Choosing a cargo bike for carrying kids - are 2 or 3 wheels best?

Cargo bikes are slowly gathering popularity in the UK as a great way to transport both kids and goods. They're a common sight on the continent, and are quickly becoming a popular choice in some areas of the US, so it's not unreasonable to expect to see more parents riding a cargo bike on the roads and cycle routes of this country in the coming years, especially if fuel prices remain high.

What is a cargo bike?

Close up photo of Christiania cargo bike for carrying small baby and childrenA cargo bike is, as the name suggests, a bike for carrying cargo! They come in many different shapes and sizes, typically with a box (a bit like a wheelbarrow) on the front, or a bench or box on the back. The great thing for parents is that "cargo" can include your children, so it's a viable method of transporting your kids to school, clubs and friends houses (assuming you've got safe routes to cycle). You can also load it up with groceries, or any other cargo you fancy, so they are popular with car-free households, or those looking to reduce their car costs or petrol consumption.

One of the first questions you need to answer when buying a cargo bike to carry your children is "Do I need to choose a cargo bike with 2 or 3 wheels".

Cargo bikes with 3 wheels

A three wheeled cargo bike is a popular choice for transporting children, due to the stability it offers to the rider.  Having two wheels supporting the box means you don't have to worry about supporting the bike at all times.

Coreen Serfilippi from Babboe Bikes tells us that three wheeler cargo bikes tend to be preferred by parents doing the school run by road as "you can relax at junctions and talk with the kids".

It's worth remembering that a 3 wheeled cargo bikes is less nimble than its two wheeled counterpart, and possibly heavier.

Cargo bikes with 2 wheels2 wheeled Cargo Bike for transporting kids

A two wheeled cargo bike can be a speedier option than a 3 wheeler, but does require the rider to have more balance.    A two wheeler cargo bike is an option if your routes don't require lots of stop starting along the way and if you're looking to pick up the pace of travel.

What's it like cycling with a child in a cargo bike?

Read our article by cycling mummy Juliet Kemp about how she finds cycling with her baby in a Christiania Cargo Bike.

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1 Comment

  1. […] weren’t lucky enough to own a cargo bike –  “Phew – that WOULD be weird – those are only meant for use in Holland […]

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