Cargo bike: two or three wheels are better?
Cargo bike is a transport bike that can be with two or three wheels, but which is better for you?!
This bikes, known also as “Backfiets”, were initially used for goods transportation, but then have had the application in kids transport, so were adapted for this use. There are also bikes, with the name TAGA BIKE, which were completly rethought and created from a scratch, inspirated by cargo bikes and by strollers.
But the most cargo bikes were more or less successfully adapted for such purpose. So, which is better for you, cargo bike with two or three wheels? Let us examin them toghether!
Two wheeled cargo bikes. There are two types of them, with a load in front, just between the front wheel and the handlebars. It can be a basket or just the chassis with the structure and spase to put goods. The second solution (without any bascket) is used mainly for the cargo needs and not for the kids transportation. While the basket can be used for both, accessoring it with the seats, it transforms in the kids transportation (Family Bike).
The two wheeled cargo bike with the load backwords, called also Long Tail, transport the goods, or children on a kind of rear rack, which is not a rack, but a part of the chassis, just like a tail, that’s why it’s name.
Both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages. So, frontal load permits to load more volume compared to the rear load. In case of kids tranportation, it is important and it permits to see them on contrary on the rear load. But in case of the rear load, the bike is also less stable and it takes more forth and ability to keep it in balnce, espetially taking off or while not mooving or mooving slowly.
On contrary, with the rear load, the biking experiense is very similar to the normal bike, espetially if it is electric. It is also defenitivly more agile. The main disadvantage you cannot see your kids.
Still both two wheeled cargo bikes need a good skill of balancing, more then with normal bike. So if you want it stable with the great and easy biking experience, you would defenitivly prefer
the three wheeled cargo bike. In fact, it is the most common type of cargo bikes, due to its more comfortable and easy riding experience. It’s also able to transport more load then any two wheeled cargo bike.
There are also two types of three wheeled cargo bike, so let us start with the less common one:
One front wheel and two rear wheels. Yes, exactly like 30-40 years ago, I mean when we were toddlers, do you remeber? The riders look like big toddlers on this bike, it is even difficult to call it cargo bike, because normally it can’t bear much weight! Still some, normally elderly people use it. Advantage is that ti is stable, don’t need balancing or special skills and it is very cheap. Of course you can not transport kids in it, no way! Disadvantages is that it is not safe to turn in it, or at least you should do it veeeery slowly. If you ride through the narrow place, you can never be sure that you pass, because the front part pass and then – bump! Surprise!
What else, you cannot take children with you, and last but not least, it is very, very ugly!
Luckily it is not very popular on contrary at two front wheels and one rear wheel. This is that rare case when changing the grouping of addends their sum changes! Some of them look just gorgeous and of great design! Its stable (especially those without basculant moovement), capacious, you can see your children and even talk to them, it’s easy to park. There are a lot of models and marks. Still I will focus on basculant movement.
Basculant movement may be great, but! not for everyone. Once you learned to ride it (I never actualy did!) it is cool. Still it annihilates the great conquest of the tricycle: its stability! The cargo bike with a basculant movement is not really stable anymore. You might even learn to be agile, but you never can be tranquille as you want to be when you transport not grocery but kids! And… my God if it costs!
Non basculant movement. Ok, it is not that cool, you don’t band with the bike when you ride, so you don’t immagine riding a motorbike, though… the pedelec rules in Europe and many countries limit the e-bike speed to the 25 km/h, so, get of that immaginarium bike and keep riding! Adnvantages. It is stable! It is stable! It is stable! Oh mamma, it is stable!
It is stable when it’s parked, it is stable when you ride, it is stable when you still or go really really slow because of traffic, or met your friend and just pretend to walk (I often do it!), it is stable when you turn, and when your children get in and out.
Now you’d say, well, so what is the best?
Personally I prefer cargo bike with the three wheels and without basculant movement. Still I try to give an objective conclusion:
Among the cargo bikes with two wheels , on my opinion wins the Long Tail.
It may look of great design, gives a good riding experience and it can be prefered for grocery or every need use by man. It is also the winner in the cities centers with the cobblestones or very very narrow passes.
Among the two and three wheeled cargo bikes, I’ve chosen three wheels, in particularly TAGA. Which is the best for city and outside trips, will be defenetivly loved by families and is the most practical cargo bike ever!
Why?! It is slim, stable, of great design and very very practical: you can even fold it!
TAGA, what else!