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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new here, and excited because I am getting an electric cargo bike! I just ordered an e-Moto Ridge 4.5 ( off ebay, where they are going for $500ish, new, with a lithium battery. WOW! I can't buy a decent conversion kit for that price.

My plan is haul a LOT of groceries a few miles daily with it, as a 2nd car. Here in sunny Oakland California, weather is rarely an issue. I aim to add ability to carry 6 canvas shopping bags.

What's the best way to add such carrying capacity? Here's my current plan:

I used to have an xtracycle (stolen! grr) and love keeping the weight low, so I plan to extend the rear rack with a handmade Xtracycle-style design.

I start with a 24" 1.5" diameter steel curtain rod, complete with canvas curtain. Thread a 20" fiberglas tent pole through the bottom edge of the curtain. Lift the pole up to rod. add quick-release (or s-hooks) to clip it on. Now we have a sling. sew 4" of the ends shut. Put a 20" x 4" 1/8" plywood floor in. drill two small holes, attach two bits of baling wire, poke thru canvas. These will wind around the frame, to keep the floor stable enough to not go in the spokes. That's one double pannier. I'll attach these to the rack with hose clamps.

They must extend considerably past the back wheel to avoid heelstrike. To solve imbalance, I have considered:

1) extending the rear wheel backwards 6-10 inches. This is a metalworking project: cut the chainstays, splice in longer ones. This is my fallback plan but I might screw up the frame. I have the skills for this, but am out of practice, so this is somewhat risky.

2) adding a front rack and balancing my load. This is clearly simpler. The headtube and high handlebars leave what looks like 18" between handlebars and wheel, so I'm hopeful I won't have the clearance problems many have mentioned.

What would you recommend for a frame mount front rack? I can't find a simple, cheap frame-mounted front racks - STeno makes a $100 one but I'm not sure it'll fit, and can't find it in the USA so far.

I'm thinking of two options:

1) hacking a Wald 157 basket (21 x 15 x 9 inches, 25 lbs normal, 60 lbs max) to frame mount

2) making something like this. ...but thought I'd check to see if you have a better option.

I'm fine with modifying the bike to attach it, but of course it'd be better not to if I can avoid it. I am thinking a pair of u-bolts top and bottom of the headset, with a spacer block to shim the basket vertical, might be enough.

I hear suspension forks are a bad idea on cargo bikes, so I may replace it with rigid forks - we'll see how it goes. Any warnings about replacing front forks? I would prefer a 20" front wheel which would require longer forks, to lower the cargo rack. Any comments about that?



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For me simpler is easier. Just get a trailer like a BOB or a two wheel variety and use that. Weight capacity of the BOB is 80lbs, that's a lot of groceries.
I'm not able to frabracate stuff so I have to find off the shelf solutions for my problems.


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