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Cargo Bike Project

Front end of Marlin's Cargo bike

Basement projects at Perennial Cycle cover a pretty wide array of bike related interests. Marlin is a mechanic at the shop that recently learned how to use the torch and was looking for a fun, practical project. This cargo bike project is Marlin's take on a practical load carrying bike that you can ride around all day without feeling as though your driving a bus, or a tank.

Marlin's "to scale" drawing for cargo bike project

There were a lot of little sketches like this around when the project was going strong. This is the most detailed drawing I ever saw of the Cargo Bike. I'd say that Marlin had a little extra energy after having a sandwich from Caffrey's (I recognize the bag). The sandwich bag sketch gives the main idea behind the design..

The frame is a  steel 90's Fischer mountain bike frame that had a oversized (1-1/4") headset. To convert the front end to fit a 20" front wheel he got a 1-1/8" headtube that happened to fit nicely inside the original headtube and used the new headtube to extend the headtube down. This allowed him to put a large, heavy duty (yet lightweight) rack on the front of the bike.

The rack is brazed onto the frame of the bike and thus when you turn the bike, it does not move with the fork and handlebars like you'd expect a front basket to. The fact that the rack is quite low (this is the reason for the 20" front wheel) means that the weight on the rack does not throw off the handling of the bike much at all. When there is not a load on the rack you don't even notice that the bike is cargo-minded.

You can see a lot more of Marlin's work and see more current projects at his website

Nice work Marlin!

2 thoughts on “Cargo Bike Project”

  • Hurl E. Q.

    Yes! That thing is bitchen! Hats off to Marlin.

  • Dave

    These cargo bikes look great and recycling the old mountain bike frames is a fantastic idea. During WWII there was a US "victory bicycle" with a small front wheel and large cargo basket in front. And in the 1930s, Halford Cycles in the UK built a "Karriwell" tradesman bike with a similar design.

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