Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

Dutch Cargo Bicycle

What do you get when you cross a bicycle with a wheelbarrow? Why, this awesome Dutch cargo bike that can carry up to three young children!

It looks like a wheelbarrow attached to a bike - but transport experts believe it could be the solution to school-run traffic.

Families in Richmond are being asked to swap their 4x4s for a more environmentally friendly mode of transport: Dutch cargo bikes.

Each costs from £1,150 and can carry a rider and up to three young children, or the weekly family shop. The "wheelbarrow" section is fitted with seatbelts for children.


It seems like a good idea, but it takes some skill to balance those, especially with unpredictable children inside. In the event of an accident (even a minor oops where everyone falls over at low speed), those kids are not very well protected. (where-as in a safety approved covered trailer, there is frame protection and a layer of material to protect them from road rash.) There's also much less chance of a turn-over, even if the bike rider falls over.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Over the last year, I've seen a fair amount of them around town (which, in my case, is Portland, OR). Usually the riders are either delivering food or carrying around their worldly goods. So far, I haven't seen any children in them (and I doubt I will any time soon).

Probably not too common elsewhere given how much Portlanders love the bikes.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
It always gets me that the kids wear helmets (incorrectly in some cases) and the adults don't. It's great you're getting out and exercising with the kids, but let's set a good example while we're at it, eh?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Here in New Westminster, BC, one of the street people modded a shopping cart into a trailer for his mountain bike. He cut off the under carriage, turned it backwards, added two 12 inch wheels-and-axle and a hockey stick for a tongue (attaching to his seat post). Ideal for hauling recyclables or all your worldly goods. The hockey stick is a nice Canadian touch I thought.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
General safety nannies and helmet Nazis:
Are more interested in the illusion of safety than real safety numbers. Check out Netherlands fatality and injury while biking numbers.

Realize that the dutch do not wear helmets.

Then get a life.

The leading cause of death of American children is car accidents.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
there was a study somewhere that if you wear a helmet cars will pass you closer.

also: for the stabilaty: tehre are also (more common in the Netherlands)3 wheeled variants. Google images for the word: "bakfiets" for examples.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
What Zeytoun and K!p say. Yes, I'm a Dutch Amsterdammer, and this is the best way around town with kids and groceries (quicker than by car, no parking fees, you don't poison yourself and others) and you don't have to worry about the gas prices.
Plus contrary to the picture: most kids in the bakfietsen don't wear helmets: it would give them the idea that cycling is dangerous more than fun.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Of course, in Holland the traffic is used to lots of cyclists. So altough you only see small kids wearing helmets in Holland (because they tend to, you know, fall over a bit more), in an environment where cycling is less common (say, the US of A), using helmets is much more advisable.
Then again: to each their own..
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
What ever happened to kids walking to and from school? When I went, we had a group of the neighbourhood kids walk together. Parents are allowing children to get way to lazy. I can't even count the amount of parents I see parked out front of the schools to pick their kids up, then drive them home, which is around the corner or up the street.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'm an American who grew up in suburban Pennsylvania. I had my first car (a big fat pickup farm truck) when I was 15 years old. Later I moved to Atlanta, where it is difficult to do anything without a car.

I've lived in Amsterdam, Netherlands for the last two years, and I have driven a car a grand total of 3 times since I've been here! I have a old rusty single-gear bicycle with a milk crate strapped to the front (for the dog to ride in) -it's the poor man's Bakfiet.

I'm absolutely in love with the Dutch cycling culture, and I wish it would take hold in more places around the world. Dutch people in general are fit, happy, and healthy, and I attribute a lot of that to riding bicycles instead of driving cars. I think there are basically 3 reasons why it works:

1. Dutch people have bicycling in their blood. Kids learn to ride bicycles just after they learn to walk (small wooden balance-bikes with no pedals). To this da, the Dutch are still pissed that the german occupants stole their bikes at the end of WW2 (never mind all the other Nazi atrocities!)

2. Lawmakers prioritize in this order: people, bikes, and THEN cars. There are just as many bike paths in this country as there are roads. Most urban centers do not allow cars at all. Parking is a nice to have, not a must have. (In contrast, in Atlanta several downtown bars were shut down a few years ago because they did not have the legally required amount of parking spaces - where's the logic in that?!)

3. As Zeytoun so aggresively mentioned, they keep bicycling fun and accessable to all. No helmets required, no fancy $1000 mountain bikes, no lycra shorts. Anything that even barely resembles a working bicycle is perfectly acceptable, and anyone is welcome to join in.

So maybe that's the recipe: more bikes for a healthier, happier population. Wouldn't it be nice if more cities/countries had the same approach?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I remember the one time I went to Amsterdam, there was a barge dredging the canals, the cargo bay was a giant heap of dead bikes.

All the giant Dutch sit up and beg type.

I loved amsterdam for the bike culture, but i did no cycling.

I was in Denmark and cycled an almost identical bike from Helsingor to Copenhagen, which as much as I love them old style bikes was bloody hard work, they weigh a ton.

In DK the priority is as Fumbata said about Holland, people bikes cars.

There's a law that states if you in a car bang into a cyclist it is automatically your fault.

The emphasis is that if you are driving a car you are in charge of a deadly weapon and so should duisplay greater care.

which is absolutely bang on.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
A couple of factors that Fumbata forgot to mention in regard to the popularity of bikes in the Netherlands; the climate is relatively temperate, and the terrain in much of the country is very flat. If I lived in a place where the roads weren't covered in ice three months of the year, didn't have to deal with hilly terrain, and was able to get to work without smelling like a horse in the summer, I'd definitely ride a bike most of the time.

As it is, I can accomplish bike commutes about half the time total, but the weather & terrain in the upper midwest just don't work in your favor. I'm guessing that's also the case in much of the rest of the US, although having an infrastructure built around a biking mindset would certainly help.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
There are a few misconceptions here. The photo was taken in England, hence the helmets. You only very rarely see kids wearing helmets on bikes here. The same goes for adults unless they're racing.

The bikes in the picture look more like the ones made by than the fietfabriek model (there are quite a lot of manufacturers in competition for this market). They handle well and are very stable to ride.

Kids do cycle and walk to school. It looks like this:

As for temperate... It was -6 C ( 21 F ) for several days last winter and no-one stopped riding, and it hit 35 C ( 95 F ) in the summer this year, and that just meant that the bikes were ridden to the beach. And hills ? Having ridden in hilly places and here, I can assure you that the mighty headwinds that you get in a flat country are much worse than hills. You don't get to go back down the other side of a headwind. Note also that levels of cycling in Switzerland are significantly higher than the US or UK. Switzerland is anything but flat.

And how much are bikes ridden here ? Well, in this city the average person makes 1.2 cycle journeys per day.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Hi, these bikes are great, i just got myself one imported from a company in the netherlands whom sell and deliver these for around $2000, I use it to go to central park and drop my little pride and joy at the playground!.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Where did you get yours?, I have been looking for a Bakfiets for a wile but so far all i have been able to find are ones with a $3000 pricetag?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 21 comments
Email This Post to a Friend
"Dutch Cargo Bicycle"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More