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Cargo Bikes

Talk to me about cargo bikes! Following cargo related comments in the live blog today, I thought I'd spin it off into a forum thread for people to share experiences of cargo bikes. Front-loaders, long-tails, electric and acoustic, all welcome.         

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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64 comments

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Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
8 likes

No particular reason except I thought cargo bike fans might enjoy it, an old picture I came across yesterday of two ladies enjoying a ride on a cargo bike through London in 1927.

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quiff | 4 months ago
5 likes

Finally, 2 months after receiving the bike, got hold of the seating accessories and managed to use it as intended. Tern have redesigned the seating, so that slim seatpad and backrest you can see set me back £105! Unfortunately the Nexus gear hub seems to be slipping which, from a quick google, seems not uncommon. Unfortunate because I bought remotely, so taking it back for inspection / adjustment etc is not straightforward.    

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Creakingcrank replied to quiff | 4 months ago
8 likes

Looks great! Adjusting a Nexus 8 usually just involves putting it in 4th and twiddling the cable barrel at the shifter until the two yellow marks on the hub actuator thingy line up. For what it's worth, I've always had better results using a trigger shifter for Nexus hubs, rather than the standard twist grip. And despite Shimano's claims to the contrary, mine have never liked shifting under load.

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quiff replied to Creakingcrank | 4 months ago
1 like

Thanks for the advice. It feels like something that can be adjusted / will bed in rather than a catastophic issue, but is it too much to ask that something this expensive just works from new?! 

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Creakingcrank replied to quiff | 4 months ago
4 likes

Agree it's annoying, but even if the bike was assembled correctly, it's not unusual for gear cables to go out of tune in the first few miles, as everything beds in. Best to adress it now, as hub gears don't like being being run maladjusted. You'll probably find you don't need to touch it again for years* after that.

(*Obviously, everyone should maintain their bike more regularly than that!)

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quiff replied to Creakingcrank | 4 months ago
2 likes

Thanks again. Plucked up the courage to sort it, and it was indeed a doddle to adjust. Now running smoothly!

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Steve K replied to quiff | 4 months ago
1 like

Most importantly, is your kid enjoying it?

 

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quiff replied to Steve K | 4 months ago
5 likes

Yes! She graduated from a Hamax child seat on a normal bike to this overnight, so is luxuriating in the extra space (and I'm loving her lower centre of gravity!) She was a bit unnerved at first (and if I'm honest, so was I ) by not being strapped in, and I need to add some foot stirrups to give her something else to brace against (we had a firm but not emergency stop yesterday that sent her sliding into my back!) but she's loving it. She also loves peering round at the speedo to tell me how fast I'm going.    

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andystow replied to quiff | 4 months ago
2 likes

You could fit a cheap bike computer to the back where she can see it, and maybe even add a bell she can ring.

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Steve K replied to andystow | 4 months ago
3 likes

andystow wrote:

You could fit a cheap bike computer to the back where she can see it, and maybe even add a bell she can ring.

I get my children (who are a bit older - 12 and 10) to signal for me.

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andystow replied to Steve K | 4 months ago
5 likes
Steve K wrote:

andystow wrote:

You could fit a cheap bike computer to the back where she can see it, and maybe even add a bell she can ring.

I get my children (who are a bit older - 12 and 10) to signal for me.

Have you taught them the two most important signals for expressing your dissatisfaction with someone's driving?

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quiff | 7 months ago
7 likes

Pushed the button on a Tern HSD... I was initially thinking of a GSD or even an Urban Arrow, but with the sensible hat on, both are overkill for our use. Borrowed an HSD for the weekend and it does everything we realistically need.             

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Steve K replied to quiff | 7 months ago
1 like

quiff wrote:

Pushed the button on a Tern HSD... I was initially thinking of a GSD or even an Urban Arrow, but with the sensible hat on, both are overkill for our use. Borrowed an HSD for the weekend and it does everything we realistically need.             

Sounds sensible (I might well have done the same if I hadn't had such a good offer for a GSD).  When do you get it?

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quiff replied to Steve K | 7 months ago
3 likes

Hopefully soon, as it's an in-stock S8i model (end of Generation 1) - belt drive and the confidence-inspiring Magura brakes. Three key factors in choosing the HSD over the GSD - (a) we only have one small child, so the extra capacity of the GSD would be surplus most of the time; (b) it's intended to be a family bike, and my wife was less comfortable handling the extra weight of the GSD; (c) it just sneaks under my cycle to work limit. 

Getting hold of the accessories may delay using it as intended though! 

 

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Steve K replied to quiff | 7 months ago
0 likes

Accessories delay was an issue for me, too (I waiting for them to arrive before picking up the bike).

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quiff replied to Steve K | 6 months ago
0 likes

WANTED: Tern Madpad. Don't suppose anyone has an unwanted Tern Clubhouse Madpad do they (i.e. the combined seatpad and backrest which can be used in conjunction with the Clubhouse Mini enclosure to seat what Tern call a "big kid")? Seems to be on back order everywhere without an estimated availability date.   

