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The Cargo bike

May 21, 2010

Hear are some build shots of  the first prototype cargo bike.

I have been planing this one for some time and it has been a good chalange and very rewarding to see it come together.

It is tig welded and the build came together pretty quickly.

I wanted to use a cable steering concept that i had been toying around with, I got the idea from a very cool frame builder Francis cycles, he uses a funky cable steering set up on his haul bike, i did a lot of research in to pulleys and cable and played around with numerous ideas that could work for the steering, they all had merits but also had some sort of limiting factor. after much to and fro I came up with the system of two pulleys both of the same diameter with the cables running between them.  what i was  trying to achieve was a very direct steering that was out of the way simple to fix and repair and looked neat, I have never liked the linkage arm that is used on most cargo bikes they are prone to damage and look crap. Next I had to work out how I was going to attach the cables, at first i was going to use some very nice super flexible SS cable they use it to make jewelery but there was the issue of attaching it to the pulleys and I wanted the system to be easy to change and replacement cables to be cheap and easy to obtain. So in the end I drilled the pulleys to accept  standard brake cable heads the cables run from the fork pulley over a small cable specific pulley that runs along the side of the boom tube  then down to a second pulley that directs the cable under the frame and cargo platform they terminate and are attached to a small turn buckle which tensions the system then from the other end of the turn buckle there is another short wire that attached to the drive pulley on the steering shaft using the same attachment as the fork pulley. works very well on the bench and pushing it around the work shop floor. I will be putting it thru its paces as soon as it is all up and running.

I also wanted it to have a low bed like the bullit frames and the dutch cargo bikes as i think this is a better place to have the wight of the load and it makes it use full for carrying kids or pets.

It’s a full 4130 front end and Columbus rear stays and tips , using my designed and Cycle Underground CNC’d  eccentric BB, the forks are a of the shelf 20″ set that I fitted canti bosses to and then fabricated the steering pulley and welded it on, I have disk tabs on the frame and later on I will be designing a disc set of forks but for this frame I just wanted to make sure all the concepts where going to work on the frame before i started designing forks for it.

Well the bike is almost ready to roll I am weighting on a 20″ rim to come in from velocity that I will be building up over the weekend and I should be out for the first ride early next week looking forward to it.

I’ll post shots when i have it all together and sprayed up stay tuned ..

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2011 12:42 am


    I am in the process of building a “ghetto” cargo bike
    we chopped up two old bike and are joining them together with some very heavy pipe!

    should be fun!

  2. April 17, 2011 6:04 am


    Curious how the cable steering worked out. I’m strongly considering some for of cable steering for a largely wood, side-by-side tandem recumbent delta trike I’m building. I want to use under-seat steering, but the linkage to the front wheel is problematic without something like cable. Is it safe? Is the wire size adequate? What kind of pulleys did you use?

  3. April 28, 2011 10:37 am

    hey Gary
    sounds like a interesting project you have there.
    The cable sys works great I have made a couple of changes to it though. first I have changed from using brake cable to using spectra cord the sheathed type that I use on my kite surf kites this stuff is stronger than the equivalent steel cable is infinitely flexible and can be tied of at the ends. needs to be adjusted till the initial stretch is taken out of it but it is trouble free after that.
    the steering pulleys I machined up my self and the relay pulleys are sailing stock that i removed the center axle and replaced with threaded ones i had made up.
    good luck with it all.

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