Crank Cargo

There’s a new bike in town. It’s not designed for speed. It’s not designed to go down hills. It’s not even designed for looking cool, but it will get you more looks than any other bike you’ve owned!
It’s a cargo bike. A proper European-style ‘bakfiets’.*

Crank Cargo  has recently opened shop and is importing and selling Danish made ‘Christiania’ cargo trikes. Cargo bikes are all the rage in Europe with a quarter of families with 2 plus-kids owning one in Copenhagen. There are estimated to be around 40,000 of these things in Copenhagen alone!

Copenhagenize compares these to an SUV, and they certainly make an attractive replacement for that second (or even first) car, without all the maintenance and fuel costs.

So what are cargo bikes and why all the fuss?

Well, we all know cycling is quick, easy, fun and parking a bike is way easier than parking a car when going out/shopping/visiting friends etc. There’s a dozen great reasons to ride a bike.
But, there are also a dozen excuses we find every day to not ride one; “it’s raining/windy/cold/uphill, I have to do the shopping, I have to pick up the kids, I’ve got too much stuff to take”.

While there’s not much any of us can do about the weather, there is a solution to your transportation of objects/people problem. Crank cargo bikes can carry up to 100kg in the front box! That could be four small children, or enough shopping to feed an entire rugby team, or a Christmas tree , or even your park bench …

Crank Cargo currently has two styles of cargo trike available (the ‘Quarter Acre’ and the ‘Surf Wagon’) with the option to place custom orders and accessorise your trike. The choices are staggering, with hub gearing, hydraulic brakes, different colour boxes, saddles and seats, hoods and even wheel covers available. The best thing about these bikes, is that Dan from Crank Cargo is working with Daryl from EVLabs to retrofit electric assist – a big plus for those Wellingtonians who need to occasionally negotiate hills and/or windy days!Check out Crank Cargo to see what kind of cargo trike would suit your lifestyle!

* Disclaimer: I’ve been wanting one of these for years and am super-excited to see them in Wellington. I am absolutely biased and hope everyone buys one!
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10 thoughts on “Crank Cargo

  1. So imagine I’m off to do the grocery run. Say to the Pak N Save in Kilbirnie (it’s nice and flat in Kilbirnie).

    This seems too big to lock to the bike rack, but a bit too vulnerable to leave in a car park. What would I do?

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    1. Lock it at the end of the bike rack. The front box is square, so the bike’s profile is more like T than Y (so you’ve got space for your knees when you’re pedalling). Push the bike up so the frame is snug against the rack, with the box sticking out the frong, then lock the frame to the rack (through the rear triangle, such as it is).

      Works provided you have a proper bike rack and not those bloody front wheel benders. Probably also a good idea to use a cable rather than a D-lock for more flexibility in locking.

      I’ve seen these in use overseas (and around Wellington on Sunday morning!) and they are eminently lockable. I’d rather like one myself. If you’re not sure about this design, though, consider either a Yuba Mundo cargo bike (http://cargobikes.co.nz/), a Kona Ute, or getting an XtraCycle (http://www.xtracycle.com/) kit to retrofit to your current bike. The advantage to an XtraCycle is that it lets you try out cargo biking without having to outlay several thousand bucks on a dedicated bike. In fact, thinking about it, that might be a good thing to do with my old MTB…

      One other point is that cargo bikes, while expensive, hold their resale value pretty well.

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    2. Mamavee

      Also locking the rear wheel to the frame for short runs in to a store works well. The bike is near 70lbs ( sorry I’m in the US) so unless someone has a flatbed truck and a friend to help lift it- they won’t be taking it away. Some also have their own wheel locks for this purpose. I lock mine this way on a sidewalk next to the bike rack or even if there is not rack all the time. As for your grocery run- no more food tetris just throw the bags in the box and go.

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  2. I’ve been locking it with a cable lock… either thru something or to itself. I have a full cover for mine and when i leave it overnight i lock the cover to it under the frame so no one can get into the box either.

    Stephen, i go to pak’n’save Kilbirnie…. and the bikes not shy of a fully loaded run down Hungerford Road with kids and kit to get there. I just lock it to a pole there. Then up Houghton Bay Road on the way back.

    Feel free to stop me in the street if you want a test ride

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  3. OK, my fears are relieved.

    Sadly, we’ll be moving to Christchurch in a couple of months, but on the upside, a cargo bike seems even more practical there. As it is, the car is still necessary for the grocery run and it’d be great to eliminate that car trip too.

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  4. Pingback: A Danish Creation: Cargo Bikes/Trikes

  5. Peter

    we noticed a Christiania Cargo bike parked outside of Bunnings in chch. I was so intrigued i looked it up and found Crank Cargo at the same time bumped into JT who uses one for his cycle courier business. Ive decided to take to plunge and purchase one, looking forward to it being part of our lives.

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  6. Serra

    I’m also in Christchurch, and on the look out for a Christiana or maybe something a bit more industrial (currently in love with Work Cycle’s Cargo Trikes, or any Long John. Will have to track you down for a chat next time I’m in Wellington 🙂

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