2-wheel and 3-wheel cargo bicycles, which one to choose?

Find out which cargo bike you are!

Do you have a child who is over 22 kg, the maximum allowed to be transported in a bicycle seat? Or do you have two and are you aware that you cannot carry them in a classic bicycle? Or maybe you even have three or four? Congratulations!

Whatever the reason, and you are looking for a family bike or also known as a cargo bike, you may have already discovered that 2- and 3-wheel cargo bikes exist.

And you may be wondering, which one would suit me?

3-wheel cargo bicycles - Taga family 2 children
Taga family

You are in the right place!

In this article we explain clearly and comprehensively the difference between the 2 types of cargo bikes and which one to choose according to your needs and lifestyle.
So, cargo bikes, cargo bikes, family bikes, - are bicycles with a frame specially built to safely carry a larger load than the classic bicycle.

To see how much greater the loads can be, let's look at the maximum load of a classic bicycle.
Of course, to get the exact data, you have to consult the manufacturer, who states the maximum load, which can vary from 75 kg up to 100-110 kg

2-wheel cargo bike - Yuba Kombi 2 children
Yuba Kombi

Generalising, most city bikes should never exceed a maximum total of 100 kg, including 15 kg at the front and 22 kg at the rear. The calculation is simple, if you load this weight, the rider's weight should not exceed 100-15-22=63 kg.

In the case of family bikes, the total load capacity can vary from 170 kg up to 300 kg. This, too, depends on the frame and manufacturer and is usually, unlike for city bikes, unambiguously and explicitly stated.

It should be added that there are also freighters for professional use, capable of carrying up to 400 kg.

Let's be clear again, the stated maximum weight does not mean that if you load it more, the bike will break instantly_ CRACK! 😉

First of all, especially this happens with cargo bikes, the manufacturer claims a lower weight. It does this precisely to have that safety cushion when a user slightly exceeds the weight.

Furthermore, it often happens that on the perfect road the chassis is capable of carrying a lot more weight than stated. The problem can arise with a few holes or other imperfections in the road. As explained to me by a manufacturer of cargo bicycles, at that moment, for an instant the force pressing on the frame increases significantly. The same can be explained with the laws of physics, if in the normal situation the weight is calculated with the formula P=mg, at the moment when you encounter a hole the weight becomes P=m(g+a). Where P - weight, m - mass, g - gravitation and a - acceleration.

2-wheeled cargo bike - YUBA Spicy Curry electric 2 kids
YUBA Spicy Curry

So, you have already realised that you need a cargo bike, you know that there are 2-wheel and 3-wheel cargo bikes and you are wondering which one to choose.

3-wheel bikes provide more stability. They are front-loaded, the children are in front of the driver. There are bikes with which even four children can be transported.

Ideal for transporting babies, children under 9 months. Perfect for those who do not feel confident transporting children on 2-wheel bikes, where balance is required. They are safer.

2-wheel cargo bikes - iO InBicy
iO InBicy

In contrast, two-wheeled cargo bikes are perfect for those who have a good command of the bike and are not afraid to get off balance. They can be front-loaded, so-called long John.

Both the rear load, often named long tail. They are usually capable of carrying up to 2-3 children. Good for riding in city centres and narrow alleys. They are also most recommended for use on cobblestones.

In terms of price, 2-wheel cargo bikes can be found at very good prices, starting as low as 1,000 euro for the muscle bikes. Whereas 3-wheelers start at around 1,700e and upwards. So although two-wheelers can fetch much higher prices, three-wheelers usually cost a little more.

For the electric versions, it usually takes around 1,300 euros more than for the muscle version. Of course, the price depends very much on the motor and the battery. We will soon do an article where we will tell you about the various motors, batteries and the possibility of electrifying the bike.

In the meantime, we have prepared a check list with which you can check whether you are a 2-wheeler or a 3-wheeler.

  • How many children do you need to transport on a bicycle?
  • The age of each child?
  • Who should use a bicycle regularly?
  • What city do you live in?
  • Do you have to use it in traffic?
  • In the city centre with narrow streets or cobblestones?

Our manager is ready to answer all your questions and provide you with personalised advice. Just ask!

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