The urban bike magazine

How modern families meet daily mobility challenges

Get around town quickly and conveniently with children and shopping - best achieved by using a cargo bike. This transport miracle is far more than just an ideal alternative to a car; it makes towns fit for a worthwhile future. The market has grown enormously. A decision-making tool.

David Zotter
Writing about, fine-tuning, traveling with and living of the bicycle. Most of the time I am doing this in my hometown Graz. And if it's for once not about the bike, I can be found at the university or on tour with my little son, well on the cargo bike.
Foto © Federation European Cyclists on Flickr

Families: Everyday mobility challenge

Young families always have to stay mobile in everyday life. This presents them with great challenges. Time is tight and mum and dad want to quickly and conveniently get from A to B with children and bags. Getting the kids to nursery or school on time, then promptly heading on to work followed by a speedy shop, picking the kids up, then taking them to an afternoon gymnastics or music lesson…

Labelling the cargo bike as a transport miracle goes without saying. It has all the benefits of a bicycle and can also transport lots of things. Above all, it has helped greatly over the past few years with transporting children. Almost all manufacturers offer different belt and seat systems to ensure a safe, comfortable journey for babies up to school children. Most cargo bikes have the option of a foldable top to shelter little ones from all types of weather.

In addition to the many positive reasons to ride a cargo bike, it is also incredibly fun for kids. I speak from experience. Everyone should familiarise themselves with the benefits of the relevant models of cargo bikes, which not only makes everyday life easier for parents but also provides plenty of fun.

Two or three-wheel cargo bike?

Cargo bikes, which are suitable for transporting children, can be categorised into two or three-wheel bikes. Two-wheel cargo bikes are designed in a similar way to standard bikes, with most models containing a cargo area between the handlebars and front wheel. Three-wheel transport bikes consist of three wheels, whereby most contain a box mounted to the front of the handlebars.

Two-wheel cargo bikes…

  • are agile to ride and their riding performance can be described as sporty, although they require a little getting used to.
  • are longer than normal bikes, but not much wider and usually only have space for one child.
  • weigh less than three-wheel bikes, but have less loading capacity as a result.
  • can be easily manoeuvred around obstacles thanks to their narrow width.

Three-wheel cargo bikes…

  • are generally more stable to ride due to the extra wheel, but have a wider turning circle.
  • have more cargo area thanks to their extra width, but need a suitable parking space and wide paths to ensure an unobstructed, safe journey.
  • are very stable, allowing safe mounting/dismounting and loading/unloading.
  • have better control on ice and snow than two-wheel bikes and have a greater loading capacity.

Conclusion

Both designs have multiple uses and are extremely comfortable, safe and weather-resistant for children. The differences lie in the riding performance, space and width. Both models are available in electric versions. A test ride says more than a thousand words. So try it out and be amazed by this transport miracle of the future.

Photo: Federation European Cyclists on Flickr (CC BY 2.0 )

 

David Zotter
Writing about, fine-tuning, traveling with and living of the bicycle. Most of the time I am doing this in my hometown Graz. And if it's for once not about the bike, I can be found at the university or on tour with my little son, well on the cargo bike.

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