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Cargo Bikes – A Brief History

Freight bikes started out, unsurprisingly, as a way for tradesmen to easily transport their goods around without the need for a horse, or to pull the carts themselves. Originally, they would simply be ordinary bikes with large carriers attached at either the front or the back. It wasn’t long, though, before bicycle manufacturers began to manufacture specially designed freight bikes that were just the thing that businesses needed.

Cargo cyclists in front of Posten
Cargo cyclists in front of Posten.

Freight bikes were particularly popular in Copenhagen during World War II, when King Christian X would ride through the streets without a guard of soldiers, to provide some much-needed morale to citizens. However, he did have an unofficial guard, in the form of freight bike messengers from the Achilleus company. (Source: Copenhagenize)

King Christian X and Bike Messengers
King Christian X and bike messengers from Achilleus company

As the twentieth century rolled on, and motorised transport became more accessible to the average consumer, freight bikes fell out of fashion in Europe and America. However, elsewhere in the world, and particularly in Asian countries, they remained a popular choice for people who needed to get goods from A to B cheaply. In recent years, though, they have started to make a comeback, as people in the West start to adopt more eco-friendly lifestyles. They are a fantastic way of getting the job done in a more environmentally friendly way, and you’ll now find that plenty of people have adopted this greener method of transport.

Our take on the cargo bike is of course the Sidecar Bike. And we are happy to tell you that the first one-off project has reached our friend Jeremy in the UK: