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 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 10 April 2010
Nimble Scooter Pacific Blue
Nimble Cargo Scooters is a company that manufactures cargo scooters in Irvine, California. The scooters start at $450 and are built with aircraft aluminum and baltic birch. You can order them with custom colors and graphics. They ride amazing well and are extremely stable with their low center of gravity.
At only 25 lbs, they’re very lightweight and compact. Also, they’re much smaller than a regular bicycle. While test riding a Nimble last week, we were able to walk into most stores like Target without the workers batting an eye. Think of it as a running stroller you can ride.
If you’ve always wanted a bakfiets but couldn’t afford it. Then look no further. Try out a Nimble Cargo Scooter, which is easily a fourth of the cost of a good bakfiets or long bike.
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.