Autumn Gear Guide
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Folding cargo bike allows for the safe and comfortable transport of loads previously restricted to wheelbarrows and your grandpa’s truck.
Reviewer: Luke Brocki
FIND IT AT xtracycle.com
A Tern 26-inch wheeled Joe C21 and the Xtracycle FreeRadical longtail platform. The result is interesting: a folding cargo bike. It’s much larger than your average bike (85” long) and even folded takes a good chunk of floor space. But it also allows for the safe and comfortable transport of loads previously restricted to wheelbarrows and your grandpa’s truck.
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The side bags, coupled with their adjustable fasteners, accommodate a variety of items; bulky objects fit fine as long as they’re not too big to clip in. The top deck can hold additional cargo or a passenger.
It’s a pity the standard model doesn’t come with a kickstand. Loading the bike is often a hilarious and an acrobatic challenge without one.
Anyone whose favorite excuse for not biking is having lots of things to carry. Be it student textbooks, loads of groceries, work tools, packages, picnic baskets, musical instruments, sporting equipment, firewood, homebrewing supplies, or hordes of newspapers. Just make sure you can spare the space in your apartment or storage locker. You may also want to avoid schlepping this up and down stairs too often.
The Tern Cargo Joe is heavy and strange looking. Even folded, it’s the size of a small chest freezer thanks to the Xtracycle extension. That said this is not your average hipster 10-speed. This monster carries things you never knew a bike could. Your grocery loads become limited by the amount of bills in your wallet and not by your carrying capacity. Bikeless friends can catch rides sitting on the back. You can use it to do anything you would otherwise need a car to get done, from refilling the barbecue propane tank to hauling bags of donations to the thrift store. And whenever $999 seems expensive, you can add up your past car rental and taxi bills and think again.