Frequently Asked Questions About Cargo Bikes

Butchers & Bicycles MK1E Cargo Bike

1) Is a cargo bike difficult to ride?

Not at all, but it can be a little different to riding a normal bike — more or less so depending on the style of cargo bike.

Longtail cargobikes are constructed very much like regular bikes except with a longer frame that provides extra carrying capacity between the saddle and the rear axle. As a result, they handle identically to normal bikes, and with greater stability under a load.

‘Long John’ or ‘bakfiets’-style bikes (two wheelers with a low tray or box between the handlebars and the front wheel) are a little different to ride, but most people find the adjustment period is very short. A tip for new riders – the front wheel can be very distracting. Don’t watch it, look ahead to where you are going.

Cargo trikes are very stable at low speeds and can be the best option for very heavy loads, but they can feel surprisingly different to regular bikes because they are sensitive to uneven surfaces, and they don’t tilt when they corner (except the Butchers and Bicycles MK1E tilting tricycle!)

The best way to find out what it’s like to ride a cargo bike is to visit our shop in Brunswick East and do some test rides.

2) Is a cargo bike difficult to ride when it is loaded up?

Not necessarily, although it will take more effort to get to higher speeds or up hills (E-bikes will help with this!) and it can be more difficult to walk the bike or ride it very slowly with a big load or a high load. When you come to the shop for test rides we recommend you try riding with a passenger or other load on board if that is how you intend to use the bike.

3) Is a cargo bike able to climb hills?

All bikes are easier to ride on flat land, and a cargo bike is no exception. Within reason, a cargo bike’s wide range of gears allow it to be ridden up hills. That being said, if you are regularly going to be hauling cargo up hills, a pedal-assist electric cargo bike is an ideal choice. You’ll still need to pedal but your encounters with those hills will be pain-free.

4) How old does my child need to be to go on a cargo bike?

In Australia, mandatory helmet laws require all bike riders and passengers to wear helmets. There is no exception for passengers travelling in bike-mounted car seats so in this country there remains no option for carrying children under around 12 months on bikes that is both safe and legal.

At around 12 months (YMMV) many children are able to sit in a properly adjusted bike seat and wear a helmet, and at this point a cargo bike may be an ideal transport option for you.

Read more information about Carrying Kids on Bikes here.

5) What are the benefits of buying from a bricks-and-mortar shop?

Online bike retailers can offer large discounts because they don’t have to maintain physical shopfronts and workshops. We consider our shopfront and workshop to be some of our most valuable features for you, the customer. At our shop you are able to test-ride any number of different bikes and trikes to ensure you choose the one that suits you best. You can see for yourself that our bikes are built using quality components and expertly assembled on-site. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff can help with any questions you have about the bikes and how you are going to incorporate them into your lifestyle. Once you take delivery of the bike we are here to assist with any troubleshooting, and we can offer you ongoing discounted servicing in our specialist cargo/electric bike workshop, with your first service being free, so long as it’s within the first six months.

6) Where is Cargocycles’ shop?

Cargocycles shop is at 176 Lygon Street Brunswick East, Victoria. If you are in another Australian state and interested in buying one of our bikes, please get in touch with your local stockist or click here to get in touch with us.

7) What hours are you open for business?

9am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 9:30am – 4pm Saturday. We are closed on public holidays and the Easter long weekend.

8) Is Cargocycles looking for dealers?

If you run a shop and would like to stock Cargocycles’ bikes, please contact us here to discuss wholesale pricing.

9) More questions?

Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments about our cargo bikes.