Ebikes "at work"

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
I didn't find any other thread discussing using ebikes for chores, errands, or other types of "work", so, voila!

I'm normally a recreational rider, but in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly (and get some additional exercise), recently purchased a cargo trailer (Schwinn Day Tripper) for my bike (Giant La Free E+2) so I could begin using it for shopping and other chores and activities around town.

The first outing with the trailer was yesterday, and it was perfect! I'm looking forward to incorporating biking further into my daily routine 😁.

There are still some logistical issues to work out, mainly having to do with security/anti theft measures. I do most of my grocery shopping on the military base nearby, where I feel confident just locking the bike, with trailer attached, to a post outside the store. Out in our little town, I'm not so sure. Do I remove the trailer from the bike and use it as a cart in the store (a bit unwieldy)? Do I come up with a way to lock the trailer to the bike? Do I need an alarm set up (will I even hear an alarm from the depths of Safeway???)?

Suggestions welcome!

Share experiences, pics and ideas for utilizing your bike in a "working" capacity here...

Here's my new set up:
 

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dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I’ve never had a problem in little towns, and my trailer(s) is usually loaded w/ items more valuable than groceries.

- a Burley Travoy is an ideal grocery trailer. Easily detached and used for shopping.
- another idea is to get permission to bring in your empty trailer and leave it up front while shopping
- locally my grocery store is open late (24 hr pre-COVID). I’m actually permitted to bring everything inside. It’s a large store.
- I do have one of those $17 motorcycle alarms. Unknown to me whether a would-be thief has been deterred!

My trailers: Burley Travoy, Burley Coho, Burley Nomad w/optional fat tires/rack and Tout Terrain Mule. Never a problem in many US states, including WA, CA, NV, MT, ID, UT, Appalachia and northeastern US.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I'm pretty heavily into the whole cargo bike concept, which might be better framed as using a bicycle as a utility vehicle and auto replacement vs. the usual USA-treatment of bicycle-shaped-objects as recreational vehicles.

I've got a blog that gets into detail on things like locking, bike choice and many other related subjects. I like to cover topics frequently voiced - in no small part so I keep the wear and tear down on my fingertips :D


There are very few cargo bike riders here, unfortunately. Cargo Bike Republic on Facebook is probably the largest and most active group on the interwebs with 13,500 members. By all means come back here and share (we could use more cargo bike riders here) but if you want to rake in a broad set of mainstream experience from all corners of the USA and the EU, that group is very helpful, generous and experienced.

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PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
I'm pretty heavily into the whole cargo bike concept, which might be better framed as using a bicycle as a utility vehicle and auto replacement vs. the usual USA-treatment of bicycle-shaped-objects as recreational vehicles.

I've got a blog that gets into detail on things like locking, bike choice and many other related subjects. I like to cover topics frequently voiced - in no small part so I keep the wear and tear down on my fingertips :D


There are very few cargo bike riders here, unfortunately. Cargo Bike Republic on Facebook is probably the largest and most active group on the interwebs with 13,500 members. By all means come back here and share (we could use more cargo bike riders here) but if you want to rake in a broad set of mainstream experience from all corners of the USA and the EU, that group is very helpful, generous and experienced.

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I left Facebook several years ago - was even hosting my own travel group with several thousand members at the time 😱. About half of us relocated to a different platform...

That sounds like a great resource for those on the platform, though 😉!

Your bike(s?) Look like they handle heavy duty cargo chores with ease!
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I left Facebook several years ago - was even hosting my own travel group with several thousand members at the time 😱. About half of us relocated to a different platform...

That sounds like a great resource for those on the platform, though 😉!

Your bike(s?) Look like they handle heavy duty cargo chores with ease!
Yup they are all mine.

I ride the Bullitt as a daily driver and that includes pretty much all shopping duties. Thats in Fresno in Central California, so table-flat. That bike is insured against theft because its locked outside a lot. My actual home is in the Monterey Bay area where essentially noting is flat. So mid drives are the rule.

I presently get to spend about 3 nights a week there. I've moved the Envoy there and its my shop-and-errands bike. It too is insured (theft only). The Big Fat Dummy was retired from daily errands once I built the Bullitt. Since then I have put a 36T front chainring on it and it sees only trail/wilderness/forest duty. Think wood runs while camping; general transportation from the campsite to the lake and back.

