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.