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What are Cargo Bikes?

Posted by Kyle Malashewski on

We've been open for business for a few weeks now, and been getting out on the roads more often. Maybe you've seen us? We're the ones riding around on the funny-looking bikes, these big white contraptions you've probably never encountered before!

Bikeables home delivery

We've already introduced ourselves and our business to many of you already, but today we're going to introduce you to some of our most important partners: our bikes!

Where they're from

Like many great things bike-related, our cargo bikes are from Denmark! Specifically, from the cycling mecca of Copenhagen, where bikes outnumber people; at least half of all citizens commute to school or work by bike; and where 9/10 Danes own a bike, versus 4/10 that own a car.

Here, you are certain to encounter cargo bikes hard at work! Companies like Ikea and the Danish Post Office have embraced cargo bikes for their versatility and efficiency. Likewise, DHL, the world's largest logistics company, has rolled out cargo bikes in many other European cities for small parcel delivery, citing their flexibility and speed.

Courier company DHL uses cargo bikes in many European cities

Tobias Wider of DHL explains that “[u]nlike delivery vehicle drivers, bicycle couriers can always drive right up to the recipient’s door, are not affected by downtown traffic volumes or access restrictions and at times can even use shorter routes."

Who makes our bikes?

Our cargo bikes are made by the Danish company Larry vs Harry, who are perhaps the premier cargo bike manufacturing company in the world -- well, we certainly think so. They make sleek cargo bikes just like ours in many different models, allowing you to pick and choose the components you need to get the job done. Some people use it as a family bike!

Cargo bikes are great for moving kids too!

They are two-and-a-half metres (eight feet) long, with an internally-geared 11-speed hub, and a 145-litre capacity cargo box that allows us to easily transport a lot of goods! 

Aren't they hard to "drive"?

Admittedly, they take some getting used to, but after an hour or so you really get the hang of it. The experience is more like driving a car than a bike, in some ways; steering is not as "snappy" as a regular bike, where the wheel is directly below the handlebars. Instead, the handlebars are connected to a steering column, which runs below the cargo area, turning the front wheel.

They're also fairly heavy: weighing in at about 23 kilograms for the complete bike, plus another 13 kg for the cargo box. That's nearly 80 pounds before we put anything inside! It definitely helps to be a seasoned cyclist when getting on one of these.

Are you the dickie-dee?

No, sorry (but we understand why we keep hearing that!).


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