From groceries to briefcases to kids, nothing is too heavy for the latest crop of cargo bikes, which are built to carry more than just you over all manner of urban and rural terrain.
The Yuba Mundo is the pickup truck of the cargo bike universe, just an absolute workhorse of a machine, that rides as smoothly as any commuter bike. With 21 speeds and a carrying capacity of over 400 pounds, this is the perfect choice for schlepping the kids – you could fit two on the back cushions, plus maybe even another adult if you had to, as well as whatever else you need to haul.
For our test ride, we zipped a seven-year-old son to school through NYC traffic with no problem at all – at one point, we almost forgot the kid was back there. After work, we filled one 20-gallon pannier with groceries, including a small fig tree and a hydrangea plant for Mother's Day and made our way home, hardly noticing the extra weight at all. The super-sturdy kickstand reduces the danger of tipping over and makes loading the bike a cinch.
Riding on the relatively flat NYC streets was no problem, but Yuba also offers an electric version for someone living in, say, San Francisco or a hilly rural area; a powered boost comes in handy, especially with any extra baggage. If there's a downside, it's that, at 53 pounds, the Mundo is heavy to maneuver when you're not cruising, and it's also massively long at 6 feet, 9 inches. And since it makes such an impression, locking it up outside, especially overnight, gives one pause. But these are minor quibbles for a machine that was made for carrying serious weight – kids, produce, a load of rocks, whatever, the Yuba Mundo is built to haul. [$1,250; yubabikes.com]