About loads

  With the anticipation of the Big Dummy arriving, I’ve started loosely packing camping items.  I was impressed with today’s packing exercise.  The rig rolls nice, its evenly loaded, and very secure.  Overall, i think this system is going to pan out.

  On a note about wideloaders, vs simply using the freeloaders, I suppose it comes down to what it is that you are hauling.  Optimally I think its best to pack camping gear into duffle bags, and secure those to the xtracycle.  sometimes there are items too large to put into a duffle so you have no choice but to secure it to a wideloader.

  Lately, as I’ve been playing around more and more with the duffle bag system, i find that if you use the freeloaders, the cargo is actually held up higher than the wideloaders.  in the pic you can see how the duffle is not even touching the wideloaders.  


    The other method is to simply lash your items to the wideloaders.  this method often times results in a load that is not as clean.  I mean, its all chaotic, full of criss-cross ropes, odd items lashed on.  As if a gypsy caravan complete with pots and pans tied onto the sides.

    I’ve used this method for a few months now, and undoubtedly more cargo can be lashed down this way.  it is of particular advantage when the load consists of large items, like the bookcase i carried the other day, a set of wheels that I shipped off via USPS, or all the toolboxes and bike stand I hauled.  These type of items are just too large to put into a duffle bag.  The low position of the wideloaders really help stabilize awkward loads like this.  it puts the center of gravity low.


this bookcase, and these funky green plastic storage bins are lashed down about as best as its gonna get.  this load was easy to travel with.  nothing shifted around, and the load was fairly even.  the bookcase was heavier than the plasctic.  which resulted in needing to constantly give some handlebar input to keep the rig going straight.  no big deal for a limited jaunt.


this wideloader cargo run was pretty much perfect in weight distribution.  in the BOB trailer bag, i had a DeLonghi electric radiator heater.


a load like this really should have been put into duffle bags.  this random method of haphazardly stringing straps thru handles, etc, is sketchy at best.  Pour packing method.


this load was a combo of using the BOB trailer duffle bag for small items, panniers loaded up, and then the toolboxes, and a bike stand, all lashed down.  I don't have a duffle bag big enough for this load.


this was a load of firewood that I hauled when i was in Ventura.  I made this "wood run" a few times during my stay, as i used it for fuel in the tipi.  Over all this method was OK.  the load itself is pretty heavy.  the only other way to deal with this awkward load would be to use a couple of large heavy duty plastic tubs.


when you look at the various methods of loading a cargo bike, you can see that the duffle bag method is the most secure, and best organized.

the downside of wideloaders, is that they are rigid.  they are in a fixed position.  The duffles are higher up, which is better for avoiding contact with things like curbs, and basically anything else sticking up.

ultimately i think once it comes time to start doing some touring I will be taking the wideloaders.  I've also discovered that its pretty easy to carry the wideloaders as cargo.  i just slide them in along the v-racks.