The Best Family Cargo Bikes

Apartment Therapy's Annual Guide

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Cargo bikes used to be a strictly Dutch and Danish thing, and the rare sighting in North America was a traffic stopper. Now, as more families are selecting cargo bikes as their transportation of choice, there are more options on the market. I've been contemplating one for my own family and have been known to stop cargo cyclists for a game of 20 questions. I've gone straight to the source, posing those burning questions directly to cargo bike makers. Here are the details on some of the sweetest rides around:

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1. Johnny Loco, starting around $2700

Family bike model: Multi Purpose Bike (MPB) Cargo
How many kids can sit in it? The MPB Cargo bike can carry up to four children, or two adults.
Age/weight/height restrictions? 330 lbs max.
Is there an electric assist kit available? Yes, the E-Cargo is only available in black for $4,390.
What kind of seat belts and safety features are there in the cargo area? The MPB seats have the styling of a retro beach chair with safety belts sewn into the linings.
What frame materials do you use? A combination of steel and alloy keeps the bike's weight down.
What components and gearing options does your bike feature? Our MPB is fitted with disc brakes, Nexus 3 Shimano gear hub, leather grip tape, a cruiser saddle, and a very rare and exclusive tilt system which helps in the driving experience.
Where are your bikes manufactured? Not disclosed.
Where are your bikes available? We supply both the consumer and the retail channels. US distributor Seattle E-Bike is working to introduce the Johnny Loco to the American market.
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2. Virtue Bike, starting around $1,500

Family bike models? Gondoliere for long-John version, School Bus 3-Wheeler.
How many kids can sit in it? One in the Gondoliere, two in the School Bus.
Is there an electric assist kit available? Yes, around $1,699 for SchoolBus+ and $1,599 for Gondoliere+.
What kind of seat belts and safety features are there in the cargo area? 3-point seat belts.
What frame materials do you use? Steel on bike frame, wood on the box.
What components and gearing options does your bike feature? Shimano Acera 7 speed.
Where are your bikes manufactured? China
Where are your bikes available? Check our list of authorized dealers.
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3. Nihola

Family bike model names? We have two bikes, which are used for child transportation. The Nihola Family accommodates two children and the Nihola 4.0, which can carry up to four children.
What are the age/weight/height restrictions for passengers? You can ride with children from the age of one month, other than that there is no restriction on age or height. The maximum load in the cabin is 220 lbs for the Nihola Family and 265 lbs for the Nihola 4.0.
Is there an electric assist kit available? We do not export our bikes with electrical assist, but they are available here in Denmark. Our bikes can be retrofitted with electrical assists, but the price depends on the type and the recommended retail price in the particular country.
What kind of seat belts and safety features are there in the cargo area? There is a seatbelt, which is mandatory to use and we also have y-belts for children under the age of three years old.
What frame materials do you use? Top quality black aluminum wheel rims, Magura parking brakes, screws and fittings in stainless steel, built-in fittings for dog belts, hand-built Danish frame with extra horizontal strengthening steel bars in the cabin, aluminum seat post and cabin floor, 8 cabin colors in top quality plastic, black powder coated frame, and maintenance free steering with hydraulic damper.
What components and gearing options does your bike feature? We use SRAM 5 with coaster brakes or Shimano Nexus 8 with freewheel.
Where are your bikes manufactured? Denmark
Where are your bikes available? See our list of international dealers.

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4. CETMA Cargo, contact for pricing

Family bike model name? The most popular model among families is the Largo, which is big enough to easily carry two kids and a few bags of groceries.
How many kids can sit in it? I've seen a Largo carry five kids at a time but it's generally used for two kids, side by side.
What are the age/weight/height restrictions for passengers? My bikes fit riders from 5-feet to 7-feet.
Is there an electric assist kit available? Yes, my bikes can be outfitted with most e-assist systems on the market.
What kind of seat belts and safety features are there in the cargo area? My bikes can be equipped with a three-point harness. The passenger box is a functional safety feature, providing a protected space low to the ground and in view of the driver.
What frame materials do you use? CETMA Cargo bikes are build from 4130 cro-moly steel.
What components and gearing options does your bike feature? Standard build kits include the NuVinci internally-geared hub, mechanical disc brakes, Schwalbe Marathon tires, Busch and Muller dynamo head and tail lights, and FSA Metropolis crank, handlebar, stem, and headsets.
Where are your bikes manufactured? Every single CETMA bike is handmade by Lane Kagay in his shop in Venice Beach, California.
Where are your bikes available? CETMA bikes are strictly mail-order.
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5. J.C. Lind Bike Co., base price $3,399

