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Sharing a cargo bike with my super short wife?

Old 01-21-23, 10:31 AM
  #1  
rosefarts
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Sharing a cargo bike with my super short wife?

Im 59, comfortably ride a 54cm road bike, medium in sized bikes.

My wife on the other hand is pretty short. Shes officially 49. Shes never had a bike that actually fits her and her little Georgina Terry Ironman is huge on her.

Were living in a pretty bike friendly place and would sure love to get an e-cargo bike as a grocery getter and kid transporter. We would both ride this bike.

We would need it to handle two kids who are obviously small for their age.

Im going to use Yuba as an example since I just looked them up and because my neighbor took my kids plus his all on a ride and everyone fit on his Yuba. Im open to other brands too. They state 5 to 66 rider range. Im sure with a couple tweaks I could get it where it would fit her well enough, just barely.

The question becomes swapping between me and her. Shes roughly as mechanically inclined as a cantaloupe. A quick release seat or even that plus a dropper is fine for the booty.

The stem and handlebar position though, Id want her to be able to get her position without tools or with minimal tools.

Is this at all possible?
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Old 01-21-23, 02:25 PM
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Normally eschewed by bicycling devotees, how about an adjustable stem? The bonus is that as you lower it, the bars become closer to the seat. Also, I think they're available with quick releases. One thing to consider is that the down tube on some cargo bikes has a section adjacent to the BB and parallel to the ground. Adding a DIY mid-drive reduces ground clearance substantially, so in some instances a hub motor might be a superior option.
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Old 01-21-23, 02:46 PM
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I really like the idea of using a bike for transportation to run errands and such. I have a fine grocery, community pool, restaurants, and ball fields that I would be perfect for a family using bicycles. I just don't know if you're going to be happy with just one bike. My children and grandchildren all had bicycles that fit before they got to five feet tall. We used Electra kids/Townies and Specialized Rock Hoppers.
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Old 01-21-23, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
I really like the idea of using a bike for transportation to run errands and such. I have a fine grocery, community pool, restaurants, and ball fields that I would be perfect for a family using bicycles. I just don't know if you're going to be happy with just one bike. My children and grandchildren all had bicycles that fit before they got to five feet tall. We used Electra kids/Townies and Specialized Rock Hoppers.
So yeah, Im going to be home shopping soon and enough space in the yard to build a shed for the bikes is definitely on the list.

Ill have my 4. My wifes one, and Canyon makes an MTB that is supposed to fit her, so maybe one more. The cargo bike whatever that turns out to be. My oldest will likely shed his training wheels this spring, and my youngest will hopefully follow soon. Plus all the scooters, ski gear, and that unicycle I still think I can learn to ride.

So yeah, definitely no question that were going to have a lot of bikes.

The poster above you mentioned hub drive vs mid drive. I can definitely see the appeal to that plus im comfortable building wheels, so I can save a fraction there too. Ive never ridden a front wheel motor before, do they handle funny? Ive heard they dont have the power of a mid-drive but is it enough? I live in a hilly area and most rides would be between 2 and 7 miles. The kids currently have a combined weight of 60lbs but that will only increase.

As for building my own ebike, if I can find an older Yuba Boda Boda, that makes sense. Theyre supposed to fit 49 to 510 which is both of us. Aside from a one off like that, Id probably buy a factory equipped one.
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Old 01-21-23, 07:45 PM
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I'm 5' 10", my wife is about 4' 10", we have bikes that the two of us can share; but crankarm length is the only limiting factor.

Her short legs would have her knees come up near her chest level on the upstroke of the crankarms.
Changing from 170mm crankarm to 152mm crankarm would allow the wife to pedal much easier.

My most recent cargo ebike purchase was a Black Friday purchase from Alibaba, received two weeks ago; I put about 10 miles on it today in windy condition, 40 degree F weather.
Upright riding position, dual batteries 36 Ah capacity total, 750w hub motor, hydraulic brakes (which activates the rear brake light), 5 PAS levels, with 35 km/h top speed with throttle, smooth power output/engagement.
$1662 delivered to my door.





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Old 01-22-23, 06:43 PM
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If you reside in a hilly area, a mid-drive is superior. I think purchasing a factory built unit is the best option (for you).

Last edited by 2old; 01-24-23 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 01-23-23, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Ive never ridden a front wheel motor before, do they handle funny?
From a test ride at an e-bike demo day thing: yes, front drive is strange. Mid drive and rear drive both handle normally. If you can find something that fits her and has a very upright riding position and a quick-release seatpost, it'll probably be fine for you. Smaller wheels to put the kids' center of gravity lower to help wrestle the bike around (especially if she's also much lighter as well as shorter, she'll have less of her own mass to stabilize things.)

