I’ve liked longtail cargobikes ever since I first noticed them. The cargo-racks and baggage behind the rider can carry stuff, and that makes them the primary alternative when somebody desires to eradicate one of many automobiles from their household’s storage, and get critical about commuting on an ebike.
Cargobikes which can be NOT a Longtail
The Netherlands is likely one of the most critical nations for accommodating bicycles into their every day lives, and so they have a LOT of cargobikes. Its simple to know why bikes of every kind are in style, as a result of the land is fairly flat and gasoline is over $8/gallon (2.35 Euro’s per liter as of July 2022). If we have a look at the Dutch cargobikes, they do have just a few that you simply don’t see fairly often within the US, so lets take a fast look.
The Widespread Longtails
Probably the most well-known early longtail cargobike was the Yuba Mundo. An endless-sphere discussion board member “Teklektik” transformed a Mundo to electrical with a 2WD system again in 2013. If you want to read more about this build, click here.
The Rad Wagon by Rad Energy bikes makes use of an uncommon 22-inch wheel. They deal with potholes higher than the smaller 20-inch, and they’re shorter and lighter than the widespread 26-inch.
There are a number of fashions of longtail cargobike which have a 20-inch rear wheel as an alternative of the widespread 26-inch. This enables the cargo to sit down decrease, which is particularly useful in the event you put a toddler seat within the rear, with a chunky carpet-crawler in it. I like these a LOT.
The Madsen additionally has a 20-inch wheel within the rear. They are often purchased as a manufacturing facility ebike, or you should buy it with out after which add your personal package.
To see our listing of longtail cargobikes from
The “Do It Your self” Longtail
You don’t need to look very lengthy to see that longtail cargobikes price a premium over an analogous body with no further cargo advantages. Nevertheless, they’re so helpful that I spent lots of time taking a look at choices to get a longtail at a extra reasonably priced value. Clearly, you should buy two used bikes from a thrift retailer, reduce them up, after which have a muffler store weld the components collectively (his requires the frames be produced from metal).
However there’s one actually nice possibility, and that’s to bolt the swingarm from a full-suspension mountain bike to the drop-outs of an ordinary bicycle body.
The pic above makes use of a seaside cruiser body, and on the rear is a swingarm from a full suspension mountain bike (simply discovered at a thrift retailer as an affordable used bike). A strut-rod was added from the highest of the swingarm as an alternative of a shock absorber.
The kind of shock absorbers we discover on the most affordable type of mountain bikes aren’t well-known for performing nicely, however they’re an enormous enchancment when hitting a pothole, in comparison with a hard-tail body. When you have a look at the highest spar of the swingarm, you’ll be able to see the 2 vertical posts the place the inventory V-brakes could be mounted. These posts are the half the place the shock absorber bracket meeting is hooked up close to the entrance of the shock.
The pic above is a close-up of the entrance shock mount. A 3/16ths thick aluminum plate is reduce to suit over the 2 V-brake mounting posts. Cylindrical sleeves (spacers) are slid over the posts. Washers are positioned on prime, and a bolt in every publish holds every part down. As soon as that plate is secured, a cart-wheel mounting bracket is turned upside-down to kind a mounting level for the entrance of the shock.
The pic above is one other view of the attachment of the swinging pivot on the swingarm, and the way it mounts to the dropouts on the entrance body. By way of the suave number of spacers and washers, they bolt proper up. If you need a cargo rack within the again, it must be hooked up to the entrance framework to ensure that a full suspension swingarm to cycle up and down with out jostling the cargo.
Cargobikes within the Third World
There are lots of help organizations which have decided that metal longtail cargobikes are an important product that may have a dramatic impact on bettering alternatives in rural Africa.
If you’re trying to reduce and weld a metal bicycle to make a longtail, think about this pic above fastidiously. Skilled engineers have developed this particular configuration as one of the best all-around design. It makes use of the minimal quantity of components and weight, after which arranges them to make the body the strongest it may be.
A cargobike is one of the best candidate so as to add an electrical motor to the drivetrain, greater than some other kind of motorcycle body. There are many completely different cargobikes in the marketplace, and lots of picks have a ebike motor as a factory-installed possibility. Nevertheless, in the event you choose so as to add your personal ebike package, which one must you get? Something could be higher than nothing, however…my favourite ebike motor is the BBSHD from Bafang.
I’ve ridden over 100 completely different ebikes over time, and my favourite by far is the BBSHD. I swapped the chainring for one with fewer tooth (On my Electra Lux Fats 7D), which lowers the highest velocity and improves the hill-climbing. When you do get the BBSHD package, totally assemble it and take it for a trip on flat stage floor to check the top-speed in prime gear. Only for the sake of argument, shall we say it will probably do 35-mph, and you’ll be pleased with 28-mph. the distinction of 7-mph is 20% slower than 35-mph, so my aim could be to purchase a chainring with 20% fewer tooth.
The inventory sprocket (the black frisbee of loss of life) has 46-teeth, so 10% could be 4.6 tooth, and meaning 20% could be 9.2T, sooo…I’d need a chainring with both 34T, 35T, or 36T. The 34T would climb higher, and the 36T could be quicker on flat land. Once I put in the smaller chainring, the hill-climbing skill went from good to improbable. I’m utilizing 52V x 30A = 1500W.
Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, July 2022