A bike is one of the most efficient ways to get where you're going. Whether it's to work, school, or a local park, riding your bike gets you there for free and produces no nasty tailpipe emissions along the way. Most bikes are designed to carry just one person, however, which makes it difficult to use your bike for things like grocery shopping or toting the kids to school. That's why we love cargo bikes: with bigger frames, special wheels, and increased carrying capacity, these "bicycle trucks" make it possible to transport much more than just yourself in an eco-friendly fashion. In the market for a cargo bike? Check out six of our favorite expert-approved designs below.
The Margo bike by CETMA is a smaller, lighter version of the Largo cargo bike. Unlike many cargo bikes, Margo is a front-loader, making it perfect for one passenger and a couple bags of groceries. It comes with a NuVinci hub, a dynamo, head and tail lights, a single-speed crankset, fenders, and disc brakes—and only weighs about 60 lbs.
Based in Minnesota, Surly makes lots of cool bikes, but the Big Dummy is its only cargo model. Built around the Longtail standard design platform, Big Dummy is the perfect rear-carry cargo bike for someone who needs substantial carrying power in a compact form. With a carrying capacity of 200 lbs. of cargo plus driver, the Big Dummy also sports a 3×9 drivetrain, Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, Shimano Deore hubs, derailleurs and shifters and 26 x 2.1˝ Continental Town & Country tires.
A collaboration between James Nichols & Phillip Ross, the Metrofiets brand is inspired by the classic styling of bicycles from the 30s and 40s. The brand makes several different models (in fact, cargo bikes are the only kind they make) but the Standard I-8 is revered as the best all-around option. Featuring Metrofiet’s signature cargo box (aka kid carrier) the Standard I-8 can be customized to your liking and offers a protected gear hub and the ability to shift gears while completely stopped.
Worksman Cycles makes all kinds of versatile bikes for industrial purposes, but the Low Gravity is probably its most famous. In fact, these Worksman Classics have even been featured in some big time movies with stars including Cher, Adam Sandler and Goldie Hawn riding them. Perfect for deliveries, the Low Gravity features a unique “Balance Tru” Steering System wherein the handlebars turn but the huge perforated steel basket does not.
Want to be able to haul bags of potting soil, bring your dog to the park, or take your kids to a bike-in movie, all with the same vehicle? Then the iconic Madsen “Bucket Bike” is the one for you. The kg271/BUCKET model features a 40 gallon cargo/passenger bucket equipped with removable seating and seatbelts for four small bodies. Optional accessories include a soft-top roof that can be fitted over the bucket in case of bad weather.
Made by the pros at Trek, the Transport cargo bike has earned itself the reputation of “ultimate two-wheeled urban utility vehicle”. The longtail design is augmented by the super-durable ballistic nylon cargo bag that can fit two paper grocery bags side by side. Internal pockets make it easy to keep track of smaller items as well. It also comes with folding load racks, fender, front rack, double-legged kickstand so you can be sure of stability no matter what you’re carrying.
Lead image via Madsen Cycles Facebook page