When the opportunity to farm sit a friend’s land is presented, Carmen Aiken’s response was a quick affirmative, but the getting there would take a little longer. On a loaded up Omnium Cargo Bike, Carmen enjoys the scenic route through the Driftless while sharing local encounters and reflections from the road.
The Radavist’s Top Ten Bike Reviews of 2022
Every year, we get offers from companies, both large and small to review one of their upcoming bike models. We take on what we can and lean on our contributors for the ones we can’t fit into our own schedules. We’re still just three people running this site over here! At the end of the calender year, we dig through our analytics, social media channels, and comments to determine which bikes did the best and compile a list. This year’s ran the gamut from full suspension mountain bikes to, cargo, all-rounder and gravel racing machines. There’s something for everyone in this one, so read on for The Radavist’s Top Ten Bike Reviews of 2022!
Finding Your Super Power: An Omnium Cargo Bike Review
Cargo bikes are inherently super cool. Something about a unique, purpose-built, human-powered machine doing tasks usually associated with cars and trucks gets the wondering wheels turning in peoples’ brains. The simple act of riding a cargo bike turns heads and gets people asking questions: living your day to day on a bike is indeed a super power.
The focus of this review is an Omnium Cargo bike that absolutely gets those wheels turning. Whether it’s a pumptracks-and-playgrounds adventure with our three-year-old, transporting complete bikes without removing the wheels, or making a big run down to the recycling depot, this bike enables errands and experiences beyond our usual two-wheeled expectations. Which of these tasks would prove to be the Omnium’s super power?
Mid South 2022: Keith is Riding His Scissortail Cycles Cargo Bike From Stillwater to Denver
When bike events promote inclusivity and welcome all sorts of riders, not just racers, wonderful things happen. If it seems like I’m still glowing from this weekend’s Mid South, well, it’s the truth. Those few days completely recharged over two years of dreary times and meeting Keith re-centered my own struggles by putting them in perspective. In a serendipitous way – ok, I was stalking him – I happened to catch him rolling into the expo area at Mid South on his Scissortail Cycles cargo bike. There’s so much going on with this one so let’s get to it…
Readers’ Rides: Sam’s Ritchey with a Crust Clydesdale Fork
This week’s Readers’ Rides is a good example of an older frame put to solid, modern use. Sam‘s Ritchey has a Crust Clydesdale Fork that has really transformed this MTB into a multi-purpose work horse. Let’s check it out below!
Surly’s Big Easy Electric Cargo Bike Review: Living Car-Lite
Nesting projects. While some families go crazy building out and decorating a “nursery”, we mostly tried to figure out how to continue our bike lifestyle once our baby arrived. When Stephanie was pregnant, we fawned over Larry vs. Harry’s Bullitt, tried out the very-Euro Riese and Müller Packster, and bought into the front load aesthetic right away.
But, long term practicality was never too far away, considering the astronomical cost of an electrified front-loader. As it turns out, our friend Adam, whose Bullitt we borrowed for a couple months in 2018, let us know that his daughter was in fact outgrowing the bike’s kid canopy at only 4 years of age. Not only was her helmet hitting the top of the enclosure, but she was losing interest in riding in the “trailer” on the front of the bike.
High costs mixed with the prospect of the bike possibly lasting only three years before its primary cargo turned on it meant we were wary of dropping into an electric box bike. When the opportunity came along to review the first Surly Big Easy to make its way into Canada, we were very, very stoked. The dream of a car-lite lifestyle was alive!
I immediately swept out and scored an older Yepp seat with the requisite (and obsolete) adapter off the local buy and sell, and we got scheming on how to adapt to the longtail lifestyle.
Why Ride One Bike When You Can Ride Two?
Stephanie and I have been eyeing up cargo bikes basically since we found out we were pregnant early last year. But would it be a good financial move to drop $5000+ on a new setup when we’re also running on one income? Knowing we’d likely be taking the winter off of family biking with Sophia on the younger side, we had lots of time to consider the options and make sure we had the money ready when the time came.
Last summer, we borrowed a friend’s Bullitt for a camping trip. Super rad. Denver loved riding up front. Yet we had our suspicions confirmed that a bike that weighs 60 pounds dry is a tough sell when you live in a hilly area like we do. Load that up with kids or dogs and the rest of the stuff you need every day, let alone on a camping trip, and you’ll quickly find yourself back in the car.
Larry vs Harry Bulitt Cargo Bike Short Film
Copenhagen, Denmark is a magical place for bicycle commuters. It’s where Larry vs Harry was born. In this short film, we take a look at the functionality of Larry vs Harry’s practical bikes in Seoul, Korea.
Chris Akrigg on the Mongoose Envoy Cargo Bike
Leave it to Chris Akrigg to make any bike look like a fun time!