A current bike rather than a DIY special may make accessories easier to find. Of the bikes we demoed (5'5" and 5'8", so a much easier pair to fit), the one that felt like it would go down the smallest was the Tern GSD, which officially says 4'11" at the shortest, but if you can find one to try that seems worth trying.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:43 AM
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Everyone has his/her opinion, but for me a front wheel hub system is perfect for a cargo bike since it helps distribute the weight evenly. My first conversion was front hub and was a marvelous addition for on and off road adventures. It's still being enjoyed by my daughter on a cruiser eight years later. Of course, as I stated before, it's not for carrying cargo in hilly areas.
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Old 01-25-23, 06:37 AM
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What about the Bike Friday Haul A Day? Seems like a great option, and one of the only options as well, considering that both of you want to be able to ride it.
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Old 01-25-23, 08:27 AM
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Bike Friday stuff can cost a premium, Haul-A-Day with electric assist is upwards of $4k; and also long wait time if you are ordering for yourself specifically.
Bike Friday frames are somewhat fragile, I don't know how well those thin tubes on Bike Friday frames hold up while carrying extra cargo but IME of riding the Tikit for 4 years, once the frame gets damaged, you have to send it back to Oregon to get repair done, very costly.
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Old 01-25-23, 08:58 PM
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Update, I bought a bike.


I saw a Yuba Boda Boda in what appeared to be good shape for a decent price. It came with the butt pad, kid cage, and dual saddlebags.

I took her to see it and see if it fit. It actually fits! She rode it around comfortably. I could get shorter cranks and stem but it seems fine.

I could tell she was in love with it. Shes a notorious cheapskate for bike purchases and was just beaming. I Venmos the seller right away and now its in my garage.

This bike has a front dynamo hub that powers front and rear lights. Kinda cool. For that and just the overall layout of the bike, I ordered a 500w Bafang rear wheel. 48v 17.5ah battery.

The front fork is Disc compatible but the dynamo hub isnt. The rear brake is post mount only. Considering its her and the kids, Im not going to mess around with Alivio level V-brakes, so a front and rear set of Magura HS11s are also on the way. I asked for the brake sensor, not the replacement lever, so these can work.

Right now Im $1600 in and expect to spend a little more on odds and ends.

Im very happy with all of this. Itll probably be on the road mid February.

Its dark now so no photos but here is one that the seller had in the ad. Not pictured is the kid cage and bags.
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Old 01-26-23, 01:21 PM
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Happy riding. Cargo bikes are awesome. And I am a cheapskate as well. I was planning to electrify my home made cargo bike as well but could not resist a 4 year old Radwagon3 for $400. Sold the other one now.
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Old 01-26-23, 02:09 PM
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Im rather curious what Ill get in the package.

The Bafang USA site only sells front wheels and mid drives. I wanted a rear wheel.

The top hit on Amazon has rear drives available but in their poorly translated description, they mention that its disc only. If youd like rim, send them a message. Two messages now and I dont think they have any idea what Im asking. Though they did confirm that Ill get the correct sensor for the brake levers.

The official site has front wheels disk and rim compatible.

I do believe there is a greater than 0% chance that the wheel I get will have a brake track and the seller doesnt understand the difference.

Im not worried. The wrong rim would give me a reason to find some sort of bulletproof rear rim and lace it up with fat spokes. Maybe thats unnecessary, my wife + 2 kids are probably 170lbs.

It looks like most everything should be in my hands by next Friday. Assuming no major issues, I should have it all on the road a day or two after that.
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Old 01-28-23, 03:52 PM
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I thought this is a great value for $1700.
https://electrek.co/2022/12/12/eunor...c-bike-review/
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Old 02-21-23, 01:47 AM
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Lectric is getting into the cargo ebike game with $1400 & $1700 offers.
Looks like good value to me.

https://lectricebikes.com/products/xpedition-single-battery

https://ebikeescape.com/lectric-xpedition-review/




Last edited by cat0020; 02-21-23 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 02-21-23, 10:07 AM
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Old 02-22-23, 11:55 AM
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Bike Friday Bike Friday Haul-A-Day Family Cargo Utility | Bike Friday has an adjustable frame so it fits anyone in seconds. The Frames are very durable, steel, and there are many BF in use that are from the 1990's. They also store easily vertically which is a space saver. Also The frames come with a 10 year warranty, that's how sure they are about the quality. You won't find that on other bikes afaik. And, being steel, the frames are easily repaired unlike aluminum frames. I managed to damage my BF frame (my fault) and I just stripped the bike and sent the frame back - it was $50 - and BF paid for return shipping to me. Since the haul a day separates in two parts, IF there was a frame issue you would only have to send back half, lol. And, like I said, tons of people are still riding BF frames from the 1990s - they are NOT fragile, have to disagreed with previous poster on that. Spend some time on the BF Facebook group and you'll see some very old classic BF being used for touring carrying lots of stuff. All that would be required to change fit for your wife is to push in the frame pin and shorter the length and adjust the seat QR (you can put a permanent mark for her seat position).

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Old 02-22-23, 12:26 PM
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That's a very large difference and you might not get there but there are some things that can help.

Lots of cargo and e-bikes come in one size. Look for one in three sizes and try to fit her on a small.

Surly's new bike (Skidloader) has a really slack seat tube to help with overall reach.

Gazelles come with an adjustable stem with a quick release lever. However, close=high and the small frame already has the same stack as the medium.

Some cargo bikes are now coming with a dropper seat posts. Helps with loading and launching but also helps change size quick for multiple riders.
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