Despite a long history and large consumer base — the ever convenient, sustainable, and fun cargo bike still eludes large populations of the United States, and other countries around the world. To help introduce readers who are both new to the concept of a family bike, and those who are proud new owners, we’re going to offer some background and tips on riding a cargo bike.
What Is A Cargo Bike?
The Cargo Bike has been through countless iterations and titles over time. Known as “bakfiets” in the Netherlands, these bicycles feature a front-facing carriage for cargo and people. Variations of this base design are also known as freight bicycles, box bikes, and freight tricycles. Many cargo bikes feature three wheels, like ours, and are therefore technically cargo trikes — however, the names tend to be used interchangeably in the family bikes world. Despite not technically making sense, it’s totally normal for people to call a cargo trike a cargo bike.
The best example we can share, is the three-wheel Ferla Family Cargo Bikes. Featuring a top-of-the line ultra-strong curved wood cargo box mixed with eco-friendly bamboo — the carriage built for your children, friends, and belongings is attractive and of the utmost quality. Beyond a sleek, classy design, every Ferla Family Cargo Bike can come with an emissions-free high-torque, electric rear hub motor with pedal assist capabilities.
We recognize this is an interesting, yet foreign vehicle, which is why we created the following guide on how to ride them.
10 Tips On How To Ride A Cargo Bike
1. Taking A Confident Approach
Every Ferla Family Cargo Bike is designed with the highest quality components available, which we curate to ensure the safest, smoothest rides possible. Riders should know that they can rely on front and rear hydraulic brakes, featuring best-in-class stopping power, as well as other precautionary features like advanced roll cage and cover bars. With these safeguards in mind, the cycling parent or adult can move with the confidence necessary to create a fun and harmless journey.
There’s a variety of benefits to riding a cargo bike with confidence, though it’s important not to mistake this for recklessness. Confident riding means maintaining speeds and not over-braking, so as not to throw off any other cyclists or cars on the road. It also means avoiding driving in anxiety-inducing circumstances. If you’re uncomfortable at a high speed, lower to a point where you feel confident again. Ferla Family Cargo Bikes are designed to be easy to maneuver, so if you’re comfortable and aware, then you’ll be able to perform as well as anyone else riding a cargo bike.
2. Steering A Ferla Family Cargo Bike
We offer high quality cargo bikes to ride, each with an active frame design built to make it maneuverable for every level of rider. The handlebars offer a standard mechanism for steering, which is easy to feel out after a few soft introduction pedals around your street or driveway. Though the quality of the steering is top of the line, there are a couple precautions one should always take when steering a cargo bike.
The first tip is to allow yourself space to make a wider turn than is necessary on a normal bicycle. This is kind of intuitive, but these wider and heavier bicycles need a little more space and curve when bending around a corner. This is especially important to consider after traveling at faster speeds. Leading to the second tip, which is to take turns slower on cargo bikes than you would on a non-cargo bicycle.
3. Approaching Speed Bumps & Other Obstructions
Ferla Family Cargo Bikes are outfitted with premium, puncture-resistant tires in the front and back. These high quality rubber wheels perform well on a wide variety of surfaces in even the most challenging of weather conditions. Considering the wheels’ best-in-class nature, cyclists can feel confident when approaching speed bumps, rocky patches, potholes, and any other obstructions that come about daily.
While families can rely on their Ferla Family Cargo Bikes to perform well, it’s still always important to take the necessary precautions. Take your time on rough terrain, and in challenging weather. There’s no rush that’s worth the safety of yourself and your little ones. Also, if you’ve been riding on tough ground for a while, take the time to check your tires, clean your bike, and perform other helpful maintenance duties.
4. Helping Your Children Into a Ferla Family Cargo Bike
How a parent helps their child in and out of the front box of a cargo trike depends on which model they have. The Ferla Family Cargo Bike features a simple front carriage that’s as tall as the bike itself. The protective, yet accessible wall height makes it easy for parents to either pick their child up and place them inside, or for the child to climb up and in themselves, if they feel comfortable.
For those looking to elevate their experience, we also offer The Ferla Family Cargo Bike - Royce Edition. This model features sleek doors drop open, leaving space for your little ones to step up and in with ease. You can give them a hand at first, but you’ll be surprised how fast they get comfortable letting themselves in and out of the family bike.
5. Taking The Necessary Safety Precautions
There are a number of things to consider when riding a Ferla Family Cargo Bike. At the top of the list — take advantage of the safety features that come with every model. Strap the kids in with the three-point safety harness seat belts every single ride. Let the best-in-class hydraulic brakes do their job effectively, and give yourself plenty of time to come to nice, easy stops.
In addition to utilizing safety features included in a bike, it’s also important to browse our cargo bike accessories for other protections. For example, parents with younger children might want to pick up one of our Ferla Toddler Seat For Bikes. For harsh weather, consider protecting your little ones with one of our Fully Enclosed Sun & Rain Canopies. Check out more options for improving the quality of your family bike experience today.
In our article 10 Benefits of Biking with Kids we talk in detail about cycling with children.
