic scared me tremendously, so I haven't been interested in loading it up (& yes, we had heaviest load on the bottom and evenly distributed). Travoy has advantage of easy parking, but isn't as load-friendly as Burley trailer.
4. I do errands year-round (in rain & snow), so I am looking for a stable, but light enough ride that I won't dread going grocery shopping/errand running. I do NOT want an electric-assist, though, if there's an add-on for some day in the future, okay. Our area is semi-hilly.

I'm hoping my dream cargo bike exists somewhere & hoping you can give some advice. Thanks!
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Old 09-09-13, 05:06 AM   #2
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Maybe something like the Yuba Boda Boda? It is available in an electric assist version too.

There are a couple of other similar bikes out there but the brands escape me at the moment.

I have been looking at possibly getting an Xtra-cycle conversion with the sidecar attachment...

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Old 09-09-13, 12:56 PM   #3
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Much as I love my Cetma cargo bike, it is larger than the average bike rack space and so even though I have no trouble parking mine, it does not meet your criteria. I would look seriously at the boda boda, it can carry big loads but is standard sized. I prefer the big dummy for its handling but that too is longer than average.
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Old 09-09-13, 03:22 PM   #4
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Maybe something like the Yuba Boda Boda? It is available in an electric assist version too.

I have been looking at possibly getting an Xtra-cycle conversion with the sidecar attachment...

Aaron
I appreciate hearing about the Boda Boda from both you and "Coldbike." I haven't heard about it before. What are your thoughts about the Xtra-cycle conversion kit and do you know if you can put a battery-assist on a "regular" bike that's been long-tail converted?
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Old 09-09-13, 04:32 PM   #5
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I appreciate hearing about the Boda Boda from both you and "Coldbike." I haven't heard about it before. What are your thoughts about the Xtra-cycle conversion kit and do you know if you can put a battery-assist on a "regular" bike that's been long-tail converted?
The xtracycle conversion kit will make you a longer bike, most electric drives I have seen are front wheel conversions, so it should fit on just about anything it is sized for. I just gave my LBS the go ahead to try and score me a large 21"-23" old steel frame MTB to build up an Xtracycle on. They take a lot of bikes on trade and occasionally buy stuff. The main thing I am after at this point is a good frame. I have my own ideas for wheels, gearing and such.

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Old 09-09-13, 07:45 PM   #6
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Sounds like something along the lines of a "donkey" or "mule" type cargo bike, especially a custom one built as a smaller size long-tail bike would suit your needs. Cargo bikes that use smaller 20" wheels are more stable even with the load at the same height and usually allow the load to be carried even lower. A front cargo box tadpole trike might also be a good fit.


Some pictures and links:


This is what a donkey/mule style cargo bike looks like; basically same wheel base (distance between the centers of the front and back wheels) as a regular bike (about 42") but with smaller size wheels with racks over the top of front and back wheels (all three of these are clickable links):








Although some donkey/mule style cargo bikes are factory built and sold (most notably the donkey brand name itself) many are custom or home-built jobs. For the amount of groceries you are hauling a custom frame for a donkey sized and styled bike with an extra foot to foot and a half of length in its tail end (54"-60" wheelbase) but keeping with the smaller 20" wheels with low cargo racks built into the frame on both sides of the rear wheel like a smaller lower to the ground version of the Yuba-Mundo long-tail cargo bike with the addition of the donkey/mule style front over-the-wheel frame rack would probably work nicely for you. More stable, lower to the ground, and better suited to your body size then a full size long tail cargo bike, but that of course would require finding someone to build the frame and bike for you that could "get it" if you showed him a pictures of a donkey/mule bike and a Yuba-Mundo and told him you wanted to front of the bike to be like a donkey/mule bike and the rear like a slightly shrunk in size Yuba-Mundo with both the front and rear wheels being the smaller 20" size. That might not be possible for you to easily accomplish though, you have to find someone with the skills and willingness to do the build for you preferably locally without the cost being horrendous.

