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Self-defeatist
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Hey guys.

I was wondering which cargo bikes have the greatest weight capacity. In the summer I do local deliveries (within a few blocks) for a brewpub and using the stake-truck or even my car is really tedious in summer when the streets are crammed with tourists on foot and in their cars. Some streets are pedestrian-only and I have to make long trips with a loaded hand cart (a disaster waiting to happen, IMO).

I was thinking that a cargo bike or trailer would be ideal for weaving through tourists and getting as close to loading-doors as possible. Unfortunately most bikes have a cargo capacity of ~300 pounds. Most deliveries involve one-sixth-barrel torpedo kegs and it wouldn't be worth it to go with less than, say six, which is a common order in the summer months. A couple of restaurants order half-barrel kegs which are around 160 pounds and I'd like to be able to travel with at least three. Now we're talking about 450+ pounds...plus me, and I'm no slouch at about 250.

The only bike I can find that might fit the bill would be a Worksman front-loading trike. Optional mag wheels would probably be needed.



Am I missing anything? Are there any other bikes or trailers that would carry that much beer without balking? No rush, I've barely mentioned it to the brewery management, and I don't even start back to work until April. But they're pretty open minded, if I could come to them with a product and describe how it would make work easier/more efficient I think they might go for it.
 

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Not just weight capacity, but I think you need to consider the size of the platform. 3 kegs take up quite a bit of space on a bike platform. My feeling is that you need to look into a trailer of some sort.

Check out the thread by Stu in Tokyo. He's got a custom home-built trailer for carrying liquor and beer. Maybe not exactly what you need but at least he's carrying similar goods/weights.
 

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Yuba Mundo = 440 pound cargo capacity

Bikes-at-Work trailer = 300 pound cargo capacity

Add the two together, and you're talking ~750+ pounds capacity.

Or, use any bike and put two Bikes-at-Work trailers behind it hooked train style, 300+ pounds each. I've had 350 pounds on my Bikes-at-Work 64A with no problems. Just be sure to center the load over the axle(s).

As far as trailers are concerned, there's also Black Oak Fabrications out of Portland, OR. I have no experience with them but have read positive comments online. I'm also not sure what their capacity is, but their prices seem reasonable for a heavy duty trailer.
 

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You could have something custom built, too! Strong wheels is a pretty big thing at that point - I have a pair of BMX rims laced to 20mm axle MTB hubs which is probably ideal for that kind of build.

Having the weight low is absolutely necessary, too! I would want a trike with that much load.
 

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Yah, the Big Dummy can go for 400lbs rider+cargo, but would be an awful idea for this application on a regular basis (there's a few trendy shots of kegs on wideloaders on flickr, but not super practical). I think the bikes at work trailers might be your best move as they are modular/collapsible and keep the weight low and provide an area for you to put either buckets/bin or build a flat deck.

I suppose if you can fit all your cargo in something like the cetma then go for it. But if you'll always be needing just a little more room than that front area the modular trailer might be a better choice. The cetma would probably be easier to navigate through tourists though.
 

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...if you'll always be needing just a little more room than that front area the modular trailer might be a better choice. ....
As the Bikes at Work trailers are modular, you should see if you can get one with two axle sections. A four-wheel, double axle bike trailer would probably be more than strong enough to carry all the cargo you'd be capable of pulling.
 
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