Posted on 04 January 2012
15 years ago, Xtracycles was the first builder of longbikes in the US. They’re well known for their patented retrofit kit that can convert a normal bicycle into a cargo carrying longbike. More recently, they’ve been building complete bicycles that are ready to ride without any modification. Their “Radish Eco” model starts at $1000 and comes complete with cargo bags and extended frame.
Overall, we’re a real fan of longbikes. They take up much less space than a bicycle & trailer combo and are more maneuverable in crowded traffic. Also, they look and ride more conventional than cargo tricycles and bakfiets.
- Size: Smaller footprint than bakfiets or cargo tricycles.
- Ride: Conventional ride similar to a tandem or regular bicycle.
- Stability: Can lean into turns which means better stability at higher speeds than a tricycle.
- Simplicity: Simpler design than a tricycle, which means easier to maintain.
- Price: Affordable retrofit kit option.
- Capacity: Less cargo capacity than a tricycle or bakfiets.
- Configuration: Load is behind rider which means more difficult to monitor cargo or young passengers.
- Stability: Higher center of gravity which means more unstable at very low speeds compared to a tricycle. Also means more tip prone when parked.
One thing to consider is that buying a longbike vs. a front load tricycle or bakfiets is a personal preference. They all have advantages and disadvantages. Generally at slow speeds or when parked, all bicycles are tip prone and tricycles are stable. At high speeds and when riding on un-level surfaces, tricycles become tip prone and unstable, while bicycles are in their element. If you’re looking for something that rides similar to a regular bicycle, you travel long distances, or you don’t mind the slow speed instability of a bicycle carrying a heavy load, than a longbike would be a good choice. If you’re looking for something to carry large loads, you tend to ride slow, and prefer to keep an eye on your cargo, a front load tricycle would be a good choice.
Overall if you chose a longbike, Xtracycle longbikes are a fantastic choice. They’re affordable, built with good quality, and are a great alternative to driving a car locally.
Posted on 06 April 2011
Yuba Bicycles is a long bike company based in Northern California. From the looks of it, their quality is solid with modern components. We’ve seen some of their complete bicycles for as low as $800 at some budget bicycle dealers. On Yuba’s website, they start at $1100 with Shimano Acera components and go up from there depending on features. Their electric version is available for $2600. OUCH!!!!
We really love long bikes as a category and they’re great for families with older kids. If you’re buying a long bike for the first time, make sure to budget an extra $200 for some waterproof saddlebags (panniers), running boards for extra riders, and dual arm kickstand when loading kids. That way you can get the most out of your long bike.
Update: Yuba now sells their Mundo V4 for $1299 with SRAM components, including super stable double kickstand, bamboo deck and integrated wheelskirts. The elMundo with BionX goes for $3199.
• Yuba Bicycle Company
• Vancouver Long Bikes
Posted on 20 July 2010
Surly is a maker that helped start the fixed gear craze here in the States. Along with their affordable fixies, they make a long bike that can be bought as a complete or frame only. Surly bikes are sturdy and built with quality. Definitely worth checking out.
• Surly Bikes
Posted on 12 August 2009
It was great to see that some of the large manufacturers are heading into the cargo bicycle market. Hopefully it’ll bring cargo bicycles into the mainstream and make a dent in car traffic.
Check out the Kona Ute. They’ve added this great new longbike to their huge lineup. Longbikes are great for anyone who wants an all around bicycle that they can use for commuting, getting groceries, camping, and to transport small adults or older kids.
Kona Ute Website
Bicycle Hugger Review
Posted on 11 December 2008
Sycip Bikes is a custom bicycle builder that was established in 1992 by Jay & Jeremy Sycip. If you ride regularly on the US West Coast, you’ll occasionally run into a lucky someone riding a Sycip Bicycle. Every time I see one of their bicycles, I’m always amazed to see the innovative design and quality of construction.
I was especially impressed by two bicycles they’ve built, a long bike and a custom delivery bicycle for Boccalone Salumeria (specialty meat company).
They’re definitely one of the finest bicycle builders on the planet and if you’re in the market for a custom bike, it’s worth giving them a call.
Posted on 15 November 2008
Stoke Monkey is a electric power-assist unit that fits on a extra long chain-stay bike, such as a bike equipped with an Xtracycle setup. It works by a variable-speed throttle on the handlebar and a tandem-like drivetrain setup. Once the motor is on, the rider would have to pedal along (like a tandem stoker). They claim a cruising speed of 30 mph on the flats.
To the right is a Sycip longbike equipped with a Stoke Monkey.
Posted on 18 June 2007
www.Worldbike.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to building load carrying bicycles for people in developing nations. From the looks of their website, they make use of bicycles that are readily available locally.
Most of the bicycles look like adaptations to the ubiquitous Chinese bike that Chairman Mao made famous in the 20th Century. These Chinese bikes are everywhere in the third world. They are affordable, built to last, easy to maintain and highly modifiable.
Especially interesting about Worldbike’s website, is their open source community approach to designing bikes. Currently their bicycles are on display at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum as part of their new exhibit that showcases products designed for the needs of the developing world. The exhibit is called: Design for the Other 90%
If you’re interested in designing bicycles and helping people in the developing world, check out www.worldbike.org
It’s great to see people helping people. Keep up the great work guys!