Just in case you don't know what a Yuba-Mundo is here is a couple pictures, first one is a clickable link, second one shows what kind of cargo capacity they are capable of hauling due to the way there is heavy duty low flat racks built into the frame on each side of the rear wheel far enough back that you don't have heal strike issues:







Then there is the other option which might work good for you as well, a front cargo box tadpole trike. They are incredibly stable and can haul a lot. All below are pictures only no clickable links, you will have to search for your own sources as far as who is making and selling them and where. You do want a tadpole trike though (one with two wheels in the front and one in the rear) you don't want a delta trike (one with two wheels in the rear and one in front) if your worried about stability and not tipping over if you one wheel on one side hits a bump. It's amazing how much difference it makes and how much more stable a tadpole is compared to a delta.





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Old 09-09-13, 08:18 PM   #7
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Trek transport plus is a Longtail, the plus is a rear hub motor.
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...lity/transport
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Old 09-09-13, 08:58 PM   #8
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Also, you can consider something like the Soma Tradesman. http://www.somafab.com/archives/prod...argo-frame-set
It has a reasonable price, and it can carry a whole pile of groceries out front. It is no bigger than a regular bike, though you may have to park it backwards to get the chain around the frame.
I have also ridden the Civia Halstead which is similar.
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Old 09-10-13, 08:55 AM   #9
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Turbo, thanks for your post... I learned a lot & if I ever get a trike, knowing the terminology about the tadpole vs delta was interesting & good to know.

Do you know the difference between the Yuba Mundo (your link) & the Yuba Boda Boda? To me, they look the same for carrying capacity; however, the Boda Boda looks like a step-through frame, easier to use?

As for the Donkey welded front built-in carry-all rack, I'm thinking of just putting on a removable basket and putting most of the cargo weight on the back (in the 4-bag panniers that are made for a long tail along with bungee-strapping stuff onto the back rack)--I think cheaper route to go and will allow me to park my bike in regular bike parking slots.
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Old 09-10-13, 08:59 AM   #10
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Getting it narrowed down in choices to Yuba Boda Boda, Xtracycle Edgerunner & yes, the Trek Transport! All three seem to fit the parameters of: e-assist, lightwt, good carrying capacity and skinny enough to be able to maneuver in city traffic & park in "regular" bike spots. Thanks!
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Old 09-10-13, 11:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
I'm considering getting a cargo bike, but am concerned about how heavy they can be. I am 5'4" and weigh 120 lbs. I don't need one for carrying children (my kids are all riding independently); however, I am looking to possibly replace my Burley trailer/stroller. Here are the things I'm looking for and *maybe* you can help me narrow it down

1. I ride/commute in a city, so parking in standard-sized bike parking is important to me (that's one of the things that bothers me about my current cargo trailer. Want to be able to lock it easily, too.
2. I *love* that I can carry large loads (e.g. 8+ standard grocery bags) in my Burley trailer, so I want something that can carry lots of Costco-sized groceries
3. I presently also have a Burley Travoy, but... after seeing it tip over when my husband's wheel hit a rock and seeing him almost go into traffic scared me tremendously, so I haven't been interested in loading it up (& yes, we had heaviest load on the bottom and evenly distributed). Travoy has advantage of easy parking, but isn't as load-friendly as Burley trailer.
4. I do errands year-round (in rain & snow), so I am looking for a stable, but light enough ride that I won't dread going grocery shopping/errand running. I do NOT want an electric-assist, though, if there's an add-on for some day in the future, okay. Our area is semi-hilly.

