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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 05-20-14, 09:17 PM   #1
mr,grumpy 
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Am I falling victim to the safety Nazis?

Wait just a darned second here. I'm pretty jazzed up to pick up a cargo bike this weekend. Primary purpose: transport one (1) child safely to school/ Right now I have abide seat that he barely fits into MOUNTED ON A RACK RATED FOR MORE THAN HE WEIGHS. Explain to me how dragging him around sitting on a plank on the back of a cargo bike IS safe but dragging him around on a metal rack on a "not" cargo bike, a rack rated for MORE then his weigh AND a ten pound or so seat, is NOT safe.I think I'm being had here.
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Old 05-22-14, 08:04 AM   #2
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I didn't get my cargo bike because it was safer than a rack, I got it because I can carry a few hundred pounds of stuff in addition to the kids. Also, the cargo bike is much more stable to ride - my kid on a rear seat made my bike into a wheely machine.
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Old 05-24-14, 07:39 PM   #3
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Honestly both sound about the same. If you want to really be safe, get a dutch style cargo bike. Not only are your children closer to the ground, hence less likely to be injured, they are up front where you can see them and can talk with them. There is good reason this style is so big in the Scandinavian countries and cargo bikes like you see in the Americas are virtually unknown.
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Old 05-25-14, 08:02 AM   #4
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A cargo bike would be much more stable with the additional weight over just a rear mounted rack. Usually the weigh is a little forward of the rear wheel of a cargo bike rather than right on top of it, the frame of the cargo bike is also much stiffer so sway issues are less of a problem.

With that being said, I would not say a rear rack mounted child carrier is unsafe as long as you regularly check the bolts on the rack (It is not uncommon for them to loosen up over time, blue loctite is a great idea here) and you are a comfortable rider with the weight on the rack.

With the cargo bike, you do have a lot more options for carrying your kids gear into school so heavy back packs, lunches, projects, etc are much easier to bring along with the kid.
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Old 05-25-14, 08:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
Explain to me how dragging him around sitting on a plank on the back of a cargo bike IS safe but dragging him around on a metal rack on a "not" cargo bike, a rack rated for MORE then his weigh AND a ten pound or so seat, is NOT safe.I think I'm being had here.
I agree. As long as the bike you have handles fine with your child on the back and everything is securely fastened I don't see any more of a safety issue than with a cargo bike. I used my regular road bike for years to carry our daughter to/from daycare and preschool before she got big enough to switch to the stoker position on our tandem. Since I frequently had to carry a few additional items for her or myself I also had a front rack on the road bike - a secondary benefit was that a little added weight up front improved the handling.
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Old 05-25-14, 10:56 AM   #6
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Well, I pulled the trigger on the MinUte today, more because "I said I would" than because I really thought it was the best idea. I took it for a 12 mile shake down on a well know MUP. WHen I got hime I stripped every thing of my current "utility" bike and put it on criagslist. The Kona is a better bike in almost every way for what I want to use it for. It's not even funny. I still have to try it with the kid on it but so far it was a big ol' "win".
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"I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
Rides:
1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


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Old 05-25-14, 11:42 AM   #7
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Don't know if Child Protective Services can act and get a court order for Grandchildren just making a weekend visit in a meaningful time frame.
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