Inside: Everything you need to know about cargo bikes. Includes photos of gifted items.
We have been using our Babboe Cargo bike for over 6 months now and we love it more than we could have ever imagined. We’ve laughed, we’ve saved money and I’ve never been so fit!
Not only that but we have spent more time outdoors, helped reduced petrol consumption and inspired others to get their own cargo bikes too.
Not many people know what a cargo bike is and I do get some peculiar looks as I whizz past people. But then the confused looks soon turn to looks of amazement as they realise I have children inside the box.
Everything you need to know about cargo bikes
I wanted to write a post to explain exactly what cargo bikes are and to answer a few of the most common questions I’ve received about our bike. I hope you find it useful.
What is a cargo bike?
A cargo bike is a bike that has a box at the front, designed to carry a load. You can carry goods such as your weekly shopping, small children or even pets as an alternative to using a car. They come in all different shapes and sizes to cater to different needs, budgets and storage available.
2-wheeled: These are smaller, more lightweight than the 3-wheelers and more like a traditional bike in terms of steering.
3-wheeled: These can hold more, are more stable due to the third wheel but are heavier as a result.
Both 2 and 3-wheeled bikes come as electric and non-electric versions and you can often request a test-ride before you buy to see which will suit you best.
We have a Babboe bike and it is the best thing we’ve ever used. As a brand, their goods are solid and sturdy and just gorgeous really. I can highly recommend them.
Are they easy to ride?
There are two types of cargo bike, the electric-assist or a normal pedal bike. If you live in a flat area and are quite fit then a basic bike will suit you fine. But if you live anywhere with hills or would need some assistance then an electric-assist would be your best bet. They are more expensive as a result, but we’ve saved so much money on petrol that it soon balances out.
If you can ride a bike then you can ride a cargo bike. The only difference is that with the 3-wheelers you don’t lean as you go around corners, relying solely on turning the handles to maneuver the bike around. It does take a bit of getting used to but you soon adjust.
How fast do they go?
Ours, which is an electric-assist, can get up to 15 mph but I’d say I happily trundle along at 10 mph most of the time. You don’t want to go too fast as roads are uneven and the wind can easily move you when you are going faster. You also need to watch your speed as you go around corners, you have to slow right down so that you don’t topple over.
But in terms of getting places quickly, you can park where you like and pop onto pavements if needed to avoid traffic. I’ve definitely saved myself time compared to driving around.
What size do I need?
There are two things to consider here.
What is it that you’ll be using it for? I needed one that would fit all 3 of my children in so I knew I’d need the biggest type.
You also need to consider where it is going to be stored. The larger ones are quite wide and don’t fit through standard gates so a 2-wheeler may be best if you need to park it down a narrow entrance.
Another thing to bear in mind is how balanced you are. The larger ones have 3 wheels and so are easier to ride.
How safe is it for children?
Each cargo bike comes with seat belts included and of course children must wear helmets. Cargo bikes are just as safe as a child seat on the back of a bike.
I actually feel safer on my cargo bike as cars tend to give a much wider berth when overtaking. I make sure to wear a high-vis jacket and turn on my lights if the light is low to make sure I am visible to all that pass me.
Can you buy accessories?
Cargo bike owners love to personalise their bikes with stickers and various accessories. We have some adorable cushions which soften the bumps as we whizz along, plus a couple of covers for the rain and sunshine to shield the kids from the elements.
There are so many different ways you can upgrade from the basic box and make the bike your own. And I am excited to tell you that Babboe have given me a code to give you £100 off accessories when you purchase a Babboe cargo bike*. Just use BABBOEKATY at the checkout to claim your discount.
*Discount is on accessories up to the value of £100 for one transaction – when including purchase of a bike. Should accessories value fall below this amount then the lower value shall be deducted. Remaining discount does not carry forward.
Do I need insurance?
Unlike cars, you don’t require insurance or a license to be able to ride. But, I do recommend getting insurance in case of an accident or theft of your bike. The last thing you want is to have invested in something to have it damaged or taken.
We use Laka* for our insurance and they are amazing. They cater specifically for cargo bikes and your monthly premium goes up and down each month depending on how the community has done with regards claims. One month you may pay £7 and another £11. They do give you a maximum amount though so you know it will never exceed that.
*Click to use my referral code and get £25 credit towards your bike cover.
I hope that answers the main questions you might have around cargo bikes. Do pop any additional questions down in the comments and I will answer them for you.
We were gifted the bike and accessories as part of a year-long collaboration. All words and thoughts are my own.