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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Kona Ute (or other cargo bike) questions

    I知 interested in purchasing a cargo bike. I値l use this bike to haul my kiddo (3.5YO and outgrowing her current seat on the back of my standard bike) and groceries. My budget is up to $1,000 so I値l be looking at pre-owned bikes. I壇 love a Big Dummy or Edgerunner but I can稚 touch one in my price range. The Kona Ute is a possibility. Here are my questions:

    1. The Kona Ute comes in two sizes, 18 inch and 20 inch. I am 510 and average proportion for that height. Do you think either size would work for me? I have a Scott Scale MTB size medium (17.5 inch I think) that fits me well. But that痴 sorta apples to oranges. Any feedback on what size Ute is appropriate for me?

    2. What should I pay? I致e seen Kona Utes in the 2010-2011 range for $600 to $975. The one for $600 sold before I could even see it. The 2010 sold brand new for $899 retail. If bought at the end of season perhaps less. So if a seller is looking for $900 for a four year old bike that cost $900 new I知 scratching my head a bit. I suppose a bike is 努orth whatever a buyer is willing to pay. I guess I知 used to bike depreciating at least 25 or 30 percent once they are four years old.

    3. Are there any other cargo bikes I should consider that would sell used for under $1,000 in decent shape?

  2. #2
    Let's Ride! RidingMatthew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Winston Salem, NC USA
    My Bikes
    --07 Scott S40 Speedster --2010 Jamis 650b1-- 2012 Motobecane Fantom CX
    6 Post(s)
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    have you considered the yuba as a cargo bike?
    might be an option but good luck on finding one used.
    Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas A. Edison

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Suburban Kansas City, MO
    My Bikes
    08 Spec Sequoia Elite, 98 Spec Hardrock Sport, 04 Spec Stumpjumper, 93 Burley Rock n Roll, 11 Trek Transport
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    The cargo bikes out there all have compromises. Depends what you want it to do.

    If maximum weight capacity is a big issue for you, then a Yuba Mundo or Surly Big Dummy might work. Their strong points are generally steel frame and strength to carry huge loads. Their weaker points are probably weight, size, and price, at least regarding the BD.

    A lot of people don't haul mega loads on their cargo bike. They want to haul groceries, kids, stuff like that...

    ...if that's you, then I recommend something like a Trek Transport or Kona Ute or Sun Atlas Cargo. They will do 99% of what you need if you're this type B cargo cyclist for way less money. I got my used Trek T for $800 range. A Ute is probably similar, but I prefer the low load carriers of the Trek, which are set up like Xtracycle low riders. Yeah, you won't haul as much weight ultimately as you would with a Mundo or BD. But you'll easily do the vast majority of what the average person would want. And you'll shell out less money and have a lot lighter bike to ride around when unladen.

    Of course, you also have the high end stuff. Bakfiets, Metrofiets, custom cargos. This stuff starts usually around $3-4 grand and the sky is the limit. If you have an oil well in your backyard, or have gone completely car free and can justify the expense, might be an option.

    In summary, the key is how much weight you want to haul. If you plan on big time heavy hauling, get a Mundo or BD. If you're in the less hardcore category, I'd argue that a Transport would be the best option. I owned a Sun Atlas Cargo...and while I liked the steel frame and long wheelbase, the build quality sucked compared to my Trek. Total third world welds, crappy attention to detail. I sold it. The Trek is a better 90% bike than the Sun. Meaning that for 90% of what I need it to do (haul kids and grocery runs, or both concurrently), the Trek beats the Sun. A Mundo is, in my opinion, too heavy for what you want to accomplish. If you're not picky, I bought my Sun brand new for $550. That's a good price for an xtracycle compatible bike if you don't care about pretty welding, or wheels that are oval instead of round.

    Oh. Your last option is to find an old steel frame mountain bike from the 1990s, like a Specialized Hardrock for instance, and put an Xtracycle kit on the back. This has some advantages, in that the Xtracycle standard is well supported and there are lots of off the shelf accessories. You can end up spending some major coin, though, if you aren't careful, with the add ons.

    My 2c says Trek Transport, given what you've said you want to do. Oh, I'm 5'10" also and have a LG size Transport. They make a smaller one, too. I can't see going smaller at your height.

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