Cargo Bikes


9
Jun 2014
by mark

How to attach a Burley Piccolo to an Xtracycle

Xtracycle cargo bikes and Burley Piccolo Trailercycles are both great for family biking. Unfortunately, there’s currently no ready-made way to attach a Burley Piccolo to an Xtracycle.

Fortunately, Greg from Beehive Bicycles published photos online of a custom solution he developed. I found and mimicked an early solution that I created for this.

It worked like this: I started with the provided Moose rack, and use a hack saw to cut it down to just the essential part that was needed to connect to the Piccolo.

Here you can see a finished photo of Greg’s design that I followed:

IMG_4786.JPG

I made the remaining “feet” of the hacked rack as short as possible so that the Piccolo bolt could go all the way through, without interference from the Flightdeck.

Then, two more holes were drilled into the cross bar, and corresponding holes were made in the Flightdeck. Bolts went down through the top and were secured with washers and nuts on the bottom. I made them extra tight, so that the bolts had no room to wiggle work the plastic to make the holes larger.

Here’s what my own result looks like. Click through to see an extreme close-up:

@Xtracycle 2010 Freeloaders with  Flightdeck 2, Yepp Maxi mount hole and Burley Piccolo spoiler.

You have some flexibility in how far back on the Flightdeck you put the mount. The further forward you put it, the more stable and easier to manage the Piccolo should be. This is because the mount will be closer to being directly over the rear axle, as it is with the Moose rack. However, the Piccolo mount is not easily removed and it effectively divides your deck in two, making whatever is behind it effectively dead space. So the further towards the rear you put the mount the more continuous space you have deck. A final consideration is the Flightdeck itself. Flip it over before you drill. You’ll see the plastic is thick is some parts, and thin and others. You definitely what to mount it through the thick plastic! That constraints your position options some.

I choose to mount mine fairly close to the rear. I found I could handle it well enough, but I was also dealing withe constraints of where Flightdeck provided thicker plastic.

This has worked well-enough for me, but there are some better possibilities. First, with my particular position, I ended up putting it so that the “arms” are directly above the Superhook allen head holes. They can still be accessed with ball-head allen wrenches, but it’s a pain.

The biggest drawback to my solution is there are only two points of contact with the Flightdeck, leaving a bit of possibility for the the attachment to be pivoted back and forth. In practice this hasn’t been a problem, but it’s not ideal and is addressed in other solutions.

Before moving on, here’s a photo set
from Greg dedicated to the approach I followed.

He later improved above the design with “v2.0″ approach, which looks like this:

P1020153.JPG

He also has a full photo set for his v2.0 mod.

In this revision, he addressed the remaining sharp edges and the potential to rock back and forth by apparently hacking some already bent parts of the rack, cutting of the sidebars off the mount hold completely, and rewelding and the thing back together, and finally repainting to look sharp. If this sounds intimidating, Greg owns Beehive Bicycles and perhaps you can hire them to create and ship you a custom mount.

Finally, there is a commercial option for this on its way to market from Bike Friday, as a companion accessory to their “Haul-a-Day” Xtracycle in development.

Here’s a detail of the best shot I can find of the Bike Friday solution.

Bike Friday Xtracycle Piccolo mount - close-up

It appears that it’s fabricated from scratch rather than re-using a rack, appears to be attached to the deck with four bolts instead of two, re-using existing holes on the deck instead of requiring new holes. This looks great, and is what I would expect from a commercial offering. There is no word on pricing or availablility at this time.

If you are interested in attaching a Burley Piccolo to a Yuba Mondo, I have a post about
a DIY solution for a Yuba/Piccolo mount
as well.

If you are wondering if Yuba will be offering an official accessory for Burley Piccolo mounts, I think the answer is “Yes, eventually”. First, they have been neck-and-neck with Xtracycle with releasing comparable accessories. Second, they have acknowledged as much in a tweet from their official account:

To close, here’s a short video that shows the potent combination of combining the Burley Piccolo with the Yepp Maxi attachment built into the latest Flightdeck. You can attach or detach a couple kid hauling options in just a minute or two– that’s great flexibility!


25
Apr 2014
by larry

Calling All Cargo Bikers: Support Liz Canning’s Documentary

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 9.16.05 PM

If you are a cargo biker you probably know that there is this way cool videographer in California who has been working on a documentary about cargo biking for a few years, collecting footage from cargo bikers like you all over the world. Heck, some of you may even have been inspired to take up cargo biking because her trailer was THAT GOOD. Her name is Liz Canning and she needs your support. She recently launched a kickstarter campaign to raise money to complete the video and distribute it properly. This video has the potential to bring cargo biking into the public eye in a big way. If you want mainstream America to recognize cargo bikes as a legitimate form of transportation, if you’d rather share the road with more fellow bicyclists than motorists, if you want to celebrate what you know in your heart to be the best form of transportation on the planet, run (not walk) to your nearest Internet browser and contribute to Liz’s kickstarter campaign!