Surly’s New Big Easy Is a Necessity for the Brand
e-Bike hate is all the rage these days, yet pry open the myopic, short-sightedness of those scoffing at e-anything and look at Surly’s new Big Easy as a literal definition of what it is. In short, cargo made as easy as possible. Somewhere us Americans got it wrong, the bicycle that is. We look at them as instruments of pain, of punishment, of fitness, of sport. Oftentimes, the clamoring horde fails to look to the rest of the world’s reliance on two-wheel transport, over our enamorment with four-wheel. Our cars are easy. Bikes are meant to be painful and e-assist is cheating. You have to work for whatever it is you’re pedaling for. This is why I believe people hate e-bikes on their city streets.
Juggernaut Cargo Bikes
As far as I’m concerned, the more people making cargo bikes, the better. Cities are filled to the brim with automobiles and congestion is the unfortunate by-product. Getting around a city, in fact, any city, by bike is easier and healthier. Juggernaut Cargo Bikes know that, which is why they chose to launch their new brand on Kickstarter. While buy-in is steep, cargo bikes made in the USA are not cheap, although they pale in comparison to a new car…
Larry vs Harry Says the Minivan is Over
This short video showcases the cargo capacity of their bikes, no matter how precious it is.
The LIFT Cargo Bike: Convert Just About Any Bicycle to a Cargo Bike
Man, I love that this exists. Check out the new LIFT Cargo Bike on Kickstarter!
2016 NAHBS: Hunter Cycles Cargo Bike with Randi Jo Bags
“You have to shoot the Hunter Cycles cargo bike with those sick Randi Jo Bags!” I heard it over and over again yesterday. Rick is a more than capable frame builder, machinist and designer. The man has impeccable taste and ever the overly-quirky projects have such character that he really has developed a style, all his own. Case in point is this cargo bike. It features the same chain-tensioner system as the Bushmaster dirt tourer we looked at last year, as well as some clever problem solving in terms of steering and load capacity but the crowning detail of this project are the Randi Jo bags, complete with that crazy rabbit design!
Sven Cycles: Forager Cargo Bike
After seeing Nils’ cargo bike roll out with a camp grill at a recent LA River Camp Coffee, suddenly the idea of utilizing a bike like that for over-the-top forest picnics has piqued my interest. Here’s Sven Cycles‘ take on that platform. Tested thoroughly over the course of a few months, this bike was designed and built specifically for a local chef and as you can see, is really capable of hauling everything you need for an afternoon meal in the woods.
Projects like this, especially when they come from the shop of a framebuilder, really make me happy!
Nils’ Cycle Fab Long Haul Trucker Cargo Bike
A bicycle can often times be a time capsule for an individual’s journey. Be it a tale told through road grime, dust, dents or a augmented addition like a cargo retrofit.
Nils has had this Surly Long Haul Trucker for over a year and a half. In that time it’s gone through various permutations with the documented version being the most current, obviously. A LHT is already a pretty versatile bicycle, yet Nils wanted the ability to carry more weight, lower and honestly, just wanted to try something new. The retrofit was done by the same talent that makes the Haulin Colin racks. It’s actually a pretty simple process. You supply your axle to crown and head tube angle to Colin and he fabs up a steerer extension, a downtube brace and a rack. A few weeks pass and viola. Cargo bike.
I have to say, this is one of the first bikes I’ve shot in a while that has whole-hearted character, not purchased style. The little brackets he bent by hand to hang his rear light off the Brooks saddle bag hoops and his hand-painted accents on the frame completely tie in with Nils’ character. The dude is tall, with a commanding beard, yet his energy fills the room through his smile and laughter.
During the day, Nils fills his hours as a part time middle school teacher and a part time ceramic artist. On the weekend, he’s out riding in the Angeles National Forest, or just kicking around town on this magnificent bicycle. I’ve met a lot of people through Golden Saddle Cyclery, but for some reason, Nils really resonated with me. Check out more photos in the Gallery and follow along with Nils’ rides at his Instagram.
Gettin’ Sconed with Garrett and Olive on their Frances Cycles Cargo Bike
Mornings with a two year old begin bright and early. For Garrett from Strawfoot and his wife, their schedules allow them to split the weekdays with their daughter Olive. For Garrett, that usually means breakfast duties around 6 or 7am, followed by a quick jaunt in their Frances Cycles cargo bike to Companion Bakeshop to “get sconed.”
Ryan’s Ahearne Hauler Cargo Bike
Ryan is a full-time roaster at Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco. He’s a cyclist who commutes into work every day, rain or shine. A few years back he contacted Joseph Ahearne to build him a commuter cargo bike that he’d use everyday hauling his essentials to and from his work. He had a few ideas about what he wanted, but let Joseph take creative lead on the project.
The result is one of the most impressive cargo bikes I’ve been able to document for the Radavist. The bright teal paint job is accentuated by the large tires, shiny (yet dented) fenders, burnt orange portage by Black Star Bags and countless swoops and bends of the rack tubing.
With a wide range in the drivetrain, Ryan could very well take it touring, but it’s been at home in the streets of San Francisco, dipping between cars and dodging pedestrians. This bike has been abused in a loving way, yet maintained mechanically and as a framebuilder, I’m sure Ahearne is stoked to see one of his creations being put to use.
Seriously, this bike blew me away!