What bike should I buy? A cargo bike for your current situation

A while back I was waiting for my cleaning at the dentist's office and I picked up the April issue of Bicycling magazine. The issue was a buyers guide in which they asked, "What bike should I buy?". Of the thirty seven scenarios and the chosen bike for each one only one was a cargo bike. 

I know magazines only have so much real estate and they have to focus on what sells but I think they could have shown bikes that haul a little more love. Here are some of the scenarios where the best answer is a cargo bike.


I want to keeping an eye on small kids while we are riding



While I started out riding my mountain bike pulling a Burley trailer with my two oldest kids in tow, I was never quite comfortable out on the streets. With them riding so low around cars I was always looking over my shoulder at stop lights to make sure drivers were leaving ample cushion. There was also the inevitable bickering on longer rides. Shouting backwards for peace while pedaling is not my idea of fun. 

All these issues are covered with a longjohn. Your kids are in front of you so you can keep an eye on them. The conversations about what we are seeing seem to keep friction at bay. While you're not any more protected from cars you just feel more secure being able to see the little ones while you ride.

I want to deliver more than legal documents



When high bandwidth Internet became ubiquitous we thought the bike messenger business was done for. Cargo bikes have breathed new life into the industry. You can find companies delivering fully catered meals to whole office buildings down to a quick bite by bike. Bike based last mile delivery services handle tasks like delivering office supplies, flowers, laundry and a whole host of boxed goods of varying sizes.  


I want to carry cargo but storage space is tight


Cycletrucks S.U.B.

You gotta love a Brompton or Dahon for their tiny footprint which is great on buses, trains and in small living spaces. However, sometimes you need more hauling capacity but still have to manage that city apartment and train ride.

Enter the class of cargo bikes represented by models like the Cycletrucks S.U.B. This bike give you most of the rear hauling capacity of a full sized longtail in a compact frame. There is a beefy front rack to complement the rear cargo area. Not only is it small, it stands on end for storing in tight quarters. 


I want to run a mobile micro-retail business



If you have a brand that sells products, food or beverages and want a unique vending experience try a trike. While you do have to check local regulations for selling on the street having a branded trike for private events will definitely leave an impression.


I want to be a faster first responder in crowds




When a health crisis emerges speed is often the best medicine. So if you are trying to get me to the hospital please use a plane, train or automobile. But what about getting to the injured in the first place, especially in a crowded venue? 

Bike please! It is much faster than trying to get people to move , so an ambulance truck can crawl through a sea of people. The EMT can carry more equipment to handle a broader range of cases than what is in a bag they would be running to a victim with. More and more events are contracting with EMT services that are patrolling by bike. 



I want to get my brand closer to my target consumer


Butchers & Bicycles

Cargo bikes offer marketers a practical and novel way of interacting with consumers. Like mobile billboard trucks they can put your message on the road. The advantage is advertisers can move among pedestrian traffic where motorized vehicles can't.

Similarly, the right cargo bike can double as a kiosk for giving away samples. When your event is over you simply ride it away.


I feel safer on three wheels



Whether you have balance issues due to a medical condition or age sometimes having a third wheel is the added stability you need. An adult tricycle or bakfiets can do the trick while allowing you to haul your weekly grocery shopping at the same time.

The cargo bike can be a star mobility tool in many everyday situations. So you can consider a bicycle more often that you think when looking for transportation that meets your needs.