Pimping your Cargo Bike

If you have a bakfiets (cargo bike) and its being used to transport your family around, then there could be a lot of small tweaks you can do to make it more family friendly.

So far, this is what I’ve done to our bike:

The bag was made for the trunk of cars, but fit the width of the box perfectly.

The most welcome addition was a flip-top boot organizer (commonly called a bag) with a velcro closing mechanism, neatly tucked under the seat. No more the noise from rattling equipment!

Costs £9.9 each, but I got two so I can swap between long family trips and daily commute.

This safety edge protection is sold in packages of 2 meters, to go around the entire box you’ll need two.

The corner padding around the box was a very welcome addition to the bike. As the kids put their knees on the edge when climbing onboard, this definitely made that easier. Resting the head on it on their naps is also suddenly a more humane option. Costs £5.99 each.

Paid £79 for the Sturmey Archer Front Drum Brake Hub 36h 70mm Dynamo.

Initially I had a dynamo on the front fork, but it actually broke off while riding. Just luck that it didn’t jam the wheel and cause some kind of incident. So I replaced the front wheel hub with a dynamo, which is clean and nice.

I did this at a bike shop for about £130, which included the dynamo, spokes and labor for the rebuild.

The light from the Busch & Muller AVY Front Dynamo Light looks like a tulip, with a nice box projection in front of the bike.

With the new front wheel dynamo, the repair shop recommended a new front light. Not sure why, as the one I had was already a dynamo light with he same specifications. The light from this one however, is better. Set me back £41.

It’s best to be heard when biking. The ding dong bell makes the characteristic sound recognized by other cargo bikers.

I bought one bicycle bell from Amazon, which arrived damaged. So I bought another from another manufacturer, and successfully combined the two for a proper ding-dong sound (as I didn’t have to return the broken bell). Cost £10.

A nice mobile phone holder on the handle bar; this is the Loop Mount. Well, it was nice until the padding fell off.

To hold my phone I chose the Loop Mount. Initially it was pretty nice, but after a while the rubber paddings fell off, and the holder is useless without them: my iPhone 12 Pro fell off while biking high speed on the road, I thank the case for saving it.

Now however, I’m waiting for the new Loop Mount Twist which can be twisted to portrait and landscape (Kickstarter). Which should solve both annoyances with this phone holder. Costs £45.

I bought a sticker pack for the kids which they quickly plastered all over the box.

Of course, no family bike is complete without stickers. I got a bunch of waterproof vinyl stickers that the kids loved. They stay put while being easy to remove. Cost £4.21.

This is a hook for hanging the kids bike on the outside of the box.

For our trips when the kids are riding their own bikes – they do get tired. This hook (£5.99 for two) allows me to hang the bike on the outside of the cab. I secure the bike with a heavy duty bungee cord (£6.99 for 10).

One time my youngest hurt herself when getting out of the box, as she forgot about the hook and scraped her back 🙁

A nice seat for a grownup passenger.

Some times we all ride the cargo; wife, kids and me. For those times it’s a good idea to have the rear seat on the bike rack. I didn’t put on the backrest as I doubt it adds any real value. Cost £10-20.

These f
These foot rests in aluminum that takes up very little space when folded up.

For the passenger sitting all the way back, they need foot rests. These are the nicest I’ve been able to find. They are very sturdy, and snaps satisfyingly into position when folded up and down. Costs £12.99.

Some anti-slip tape on the bike frame.

The kids love to stand on the bottom beam, so to avoid too much falling and getting hurt – I stuck some anti-slip tape to it. Costs £7.99.

And do get some great pedals. These BMX pedals are so incredibly comfortable.

Over the years I have had several pedals, but they all basically broke apart. I assume the weight of the cargo bike limits your choices. You basically need to pay for some of the good ones. These are by far the best pedals I have ever had. I bought them in a bike shop, but I believe they are the DMR V8 Flat Pedal costing about £43.

For the winter season, I put a light chain on the cab. The best one I’ve found is from IKEA: it reaches almost around the entire box, and the LED lights have the perfect size for being installed from inside of the box (drill holes for each LED in the box, makes for a very clean installation). Something I plan to do this winter. For now, however I’ve just used some duct tape. Costs £7.

I’m also going to put some reflective tape on the cab, so the bike is easier spotted when it’s dark. I saw this on another cargo bike user and it’s a great upgrade. Costs £13.39.

In summary:

Flip-top boot organizer × 2£20
Corner padding × 2£12
Dynamo hub, spokes and labor£130
Busch & Muller AVY Front Dynamo Light£41
Ding-dong bell£10
Loop Mount Twist for phone£45
Sticker pack£4
Heavy duty bungee cord × 10£7
Rear seat£11
Rear seat foot rests£13
Anti-slip tape£8
DMR V8 flat pedals£43
Light chain for winter season£7
Reflective tape£13
Total cost £380.

So there you have it!

Oh yes, I’ve also put a small cooling back with plates, cutlery and cups in the bag under the seat. Luck favors the prepared (already saved one play date).


Leave a comment