6. Take Advantage Of Electrified Support
We recommend daily commuters opt for the e-bike version of any of our Ferla Family Cargo Bikes. Each of these models features the Original Samsung 15AH battery, rear hub 350w motor, and an intuitive pedal-assist system. Opting for a battery-powered boost after a day of commuting to school, running errands, and then going to afternoon activities is a luxury that every owner of a cargo e-bike values deeply. In addition to offering a reprieve from healthy-yet-tiring pedaling, it also helps families extend their range of travel. With up to 80 miles per charge, a Ferla Family Cargo E-Bike can be an adventurous vehicle for weekend getaways, long joy rides, and anything else that strikes the imagination.
7. Cycling On Slopes, Road Camber & Tilting
In this post, we’ve already described the high quality and accountability of the puncture-resistant tires, and hydraulic brakes on every Ferla Family Cargo Bike. These premier components are there to help ensure accountable performance when cycling on slopes, and when facing difficult terrain such as road camber in the rain. The wide-frame and sturdy pieces of our products make tilting and hydroplaning very difficult.
While the bike’s high-performance build should offer a satisfying level of security, it’s also important for the cyclist to implement safety precautions when facing hills and camber. If you leave the bike on a slope, be sure to utilize the hydraulic parking brakes. In inclement weather and on sketchy terrain, opt for slower, more careful operating. Continue to make wide turns, buckle in your kids, and keep up bike maintenance to ensure continued accountability.
If you choose between two-wheel and three-wheel cargo bikes, then read our article.
8. Loading Your Family Cargo Bike
The spacious front compartment of your Ferla Family Cargo Bike features a spacious build that’s designed for carrying both people and items with ease. The total load capacity of each one of our family trikes is 350 lbs, which leaves room for an endless variety of rider-passenger-cargo combinations. We recommend organizing your load depending on what you’re specifically riding with.
Obviously, children belong in seats strapped into one of our signature three-point harness seat belts. If an item is small enough, and precious, feel free to strap it into any unoccupied seats as well. For larger cargo like batches of groceries or luggage, you can feel safe leaving it on the floor and seats of the front cargo compartment. To protect the premier wood box, consider opting to add on one of our Eco-Leather Memory Foam Cushions, and the Water & Dust Proof Floor Mat.
9. Monitoring & Maintaining
The team here at Ferla firmly believes in the potential for our cargo bikes to replace the family car in the United States. For those who opt to buy one and use it everyday, we applaud your commitment, and urge you to protect your investment by taking a few simple steps to monitor and maintain it. In addition to cautions driving, we implore families to consider some of our more desirable add ons to keep their ride fresh.
As mentioned in the last section, the Water & Dust Proof Floor Mat, and Eco-Leather Memory Foam Cushions will protect the bamboo-infused wood cargo box, and help it maintain its sharp appeal for years to come.
10. How To Purchase Your Ferla Family Cargo Bike
If you’ve made it to the bottom of this list, and you are still not an owner of a Ferla Family Cargo Bike, our next piece of advice is to pick one up as soon as possible. Welcome your loved ones and children into a new chapter of life, where exercise and fresh air reign supreme. Cut out the costs of monthly car payments, insurance, and gas. Make your family’s regular mode of transportation one-hundred percent sustainable, and start cargo bike riding as soon as possible.
Check out the Ferla Family Bikes Products Page, and take your first steps towards purchasing a family cargo bike today. Whether it’s the Ferla Family Cargo Bike, or the Ferla Family Cargo Bike Royce Edition — your new ride is sure to enhance the quality of your daily travels immensely. To ensure it does, you can always refer back to this list.
The Benefits Of Riding A Ferla Family Cargo Bike
Looking back on our ten tips for riding a family cargo bike, the background includes a lot of highlighted benefits that come with choosing this mode of transport. Here we’d like to summarize how choosing to cycle your family around, instead of driving them, can improve the quality of life for parents and their little ones.
First and foremost, the acquisition of a Ferla Family Cargo Bike introduces young kids to the value of daily exercise, regular exposure to fresh air, and prioritizing sustainable products. These are all values that will serve their health, and the well-being of future generations to come. While instilling good habits in your kids, getting them to and from school or practice, the parent pedalling also benefits physically and mentally.
In article How to Choose the Best Cargo Bike for Your Family you will find useful tips.
Ferla Family Cargo Bikes FAQs
Are Cargo Bikes Safer Than Regular Bikes?
While user error results in accidents on either mode, we feel confident saying cargo bikes are safer options than your average bicycle. Features like a cargo-trike build for better balance and stability, hydraulic brakes, and three-point harness seat belts all offer protection that isn’t available on a bicycle.
How Much Weight Can A Cargo Trike Hold?
The capacity of a Ferla Family Cargo Bike/Trike is 350lbs.
How Can I Learn More About Cargo Bikes & Ferla Products?
We are constantly innovating, creating new products, and improving existing ones. Join in on the fun by reading more of the Ferla Family Bikes Blog, and following us on social media. Check out the product pages for full breakdowns of key features, specs, and prices for our Ferla Family Cargo Bikes, and Ferla Accessories.