Trek jumping on the long-tail bandwagon

Joining the ranks of Kona and Surly, Trek is the latest mainstream bike manufacturer to jump onto the long-tail bike bandwagon with this, the Transport+.  Anything which gets the cargo bike concept out there to a wider audience is definitely a good thing.  First impressions suggest this bike will have the weight capacity below that of the Yuba, with the frame being of aluminium construction, but with similar side-rails to the Yuba.  Oddly, these side-rails are positioned in a manner which encourages loads to be placed largely behind the rear axle, which leads to sketchy handling in the Yuba Mundo.  At this stage it is not clear if this is intentional or a bit of a design oversight.  What makes this bike stand out from its contemporaries is the 350W rear-wheel hub motor and the cleverly under-rack mounted battery pack (including a rear light).  The electric-assist which comes as standard in the Transport+ could open up the cargo bike concept to a wider, less tree-trunk legged audience.

In other news, electric assist may also be coming soon to this modernised take on the Bakfiets called the Urban Arrow.  Cleverly, the electric assist powers the cranks, so the motor is able to make use of the gearing integrated into the rear wheel hub.  Currently at the prototype stage, the final model is hoped to have a single-piece resin box and hub-dynamo driven lighting.

Credit for both of these finds must be given to Bicycle Design, another of the blogs I check every so often.  Although a lot of the posts are of concept bikes which are completely impractical, these two really stood out to me.  I hope they both end up making it to market.

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3 thoughts on “Trek jumping on the long-tail bandwagon

  1. I don't much like the Kona – it's an SUV bicycle, but but in Land Rover terms looks more a fluffy Freelander than a balls of steel Defender like your Yuba or the Surly Big Dummy.The rear deck doesn't look too well supported either with all the uprights slanting in the same direction – not exactly trussed, but looking more like they are pulling on the seat tube..Have you ever wandered over to Atomic Zombies website? They sell plans for homebuilt frames, recently including a Bakfiets-of-sorts, although I prefer the look of their Warrior trike meself.

  2. Thanks for the Atomic Zombie heads up, that is a particularly cool site. maybe one day when I have a house and a garage…I know what you mean about the Trek and the Kona to a certain extent, they do seem to suffer from the Chelsea Tractor effect, like they were designed more to fit the cargo bike aesthetic rather than the cargo bike function. At least the Kona is more practical as a heavy-duty everyday bike, the Trek seems to have combined all of the disadvantages of the Kona with those of the Yuba but without the benefits.

  3. Haven't seen a Trek longtail yet. I agree, those sideloaders extending behind the rear wheel will make handling very sketchy- unless you put some weight on the front rack. I think the front rack is a great idea. Folding sideloader are handy too. I have both a Ute and a V3 Mundo. About the only common ground they have is they are both longtails. I think the Ute is well named- utility. I find it a quicker bike for commuting on- gives you a different riding posture and a whole lot less weight. Fun, pretty stable- but about 75 pounds is the normal limit. The Mundo is heavier, offers a more relaxed riding posture and can carry some serious loads. Its a cargo bike. I ride it for hauling stuff and I ride it for fun. Most days, however, I hop on the Ute to make the run to work. Looking at the pics, I would put the Trek into the utility category as well. Save the Cargo label for the Mundo- or the Bullit. Cheers, J.

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