Tuesday, October 10, 2017

No-Weld, DIY Longtail Cargo Bike Frames

You know the Mesquite Hugger approach - always looking for a better way to haul stuff without burning any gas or much money. This one started like oh so many bad ideas around here at MH, with a very cheap Craigslist ad:

Novara is an REI house-brand.
 
First, the photo went to Photoshop.
 
 
Then, the frame pieces went into Powerpoint.

 
Various revisions came into play.


 
Then I went back to look at some of my favorite cargo bike designs - the EdgeRunner, the Mundo, and the RadWagon.
 
 
A slightly revised design rose up.

 
And here is where it ended up: (with RadWagon for comparison)

 
But the practical brain kicked in - I remembered all of the unfinished projects I still have lying about, and decided not to go buy the $10 frame.
 
For those of you who are intrigued:
 
If you have more time than money and see the beauty in a cargo bike, the No-Weld, DIY Cargo Bike Frame is a pretty legitimate way to go. It's an idea that's been floating around for a while, mostly inspired by the XtraCycle FreeRadical/Leap.
 
The Original - the Xtracycle FreeRadical
 
(Ignore the price - it's a VERY old ad.)
 
There're basically two schools of thought:
  1. Split-up a full suspension mountain bike frame and find a way to add some length to the middle (like my little almost-project above).
  2. Add the back swingarm portion of a full-suspension mountain bike to another complete bike frame. (See below.)
 
One of my favorite examples!
(Find it and many others in this MTBR Forum)
 
Lots more can be found in this Endless-Sphere thread
 
The Homemade Xtracycle (blog post with lots of good detail)
 
Feeling inspired? If so, start looking around for a bike that looks like this (and costs very little):
 
(That rear section is the main ingredient you need for the three bikes above.)
 
 May we be successful in finding super-low-carbon transport to fit our budgets in both time and money.