Kickstarting a New Kind of Cargo Bike

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So if you remember, and have been following our blog, a while ago I began construction of a futuristic green cargo bike for our business – the project I lovingly refer to as Project 05404, after the serial number on the frame.

The goal was to create a technologically superior cargo bike to service urban clients, that made use of as many recycled parts as possible while taking advantage of the latest technologies to make it greener, and more efficient than ever. A green bike that would carry heavy loads with the least amount of effort.

I’m happy to say that it’s 85 per cent finished! My eco-end goal is in sight, and it’s a beauty – an amalgamation of low tech, no tech and high tech – recycled parts and the most exciting innovations. And it’s preparing to get down to some serious work.

Like everything we do, I invested where it counts and placed emphasis on what is key. It’s designed to be the best of its kind, simple to maintain and built with the future in mind.

That simple cast off mountain bike frame now sports old school rear cantilever brakes that were recycled along with some other bits and pieces. And I gratefully accepted the offer of a Burley two-kid carrier that will work equally well for cargo. It’s the perfect fit for the project and for our business philosophy. Starting as a local, worker-owned cooperative, Burley is now a world leader, setting the bar for safety, durability and thoughtful design. I respect that.

The bike needed a new chain – carefully measured for custom length termination – not so high tech, but there’s no slack in the new direct drive transmission.

Now that’s worth talking about. Our little project has the most advanced, continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the market. In future, every e-bike will have one, but 05404 will be the first to put it forward on a cargo bike. The Fallbrook N360 derailer-free CVT will push our pedal power to the peak of efficiency and make handling loads on inclines smooth and jar-free. That’s important when we’re carrying sensitive hi-tech parts and equipment and easier on our legs as well.

So what’s left? Front brakes, seat construction, some assembly and aesthetics. A little local activity using the Burley for its original intention, and a maiden voyage for Project 05404: The Connectrix Eco-Cargo Bike. It might be deserving of a real name by then.

I’m not sure what the future will hold, but I do know we’re starting something.