Custom Cargo Bike - Scissortail Cycles

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Hello All!

I'm sorry this post is in English, but, alas, I can not speak, read, or write German. Someday! I very much enjoy this forum and have been a lurker and infrequent poster. This post is in response to @kistenfahrrad and @lowtech, who expressed interest after I posted a few pictures of my bike. I got my first ever cargo bike last August, a custom build by Scissortail Cycles (http://www.scissortailcycles.com/) out of Oklahoma, USA. I'm going to talk a bit about my cargo bike journey and then post several pictures of the build and the bike in action.

I have wanted a bakfiets for the longest time (basically since I heard of one). We live nearby a nice 28 mile (45 km) bike trail with a few towns along it. Once we moved just a few blocks away from the trail, I envisioned family trips to the farmers market, the lakefront, the park, and various festivals. Louisiana (New Orleans metro area especially) does not take festivals lightly. This was mid-2019, so well before the current state of affairs. Anyway, I was able to convince my wife to invest a significant amount into this bike because I'd be taking the kids out on my training rides (I'm originally a semi-competitive road cyclist). Before this, I put a trailer on my carbon bike, but I never felt great about that. Kids were in the back and I couldn't see them, the weight was limited, and the cargo area was limited. Anyway, now my wife is glad when I go for an hour or two training ride with all of the kids because she gets a break. This is only possible because we both work from home.

As a road cyclist, I wanted something sporty. Initially, I was looking at the Bullitt, but wanted something with a larger cargo area and to have more say in the build. Plus, I wanted to support semi-local bike builders (he's in Oklahoma, I'm in Louisiana) and small businesses, especially in light of COVID-19.

Some of the features of the bike I am most proud of:
  • 37 inch (94 cm) load area
  • SRAM Eagle groupset
  • FOX Transfer dropper seatpost
  • SRAM G2 Ultimate brakes (200mm front rotor, 180mm rear rotor)
  • Chris King violet headsets, hubs, and bottom bracket
  • XX1 Quarq powermeter
Since I got the bike at the end of August 2020, I have put nearly 2200 miles (3540 km) on it, most of these with a load. I weigh about 200 lbs (90 kg) and I've carried up to 300 lb (136 kg) in the load area with no problems.

The cargo area is a work in progress. Right now I have a piece of marine grade plywood (which I have not treated yet!) As a loading deck. It is attached with padded pipe brackets and has some L-track underneath for attaching loads. There are also 4 bolts with star-handle nuts at the corners for securing a box someday. Right now, I use an old (pre-Thule) Chariot bike trailer / jogger / stroller combo strapped to the load deck with straps and carabiners. It allows for fairly quick removal so I can easily convert from kid-carrier to flatbed, or if I bring the stroller wheels for the Chariot, I can wheel the kids around at our destination after parking the bike.

This works so well to carry kids, groceries, packages, etc. that I haven't worked much on a box, which is still in the design process. I would like it to be a modular design with many possible uses, but there are way too many good ideas on this forum that I want to implement, so it's taking a long time! It's a work in progress, so I'm sure I'll be posting pictures as I go. Right now I have an important work certification that I'm preparing for, but after that, I will be giving the box my full attention!

Enjoy!

Joshua
 

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Wow, what a great beast of a cargo bike! Thanks for sharing!

94cm load area and some reach in the cockpit area for a sporty riding position - the whole bike must be almost 3m long :eek:
And you probably still have quite a bit of space left for cargo when the trailer is mounted as a passenger cabin, nice.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the box, when you get there, sounds like you've got great plans for it.
 
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Wow, what a great beast of a cargo bike! Thanks for sharing!

94cm load area and some reach in the cockpit area for a sporty riding position - the whole bike must be almost 3m long :eek:
And you probably still have quite a bit of space left for cargo when the trailer is mounted as a passenger cabin, nice.

In the US the term "Beast" is commonly used for this vehicle:
24907955-die-hochsicherheits-limousine-the-beast-des-us-praesidenten-2g0fSsn4ZQ6b.jpg


However, 94 cm load area is great - I wonder how many dogs I could place on the cargo area. :)

And: Its a steel frame. (y)(y)(y)
 
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More pictures! The box in the pictures is not in use right now and was an interim solution. Now the bike trailer/jogger is the interim solution. Planning to take the pieces of the box and re-engineer them into something like the Rad3 Bullitt box, able to be torn down and stored without taking up much space. That's my in-laws' Yuba Supermarche that I was figuring out how to transport (but ended up not needing to). I posted those in another thread here on the forum.
 

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And here are some pictures from various "gravel" rides. Not many options for gravel around here, so I make do! Most of the time, I'm just taking the kids on an adventure. But a few of those I rode with no load.
 

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Here you can see the side profile (to see how much space is behind the jogger) and the modular cargo area. Modular in that I can remove the trailer/jogger fairly quickly and turn it into a flatbed. Note that all of the fittings were countersunk so the load platform is completely flat. Behind the jogger I can fit a medium cooler, a bag for all of the kids' gear if kids are in the jogger, or a Brompton. My wife also fits in the jogger. We have used that to commute places that are too far for her to ride. Sometimes, if she can ride half the distance and the older two kids are at their grandparents, she will ride with the youngest in the jogger/trailer and I will strap the Brompton on the back. Then she will ride back. Works great!
 

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These are the last pictures for now. Just some closeups. The plan today is to go for a workout with two of the kids and stop at the grocery store on the way back. Can't do that with a road bike! :LOL:

Here's the Instagram for the builder: @scissortailcycles.

Just a note about the dropper seatpost. This was at the suggestion of the builder, and when he said it I was thinking that I would definitely use a dropper while shredding some MTB trails on the cargo bike. That was a very incorrect perspective of the cargo bike, at least for me right now. The dropper has been very handy when coming to a stop and stabilizing the bike when under a heavy load. I absolutely recommend! Additionally, the builder thought the dropper would enable my wife to use the bike if she wanted, since she is 147 cm tall and I am 182. This has not happened yet, but it could!
 

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OK, I lied. I found some other ones I like. ;)

1) This bike is spoiled. It lives inside.
2) I flipped the jogger/stroller around so my wife could squish in there. She said it was very uncomfortable.
3) Me in a "sporty" mode...to be honest, that was the only thing with a chamois that was clean at the moment. Not like a skinsuit would have helped on a cargo bike going 17 km/hr. that day. And yes, that's a different jogger/stroller, as the red one needed to be cleaned.

Just bought a Robert Axle Project thru-axle for trailers, so the yellow jogger/stroller/trailer will be used as a trailer (if needed) and the red one will stay on the cargo deck. Should get here Saturday, so I'll be taking pictures of the new setup.
 

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A black steel frame and purple CK components. You did everything right! Great bike. (y) What is the weight of that monster?
 
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