Wicker bike baskets can be cute, but they usually can’t carry much stuff, especially not for busy urban commuters. Cargo bikes are one solution, but the ones on the market tend to be behemoths, with awkwardly large storage boxes or miniature flatbed trailers.
To help out sherpa-cyclists, the designers at Copenhagen-based KiBiSi have created what they’re calling the first lightweight cargo bike made specifically for urban commuters. KiBiSi–founded by the fearsome trifecta of starchitect Bjarke Ingels, Kilo Design’s Lars Holme Larsen, and Jens Martin Skibsted of Skibsted Ideation–collaborated with Danish bike manufacturer Biomega to make the bike, called the PEK Beijing, launching today at Design Miami.
Cargo bikes are only just starting to catch on in the U.S.–as NPR reported, the main U.S. buyers are families, as some bikes are big enough to transport several children. The bikes are hugely popular in Europe (especially Denmark) and China as a cheap and environmentally friendly way to transport goods for those without access to cars. Sleek design like KiBiSi’s could be the thing to make cargo bikes catch on in the U.S. and in cities, although the PEK Beijing isn’t perfect–and it isn’t big enough to hold a rider’s kids.
It features a super-sized trough affixed to the handlebars, good for stowing groceries, briefcases, and luggage, so cyclists will be spared sore shoulders from bulky backpacks. The trough is tilted up to prevent its contents from falling out. A thick bar extends outward from the front to provide extra support for hefty luggage. The bike’s pearlescent aluminum frame is adorned with a glow-in-the-dark fork for nighttime visibility. The sleek design is topped off with hydraulic disc brakes, an eight-speed gear system by Japanese component manufacturer Shimano, and a chain with sealed bearings.
Designers are calling the bike “lightweight,” but that depends how strong you are. PEK Beijing weighs in at 48.5 pounds–about the weight of one of New York’s CitiBikes, and about 25 pounds heavier than an average urban commuter bike.
The PEK Beijing will be available beginning in Spring 2015. Information about pricing and where to buy it is not yet available.