You are a cyclist or a car driver, and you are thinking about opting for the "all-purpose" solution that the cargo bike is? Both a perfect alternative to the car and a considerable improvement over the use of a traditional bicycle, cargo bikes are getting more and more popular every year and increasingly embody one of the unavoidable means of transportation of tomorrow. With nearly 30,000 cargo bikes sold throughout Europe in 2019 (+60% compared to 2018), the number of acquisitions of this solution in 2020 should almost reach 44,000 products sold.
The considerable advantage of cargo bikes is that there are several types of them, and they can take all forms depending on the the user's needs. In spite of the craze for this new kind of transportation, it is sometimes difficult to identify all the existing versions and decide which one will suit you best.
We therefore offer you to review all the existing versions of cargo bikes and compare them.
The most popular: the carrier
When we talk about cargo bikes, many people think of this 2-wheel front load bicycle. This "extended at the front" bike has a container box with a capacity of several tens of liters. The front wheel, which is usually smaller than the rear wheel, is driven by a steering system that is moved forward, either by means of a steering rod or by means of steering cables. The carrier is most often used to do groceries, carry equipment or take children to school. With a maneuverability quite close to that of a traditional bike, off-axis steering requires a certain amount of grip (especially for the apprehension of turns, which must be taken with a wider trajectory), but one gets used to it very quickly. On the price side, an entry-level carrier will cost around 1,500€ for a muscular version, and 2,600€ minimum for an electric version.
The "family": the long-tail
The long-tail is the version of the cargo bike exclusively imagined for a family use. Also called "extended bike", the long-tail is equipped with a rack designed to carry 1 to 3 children depending on the model. Its rear wheel, shifted to the back compared with a traditional bicycle, allows it to carry a significant weight, while maintaining a handling quite close to that of a traditional bicycle, although an adaptation time is still necessary. The use of the long-tail will most often be limited to the transport of children (hence its arsenal of accessories such as protective bars, soft seats, footrests or canopies), which is why it is very much appreciated by parents, where those who wish to carry more diverse loads will prefer the carrier or the tricycle.
The "mastodon": the tricycle
With no doubt being the cargo bike with the highest transport capacity, the tricycle is a "3-wheeled" version of the bicycle, with two wheels at the front and a very large capacity container box. Often equipped with a pendulum steering system to get closer to the driving sensations of a conventional bicycle, the tricycle is aimed at users who wish to carry a lot of weight (sometimes up to more than a hundred kilos). It is particularly appreciated by professionals for street commerce, but also by parents. However, anticipate a higher budget and a different handling compared to a carrier or long-tail, as well as a more consequent storage space.
The alternative: the trailer
Among the users who consider carrying more weight by bicycle, there are those who are too fond of their bicycle to consider replacing it. The trailer is aimed at these users, allowing them to increase the transport capacity of their bikes without too much investment and without having to return their bikes to the garage.
The innovation: "the extension "
The extension is a corollary of the cargo bike, since it consists of a frame that allows you to transform your bike into a cargo bike. The objective is to keep the user's bike and to "plug" an extension into it in order to give it a transport capacity that is similar to that of a cargo bike, but with the same advantages as a traditional bike. With a geometry close to that of your two-wheeled companion, this solution keeps a familiar handling and is easily stored at home. But its biggest strength lies in its purchase price, defying any other cargo bike solution.
If cargo bikes represent the future of mobility in cities, it is natural that this concept takes as many shapes as there are categories of users. Some of their shapes have already convinced a good number of them, and this number continues to grow.
As the cargo bike market is booming, it is only logical that new innovations continue to emerge, as the "extension" that marked its recent arrival on the cargo bike market. The most recent of these, the JoKer Mini, is an illustration of an increasingly easier access to the cargo bike, which allows even those who do not wish to replace their bike or invest in a bulky solution to experience the joys of the cargo bike in the city.
You too, turn your bike into a cargo bike, by equipping it now with a JoKer Mini !