If you’re a first time cargo bike owner, you might have a couple of questions about it. It’s going to be a part of your life for many years, after all. It may even be something you use every day. Aside from how to actually use the cargo bike, knowing how to safely store and transport can be a big help. This will be useful for general maintenance purposes, as well as when you think about taking the bike on holiday. Making sure that it can get there in one piece (no matter which method of travel you’ve opted for) ensures that everyone in the family will have hours of fun even when you’re away from home for some rest and relaxation.
One of the biggest challenges with owning any type of machinery is ensuring that it stays in the best possible condition over time, and as wear and tear sets in with prolonged use. The ultimate goal should be to preserve the lifespan of your cargo bike, in order for you and your family to enjoy it for many years to come. Good maintenance helps make this a lot easier. Knowing how to safely store and transport your bike should be part of your overall maintenance plan, as it will help lead to consistent performance over time. Our tips below will help you to start the process.
Whenever you’re storing your cargo bike, it’s worth placing a tarp or cover on top of it to help protect it from the elements. Although covers fit directly over the bike, if you leave them on for an extended period of time, moisture may get trapped inside there over the rainy season. In this instance, using a tarp suspended above the bike is a better idea, although you will need to wipe it down more regularly for dust. Explore what works best for you between the two depending on weather conditions in your area. The extra care and effort will go a long way towards maintaining the quality of your bike over a long period of time.
We’ve mentioned moisture getting stuck inside a cover over time as an introduction to one of the most important rules related to maintaining a cargo bike: the drier you can keep it, the better. When you’re thinking about where to store the bike, choose a spot that is dry and safe, like a shed, storage room or a garage. Prolonged moisture (like being out in the rain overnight) can wreak havoc on many of the components of the bicycle, and can lead to rust and other damage. Keeping it in a secure location also reduces the risk of it being stolen, which is the last thing you want to be worried about.
Speaking of security, storing a cargo bike efficiently always has to keep doing so under lock and key. Whether you’re storing the actual bike vertically or horizontally, in a corner or somewhere more visible outdoors, always remember to have a strong and sufficient bike log to help deter potential thieves. Cargo bikes are hot property after all, so chat to your bike manufacturer about lock options. Taga’s bikes are equipped with locks for the various compartments too, ensuring that even your accessories are secured while it’s parked at home, or when you’re out and about.
Safely transporting your bike in a car, van or truck requires you to do a bit of planning. You will need a hitch rack or something similar, and ideally getting exact instructions from the manufacturer of your bike will be useful, especially as not all cargo bikes are created equal. Whether you have an electric or non-electric model, always make sure that the bike is securely latched. If it isn’t possible based on the size of the vehicle, use a trailer towed behind the car if possible. Many motorbike users do the same when they go on vacation. Never store any components on top of the roof without a roof rack with sufficient padding.
If you’re thinking about taking a bus trip with your cargo bike, the bad news is that most front trays on buses are too short to accommodate longtail cargo bikes. Rear racks work a lot better, as they usually do with traditional bikes. It’s worth checking in with different bus companies in your area about their specific regulations. The challenging thing is that they can’t always guarantee that a specific bus will be equipped to handle your specific type of cargo bike. A little bit of research will go a long way, but you may well just end up being better off trying another mode of transport if it gets a little overwhelming.
Trains, planes and ferries make life a little easier for cargo bike travelers. There is generally more space to safely do so without having to risk damage to the bike itself. It can however be a costly exercise too. In all three cases, it’s worth investing in sufficient padding and packing it up as if you were shipping any kind of large item. In terms of size and weight restrictions, the travel provider will be able to tell your bike is good to go. One thing to keep in mind with electric cargo bikes that use lithium batteries, is that their wattage may mean that they aren’t allowed to be carried on planes. This is something to enquire about upfront, as you may end up not being able to transport one of the most important components of the bike on your trip with certain carriers. As a rule, whenever you’re transporting your cargo bike by any means, always do as much research as you can upfront, talk to your supplier about their suggestions, and do what you can to make it as seamless as possible.