I'm hoping my dream cargo bike exists somewhere & hoping you can give some advice. Thanks!
A bike trailer is a much better choice than cargo bike in your case..........
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Old 09-10-13, 11:17 AM   #12
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. . . Do you know the difference between the Yuba Mundo (your link) & the Yuba Boda Boda? To me, they look the same for carrying capacity; however, the Boda Boda looks like a step-through frame, easier to use? . . .
The Mundo is a true long tail frame, where as the Boda Boda is only touring length frame. This makes for significantly less hauling capacity in the rear, about half to be specific both in terms of volume and weight. That picture I posted with the guy hauling 10 @ 40-lb boxes of bananas on a Mundo. You could only haul half that amount 5 @ 40-lb boxes on a Boda Boda because the back tail end of the bike is almost half the length of the Yuba and its frame and rear wheel isn't as strong as the Mundo. The Mundo rear rack is over two and a half feet long with a super heavy duty rear wheel that allows it to haul up to 400-lb of cargo and have the space to do it. The Boda Boda rear rack is only a little over a foot and a half long and not as wide on the bottom load platforms on each side of the rear wheel and the rear wheel is a standard strength rear wheel so it can only do half the cargo weight (200-lb). Frame on the Boda Boda is also aluminum not steel which is good for a lighter weight bike but is another reason it only has about half the cargo capacity of the Mundo.

Quote:
. . . As for the Donkey welded front built-in carry-all rack, I'm thinking of just putting on a removable basket and putting most of the cargo weight on the back (in the 4-bag panniers that are made for a long tail along with bungee-strapping stuff onto the back rack)--I think cheaper route to go and will allow me to park my bike in regular bike parking slots.
With most front add on baskets the basket turns with the handlebars and front wheel meaning the cargo weight up front effects the steering and you can't haul very much weight up front as a result without it messing with your ability to easily balance and steer the bike. Where as a donkey style front rack which is attacked to the bikes frame puts the weight on the frame so it doesn't turn with the handlebars and front wheel so the weight up front doesn't effect your ability to easily balance and steer the bike. With a front cargo basket that turns with the handlebars and front wheel you pretty much have to keep your front cargo load down to only 20-lb maybe up to 40-lb if your really good. With a donkey style front cargo rack that is solid mounted to the frame and doesn't turn with the handlebars and front wheel you can put hundreds of pounds of cargo weight up front without a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
Getting it narrowed down in choices to Yuba Boda Boda, Xtracycle Edgerunner & yes, the Trek Transport! All three seem to fit the parameters of: e-assist, lightwt, good carrying capacity and skinny enough to be able to maneuver in city traffic & park in "regular" bike spots. Thanks!
Both the Edgerunner and Trek Transport are true long-tails like the Mundo and will be noticably longer then the Boda Boda, also the Boda Boda is the only one in your list that has a chance of fitting on some public transportation bus bike racks so that's something to consider if you might want that ability.
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Old 09-10-13, 03:00 PM   #13
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Ah !!! Finally found the old thread with the link to the website, this is one of the first ones I though of for you but couldn't find it online or the old thread where I first saw it. Here is a link to the old thread where I first saw this bike (it's an old review type thread over in the e-bike section of this forum):

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-ODK-U500-(V2)

And here is the bike, it's a 20" wheel size compact long tail bike, no front rack or rear side bottom racks like both the Yuba bikes but they could be added on as desired (picture is clickable link to the manufacture web-site):

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Old 09-11-13, 03:18 AM   #14
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http://www.oliviermg.com/weepapa/kid...vs-yuba-mundo/
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Old 09-11-13, 06:53 AM   #15
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just throwing in the kona minute, as something else kind of in the yuba boda boda range/size.

also the madsen bucket bike. it wouldn't be that small, but it wasn't mentioned and i think they're kinda neat.

if you haven't already, you can "you tube" most of them and kind of see them in action.

