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Photo courtesy of Cetma Cargo
Price $2,850 USD (complete) / $1,850 frame only
Find it at cetmacargo.com US online, will ship to Canada
The CETMA Margo is a front-loading, Long John style, chromoly-steel-framed cargo bicycle built in Eugene, OR. The Margo comes equipped with swept-back FSA Metropolis handlebars, a Brooks B17 leather saddle and disc brakes. With a SRAM nine-speed derailleur, a Paul Component stem cap light mount, the bike weighs 40 pounds (18.2 kilograms) and has a load capacity of 300 pounds (136 kilograms). CETMA offers a marine-grade plywood box as an available accessory if you want carry children and or small items. The model tested with box is $3150 USD.
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The Margo has a unique frame design that can separate in the middle for shipping, travel, or storage. A complete bike can be separated and loaded into a car in a few minutes. It is one of the lighter front-loading cargo bikes that I have tested to date.
Since this bike can be customized when you order it, I would choose to install a triple-ring so I don’t have to feel the steeper hills. Fenders would be a nice addition as well, as it can be difficult to find a pair of fenders for two different-sized wheels
The CETMA Margo has a sloping top tube that matches the angle of a mixte-frame. This makes the bicycle easy to step over and adaptable to many sizes of riders. This might be a clincher in families with a large height difference between the two parents.
A linkage arm with a ball joint connects the steering from the handlebars to the front 20” wheel. Learning to ride with the front wheel offset by a linkage in the front is a matter of 15-20 minutes in a parking lot. My best tip is don’t look down, focus on the horizon and trust you inner balance, if you look down your eyes seem to trick you and it can take a little longer to master.
The elliptical bottom bracket was not necessary on the model tested with a SRAM X7 derailleur. However the elliptical bottom bracket allows the bicycle to be easily fitted with an internally geared hub. The advantage is that the vertical drop outs for the back wheel make it easy to attach while keeping the disc brakes aligned. And the elliptical bottom bracket takes care of maintaining proper chain tension.
The frame has a simple coupling mechanism that allows the rear section of the frame to be detached from the front flatbed. This is not something that you will want to do every day, but it does allow for easier shipping and transportation if you need to take the cargo bicycle with you in a vehicle or on a train.
Carrying children can work well, but the box provided with the bicycle does not include seat belts, leaving it to the owner to make these on their own or order them custom built. The current design of the box has the seat included but we ended up removing the seat all together as it brought the childrens’ heads pretty close to the handlebars. Purpose built bakfiets style front cargo box bicycles tend to have a more swept steering column, which reduces this problem.
The CETMA Cargo comes in two sizes of flat beds, one is 18” and the other is 24”
I found the low center of gravity combined with the ability to carry the load right in the midpoint of the bike make it a smooth ride. Bikes are ready to ship in 4-8 weeks from the time a purchase deposit is made.
The CETMA Margo is great value for anyone looking for a front-loading cargo bike. It’s a smooth ride that can haul your goods with ease.
This bike was generously put together and hand delivered to the reviewer by Lane Kagay of CETMA Cargo himself.
Gwendal Castellan is an Energy Specialist from Vancouver, BC he likes to spend his weekends seeking out urban adventures with his two little kids and fabulous wife! Gwendal is looking for a Stand-Up Paddle board that he can easily transport on any of his cargo bikes. @gwendal_c