I got to try the Trek Transport, Transport + in Vegas and I’ve now owned the Transport for about a week. Here’s some key observations.
$1300 – That is a great value. It comes complete with all the racks and one bag.
Specs – Weight is about 45 lbs. Wheelbase is 49 inches for the medium. Sizing is 17 and 20 inches.
All Aluminum frame – This is key as this bike is relatively light and it seems structurally sound and laterally stiff.
200 lb cargo capacity – 100 lbs on the rear tray and 50 lbs each on the side trays. Maybe another 25 in the front rack.
2×8 speed – gearing is perfect with 28/38 up front. Having a big third chainring in the front like a 44t is not necessary for most.
Disc brake in the front, Vbrake in the rear – Disc/Disc would have been nice but it is upgradeable in the rear and it has not been an issue yet.
Low BB and short cranks – BB is low at 11.4 inches. That’s about 1 to 2 inches lower than most mountain bikes. To avoid hitting the cranks on the ground, they’ve been shortened to 165mm.
Mary-style handlebar and ergo grips – These are cool touches as the cockpit is very comfortable.
BB and rear triangle are extremely stiff. Because of the beefy aluminum construction to support all the rear cargo, the BB area has been reinforced quite a bit. The result is acceleration and responsiveness that is really surprising!! Handling is awesome too.
My research on other Cargo Bikes in the market:
This is the golden age of cargo bikes. As health, energy and environment issues arise, people are looking to bike more. The cargo bike is one solution to many of life’s errands and To do list trips. It is a possible car replacement solution.
But all is not well. The cargo bike solutions are very immature and the current setups and pricing are just a hint of what they need to be. Here are some of the things I looked into:
Surly Big Dummy – about $2500 for a bike and $800 for a frame msrp. Xtracycle compatible and it seems that this is not usually a complete bike but a building block for an enthusiast or build kit ready system depending on the store you purchase from. Cargo capability is about 200 lbs assuming a 200lb rider.
Sizes: s, m, l, xl
frame weight: 12.6 lbs
wheelbase: 57.4 inches for medium