CETMA Impressions…

8 09 2010

A shopping cart of groceries plus beer & wine...

Here are my thoughts on the CETMA cargo bike so far:

  • linkage steering is different, but easy to get used to
  • bike handles as well loaded as empty…maybe even better loaded
  • long frame offers a nice suspension effect when loaded and going over bumps
  • Schwalbe Supreme/Big Apple tires were a good choice
  • City style swept back bars are too narrow [will swap in some MTB risers for more leverage]
  • Ergon grips are comfy
  • Rohloff is working well – excellent gear range for this bike and love being able to shift at a stop
  • climbs well [for a heavy cargo bike!]
  • Selle Anatomica saddle is kind of wasted on this bike due to shorter riding distances so I’ll replace with something cheaper
  • front brake is very mushy due to long full run cable housing [not sure it's worth the $$ to fix....may just wait until next year and put a hydraulic disc up front]
  • shorter run rear brake is fine
  • very easy to use since cargo box is ready to accept stuff without strapping it in or doing anything at all
  • center stand is awesome…very easy to deploy and retract…very stable when deployed
  • definitely a truck made for serious hauling
  • length and width take some consideration when riding in narrow or crowded areas
  • need to fit fenders

I’ll continue to post CETMA photos to Flickr here.


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15 responses

8 09 2010
DerrickP

Looks really awesome, Vik. The mushy breaks are something I’ve noticed can’t be helped too much on my Xtracycle. I have the same eventual solution as you, though. This thing would be so great for convenience to just throw something in the bucket. I’d struggle to make it fit where I need it to go, though. All my bikes are parked inside my office during work… not to mention I’m running out of garage space at home! I’m looking forward to seeing further impressions of the CETMA.

10 09 2010
Michael

I fixed the mushy rear brake problem on my xtra by riding with a coaster brake. Why not? It’s not like I’m doing a ton of technical riding. :)

10 09 2010
thelazyrando

Compression-less brake housing and telfon cables would resolve my braking issues, but the cost is high enough that I’m probably better off with a hydraulic disc up front.

12 09 2010
DavidJ

When you say hills, what grade are we talking about? I live in the Upper Valley (Norwich, VT area) and we have some pretty good hills. None of them are terribly long but a few are in the 7-9% range so they are a workout when loaded. I’m thinking Rohloff for my CETMA build but would be curious to know more about how it handles hills. Maybe this is more of a leg power issue than a component issue if going with Rohloff IGH.

12 09 2010
thelazyrando

The Rohloff will give you about the same low gear as a MTB 3 x 9…at that point you need the leg power to spin up the hill. The CETMA seems to climb well for a cargo bike.

I can’t give you a specific grade on the hills I’ve climbed…if I think about it I’ll measure them next time.

13 09 2010
DavidJ

No worries. Thanks for the info. Don’t worry about measuring, I have determined that I will be ok because none of the hills are more than 200-300 meters.

13 09 2010
Lane

Vik, much appreciated. Thanks for the feedback. I’m happy to read you like the climbing characteristics. I agree. Steepening the seat tube angle was a major improvement.

I’ll have your bushings and cover early next week.

18 09 2010
Doug D

A little late, but I think it might be worth repeating here from bike forums. (I changed my my cranks and chainring recently so that I could get up steeper hills):

As for hills, I can get it up 500m (1/3 mile) of 15% grade when it is mostly empty (mine is the green bike with the cute toddler) or up a mile or so of 8% with a couple of hundred pounds in the bin. I have a 33 tooth chainring and 34 tooth cog as my lowest gear.

22 09 2010
Scott

As the CETMA Cargo is shipped as essentially frame-only, how much expense did you incur to have it ready-to-ride? Your cargo box… is that the accessory offered at the CETMA site? Dimensions? Good review and images, thanks.

22 09 2010
thelazyrando

@Scott – I used parts from my spares bin to build up the CETMA so my out of pocket cost was minimal – although the parts [such as a Rohloff hub] are not cheap. CETMA offers a complete bike which is definitely the low cost way to go unless you have the needed parts lying around.

The box was a CETMA accessory. I’ll get the measurements next time I have the bike handy.

26 04 2011
Eric

Love the pictures and review of the CETMA. How much does your bike weigh with the box?
The CETMA site says he only supplies the frame (due to stocking various parts, etc? It also does not mention the box? How much did that set you back?

26 04 2011
thelazyrando

@Eric – thanks. I can’t tell you want the CETMA weighs as I have no way to measure it. It’s not light – that’s for sure. It pedals fine for a heavy duty cargo bike. I can’t recall exactly what the box cost. I want to say $300 – Lane should be able to get you a box to your specs and have it fit to the CETMA frame. I think the box is very handy unless you are always hauling cardboard boxes around.

28 04 2011
doug d

Mine weighs about 90 pounds with the box and the rear panniers empty.

8 10 2011
TucsonVelo.com

I’m late to this post, but wanted to ask you why you thought the Big Apples were a good choice? I just got my CETMA built up and was thinking the 1.75″ seems a little narrow.

9 10 2011
thelazyrando

@TV – the BAs are 2.35″ as I recall and the Supremes are 2.0″. