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Cargo bikes for touring ,commuting?

Old 04-05-14, 06:08 PM
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Cargo bikes for touring ,commuting?

I've recently came across the utility bike or cargo bike category, Like the Kona ute or minute. OK the Ute seems too much but the Kona minute? It seems relatively light, also I can image it can be good in the town. How about touring? Is it too slow? Worth the money

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Old 04-05-14, 06:58 PM
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Too slow? Worth the money? Both too personal to answer. Depends on the tourist.

Gearing is low enough to qualify for loaded touring. In this case, with the proverbial 'kitchen sink.'

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Old 04-07-14, 12:32 PM
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I don't see why not, people have toured around the world on a Penny Farthing and on a three speed.

I have a recurring daydream about loading up a baksfiet (cargo bike), with some stuff and my dog and heading off to see what we can see. My wife doesn't approve

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Old 04-07-14, 06:35 PM
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Three dudes rode The Spine (Rockies through the Andes), on three longtail cargo bikes. It can be done. I have a heavily modified Xtracycle Radish I've been considering whether to set up for touring. I need to actually do some tours on my Surly 26" Disc Trucker first though, before I go trying out the Franken-Radish.

Riding the Spine

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Old 04-08-14, 10:17 AM
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Speed is about the effort you expend to move forward..




Noted: a Longtail cargo bike makes bringing your full sized Dreadnought guitar along .. work ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-08-14 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 04-09-14, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Noted: a Longtail cargo bike makes bringing your full sized Dreadnought guitar along .. work ..
The Steel Wheels, a folk/Americana band, did a tour on bike. Only one of them used a longtail (the upright bass traveled on a bike cart), but pretty cool. So yeah, if you want to bring a lot, a long tail can do it. I think they averaged around 50 miles a day, so certainly not as fast one can ride, but they also did a number of concerts in that time, so it can't be too bad. Of course, the weight catches up to you in the hills; they were in relatively flat Illinois/Indiana/Michigan.
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Old 04-09-14, 12:28 PM
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Though we all experience it, one thing that doesn't get much play in loaded touring, is how great the cycling is. Yeah, sure, I can't go as fast as on a bike that isn't loaded, but I have had great days just sailing along a perfect road, and the freedom that comes from knowing you can stop anywhere, or be fairly independent makes up for the drag of the weight.

So I would not want to condemn my tour to a level of weight that would eliminate the cycling aspect. There are other aspects, like the tour, people, and camping, etc... But cycling is a large part of it for me.

So while one could use anything, why would on need that much gear? There are certain tours that might make it worth while. Like the guy who cycled to everest from europe with all his climbing gear, climbed everest, then cycled back. Prospectors used to load a canoe (far more capacity than a cargo bike), go out into the wilds and return with ore samples when the food was gone. Don't know where you could do that by bike...
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Old 04-09-14, 12:34 PM
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I use my Extrabike for a lot of commuting and although it is not quite as fast as something like my Oulton it's is no slouch in the speed department and it is not hard to maintain a good pace.

I am going to take it on a multi day tour this summer.
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Old 04-09-14, 12:58 PM
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To me it is like the progression of hiking boots. Back in the 70's boots were large and heavy but did the job of protecting feet from sharp rocks, moisture and support with heavy loads. Compare that to modern light weight boots that could provide all the same benefits but leaves me feeling more rested with a little more energy for the next days hike. I watch the weight in my touring set up, bike included so I spend less energy and recover that much sooner. A little more energy for those all day head winds doesn't hurt. So unless you plan on moving some furniture across the country, then a lighter choice should be considered for the overall enjoyment of your trip.
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Old 04-09-14, 05:23 PM
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i have traveled on my aluminum fisher mtb xtracycle; it rules. yeah, it's a bit heavy, but i'm not racing and i'm a fairly strong rider anyways, so i don't care. it can carry way too much stuff - way more than you need for traveling unless you are someone who wants to travel with a guitar, surfboard, golf clubs, and television. i don't travel on my xtracycle because i want to carry a ton of crap - i travel on my xtracycle because it's one of my favorite bikes to ride. the long wheelbase lets you bomb downhill fearlessly - 50 mph seems like 30, but you may have issues with getting your bike on a bus rack or into a train stall. you can check out a couple of my xtracycle trips on crazyguy if you care (jabantik 2010 and 2011.)

longtail cargo bikes are freaking awesome grocery getters and commuters. if weight or speed are a concern, take a different bike

edit: my bike weighs 41 lbs. aluminum fisher mtb small frame, steel fork, xtracycle with the old freeloader bags, xtracycle kickstand, fenders, u-lock, and whatever else might be inside the bags - maybe a couple tubes, pump, levers, and a 4-5-6. it is heavy, but it still rolls well. sometimes i catch someone softpedalling and sit on their wheel - they will flog themselves to try to drop the guy with the big circus bike and bags of groceries.

Last edited by jabantik00; 04-10-14 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 04-09-14, 06:36 PM
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There are cargo bikes and there are cargo bikes. I had a Kona Ute and found out it's handling was not to my liking at all. It's kind of irrelevant if the bike is light weight, once you load it it's heavy and slow.
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Old 04-09-14, 07:19 PM
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I think the temptation to bring too much stuff would be too great. It would certainly work though
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Old 04-09-14, 08:37 PM
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I'm not sure I would want to take this Madsen on too many tours, but it is a fun bike to use around the neighborhood.

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Old 04-10-14, 04:15 AM
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I am sure it would work and maybe even make sense if you want or need to pack a lot of stuff. Personally I much prefer to take a lighter approach to both bike and packing. My bike and gear combined often have weighed less than an unloaded cargo bike. A light and responsive bike with a light load is a joy IMO.
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