I just ordered Microshift Advent drivetrain from Jenson USA for that Envoy. under $125 all in: derailleur, shifter and cluster. My Deore setup with pinned-together steel cluster has worked great but I was using the biggest 32T cog, and while I don't intend to go to the full 46T on the MicroShift, a 30T is available that will be fine and is two cogs further outboard: better chainline; which is critical for long drivetrain life with a mid drive. And the Advent cluster is pinned and reinforced with the cogs (fully formed, no spiders) made of hardened steel. This is the sort of ultra strength thing you need with a cargo bike and I have very high hopes for that cluster.

Before I stepped up into dedicated cargo platforms, I built bikes up that were on more mainstream frames. heavy duty racks front and back. I've never done a trailer.
 

Bicyclista

Active Member
I pre-ordered a Yuba Spicy Curry AT all-terrain cargo ebike yesterday. It differs from the regular Spicy Curry by having a front fork suspension, seat post suspension, knobby tires, and a Bosch Cargo Line motor with support up to 28 mph (i.e. it's a Class 3 bike). I tested the Bosch Cargo Line motor by riding a regular Spicy Curry at the dealer and it is indeed a strong motor (85 nm of torque if I remember correctly), unlike the wimpy Bosch motors I've ridden in the past. (The Bosch Cargo Line motor in the regular Spicy Curry only supports assist up to 20 mph, i.e. it's a Class 1 bike.)

Yuba only made 50 of these all-terrain bikes last year and they promptly sold out. I hope to get one of the second batch, delivery in February.

I have a rack and panniers on my Haibike mountain ebike, but I want a true cargo bike. My girlfriend rides a mini cargo bike, a Tern HSD. She loves it! We use our bikes for recreation, to go on bike rides and take picnic supplies with us. I hope to be able to take my two granddaughters with me on the cargo bike!

With regard to using our bikes for shopping and errands, we don't do it precisely because of the security issues involved. It just seems easier to walk or take the car. That may change, however!
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
David Zipper today tweeted about a recently published literature review on cargo ebikes, one passage that stood out in their discussion was a list of tasks privately owned cargo ebikes perform in urban settings including transporting children, food, bottle crates, materials from hardware stores, and garbage. It made me think of the photos people post on Twitter with the hashtags #Cargobike or #carryshitolympics
Source: Narayanan, S., & Antoniou, C. (2022). Electric cargo cycles - A comprehensive review. Transport Policy, 116: 278-303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.12.011
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
My cargo bike left has been with me for 4 years now. I only drive U-haul trucks now, 2 or 3 times a year. One SS 1/2" sling through the frame has been secure enough, although I use another sling through the power wheel in downtown Louisville. I use power poles, gas meters, live electric conduits, cart racks to tether to. I installed an extra Aluminum rack on top of the child rack for oversize cargo, 21"w x 29.5" long. I tie on plastic shelf units boxes or bulky loads on top frequently. Garbage rides on top in a bag back from my summer camp. A 8' long board can tie to the rack, go through my legs and a loop tied to the handlebar. I use a front hub motor, which has worn out once & been damaged by rain once. Front hub motors are cheap and quick to replace. My battery is up front to balance the load in an aluminum frame with 26 screws. Some wannabe thief out in rural Charlestown has removed some screws from the battery twice while I was grocery shopping, but not the right ones to steal it. Yuba bodaboda has 1/4" (or 6 mm) holes in the frame for a front basket, and lots of tapped 5 mm holes in the back rack and even the foot rests to attach stuff to. My rear light ($12) is screwed to the back. Previously it was stolen by cutting the tie wraps holding it on. Some wannabe thief pried the cover off the rear light this year, damaging it but was not rewarded by a light. The front rubber band light ($40) used to ride in the bag but it drowned in water in the bottom. Now the replacement light rides in a peanut butter jar in the bag. I carry enough tools to fix anything but a chain or a broken seat converter. Tools ride in a child's metal pencil box closed with velcro straps. I carry 3 tubes and now for 2022 a fold up tire. Schwinn fold up tires fall off the rim, but the Panaracer Fire XC Pro tire has held on okay.
Somebody gave me a two baby carriage to make a trailer out of. It has a continuous welded loop around the bottom to hold the 2 back wheels, so it would be easy to secure with a chain or sling. I ditched the front wheel. I could have carried the 21" lawnmower home from Lowes with that. I still have to weld up or bolt up a central drag tongue, and a platform or box. Lot cheaper than a $400 Burley.
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Who needs a trailer?
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I saw that when looking for this. It is a locking pin used on trailer hitch receivers. It is small and lightweight. I have not done it myself yet, but this sort of thing could be used on a cargo bike. The concept is to turn the front wheel 90 degrees and drill a hole through the head tube. To prevent someone just riding off with the bike you just slide this into the hole and lock it. One person alone can't just walk down the street caring a cargo bike and get very far. The problem is, how much would it weaken the fork's steer tube?
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
To prevent someone just riding off with the bike you just slide this into the hole and lock it. One person alone can't just walk down the street caring a cargo bike and get very far. The problem is, how much would it weaken the fork's steer tube?
I can't remember where, but I know I have seen a commercial product that does something like this. Its not a drill thru the head tube, its an extension to the headset if I recall correctly. I think it was a replacement stem? Haven't seen it in a long time so maybe it didn't catch on.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Tern make a ball and socket hitch for the HSD and GSD ebikes to pull a German Carla cargo trailer
Carla cargo trailers are awesome. I have seen people use them with Bullitts. That pic above... the big yellow box is not integral to the trailer. The trailer is that framework it sits inside and you can put any manner of small or larger containers or whatever on its bed. You can add a front hub motor too to give the thing a supplemental electric assist. But since they retail for about $4500 you might need to save up for awhile.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Carla cargo trailers are awesome. I have seen people use them with Bullitts. That pic above... the big yellow box is not integral to the trailer. The trailer is that framework it sits inside and you can put any manner of small or larger containers or whatever on its bed. You can add a front hub motor too to give the thing a supplemental electric assist. But since they retail for about $4500 you might need to save up for awhile.
Remote wireless brakes on the trailer would be super cool. Just more expensive.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
But the other system is Bluetooth. So, people who are glued to their phones and walking around like zombies, off curbs and into traffic, will think that it is cooler!
I thought up a device today. It would be a 45 degree mirror that clips to the front of a phone. This way when people walk around with their heads down, they can see where they are going. To make it 'cooler' one would use a camera on the front of the phone.
Here is an HD that I made.
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stanmiller

