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e cargo bike for adventure?

Randall

Richard Proenneke
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I've been considering different transport alternatives for me and Basil the staghound. I used to have this silly looking tiny cargo bike; single speed, hub rear brake, aluminium frame, 16" rear wheel, 12" front wheel, big box on the front with Ella the whippet. It was awesome, we'd go exploring for hours. It would have weighed less than 10kg with box (and pillow). It wasn't engineered for what we did. I geared it down - got the biggest sprocket on the rear that I could, and put the biggest volume tyres on it that I could. Broke the frame several times just from stress. Ella could run around 10km - with the bike we could stretch this out to 20km (rest in the box when the track or road was smooth etc).

But, it was awesome fun and did last a few years. These cargo e bikes are well made but around 30kgs and quite a bit wider. Basil is over twice the weight of Ella (33kg).

This post is just for interest - I think I'm before my time. The bikes I like are in Europe; I can imagine they'll be common place here within 10 years or so.

A couple that I've found and like: the chike is probably my favorite. The other is the Butcher and Bicycles

I'd still swap out tyres for higher volume with a universal tread and use tannus inserts to prevent flats and help with lower tyre pressures.

Basil is 33kg - this rules out traditional butcher type carry systems like that below.

ella on the bike.jpg
 
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Mozzie

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The chike, how great was the front duel, the steering was quiet elegant,

ive been after an ebike for a long while now, found a few i like but, i need to pack it away in the boot of my car to explore further, the smaller bikes will just not handle the off track conditions it may be subject to and the one that can are more solid but id have to have a bike carrier. NOT keen to add this to my sports car lol
 

Randall

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NOT keen to add this to my sports car
Mmmm, there looks to be a lifestyle conflict here :LOL:. We have a van, so I'd still need a relatively short (compact) cargo bike.

How tall are you Mozzie? Your height really decides wheel size. I have a folder that has 20" wheels (non ebike). I've made it work for me and it is awesome for what it is. I'm 5'11" so I'm pushing all the limits. My partner is 4'11" - awesome size for folding bikes :LOL:. This looks pretty good! I'd still swap out the tyres - I like the maxxis holy roller for our folding bikes. They are a great high volume all rounder. You could easily fit a much smaller chain ring too - work backwards with say a pedalling top speed of 30km/h - it will be geared way too high as standard. You'll appreciate the lower gears in the bush. Here's my folder below, I've changed seat post for dropper post, seat, tyres, much smaller front chain ring, sks removable pedals. I set this up for air travel - I could fit it in a huge suitcase; I have to dismantle everthing though. It's also great for meeting Gail somewhere; I can fold the bike up and put it in her car. Or I can get dropped off with the bike.

Update: also found this while researching my own needs. Note: the weakness of folding bikes is the handlebar system - you have to be light on the bars while off road.

dahon folder in the bush.jpg
 
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Randall

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It seems that cargo ebikes are a growing thing in Europe, and to a lesser degree in the states. This one is longer than what I'd like, but it looks really good handling and reasonable off road. Most cargo bikes seem to be aimed for city deliveries or carting children, dogs, and shopping in an urban environment. I won't paddle up river; I'm hoping that these will take off in Australia in the next 10 or 15 years. By then I'll have a geriatric dog and might be a bit slower myself too. In the mean time I'm considering a trailer. The burley flatbed!
 

Mozzie

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Mmmm, there looks to be a lifestyle conflict here :LOL:. We have a van, so I'd still need a relatively short (compact) cargo bike.

How tall are you Mozzie? Your height really decides wheel size. I have a folder that has 20" wheels (non ebike). I've made it work for me and it is awesome for what it is. I'm 5'11" so I'm pushing all the limits. My partner is 4'11" - awesome size for folding bikes :LOL:. This looks pretty good! I'd still swap out the tyres - I like the maxxis holy roller for our folding bikes. They are a great high volume all rounder. You could easily fit a much smaller chain ring too - work backwards with say a pedalling top speed of 30km/h - it will be geared way too high as standard. You'll appreciate the lower gears in the bush. Here's my folder below, I've changed seat post for dropper post, seat, tyres, much smaller front chain ring, sks removable pedals. I set this up for air travel - I could fit it in a huge suitcase; I have to dismantle everthing though. It's also great for meeting Gail somewhere; I can fold the bike up and put it in her car. Or I can get dropped off with the bike.

Update: also found this while researching my own needs.

