Talk to me about 'utility bikes' (especially home-bodged ones)

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  • Talk to me about 'utility bikes' (especially home-bodged ones)
  • IHN
    Member

    Idle thinking over the last week or so has led me to the idea of converting my old 90’s Marin (aka The Frankenbike) into some kind of utility wagon for general riding to the shops/takeaway etc.

    Obviously, there are things like Xtracyles about, but I’m wondering whether that’s going too far. What I want to be able to get on it is a reasonable amount of shopping (five or six carrier bags worth) so maybe I’ll just lob some kind of racks and panniers and/or basket or something on the back.

    Anyone got anything similar?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    cynic-al to the thread!

    IHN
    Member
    mansonsoul
    Member

    The easiest way to do that would be with a trailer. I’ve got a Carry Freedom Y Frame Large. It is amazing. I’ll be taking it to collect a load of wood from a local wood project on wednesday. Its amazing what you can carry. The large flat bed means you can add whatever you want to it: a box bolted on for shopping, unbolted and stuff lashed on with rope, passengers.

    My normal cargo bike though has an unholy amount of luggage carrying though. With a Tubus Cargo rear rack and some big old panniers, that’s a fair amount of food shopping. Then upfront I’ve got an Old Man Mountain Cold Springs rack with a stolen shopping basket ziptied on. I carry loads in that, and you get used to the heavy steering very quickly.

    Have fun, carrying stupid large cargo loads on bikes is crazy fun!

    qwerty
    Member

    Waitrose hire cycle trailers free of charge and you have 3 days to return it.

    IHN
    Member

    Ta.

    I think a trailer is probably too much, I’m think more the big old panniers and a smallish basket or something on the front may be the way to go (especially as me and her will need to use it)

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Waitrose hire cycle trailers free of charge and you have 3 days to return it.

    cool, that would be ideal for me as I can only fit half a weekly shop into my panniers! Can’t see on the website whether my store does it though, guess I’ll have to give them a ring.

    I’ve been looking at the manufacturer’s website for the trailers they use (Bike-Hod). Look great, all made in UK and come with Carradice bag. They are not cheap though!!

    Reluctant
    Member

    There was a Bikehod on ebay last week that didn’t sell at £65. Might be worth searching completed listings and dropping the seller a message if someone’s after a cheap one. In Bristol, it was.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    lol, yeah first thing I did after seeing the prices on the bike-hod website was to check eBay. It’s on for £60 now. The listing says Waitrose has discontinued the scheme now. Is that true? Shame if it is! Obviously I’m assuming the ebay seller is telling the truth and this isn’t just a blatantly stolen one!!

    Reluctant
    Member

    As far as i remember, it was a pilot scheme rolled out in Bristol that didn’t really catch on. I’m not sure it ever went national. £60 odd seems like a pretty fair price 🙂

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    As the name suggests…

    IMAG0224 by pten2106, on Flickr

    My Kona Ute.
    Quite honestly the bestest, most life changing bike I’ve ever owned. It stays packed up with waterproofs etc. What’s amazing is that suddenly, when carrying stuff becomes so easy, the bike becomes a viable alternative to the car. This will have paid for itself well inside a year. It carries me, my laptop bag, my two lads (5 & 7) & their school bags, on the school run, then me on to work. Every time we stop folk say hello & ask about the bike. Car drivers actually do slow & give it a wide berth. Best bike I’ve bought. And there’s been a few… 🙂

    TheBrick
    Member

    check out the frame fixing front rack here

    best way to carry weight on the front if you want a basket as you don’t ket steering flop.

    http://www.hembrow.eu/frontrack.html

    IHN
    Member

    I like the look of that front rack.

    I’ve got a Yuba Mundo.


    Barbeque weather by clivenutton, on Flickr

    Will carry a huge amount of stuff. Like a Yute but improved, I think, by the “running boards” at the base of the rack which makes a useful platform for supporting loads.

    ontor
    Member

    I had an xtracycle in an old explosif frame for years – I moved house with it twice. It was ace but if I was able to afford a new cargo machine I’d have a harry vs larry long bike.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    Here’s mine:

    Hub gears with Hebi chainguard, dynamo lights, roller/coaster brakes = zero maintenance.
    Also have a Carry Freedom City trailer (folding) and the attachment is for the Follow-Me tandem (child lugging).
    For utility trailers you definitely want two wheels as these are far more stable when lugging a weird load.

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