Active Member
Cargo bikes rule.

I ride my Mongoose Envoy most days. Some days for exercise and others to transport supplies and provisions. Over the past two years I’ve put nearly 6000 miles on the bike.

This pic is from the fall where I was tuning my upgraded MicroShift Advent derailleur. I have the 11-42t 9-speed cassette. The wheels are SunRingle MTX 33’s with Sapim Strong 14 ga spokes wrapped in Maxxis Holy Rollers. The rear laced to a Bafang SWX02/500 watt motor.

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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
On that HD I fully admit that I was deceptive. I gathered all the ugly Bafang connectors from the HB and stuffed them in the phone sack. Then I painted the three zip ties on the top tube. The hailong is behind the seat tube on the stay extension. The bike below is for a mobile dog washing service. Just fill the front bathtub with water and off you go.
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Cargo bikes rule.

This pic is from the fall where I was tuning my upgraded MicroShift Advent derailleur. I have the 11-42t 9-speed cassette. The wheels are SunRingle MTX 33’s with Sapim Strong 14 ga spokes wrapped in Maxxis Holy Rollers. The rear laced to a Bafang SWX02/500 watt motor.
I have an Advent 11-46t and the long cage w/clutch derailleur + shifter going on mine. Maybe as soon as Sunday if I can get my other bike fixed at home tomorrow. I used MTX39's+either Sapims or Alpine's... honestly I forget which on that wheelset but the wider rims let me put on 2.9" tires which really transformed the bike for comfort and also for super heavy (Costco cart) loads.

From what I can see the Advent cluster is going to be an outstanding mid drive cassette, being permanently pinned together in 9 places by serious pins, and using all steel cogs (even the smallest two) without any underlying spider to boot. I've got a pinned steel Shimano HG-400-9 on it now but it and the Deore derailleur can only go up to 32T. I need more in the steep hills where I am now.
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stanmiller

Active Member
I have the clutch version of the Advent as well. Five thousand of those miles were using the MicroShift. The hub motor works well as we only have moderate hills in Charlotte, NC. Should I ever relocate to the nearby mountains, I would need to migrate to a mid-drive setup.

I still use the original Mongoose panniers and typically haul back no more than 50 lbs. from Target/Lowes. The velcro is shot on the bags and I use bungees to keep them from flapping open. I’ve seen your custom bags project at tales on two wheels, so that’s a future possibility.

I drive so infrequently now (only 1,000 miles in 2021), I reclassified my car on the insurance policy as a recreational vehicle.

@PedalUma and @m@Robertson nice work on the builds!