Note: the weakness of folding bikes is the handlebar system - you have to be light on the bars while off road.
This is an interesting thing to know about the handle bars, i would have thought it would have been the bigger main frame folder that would/may have issue.

Have noted that European countries have a much bigger/wider range to what is on offer here in OZ.

Have to admit i gave up the search after all this hoohar thats going on happened, bike shops in my local are all closed at the mo...
and i did look at a few on-line offers, but if i have issues it can be a communication nightmare.
So in short i put my search on hold, im on Shanks' pony at the moment lol

I am 5'2 - 58kg
 

Randall

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I am 5'2 - 58kg
Man, you're in folder (or easy to transport bike) heaven!

What I said about the bars is related to folding bikes - it really is a weakness. The taller you are the worse it is. My folder is a fairly rugged build and suspended (albeit not much), but the bars are as fragile as any others. I can support with my core so never have much weight on my hands even in the attack position (upper body horizontal).

The weakness is actually in the upright stem that the bars are sitting on top of. That upright is designed to fold at the bottom. The longer that upright is, the more leverage any force on the bars will put on that joint at the bottom.

In the links I gave, the cube compact hybrid looks the better design in regards to this; although it is not a folder.

I see people putting full size bikes in their cars all the time - I'm amazed. They have to remove the front wheel though. If you want a good off roader, I'd just find the emtb you like; from what I've seen you should be able to fit it in. Perhaps find something you like then ask the shop you want to do business with if they think it can fit in? They might actually try it for you, especially if it is a necessity for a sale.

You won't get 26" wheels, but I would try to stay with 27.5 for your size; that will also make it smaller to pack in than a 29er. Most have seat droppers too now (highly recommended), so you'll be able to push the seat down at least 10cm.

Since covid, all bikes (e and non e, all disciplines) have been in high demand. Not many deals or availability because of this, so it is good if you're not in a hurry.
 

Mozzie

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hey Randall, thanks for all this valued info, yeah prices have gone up i have noticed.

I still have my Mongoose Sycamore (26 wheels, 7 speed), shes an oldie but still great , but yes i have to remove front wheel to get it in my boot, with back seat folded down, also add its a heavy sod, solid but heavy.

I am waiting for lock down to be over so i can go to next LGA (Kiama NSW) thats where my best e bike store is.

Mozz
 

WanderOn

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Mmmm, there looks to be a lifestyle conflict here :LOL:. We have a van, so I'd still need a relatively short (compact) cargo bike.

How tall are you Mozzie? Your height really decides wheel size. I have a folder that has 20" wheels (non ebike). I've made it work for me and it is awesome for what it is. I'm 5'11" so I'm pushing all the limits. My partner is 4'11" - awesome size for folding bikes :LOL:. This looks pretty good! I'd still swap out the tyres - I like the maxxis holy roller for our folding bikes. They are a great high volume all rounder. You could easily fit a much smaller chain ring too - work backwards with say a pedalling top speed of 30km/h - it will be geared way too high as standard. You'll appreciate the lower gears in the bush. Here's my folder below, I've changed seat post for dropper post, seat, tyres, much smaller front chain ring, sks removable pedals. I set this up for air travel - I could fit it in a huge suitcase; I have to dismantle everthing though. It's also great for meeting Gail somewhere; I can fold the bike up and put it in her car. Or I can get dropped off with the bike.

Update: also found this while researching my own needs. Note: the weakness of folding bikes is the handlebar system - you have to be light on the bars while off road.

View attachment 28473
I would end up in all sorts of pain with that. At 6”2’ and used to riding cross country mountain bikes. Love riding through the bush. Both sustained a bit of damage together.
Very fast and great handling But maybe a bit big for what you’re looking for.
Hope you find a bike.
687970DE-DEBE-404B-B056-9E32C9EFBC39.jpeg
 
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Randall

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I would end up in all sorts of pain with that. At 6”2’ and used to riding cross country mountain bikes. Love riding through the bush. Both sustained a bit of damage together.
Very fast and great handling But maybe a bit big for what you’re looking for.
Hope you find a bike.
They are awesome lightweight bikes. I still have a 26" scott scale hardtail circa 2012 - I like riding it sometimes because it makes me focus more on lines
 

WanderOn

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They are awesome lightweight bikes. I still have a 26" scott scale hardtail circa 2012 - I like riding it sometimes because it makes me focus more on lines
A slight loss of concentration can be a bit unforgiving.
 
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