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Friday, May 26, 2017

Cargo Bike Definitions and Jargon

cargo bike
  • Any robustly built bike that can carry a substantial amount of stuff, children or adults.

long john
  • A quite popular cargo bike with a flat bed in the front that first appearing in the 1920s in Denmark, Sweden, and The Netherlands. It's a long wheelbase bike with two wheels that can carry a lot of weight and can be quite easy to drive once you get used the feel. See more: "long john"

box bikes
  • Originally "bakfiets" in Dutch, literally "box bike" in English (pronounced "BUCK-FEETS"), this bike is structurally similar to the long john but has a wooden or plastic container on the flat bed on the front. This variety is popular for schlepping children and often comes equipped with seats, seat belts, rain covers and other things to increase the comfort of children.

box trikes
  • Basically a three-wheeled version of the box bike. Some people prefer the trike because of their stability but usually there's a trade-off with making it harder to make turns and more difficult to negotiate tighter spaces and avoid potholes.

long-tail
  • Made popular first by the Xtracycle add-on for mountain bikes, but now has companies making dedicated bikes, this is a bike with an extra long extension behind the seat so that a much longer rack can be installed allowing for a lot more cargo and seats for children or adults. There a variety of long-tails and accessories for different kinds of cargo.

cycle trucks
  • Are of similar length of regular bikes, a large front cargo rack attached to the frame and not the fork, and with a smaller front wheel to allow stability in carrying large loads. Cycletruck designs have been around for almost a hundred years in Europe and North America.

cargo trailers
  • A trailer with a flat bed, a box or special attachments to carry a variety of cargo. Some are really robust and long so that large, awkward cargo can be carried although with some effort if going uphill.

child trailer
  • A bike trailer that is outfitted to carry children securely, often with a cover, padding. Some varieties cater to children with special needs

tandem
  • A bicycle that can carry two+ people--adults or children. Some varieties cater to children or adults with special needs that need more support.

electric assist
  • An electric motor when outfitted on a bike, the bike becomes an "e-bike" or a "pedal-assist" to provide oomph on hills, into the wind, and with large loads.

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