Breaking the Ice Around Cargo Bikes - February 22, 2017

You have questions about cargo bikes. And while everyone at Wike is hear to answer them you may prefer to talk with someone who’s already using one for work or play.

Now, unless you’re part of a cycling community it may be difficult for you to meet a fellow cargo bike user and lover. Heck, even if you are part of a cycling community cargo bike users can be few and far between.

So it may be that your best chance to ask questions about cargo bikes and the cargo bike lifestyle is to ask whoever you can find peddling down the street. But it’s very possible that those folks are on their way somewhere so be prepared with some questions so they can get back to peddling as soon as possible. Unless you’re lucky enough to come across someone with plenty of time on their hands and willing to talk about cargo bikes until the cow’s come home, we suggest the following questions to break the ice and get to know more about cargo bikes straight from the source. And, of course, feel free to direct these question to us if you can’t find anyone local.

How much does it carry?

Cargo bikes are designed for just that: cargo. So how much can a cargo bike hold? The answer obviously depends on the type of cargo bike but if you see something you like and seems to fit your needs, toss it out there. How many bags of groceries? Have you ever tried to fit a TV into it? What about wood?

How safe do you feel on it?

We’ll answer this and say a cargo bike is no less safe than a regular bike. They do take some getting used to but safety is not an issue. But it’s always good to ask. Some may prefer a regular bike because it’s more manoeuvreable while others may feel safer with the heftiness and size of the cargo bike. To each his own!

Does it take a lot of effort to push it around?

Of course, the answer to this is dependent on the fitness of the rider. But if you see someone of your fitness level (or less fit than you!) pedalling around, this is a good question to ask to gauge how hard you might find it. Personally, we don’t find it much harder than a regular bike and as long as you understand how to shift gears you should be just fine. But others may have a different opinion.

Where do you keep it?

Even suburban cookie-cutter homes are not completely identical. So asking this question might give you some ideas on where you can store your own cargo bike. Maybe they have a purpose-built shed. Maybe they leave it on the street (trusting souls!). Maybe they just stick it in the garage. Different people will have different solutions.

How do the kids like it?

Of course, this only applies if you have kids yourself or intend to be hauling kids around. Generally, we think kids just don’t care or have a grand time touring around town. But some kids may not like them.

Do you use it all the time?

Some people only use the cargo bike. Others have a standard bike and a cargo bike. Both require tradeoffs and talking with someone who has made that tradeoff can get your thinking about what tradeoffs you might need to make.

Can I try it?

Wouldn’t that be the best thing? Not everyone is going to let you but many might. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no, right? So might as well ask!

So don’t hesitate asking someone riding a cargo bike any questions you can think of. Because they are probably used to it and it’s likely you have similar needs, even it they don’t look like they have time to speak with you, what’s the worst that can happen? They say they can’t speak now and you wait for the next opportunity. As easy as that. And again, if you have questions but no one to answer them, contact us here at Wike. We’re happy to answer any and all cargo bike and bike trailer questions.