Psychedelic Cargo Bike For U.S. Hipster Changes

America has a problem. Our citizens are overweight and lazy. Most of our trips, and more specifically most of our trips under five miles are made by auto.

For a variety of reasons it is either impractical or impossible to perform a number of tasks via bicycle. Some of this has to do with infrastructure, some with society and some with bicycles.

While countries like the Netherlands and Denmark have great cargo-carrying bikes, they largely have not hit our shores. Personally I think that Americans aren’t partial to the Amish-black color that these bikes come in.

Biomega and Puma’s long-term collaboration has resulted in a new approach to the U.S. cargo bike market. The new “fashionable” cargo bike reminds me a bit of the 1980’s mountain bike scene (right down to the Judy-yellow color on the fork) but it might just solve a problem–if you can get past the name..

The Mopion (sounds like a Volkswaggen moped) is an aluminum cargo bike that weighs in at a mere 50 pounds, and is available in more traditional colors like white and black as well as this eye-grabbing color scheme.

pumathang.jpg

I’m looking forward to trying this bike out, as my current cargo-carrying solutions tend to feel a bit awkward and unsteady. I’ve ridden the fietbikes that these are based on in Amsterdam and the small front pivot wheel makes them a tad bit faster to navigate than what I ride currently.

This bike might not solve the urban cargo problem, but it’s a start, and it’s a much-needed one if we’re ever going to get our cities to look more like Copenhagen than like Newark.



6 Comments

Eyes are drawn immediately to the bottom-bracket area and a wonder of “what can it do.” Will it whip around like a swizzle stick in a cheap Vegas cocktail or deliver like a heavy bakfiets?

Is it better than bent tentpoles and lawn-chair webbing held together with a skateboard? Let’s hope so and we’re riding it next month during Interbike.

I respectfully disagree— I think the key to getting cities to look more like Copenhagen starts with lifestyle choices.  Decades ago Americans made a conscious choice to flee the cities and move to the remotest suburb that was still within striking distance with a car. We chose a 3,000 square foot house on 1.5 acres with pool and jacuzzi over the 1,200 sq ft townhouse with access to a park and within walking distance of shopping, work, and services.

The cascading effect of this choice is that we require significant road infrastructure to support a car-based lifestyle. And a majority of Americans feel entitled to that infrastructure, and thus vote for taxes and appropriations that support that lifestyle.  Those same voters vote against appropriations for bicycle infrastructure.

It doesn’t help that the trucking industry is also lobbying strenuously against bicycle infrastructure—on the grounds a dollar spent on road infrastructure not only creates jobs but also facilitates the growth of our economy. And they’re right (in a circular sort of way) because our tendency to develop sprawling communities leaves no other practical way to deliver goods to consumers.

So if you want 35% of Americans commuting by bicycle as they do in Copenhagen, then 35% of Americans must pick up and move close enough to school and work to make that feasible. Which means moving back to the city and giving up the car.

Only **after** that major cultural shift occurs does it even begin to matter what color the cargo bike is.

50 pounds, and a cheap entry level 1x8 drivetrain? This one’s going to fly like a lead brick.

Puma, please leave the “cobranding fad bicycles” business model and get back to making shoes, which you do much better.

I’ve been dropping cultural shifts required into my posts too and even just recently said, “let’s stop living vicariously through Amsterdam and Copenhagen.” Our cites weren’t built 400 years ago with roads for carriages and with markets a walk away. Once you’ve been there you better understand that they don’t have oversize refrigerators cause they go to the market each day for their fresh produce. We’re not going to undo a nation built for the car in a generation and it isn’t a statement over there to ride a bike. It’s just what they do as a transportation choice. That was the point of [enthusiasts](http://bikehugger.com/2010/08/enthusiasts-v-the-rest-of-the.html) and [are we advocating wrong](http://bikehugger.com/2010/07/are-we-doing-it-wrong.html) posts. I’ve never seen so many folding bikes as in Spain—amazed me and the reason being is they use them on trains and to fit into the small apartments. Here in the States we’ve got pledges to ride and bike to work campaigns.

@ DL - exactly.  I’m frustrated and impatient about the rate of change, but I basically agree that things can’t (and maybe shouldn’t) change overnight.

that was well-said and just 4 paragraphs.

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