Most people are able to pick up riding a cargo bike pretty quickly after a few rides. Here are some general tips:
- Bikes with mid-tails are similar to touring bikes. It's a good idea to avoid overloading the back with cargo if you don't want the bike to feel out of balance.
- Starting and stopping may be the biggest challenge for new cargo bikers. The bike may lean more to one side as you pedal. As you practice, however, it will become more intuitive.
- Carrying heavy cargo also requires some practice. It isn't a good idea to jump on it with kids or other passengers and pedal in traffic immediately. Carry cargo or a passenger on a flat, safe area before hitting the streets. Get a feel for how the bike handles and stops. Brake sooner and more gently when carrying heavy loads.
- Make sure your cargo is balanced, stable, secure, and does not exceed the maximum carrying capacity of your bike.
- Long cargo bikes are very stable, but be aware of where the rear wheel is behind you when you turn so you don't cut a corner too closely.
- Start riding an e-assist cargo bike at a lower assist setting and work your way up. Beginning with a higher assist can be jarring and unstable. Baby it into place.
Tips for Maintaining a Cargo Bike
Generally speaking, cargo bikes need to be serviced more frequently, even if you ride them every day for short trips. They are typically heavier and have longer chains, so they should be routinely inspected for wear and replaced as needed. If you're riding a heavier bike and carrying cargo, you're asking more of your brakes, so be sure to check them more often. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations for maintaining your cargo bike.