long john cargo bike

Cargo bikes in Canada

Want to carry your kids or things on your bike? Read on. It can be hard to find in Canada so I've compiled info on cargo bikes, bakfiets (box bike) and cargo trailers in Canada and the United States. Contact Herb through IBikeTO.ca with any questions, information, or advertising suggestions.


Eastern Canada



Western Canada




Cargo Trailers

Background to the cargo bike

A cargo bike is a bicycle that has been especially built to carry larger amounts of cargo such as groceries, bricks, even children. The cargo bike that has become the most popular is often called a "long john", first appearing in the 1920s in Denmark, Sweden, and The Netherlands. The long wheelbase bike with a box in front is now typically called a bakfiets or boxbike. It can carry a lot of weight and can be quite easy to drive once you get used the feel.

There are now a number of different types of cargo bikes. There are number of companies making longtail bikes with the cargo carrying capacity in the back, including the Yuba Mundo, Xtracycle, and so on.

North American companies are also getting into cycletrucks which are typically of the similar length of regular bikes but with a smaller front wheel and a front cargo deck attached to the frame and not the fork to allow stability in carrying large loads. These include Civia Halsted and the Soma Pickup Artist. Cycletruck designs have been around for almost a hundred years in Europe and North America.

And there are the cargo trikes of which Christiania Bikes and Boxcycles is the most representative.

Read up more on the Dutch CargoBike on this article in Velo Vision Magazine where the author, Jonathan Ward, explains why he chose the CargoBike. Bakfiets and Workcycle are the best known Dutch cargo bike makers.

If anybody comes across an interesting new cargo bike company, let me know. For instance, I'd be interested to find out when the UK company, Cycles Maximus comes to North America, though I've heard they're out of business. They've got some interesting, hardcore cargo trikes with electric assist. They sell a Lynch PowerDrive e-assist that supposedly can get 250kg up steep hills. If true, then it may be a winner for heavy loads, though it appears it may only work with trikes.

Look at the Cargo bike gallery for ideas of what's possible.