How to choose a cargo bike for my family

How to choose a cargo bike for my family

If you want to be able to carry bigger loads by bicycle – including multiple children – consider a cargo bike. With one of these (especially with an electric motor), most people could cut out the vast majority of their urban car journeys.

cargo bikes for families

When choosing the right cargo bike for you and your family it is worth trying a few out before buying as they can be a hefty investment.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF (AND ANSWER) WHEN CHOOSING A FAMILY CARGO BIKE

Two or three wheels?

How many kids do you need to carry?

What is your budget?

Where are you going to store it?

Do you want it electrically assisted or not?

What are the reputable brands that hold their value?

OK, lets shed a bit more light on these questions above

Two or three wheels?

Two wheeled: With just a single wheel at the front and back, these cargo bikes provide steering similar to that of a standard cycle. 

Three wheeled: Two wheels at the front, either side of the cargo, and one at the back. This bike is more stable when you travel slowly but makes cornering and sharp movements a little trickier.  

The first two brand options below have 3 wheels which is a better option for more hesitant cyclists who are after a bike with more stability. They are a bit harder to manoeuvre around but when you don't really need to go fast they are good classic and safe options. There are definitely lots more options but in the research i have done based on UK favourites it seems that these 5 brands are the main options worth considering. 

How many kids do you need to carry?

If you have only 1 child to carry you can often get away with a simple kids bike seat. Its normally for 2 or more kids that people consider getting cargo bikes. I have 2 kids 5 years apart so by the time the little one needs to be placed in a bike, the older one was old enough to ride his own bicycle. Personally i would encourage kids to ride their own bike as soon as they can. Of course safety is a concern but teaching a child road safety rules is important and the earlier the better. My son otto used to get great compliments on his indicating skills.

What is your budget?

There is a good second hand market for cargo bikes - simply because kids grow up and get their own bikes. You can search sites such as EBAY and find a good few pre-loved cargo bikes which go for abou two thirds of the original retail price.  

Christiania bikes

This brand is from Denmark, and the prices is one of the accessible starting at approx £2,100. You can put up for 4 kids inside as well as luggage and groceries inside. Its perfect for school drop in lower traffic areas and reviews say its good for beginner cargo-bikers as its less likely to tip as it has 3 wheels.

Christiania cargo bike for families

Babboe bikes 

This classic brand is from The Netherlands, known for its wood style box, can fit up to 4 kids inside, comes in power assisted versions. Average price £2,500

Babboe bikes cargo bike

Yuba

Long tail cargo bike can fits up to 2 kids on the back pannier rack / set behind each other. Great for slightly older kids. Lux version is a bit pricier at approx £3,500

yuba cargo bike yellow with kids bike seats at the back

This bike is good because it looks more like a regular bike and is a bit easier to ride for experienced riders and can go faster because of this. It also it slightly narrower than the traditional cargo bikes for storage. 

Raleigh Stride

This power assisted family cargo bike can carry everything from kids, pets, parcels, the weekly shop the Stride can easily replace the family car as it combines with the efficiency of electrical assistance. This bike will set you back approximately £4,400

Raleigh cargo bike

Urban Arrow

This dutch company is growing at lightening speed available in 26 countries. The wide range of bikes have a light frame with low centre of gravity for an easy and agile ride. Polypropylene box – high strength to weight ratio and impact resistance. There is also a low centre of gravity which makes it easier to manoeuvre. The brand offers lots of accessories and different box configurations are available. Can also fit up to 4 children in the front and is pedal power assisted Price tag £4,750 

Urban arrow cargo bike

Thule Chariot Cross

This is not a cargo bike but a bike trailer. Even though there are lots of bike trailers to compare and contrast, i thought it was important to put one here in this list because it is actually a viable alternative to the cargo bike. They are a very clever design because they convert your own bicycle into a cargo bike and you can also convert the trailer itself to a buggy to be used without the bicycle. This makes use of your current bicycle. If you are anything like me, you like and are used to the geometry and feel of your own bicycle so this makes it safer to ride due to the familiarity and expertise built up. All these things considered, a bike trailer could really be the most versatile option. Here is a review about this product here. The price of this is approx £1,100

thule bicycle trailer

Here are some resources to buy and further enquire about cargo bikes in the UK.

fudgescyclesonline.com

Outspoken cycles: cambridge

radpowerbikes.eu

www.fullycharged.com

www.cyclesprog.co.uk - bike trailers

As cycling becomes ever more popular in the UK and more people are choosing to cycle rather than drive cars there are more options for buying cargo bikes for your family. Think of a cargo bike as an investment which you can sell on once you don't need it any more. Many of these bikes are available on the second hand market or for hire which makes it much more affordable.

 

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