So, I've been looking at replacing my years old Novaro framed Xtracycle with something new. I like having a cargo bike of some sort around for doing my shopping, not having to worry about how I'm going to get everything home. I have a Burley trailer for the littlest one, but putting two in there isn't going to work. And putting a child with a week's worth of groceries for 4 - with a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies just doesn't work. I also ride the cargo bike because it is my most comfy ride for cruising around. Besides not having the money for a new one at the moment, I just can't decide what to get. When I think that I have the answer, I change my mind, or some idea or thought about said decision makes me rethink. Here are some pros and cons of each of the major players - Surly Big Dummy, Trek Transport, and the Civia Halsted. Not listed, because of money issues are the Ahearne Cycle Truck and the Hunter Cycles minicyclecargotruck (my name - although if I had the money, it would be the winner).
By far the best choice, been around for a long time, uses the Xtracycle platform, so it has lots of options, a frame designed from the ground up to take a heavy load, wouldn't have to put extra money into it for upgrades right off the bat (just tires and chainrings) nice construction, can still use a Burley trailer and Owen could sit on the rear Snapdeck, off road capable, best for touring, lightweight for what it does, awesome name, and I already have the shirt.
Most expensive out of the realistic choices, long so its hard to get on or in a car for transportation (touring), steel - so I have to spray the inside, needs a front rack of some sort for small everyday things and a kickstand (which is super expensive), and weird sizing so I don't know what size to ride.
Less expensive than the Big Dummy, can carry as much, already has a front carrier, aluminum - less care for the frame, comes with a better bag system and folding side mounts, Owen could still sit on the rear rack, has some cool mounts for a front light, convertable dropouts for rear hub, pretty much a great fit out of the box, and it would be supporting a brand the bike shop I work at carries.
Has been out for less than 6 months - so it doesn't have a long history yet, if you listen the internet "experts" who have yet to ride the bike they say it is a bad design that won't carry heavy weights very well, needs some parts right off the bat - extra bag, rear disc brake, rear derailleur, chainrings, and wider tires, can't use a Burley trailer - would have to put Josie on the rear rack and that might be trouble with both of the kids up there, but nobody has done that to my knowledge, unknown if it is good for a longer distance tour, and it is really heavy about 50 pounds to the Big Dummy's 35.
The least expensive option, the size is good for storage and any type of transporting, front loading platform - good to carry groceries and daily supplies, lightweight, can use a rear rack and the Burley, best for everyday in town use, and I thing one of the coolest looking.
Would only be for around town - don't think it would work well for a tour, needs a rear derailleur, front brake, and tires, no word on how it rides - although for tooling around town and to work probably pretty darn good, no place for Owen - but we could use a Trail-a-Bike, and need to carry more than one tube at a time.
Well there it is, no idea what I want to do, or can afford. Time will tell.