7
Apr 2014
by larry

Cargo Bikes’ Hidden Danger

(April 1st, 2014) As this video demonstrates, a longtail cargo bike has a hidden danger: poor backup visibility. Because a cargo bike is longer than a regular bike, there exists a “danger zone” behind the rear wheel where the rider’s view is blocked. This video shows my attempts to develop a “backup camera” to alleviate this problem, with limited success. My camera is similar to cameras recently mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for all light vehicles.


24
Jan 2014
by larry

Electric Cargo Bikes Have Car-Like Utility but Bicycle-Like Costs: Cool!

school-bus

It might seem obvious that someone who adopts a car-free lifestyle is making sacrifices in order to live by their principles. The implication is that we should pity them. Cars can go faster, farther, and carry a lot more stuff than bikes, right? So they’re better, right? Not necessarily. Urban families are finding that an electric cargo bike can be a step up—a big step up—in meeting their transportation needs. And any task they can’t do on a bike they can accomplish with a rental car or carshare car.

When we look at the amount of time we spend on driving, the distances we go, and the amount of stuff we carry in our cars most of the time, an electric cargo bike can accomplish the same tasks over half the time, but for about 1/100 the cost. Think about that. Would you pay 100 times more for Continue reading →


18
Nov 2013
by larry

Winter Tips for Utility Bikers

IMG_2545

If you are like many utility bikers, especially if you replaced your car with an electric cargo bike, not biking in the winter is not an option. No matter what the weather conditions, you still need to bike to take your kids to school, commute to work, and pick up groceries. Is that even possible in the winter? The answer is emphatically yes. You’ll find a bike can get you where you need to go in any weather, in some ways more comfortably, more quickly and more safely than other forms of transportation. Sometimes it takes a bit of a sense of adventure to get going, but once you do you’ll find dread of winter biking is misplaced. Here’s some tips to help you along. Continue reading →


8
Oct 2013
by larry

A Simple Solution to Bicyclist vs. Motorist Conflict

Ebikes aren't just for weaklings. Ebikes carry passenger.

Ebikes aren’t just for weaklings. Ebikes carry passengers.

There is a simple solution to bicyclist/motorist conflict that needs to be more widely recognized: electric bikes. To a great extent conflicts are caused by the difference in relative speed between cars and bikes. Electric bikes can help more cyclists close that speed gap. Motorists easily become annoyed and even enraged when they see Continue reading →


8
Jul 2013
by larry

Minimalist Cargo Biking

Battery pack.

Battery pack.

Every week during the summer I have to bike about 12 miles round-trip to pick up my farmshare vegetables. My route consists of three miles on a beautiful rails-to-trails path through the woods, three miles straight uphill to the farm, and then six miles home straight down Troy Road at speeds that can reach 30mph. Needless to say, I usually take my cargo bike for this task. Last week, however, I decided to Continue reading →


2
Jun 2013
by larry

Americans Are Driving Less Thanks to Millenials; Teens Need Cargo Bikes Too

Three Millenials on a cargo bike.

Three Millenials on a cargo bike.

A recent report released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group finds that “a six decade-long period of steady increases in per-capita driving in the United States is over”. Furthermore, this downward trend is due in large part to the driving-aversion of Millennials—people born between 1983 and 2000. “Young people aged 16 to 34 drove 23 percent fewer miles on average in 2009 than they did in 2001—a greater decline in driving than any other age group.” And a 2011 study by the University of Michigan found that only 22 percent of drivers are 20-somethings or teenagers, down from a third in 1983.

A parallel trend is the rise of the cargo bike. Cargo bike use has increased dramatically in Europe, and the U.S. seems poised for a similar explosion. Continue reading →


1
Jun 2013
by mark

How to attach a Burley Piccolo to a Yuba Mundo

The Yuba Mundo is a great bike for carrying young children, and the Burley Piccolo is a great way to extend a bike so that child from 4 to 10 can help pedal.


With our Burley Piccolo, our older child is happier riding than sitting, as parents we get some extra help pedaling. It’s a win-win. Unfortunately, there’s no official way to connect the two items right now, although Yuba has hinted at official accessory for this in the future.

Here’s how we made our own attachment for the Burley Piccolo and the Yuba Mundo. It’s been working really well for us.

Continue reading →


31
May 2013
by Mrs. S.

Recipe for Exhausting One Small Boy (And One Bigger Girl)

Ingredients:

1 hot sunny day
1 picnic lunch (peanut butter and jelly with fruit and crackers recommended)
1 cargo bike with seats for all
Bathing suits and towels
1 playground with splash pad (preferable a working splash pad)

Miscellaneous Items:

Sunscreen
Wet Wipes
Extra diaper(s)
Kindle

Directions:

Load up bike with picnic lunch, miscellaneous supplies, and as many children as it can hold (or however many you have hanging around).

IMG_3438

IMG_3436

Continue reading →