The Dutch are the original designers of the "bakfiets" cargo bikes - though the Danish have a long legacy of their own with the "Long John" variety of cargo bikes. When you cruise the streets of either Copenhagen or Amsterdam you'll see lots of imaginative examples of everything from babies to plants to bags of flour carried around.
Cargo bike is made in the U.S.A.
Now a Portland, Oregon (of course!) bike shop called Metrofiets has started building their custom-made version of the "bakfiets" cargo bikes for between $2,700 and $3,200. Yes that price is high (and the bike takes six weeks to build) - enough to make your heart quiver at the thought of spending that much in a recessionary economy on a BIKE! But Metrofiets is comparable with an imported Dutch bakfiets. And what makes Metrofiets unique?Except for Japanese Shimano components, the bike is not only made in the U.S. but also from U.S.-sourced components, and according to Metrofiets designers, as locally as possible from Portland and the Pacific Northwest.
The Metrofiets design also has a larger front wheel than a classic bakfiets, and the wooden cargo box is detachable (though for weaklings like me detaching it would probably not be feasible). Possibly on the downside, the Metrofiets cargo box does not have the fold-down seats of some bakfiets' designs. It also doesn't have a cargo box cover for Portland's famous frequent drizzle - bakfiets has one here.
Metrofiets is not the first U.S.-constructed cargo bike, according to a commenter at the Oregon Manifest bike show. Jan VanderTuin has been custom building cargo bikes in Eugene, Oregon for years. His Long Haul, priced at around $2,600, comes with either a fiberglass box, or an aluminum frame, or a wood and aluminum cargo box. Via ::PortlandBike.org
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