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Old 09-11-13, 07:36 AM   #16
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Excellent sleuthing, Turbo. Thank you! Their site (with the videos) was helpful. Am not sure it has a long enough tail for easy, large-load cargo carrying. I didn't care for their funky big white carrying thing, but there were a lot of things (smaller wheels, good e assist, good rack bars for panniers, good for the smaller rider...) So a lot of GOOD things, too. Hmm. We have this locally, too, so may try to check it out this weekend.
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Old 09-11-13, 07:39 AM   #17
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Good review... now I know not to consider the Kona Minuete/Ute since it was too big for the 5'8" man and he just reaffirmed the value of the smaller wheel diameter that Turbo and some of the other posters mentioned.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:56 PM   #18
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You do want a tadpole trike though (one with two wheels in the front and one in the rear) you don't want a delta trike (one with two wheels in the rear and one in front) if your worried about stability and not tipping over if you one wheel on one side hits a bump. It's amazing how much difference it makes and how much more stable a tadpole is compared to a delta.
Just a polite correction; Your statement applies only to 'Granny' Delta's,...



but not 'recumbent' Deltas,...

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Old 09-11-13, 10:34 PM   #19
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The Burly flatbed cargo trailer is substantially like the child trailer,

hoop sides just lower , and a load deck sewn out of truck tarp .

then again harry vs larry is a nice cargo bike http://www.larryvsharry.com/english/

dealers in Bend & Portland
you and hubby might contest over riding it

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Old 09-13-13, 02:52 AM   #20
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Small wheels are great for cargo carrying but not at all good in loose snow, sand and mud. Around here there is a lot of snow in the winter but they keep the MUP`s really clean so therefor small wheels (20") with studs is no problem 95% of the time.

Take a close look at the weight of the empty bike. Also cargo capacity. Some of the looong bikes shown here does not allow you to carry more than a regular bike does if you load it smart. I suggest a plain longtail. It should be able to carry two big shopping bags on each side on the rear plus some in the front. Some of the 3/4 bikes are just big and heavy and do not let you carry muc. Only thing they are good for is two small child seats at one time on the back and you do not need that.

A trike is big and much more work in snow. Only buy one if you really need one.

I would suggest a light but strong (mixte?) frame that suits you for a start, and then add the xtracycle conversion kit.

Also take a close look at the Youba Mundo, my second choice after the Xtra.

Hold on to your trailer/stroller. Are you using it the right way? In stead of locking it outside, is it possible to take it innside and use it as a shopping cart? Solves the parking and theft problem. In most bigger shops you can take them innside if there are children innside so why not for shopping?

The Travoy: Work on this. Your fear should not keep you from using this great trailer. You have seen what can happen if you are not careful, you are not going to make the same mistake. Just use it, ride carefully and you`ll adapt.

Aung San Suu Kyi said: "Fear is a habit- I am not afraid". Heard it myself- live so this is not an internet quoute.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

Edit: There are some great reviews in this blog but you may have to search or go back in time in it: http://lovelybike.blogspot.no/ plus links to other "female bikeblogs". Straight to Cargo bikes oon this blog: http://lovelybike.blogspot.no/search.../cargo%20bikes

Last edited by badmother; 09-13-13 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 09-13-13, 05:35 AM   #21
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Small wheels are great for cargo carrying but not at all good in loose snow, sand and mud. Around here there is a lot of snow in the winter but they keep the MUP`s really clean so therefor small wheels (20") with studs is no problem 95% of the time. ~snip~
I actually prefer the 20" wheels in loose traction conditions, added advantage if I am riding a 20" wheeled bike I am closer to the ground and can get a foot down quickly. My preferred "snow" bike (not that I get to do much snow riding) was my Raleigh Twenty with studded tires. I spent a short part of winter in Iowa City and it did the job.


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Old 09-13-13, 06:43 AM   #22
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Maybe something like the Yuba Boda Boda? It is available in an electric assist version too.
Jewel, if Boda Boda seems right for you, I would suggest you visit Joe Bike in PDX and ask them what they mean about Boda Boda being discontinued. I don't know if that means Joe Bike not stocking any more Bodas Boda because Mundo far outsells it, or because there's some big flaw that somehow none of the reviewers have noticed, or because Yuba really is discontinuing it. I'm afraid to ask!
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