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Cargo bikes uk: useful tips on how to go car-free this winter!
During these icy months it’s a lot harder to feel motivated to get on your saddle and go… Good news, there are few things you can do to improve that!
In this guide, we’ll touch on cargo bikes models & all the best practices to keep warm by bike. Furthermore, aside from comfort, there’s also a question of safety on the road. With the temperatures dropping, there are some critical changements to adopt when riding. Ready to know all about winter biking? Let’s get into it!
Cargo bikes uk, comparing the best models for seasonal cycling
A cargo bike is developed to carry substantial loads; whereas a normal bike is made to primarily carry the rider. When choosing a cargo bike, it’s critical to know what features you require (such as stability, compactness …). On top of that you should also consider the road type, the distance as well as the temperature. For example: you’d like to cycle to work all year around, even when it rains or snows. However, your stability isn’t great and that scares you. Easy! A tricycle might be the best option for you! Let’s have a better look why:
3 wheel bikes
With two back wheels we have a tricycle & a great example of that is the B-Back, designed for better stability by bike. Tricycles offer an improved support & stability which means less danger on slippery surfaces. You can safely ride all year round!
With two front wheels, we’re talking about a three-wheelers like the AddBike+. This front trike in specific, is characterised by a tilting wheel system that provides great dynamics during the ride. This suits skilled riders that are already comfortable on regular bikes. Nevertheless this option requires extra attention especially during bad weather.
It’s also good to note that both are add-on accessories! An ingenious & cheaper variant to the complete bike model that can answer to the different needs and preferences of the rider.
Long-tail cargo bike
These bicycles are known for their extended rear rack, which is perfect for two child seats or an equivalent sized box (for parcels, heavy objects …). This cargo bike model is quite appreciated because the riding experience is very similar to the one of a classic bike. Therefore, no time of adaptation is required! The only cons? Just like a regular bike it requires balance and it’s less stable at standstill than a trike. If you want to know more about the different models, their advantages and disadvantages, keep reading here.
The Long John
Also called cycle trucks, these bikes have a longer front allowing the transport of extra large weights. The cargo space is positioned in between the handlebar and the front wheel, so that the rider can have the passengers or payload always on sight. This type of cargo bike comes in many variations, some are narrow and very dynamic- others are bulky to transport up to 4 kids safely. Due to its structure, this bike usually takes lots of space and might be challenging to store and park.
Other details to keep in mind about cargo bikes
Depending on the design chosen, the components might vary. For example, the motor can be placed as a pedal motor, at the front or back wheel. The pedal one will provide an optimised distribution of the weight so that the bike feels balanced; while the back one will make the bicycle feel more dynamic.
Additionally, it’s good to know that e-bikes have a certain range before they lose their power assistance. The components of your bike will define its autonomy in addition to the environment you ride in. To be more specific, the type of terrain as well as the wind and temperatures will affect the performance.
It’s important to store the battery in a frost-free place to ensure a correct functioning. If you want to know more about bike components, we have an in-depth guide for beginners here.
The U-Cargo Family is the ideal cargo bike for beginners! ❄️🚲
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, the U-Cargo is suitable for anyone willing to transport more by bike. Designed for everyday life, It’s the perfect cargo bike uk solution to ditch the car- even in winter!
The U-Cargo Family comes with a low frame that is easy to step in & out. The back is slightly extended (midtail) so that the riding experience is just like the one of a city bike. To make things even easier, we made sure to include a Nexus hub, so that you can change speeds even when you’re not moving.
Developed for the transportation of up to two kids, this ebike has the comfort & safety of of you and your little ones at heart. The rear cargo space is made of a unique 360° shock-proof frame, so that the passengers are always safe. This system, also called Protech 360°, is covered by a textile envelope that acts as a barrier from the elements. This way, the ones at the back are always cosy and warm. The black textile was designed with large reflective strips for improved visibility, especially during the dim winter mornings and late afternoons.
The setup comes with two kids cushions that can eventually be fully removed or replaced by baby seats for younger ones. This space can also be used for freight transportation: the textile transforms the seats into a storage space when the kids are not there!
The U-Cargo rides smoothly in the city streets, its large tyres by Schwalbe guarantee real driving comfort and stability even on wet surfaces.
Five basic bicycle accessories for a hassle-free winter this year
✔️ Winter tyres are important to provide a great adherence to the ground despite the icy roads. A good set of wide, puncture-resistant tyres can go a long way.
✔️ Waterproof bike gloves are a winter must! Riding with cold (and numb) hands reduces your grip on the handlebar which can be dangerous. If on a budget, you can reuse your ski gloves, for example, which provide water protection as well as a great grip. Another option to gloves are bar mitts, they’re directly installed on the handlebar (so that you’ll never forget them) and will keep you well insulated from the cold/wind.
✔️ A bike bonnet is a smart solution to protect your ears and head from the cold. This accessory is specifically designed to comfortably fit under your helmet so that you don’t have to choose between warmth or safety. You can find our favourite bike bonnet here in size adult and size kid.
✔️ For extra snuggle, you can add a kid seat blanket. It can easily get installed on your child bike seat and will provide a thick layer of protection for your little ones.
✔️ Last but not least, a windscreen is a great purchase for winter as it creates an actual shield against the wind blast and the rain/snow. It can come in many shapes and sizes and for different purposes. You can also add it directly on a front child seat, like the Thule Yepp Mini.
✔️ A waterproof textile cover can also be added on most cargo bikes, keeping the kids, dogs and/or freights dry and warm.
Cargo bikes uk & winter: the staples of staying warm while cycling
When cargo biking in freezing weather, it’s important to make sure that you and your passengers stay warm. So what should you wear? Let’s have a better look:
🚲The rider shouldn’t wear too many layers to avoid overheating, especially if cycling without electric assistance. It’s important to wear breathable but warm textiles, such as merino wool and cotton. These two are especially great as base layers. They are extra soft & light fibres that don’t irritate the skin. Merino wool is also known to be temperature-regulating and odour resistant!
The rider should wear a waterproof jacket (and possibly pants) to avoid sogginess from the snow and rain. If you’re looking for a jacket specifically for cycling, you should pick a bright colour in order to be more visible during the dark hours.
👶The Kids (or adult passenger) should focus on staying protected from the wind. Contrary to the rider, the passenger can quickly get chilly. The kids should be bundled up from head to toes with warm and water resistant clothes, paired with great base layers.
🐶 Dogs also need to be kept warm from the freezing temperature! Some breeds are more sensitive to cold and require extra layers to keep their internal temperature under control. Dog coats and booties can definitely help with that.
We hope that this article has helped you prepare for your next cargo bikes uk winter outing!