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This Folding Cargo Bike Could Help City Dwellers Finally Ditch Their Cars

Now a bike that can lug your stuff is itself easy to lug around.

A cargo bike eliminates one more excuse for you to keep a car in the city: grocery shopping. With a custom-built, long-wheelbase bike, you can schlep all manner of unwieldy loads, leaving the car at home for all but the heaviest of operations (or sell it, saving $4,000 per year into the bargain).

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But unlike a car, you don’t want to leave your bike locked outside in a city street overnight. That’s where the new Tern Cargo Node comes in, a folding cargo bike designed in collaboration with cargo-bike experts Xtracycle.

Typically, cargo bikes shift the rear wheel backwards and fill in the extra space with an extended carrying platform. The load sits between the wheels, keeping it very stable, even when your load consists of two extra humans on the carrier (it can take up to 350 pounds). But they’re long, so Tern–the folding bike company–put a hinge in the middle so you can fold it in half. A wide gearing range means you’ll be able to get that load up a hill, and there’s a pump hidden in the seat post. The bike closes around a central hinge, the handlebar stem folds down and the seat post slides into the frame, leaving something that, although not tiny, can easily be stowed in the corner of a city apartment.

The bike isn’t light though. At 54 pounds, you won’t want to carry it up too many flights of stairs. Then again, considering that the bike runs on delicious pizza instead of evil gasoline, maybe you won’t mind earning yourself a few extra slices.

A folding bike is also good for taking on public transport, and the flat load platform of the Cargo Node has an extra surprise if you find yourself on a busy train. “If I can’t get a seat on the train, I can use the Cargo Node as a bench,” said Shannon Evans of Xtracycle.

The bike will be available to buy next year for €1,900 ($2,140).

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About the author

Previously found writing at Wired.com, Cult of Mac and Straight No filter.

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