A Cargo Bike Could Be Cool

The world of cargo bikes here in America isn’t exactly vast, but it does seem to be a segment that is slowly catching on and growing.  Most of them are pretty pricey for a contractor on a budget, even one that’s a bike geek.  The low price winner in the cargo category has to be the Kona Ute.  It has a long wheelbase, disc brakes, a rear deck, and mounting for 2 huge panniers (although it only comes with one.  What???)  Some people complain that it has an aluminum frame, but unless they’ve had one collapse under them then I don’t think they are allowed to gripe.  The sexier alternative to the Ute is the Surly Big Dummy.  It’s steel, like all the Surlys, and is designed to use all the contraptions made by the folks at Xtracycle.  (Google it if you don’t know what an Xtracycle is.)  That seems like a smart move by Surly because the Xtracycle has a built in following and lots of solutions for carrying different types of gear.  Both of these bikes seem like they could carry all the things that I require, and then some.  And I definitely would prefer to ride just a bike rather than a bike towing a trailer.  From my point of view the Big Dummy seems like a bigger, better version of the Ute with more customization options.  No reason not to buy it, right?  Well, it’s triple the cost of the Ute.  Decisions, decisions.

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2 responses to “A Cargo Bike Could Be Cool

  1. I’ve agonised (well I exaggerate) over the same choice: Kona Ute or Surly Big Dummy. What won me over to the Big Dummy was the Xtracycle accessories that it doesn’t come with. The big winners for me are the Wideloaders (also called H-racks or Cargo Vans). The Kona Ute has no such accessories available that I could see. However; the big cost of the Surly makes the idea of converting a cheap disc-brake fitted bike with an Xtracycle Radish & Free Radical quite tempting.

    Good luck with your decision.

    • Thanks for the input. I ruled out the Xtracycle conversion option because it just seems noodle-y. The rigidity of the Kona Ute and Surly Big Dummy seem better suited for my needs. Although I guess this is all a moot point now that a Rivendell Bleriot has fallen in my lap. See my latest post for details, and thanks for reading! Happy cycling.

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