Bicycle Cargo, Chapter 1: Racks And Bags
Hartmut Ortlieb started his bike pannier business in 1982 and soon developed a method of welding panniers and giving them roll tops. In no time at all, his products were synonymous with waterproof cycle touring. Later this technology would morph into other collections, including bike commuting products. Alas, much of the range uses Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) coatings, which is not one of our favourite materials. But you can buy the Greenpeace Line which is PVC Free. And Ortlieb area financial member of the European Outdoor Group's Association for Conservation.
Ortleib Greenpeace line
The United Kingdom's Pashley have been making bicycles for over 80 years and sold them into 50 countries, so it's no coincidence that they that also have achieved some fame, at least within bike circles, for their line of workbikes. Which include several models, like the Pronto and Courier seen here, that have built-in provision for a cargo rack at the front of the bike. A related version is the MailStar used by Royal Mail posties for service throughout the UK, humping up to 24 kg of letters and parcels. There's also a butcher boy style Delibike.
Pashley Work Bikes
Pass & Stow
Another one for the aficionado, the Pass & Stow Standard rack sells for $250 USD. But is made with care by a San Franciscan bike framebuilder, who spent 18 months or so perfecting his prototypes, so he could justify the use of fillet-brazed aircraft grade 4130 cro-moly steel going into a bike rack.
Pass & Stow
Maria Boustead and Emily Siegler, being Chicago designers, wondered if a more feminine bike bag might be possible, instead of lumping about a bike messenger's bag. The Po Campo Handlebar Bag (seen here) and the Rack Bag are their answers to that question. Rings and clips quickly fasten the otherwise sharp looking bag (with detachable tuckaway shoulder strap) to a bike's handlebars or rack. Fashionable and functional. Prices start at about $90 from places like Supermarket.
This is a Dutch language blog that looks at the significance of the famed 'Transport Bicycle' or Transportfiets, in all its many permutations. The blog has many lovely photos and line drawings of bikes that have a certain beauty, even though their obvious first calling is practicality. All recalling a time when bicycles were also valued for their cargo hauling abilities.
Münster, Germany, is home to Tubus, who've been into the carrier building game for 18 years. Their carriers are more of the style favoured by long distance cycle tourers, but are very well respected for that form of bicycle cargo hauling. The racks are made from stainless steel, chrome moly steel, or as of last year, titanium -- a material they believe they were the first to use for bike racks. The Airy model can handle a a maximum payload of 30 kgs (66 lbs), yet weighs a mere 197 grams (7 oz).
Tubus Carrier Systems
Chris Kulczycki is Velo Orange and vice versa. From Chris you can obtain a goodly selection of Made-in-the-USA, hand welded, polished 304 stainless steel tubing racks. including the classic styled VO Porteur Rack seen here. It's due for release this month and is expected to sell for $190 USD. If your wallet and cargo needs are more modest you could opt for the rear VO Croissant bag. Heavy duty dry waxed canvas with leather trim - yours for $55 USD. Or Velo Orange also offer less expensive versions of their racks in fillet brazed and chrome plated steel from Japan.
NB: TH Reader Patrick W. wrote in saying this post was almost painful to read, containing as it did, a plethora of typos and the like. He was absolutely right. It is very difficult to self-proof when you have a newborn baby and you're trying complete a project at 3.30am in the morning. My apologies to any other readers who also suffered through the many errors in the initial rendering. Hopefully most have now been corrected.
Keep Reading: Bicycle Cargo. Chapter 2: Bike Trailers
More Bicycle Round Ups
• Five Stylin' Ways to Haul Stuff on Your Bike Handlebars
• 5 Solutions For Carrying Nearly Anything on the Back of a Bike
• 17 Examples of Pedal Power and Propulsion
• 13 Quadracycles - Four Wheel Bike Round-up
• Tricycle Round-up
• 21 Small Wheel Bikes - The Zippy Revolution
• 16 Crazy Bikes
• How Fast Can a Bicycle Go? 8 Videos Bring Us to Speed
• Buy Green: Large Wheel Folding Bikes
• BuyGreen: Small Wheel Folding Bikes
• 10 Wild 'N Crazy Bike Designs (Slideshow)
• 20 Freaky Bikes As Selected by Matador Life