I built this cargoracebike as a preparation for a trip to copenhagen in the summer of 2015.

I hope to use this bicycle for this but extensive testing still needs to be done. Maybe this will turn out to be just the prototype for the final bike, but only if I can find a better framebuilder than myself (what won't be that hard).

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Step 1: Design

Altough a lot of the time I start building without knowing where I'm working towards, it is very important to have your design ready.

For me, plain pencil and paper works fine, But you could also make a mockup of your design or draw it in CAD.

Step 2: Source

Sourcing some bicycle frames is not so hard to do. I live in a country with probably more bicycles than people so it's easy to find old bicycles for free (especialy the steel ones since a lot of peaople are ditching those for newer aluminum, a lot of the times electric, bicycles)

But if you can't find them for free, here is a nice instructable how to buy used bicycles.

You will probably also need some parts for the steering system and some scrap bolts and nuts.

Step 3: Build Frame

I build the frame out of parts of 3 frames.

-an old race bike

-an old bmx (front fork and headset)

-an old ladies bike (some tubing)

The hardest part is to make a straight frame. with a little string from on side of the rear triangle around the front headtube back to the other side of the rear triangle you can get a realy nice look at how straight the frame is. You should always first "spot weld" the frame entirely so you can break wrong welds if you misaligned something by accident. You will need to mitter the tubes you want to connect.

A vice is handy to use for the welding but because bicycle tubes have a small thicknes you can easily deform them with your vice. Herefor it's probably usefull to make a wooden grumpy man accessory for your vice (picture 2). The wood will deform rather than the metal so your tubes stay intact.

Some The corners larger than 90 degrees I strenghtened with a piece of tube wich you can figure out in a cad program or in the same manner as the mittering of the tubes (which you can see from the weldings on the pictures I didn't do very well.

That's about it for the frame.

here is a nice instructables about jigless framebuilding:

Step 4: Build Steering System

The steering system is designed in such a way that the lengt of the stem is compensated in the steering circle to have a more organic steering feeling.

The center of the turning circle is where the axis of the rear wheel intersects with the axis of the front wheel. I made the steering system in such way that the angle of the line from the center of the turning circle to the middle of the stem tube and the stem itself is 90 degrees ( in schort : the stem is tangential to the turning circle)

This makes the length of the stem less of a problem as it actualy feels right now.

More instructables on steering systems for cargo bikes :

Step 5: Strip Paint

Stripping paint is quite the paint in the ass . hahahahahahaha.

read here how to do it :

Step 6: Paint Everything

It is not strictly necessary to paint everythinh but i wanted to . it didn't turn out great. Here you can read how to do it if you want it to turn out great :

Step 7: Assemble Bicyle

All of the pieces you took of the bike you need to get back on the bike now, otherwise it will not work.

Step 8: Sew Bag Together

For the bag you need some fabric (I use cheap unbleached cotton) and two zippers.

for the patterns you probably want some paper

Good siccors, needles and a sewing machine are also things I used.

first i made patterns of the bag ( you can do this by using cad, specialty software or the good old I-cut-the-paper-and-tape-it-to-the-other-be-unhappy-with-the-result-and-cut-some-more-until-it's-fine-method ). T

hen I created a first part that fits on the frame of the bike. This to ensure that it fitted tightly. The exact fitting was done by using needles to mark where the sewing had to be done. I first pinned the two sheets pof fabric togheter to ghet a thight fit and then i used som more needles to mark where the line would be for that thight fit. the top and front where sewed together, at the bottom and back there where zippers sewed in to make shure the bag can be zipped on and zipped of.

After that I sewed the bags on both sides of the first part.

Step 9: Put Bag on Bicycle

For the construction of the bag, the bag needed to be fitted on the bicycle once in a while (3rd picture). But now it is finished it is still a different feeling. It's easy to zipp on and of (which will come in handy on a holiday) In the picture I used cardboard to get an idea about how the bags will look if they where filled.

Step 10: Final Remarks

The bicycle has a lot of shortcomings and will still need some work I gues.

I hope to use it for a cycle trip this summer to copenhagen (starting somewhere in belgium) and maybe leave the bicycle over there. I mainly built this because i want to take a guitar, some cooking gear, some recording gear, some drawing stuff, some writing stuff and maybe some clothes and tents ......

Still to be seen if it will be possible to get somewhere with it.

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    12 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    That stem seems crazy long! You'll be sweeping your arms out really wide during tight turns. Can you clarify what you mean by a "more organic steering feeling?"

    2 replies

    The stem is maybe a bit overdone (but this hasn't got to be a problem since the front wheel is so far away). With the "organic steering" I mean that when you are steering the stem points in the direction of you steering circle. This is how you steer a normal bicycle. When your stem is parallel with your front wheel you actualy get the feeling you are steering towards somewhere else than you are driving to (especialy because most of us learnt to cycle on normal bicycles and are used to anticipate the bikes behaviour this way).

    This is theory and the testing I have done is not much yet, but for now I can say it steers much different and easier than my last cargobike which had parallel steering. With parallel steering you get the feeling you're in a boat or a large coach and with this you should come close to the normal bicycle feeling

    turning circle normal bike.pngturning circle compensatet cargobike.pngnon compensated cargobike .png

    4 years ago on Introduction

    very nice. i remember seeing front loaded cargo bike in Guatemala, I always wondered how hard it was for the riders to handle all that weight. they most have strong legs.

    1 reply

    If you're trying to ride uphill the extra weight is quite a burden, but on the flat land I live there is except for the occasional bridge no hill in sight. also starting and making the speed is harder , but once you're up to speed it is not that big of a difference. You do catch more wind, so that can be something of an issue.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Take care of your back. What if you just turn the bull horn bar a little back to your side. Try to handle closer. It looks a little uncomfortable. Nice Bag.How much weight could afford.I'm working in that kind of cargo bike for maybe two years and issues appear I just left behind. Good luck.

    1 reply

    It's based on the dimensions of a diamond frame race bicycle, it is uncomfortable :) . the bull horn is where it is because of these dimensions but you are right that it should be a bit more to my side, this is something I will probably change.

    I didn't test the bag yet thorougly so I don't really know. I did made bags of this kind of fabric in the past and I guess they must easily hold up to 20 kg (which is, now I think of it, not that much).

    good luck with your cargobike and nice chariot by the way.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Having cargo in the front is a bad idea because too much load for you to turn and you will fall over too often. have you seen any Motor bike with cargo load in the front.

    Also you should invest in electric bike and with bike trailer that would do you better

    2 replies

    Placing the cargo in between the rider and the front wheel is one of the most used setup in modern cargobikes. Most of the time they are not made for large loads (+100kg).

    The reason for using this setup I think is more because of the back of rear of the bicycle (with all of the complicated stuff) stays unchanged from normal diamond framed bikes more than for comfort of cycling. I never rode a two wheeled longtail so I can tell you wich is more convenient. But out of a three weeled front load, a three wheeled rear load and a two wheeled front load bicycle I prefer the two wheeled front load bicycle (where I live you see a lot of mothers and father who bring their kids to school with this kind of bikes).

    for For the motorbikes there have been attempts but I don't know of any that is realy on the market.

    ( )


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think so. There are many front cargo bikes. Some troubles can be to turn, but rear cargo bikes have another troubles too.


    4 years ago

    the concept is very fantastic of front cargo but as far as comfortability and monuaviribilty may be compromised good work done I think for stability two wheels at front might be a good idea