Family bike model name? Triple Lindy
How many kids can sit in it? Up to four.
What are the age/weight/height restrictions for passengers? Total weight capacity for the front compartment is 250 pounds.
Is there an electric assist kit available? No.
What kind of seat belts and safety features are there in the cargo area? The Triple Lindy comes standard with 3-point shoulder harnesses and a lap-belt.
What frame materials do you use? Steel.
What components and gearing options does your bike feature? 5 speed internally geared hub, rear coaster brake and front drum brakes, and dyno powered front and rear LED lights.
Where are your bikes manufactured? The frame is manufactured in The Netherlands.
Where are your bikes available? The Triple Lindy is exclusively available in the US at J.C. Lind Bike Co. in Chicago.
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6. Yuba Bikes, Boda Boda starts at $999, Yuba Mundo starts at $1,299

Family bike model names? Yuba Mundo (pictured) and Boda Boda
How many kids can sit in it? The Mundo takes three on the back with "Monkey Bars" plus another in a handlebar seat, and the Boda Boda is recommended for one child on the rack and optionally one in handlebar seat.
What are the age/weight/height restrictions for passengers? We recommend that the child be at least one year old to ride in the Peanut Shell or Yepp Maxi.
Is there an electric assist kit available? We offer electric versions of all our bikes.
What kind of seat belts and safety features are there in the cargo area? All bikes come with integrated wheelskirts to keep feet away from wheels. We offer two child seats at different price points to hold children under five years old, a padded seat for older kids, and a "Hold-On" bar for the passenger for confidence when riding.
What frame materials do you use? The Boda Boda has an aluminum frame and the Mundo has a steel frame.
What components and gearing options does your bike feature? We use SRAM components. (Mundo - 21 speed or Nuvinci internally geared, Boda Boda - seven speed wide-range cassette).
Where are your bikes manufactured? Designed in USA, manufactured in China
Where are your bikes available? Yuba has over 100 stocking dealers across the United States and distributors and dealers in ten countries outside the US.
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7. Metrofiets, starting at $2,799

Family bike model names? Metrofiets Standard, IN8, X10,
How many kids can sit in it? Depending on the child's size, up to four.
What are the age/weight/height restrictions for passengers? 400lbs including rider.
Is there an electric assist kit available? Yes, $4,995 for the ready to ride bike.
What kind of seat belts and safety features are there in the cargo area? 3 point over the shoulder harnesses and marine grade, 12mm plywood. What frame materials do you use? 4130 ChroMo Steel Milled and made in the USA
What components and gearing options does your bike feature? The Metrofiets Standard internal 8 speed features the following components: headset - FSA the Pig, bottom bracket - Alfine, rear hub - Alfine internal 8 speed, front hub - Alfine dynamo, stem - XLC adjustable 90MM, bar - XLC trekking, grips - Black PDW Italian leather grips, rims - Sun Rhyno, brakes - Avid bb7 Mechanicals, fenders - Bertode stainless steel, tires - Big Apple 2.0, saddle - Leather Cardif Cornwall, crank set - 39T Alfine, lighting - LED B& M Front and LED Pixeo rear.
Where are your bikes manufactured? In Portland, Oregon at the Metrofiets workshop.
Where are your bikes available? Order direct from Metrofiets or contact them for their growing list of dealers.

Do you use a cargo bike?

(Image credits: Christin Gasner / Shutterstock; Johnny Loco; Virtue Bike; Nihola; Cetma Cargo; J.C. Lind Bike Co.; Yuba Bicycles; Metrofiets Cargo Bikes)