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Monthly Archives: November 2008

  • Customisation - No-box options?

    The cargo box mounts onto the cross-bars on the cargo bike's frame with four bolts.

    With the box removed, there's a heap of space and a solid four bolt mounting for anything else you might want to build on to a bike.

    Vending stall? Esky and picnic table? Display stand? Drop-side alloy ute tray? Tool box?

    We'd love to see what you can come up with!

    Fine Print: Modifications are entirely at the owners risk. Cargo Cycles does not endorse any modification. Modifications may jeopardise warranty. If in doubt, leave it alone.

  • Customisation - Car booster seat

    Designed and installed by Dallas, written up by Tim

    Xander needed a bit more support than the standard bench seat, and a few more straps to hold him in tight, so now rides his cargo bike in a car booster seat.

    Attachment details are not known, but appear to include a child restraint anchor through the rear panel of the cargo box.

    Fine Print: Modifications are entirely at the owners risk. Cargo Cycles does not endorse any modification. Modifications may jeopardise warranty. If in doubt, leave it alone.

  • Testimonial - Bill in Canberra

    We're having a GREAT time on the cargo bike. My 17 month old lil girl is rapidly becoming obsessed with bikes - most in part to her loving Dad and her getting out and about on it. Off to the shops, off to cafes, around the lake, looking at people out and about, seeing other bikes. I've even got my partner out now on her own bike and we're a biking family!

    The bike creates a lot of interest and people stop me me to ask about it (along with thumbs up when I'm riding, or people waving to me and my daughter). It makes them smile to see something like this trundling around.

  • Cargocycles on Facebook

    We have a Cargocycles page on Facebook.

    You can become a fan, discuss cargo biking with other owners, see photos, post photos.

    Here it is.

  • Testimonial - Cory in Melbourne

    A few months ago, I received a big box full of CargoCycle. I had opted to put it together myself. I'm no bike mechanic, but I do have an array of tools and generally know what to do with them, and I got it together myself in half a day without too much grief - just the odd thing needed 'persuading'. Riding is easy, with nicely spaced gears (I rarely use anything above 6th) and it becomes even more stable with a load. Many friends have given it a try, and are impressed with how easy it is. They all remarked how much it is like riding a normal bike.

    Since its arrival, it has become a big part of our regular transport options. The hub gears take a few weeks of breaking in, and the rear hub brake also takes a while to reach its optimum. (The front V-brake stops the bike well from the get go). Generally three days per week I'll drop off our 2.5 yr old to childcare, and then ride it the 4.5km into work. It is a 'happy' bike to ride. Provided you're not in a hurry, it's just so comfortable and enjoyable. My daughter is rapt every time we take it, and sometimes quite disappointed when she learns that we have to take the car. We use it for shopping, and for the odd errand (picking up a mail-order esky from the Post Office for example). We live around 5km from Melbourne Zoo, so that has been, and will increasingly be, a common trip. There's a few hills, but none that are too arduous. I'm also quite impressed by the dyno-hub. So much so, that I'm considering one for my other regular commuter bicycle. It puts out quite a lot of light, even at low speeds.

    I rode it (with daughter) in this year's 50km route of the Around the Bay in a Day. It was first time I'd been on long, flat routes with it. I was amazed how quickly you could get along. Pedal a bit, up a gear, pedal a bit, up a gear. Soon I was passing many of the riders, with no real effort (I was pacing myself). The bit that did require some effort... well, let's say I was happy to see the top of Westgate Bridge... but the gearing certainly made it very achievable.

    On the whole... if you are looking for a viable alternative to a car for many of your shorter trips about your neighbourhood, with the prospect of some longer trips, I think it's a great option.

  • Customisation - Installing a car seat

    by Tim

    This idea is the reason we bought our first cargo bike, leading us to go into business as Cargo Cycles. Small children (or in our case, a disabled child) may not be strong enough to sit on the cargo bike's standard bench seat. A car seat can provide much more support, and has a secure harness.

    Attachment methods will vary depending on the design of your car seat. The type of car seat you use will depend on the size of your child, and what you have available.

    My first car seat installation was rear-facing, using the seat from our car. The seat was installed "upright" against the inclined face of the front of the box which gave it a suitable recline to give Sarah the support she needs.

  • Cargo bike electric assist

    Electric Assist Kit

    Our friends at EVS have developed an electric power assistance kit, to fit our cargo bikes!

    The kit can be purchased as an upgrade to be shipped with your new cargo bike, or as a retro-fit kit for your existing bike.

    A basic electric motor kit is $1095 plus delivery.

    A new cargo bike with basic electric motor kit (lead-acid batteries) is $2390 delivered.