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Steve K replied to quiff | 6 months ago
0 likes

quiff wrote:

WANTED: Tern Madpad. Don't suppose anyone has an unwanted Tern Clubhouse Madpad do they (i.e. the combined seatpad and backrest which can be used in conjunction with the Clubhouse Mini enclosure to seat what Tern call a "big kid")? Seems to be on back order everywhere without an estimated availability date.   

There are fairly active Tern Facebook groups (I'm on the GSD one!) so might be worth asking on there.

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Steve K | 9 months ago
7 likes

I finally picked up my GSD yesterday (it was delayed as I waited for various accessories, which themselves were delayed because of Moore Large going bust and then, apparently, because of the floods in Italy).

Only a couple of short runs so far - including with the kids (individually) on the back.  I - and they - love it (the wife thinks I'm mad).  My only issue is getting the hang of starting off with a kid on the back.  I think this is because the way I normally push off is seated, with the bike leaning slightly.  That obviously doesn't work with a child on the back, so it's getting used to starting from standing and then sitting down (if that makes sense). 

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quiff replied to Steve K | 9 months ago
4 likes

Great stuff! Let us know how it goes.

My own cargo journey has been paused as my little one has just got her first pedal bike and currently looks like she might be able to ride to school without a Tern. Curses. Journey times quite variable dependent on her mood though...   

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Steve K | 1 year ago
7 likes

I've bitten the bullet and will be picking up a Tern GSD next month.  Just need to tell the wife...

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perce replied to Steve K | 1 year ago
6 likes

I wouldn't tell her, just disguise it as something else. I don't actually know what to disguise it as, I've not thought that far ahead.

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quiff replied to perce | 1 year ago
7 likes

You could say it's a Tern HSD - a bit cheaper and plausible deniability.  

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quiff replied to quiff | 11 months ago
2 likes

quiff wrote:

You could say it's a Tern HSD - a bit cheaper and plausible deniability.  

Actually, not sure this will fly. In my researches, I found this helpful (=spectacularly unhelpful) article which made me realise how different the GSD and HSD actually are: https://www.stringbike.com/tern-gsd-vs-hsd/. Some of my favourites:  

  • GSD has a lower price tag than HSD. But the GSD is also more expensive (be careful which bit of the article you show)  
  • GSD is aluminium, HSD is carbon.
  • GSD has 26" wheels, HSD has 28" (or possibly the reverse, depending on which bit of the article you read)

  • GSD has disc brakes, HSD has V-brakes

  • GSD is Shimano 10 speed; HSD is SRAM 11 speed

  • GSD has a derailleur, shifter, crankset and cassette because it uses a road bike groupset. The HSD does too, but because it uses a mountain bike groupset, it also has a bottom bracket and chainring.  

  • HSD is a lightweight bike (despite the weight penalty of having a bottom bracket and chainring)  and is ideal for racing and long-distance riding. However, the GSD is a bit lighter.

  • HSD are some of the fastest bikes on the market, and have set new speed records
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Steve K replied to quiff | 11 months ago
4 likes

Was that written by a really poor AI programme?

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quiff replied to Steve K | 11 months ago
3 likes

I really don't understand it - there's not even any advertising on the site to monetise this bilge. I am now slightly obsessed with their comedy bike comparisons.

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quiff replied to quiff | 11 months ago
4 likes

Sorry, last one, I promise. Back on the topic of cargo bikes, from Rad Wagon vs Tern GSD, 7 key differences:

  • Tern GSD is a folding bike (ok, I'll let them have that on a technicality) that's perfect for carrying around on public transport
  • Radwagon is a recumbent
  • Tern GSD does not have a rack or fenders. But also, it has a strong rack and fenders.
  • Tern GSD does not have a throttle. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a gas pedal on your vehicle.
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andystow replied to quiff | 11 months ago
7 likes

quiff wrote:

Sorry, last one, I promise. Back on the topic of cargo bikes, from Rad Wagon vs Tern GSD, 7 key differences:

  • Tern GSD is a folding bike (ok, I'll let them have that on a technicality) that's perfect for carrying around on public transport
  • Radwagon is a recumbent
  • Tern GSD does not have a rack or fenders. But also, it has a strong rack and fenders.
  • Tern GSD does not have a throttle. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a gas pedal on your vehicle.

ChatGPT is going to turn the Internet into 95% absolute rubbish.

That's a big increase from the current level of 82%.

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brooksby replied to perce | 11 months ago
4 likes

perce wrote:

I wouldn't tell her, just disguise it as something else.

"That?  Nah - I've had that for ages...."

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quiff replied to Steve K | 1 year ago
1 like

Excellent! Look forward to hearing your views...

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quiff | 1 year ago
0 likes

When do kids tend to outgrow the different types of bike? I've read that box bikes have less longevity for kiddy carrying, but also spoke to a Tern owner this morning who said their 7 year old was outgrowing it (despite it being rated, weight wise, for an adult) which was a bit concerning. I have one 4 year old.         

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