Family & Cargo
Our Guide to Family Cycling
It’s not so long ago that the only option for carrying children on a bike was a child seat on the rear rack. There is now a huge variety of specialised family cycles and trailers for cycling with children, making the school run more fun and opening up exciting options for leisure rides. Becoming increasingly visible on our streets is the new generation of practical, versatile and very attractive box cycles for carrying children or cargo.
Multi-purpose Box Bikes
Dutch-style bakfietsen, with two wheels or three, are ideal multi-purpose family vehicles: you can carry just children (on fold-down seats), or children plus shopping, or the kind of weekly shop which matches what you can get into the boot of a family car. Their stylish front boxes come in various sizes for different family needs. In fact, so versatile are these cycles that they can, for some households, replace the family car for almost all local journeys. Box cycles can be really life-changing.
Types of Cargo Cycles
There’s huge variety. There are two-wheelers, with smaller boxes, where steering is indirect, going through a rod to the front wheel. There are three-wheeled versions with bigger boxes, of various sizes. On three-wheelers the whole box is steered, but some are arranged so that the box stays still and just the wheels are steered.
Box cycles stay steady while you get your children and cargo on board. On the tricycle versions you just apply the parking brake. To steady the two-wheel versions you release a very wide and reassuring twin-sided drop-down stand.
Accessories and Adaptations
Manufacturers have thought of virtually everything. Expect child-carrying box trikes to come with harnesses and an easy-fit windowed rain cover. There are also specific child seats for little ones who cannot sit on the bench.
Two items which might be worth extra investment are factory-fitted electric pedal-assist, and the fitting of a ground anchor if you need to park your cargo cycle securely at home. You can then put a lock through frame and anchor, then cover the whole cycle with a close-fitting manufacturer’s rain tent.
Cycling with Cargo
Box bikes and trikes can carry all kinds of loads, human or otherwise. They can be just right for bringing home the shopping, but other versions can have a wide range of box sizes. These are not designed to carry children and are often used for commercial purposes, such as for professional delivery riders. Their combination of lighter weight, high-end equipment and lockable boxes make them very special, but also more expensive! They usually also come with electric-assist. But if you just want a no-frills box cycle for your allotment visits, we can supply that, too, possibly as refurbished. If your needs are even more basic, we sell cargo trailers!
We can undertake commissions for customised promocycles, which can go where motor vehicles can’t, and have astonishing impact in pedestrian zones or at public events. Here’s one we did for ourselves: the box holds all the goods, the counter folds up and down, and the parasol and banner poles simply strap to the top for transportation. Maximum impact for minimal price!
What Our Customers Say
"What an amazing organisation! I was blown away by the variety of bikes & kit available. You and your colleagues couldn’t have been more welcoming."
Options and Choices
You may spot your perfect family and cargo cycle easily, but there are clearly many possible variations, combinations and customisations. This is why, as a responsible social enterprise, we prefer to have a conversation with you first, to understand your exact needs and help you avoid mistakes.
If you would like to give box cycles a try to make sure that your children will like it, we usually have several for you to try out. Our experts can also tell you about any alternatives amongst our refurbished cycles. It’s worth getting in touch!
We have built up expertise and supply chains which allow us to offer a wide range of refurbished cycles. Most of these are pre-loved models of top brands which we bring in from Holland and elsewhere. Our refurbished cycles are not always the latest model, but we buy quality, so even older cycles will look smart and all perform brilliantly. Refurbished cycles offer great value if you have a limited budget.