    Upgrade either option to lithium batteries for an extra $600.

    The kit includes a replacement front wheel built around a street legal 200W hub motor, a battery pack, controller, hand throttle, and charger.

    The motor is geared to give maximum torque at low speed, to help accelerate up to speed or to help drag a heavy load up a hill. The motor freewheels without drag when not in use, allowing the rider to easily maintain cruising speed using pedal power alone.

    Contact us or contact EVS for more details.

  • Testimonial - Brian in Melbourne

    Before starting Cargo Cycles, we imported two sample cargo bikes for evaluation. We kept one and sold the other - Brian was the lucky buyer.

    There were a few components that we wanted to change, and we upgraded the sample bikes to be as close as possible to the production spec. Unfortunately the sample bikes' front brakes couldn't be upgraded, so they retained the original front caliper brake for some time before they could be upgraded to the more powerful V-brake of the production bikes.

    Brian makes the following comments:

    I’ve had the cargo bike for 2 months now. I use it every weekend. My 2 young kids love going in it. We travel about 20km most weekends. The bike is very easy to handle and balance. My wife hasn’t ridden a bike for 4 years and she managed to take it for a quick ride. If you often ride a bike you will have no problem with this bike. It isn’t slow to ride either. I ride a fairly good road bike to work (70km round trip). I’ve actually taken this cargo bike for a 70km ride with a full load. It only made about 50 minutes difference over that 70km. On the flat it goes great. The hills are a lot harder of course.

    Pros

    - Easy to handle
    - Great storage
    - 2 seat belts (3 point harness)
    - Easy to assemble
    - The Stand makes for safe loading on/off
    - Rear brake light
    - 8 Speed
    - I would buy it again.

    Cons

    - Front brake is not strong enough. I believe this is being addressed. I’ve replaced the front brake pads $30 and it makes a difference
    - With the rear lock on there is very little clearance with the standard tyres. I’ve taken the lock off, but I could have put a smaller rear tyre on.

  • Cargo bike specs

    Specifications:

    Zeitbikes Shorthaul and Longhaul models:

    Frame: painted or powder-coated steel (depending on colour) with heavy duty rear luggage rack and marine grade plywood cargo box
    Gears: 7 speed Shimano Nexus hub gears
    Brakes: Rear Shimano Coaster brake, pedal operated. We took the decison to use the coaster brake as a fully loaded cargo bike is pretty heavy. You can exert a lot of force with your feet and once you are used to the operation it is very smooth and quick to operate.
    Wheels:
    20" front, 26" rear, alloy rims, domed, double wall aluminium, black anodised with machined outer faces.
    Handlebars, stem: Alloy quill stem and alloy bars
    Stand: Four point kick-stand (under cargo box)
    Cranks: Alloy, cotterless

    The free extras:

    Lights: Battery operated front and rear.
    Guards: Front and rear mud guard, full chain case, rear elastic tie down
    Rain cover: Attachable rain canopy for cargo box for carrying children and a box cover for general storage.

    Size:

    One size fits most. Riding in the upright "Dutch style" riding position, bike fit is much less important than for a road or mountain bike. The stem and saddle height can be adjusted to fit most riders.

    Warranty:

    12 months warranty for non-commercial use. Any part that fails during normal service will be repaired or replaced at our discretion. Does not cover any of the "free extras" listed above, consumables, or normal wear and tear. We really like our bikes and want you to recommend them. In the unlikely event you have a problem we'll make sure you are treated fairly and the problem resolved quickly and efficiently.

    Colour:

    At the moment we only have metallic silver or black for the electric models. We can customise any colour you like for the next production run.

     

    Shorthaul
  • Cargo bike uses

    The uses of a cargo bike are limited only by your imagination.

    • The cargo box has a bench seat with two harnesses, ideal for carrying one or two children (with cargo space to spare), in front of the rider where they can be seen and talked to. A cargo bike is ideal for the daily school run.
    • The cargo box is nearly the same size as a shopping trolley, making the cargo bike ideal for doing the weekly grocery shop. Cargo bikes are stable to ride with a load because the centre of mass is so low.
    • A cargo bike makes an eye catching publicity vehicle for any business that does local deliveries or other errands.
    • Personnel and equipment transport on large industrial work site, they make great work cycles.
    • Musicians (ever tried carrying your guitar or trombone on a bike?)
    • Sports equipment (ever tried carrying a set of golf clubs or cricket kit on a bike?)
    • Bike couriers, mail deliveries, paper routes...
    • Taking the kids for icecream!
    • One less car? With a cargo bike in your "fleet", you may find you no longer need a second car in the family. You may find that you don't need a car at all!

    cargo-bike-uses

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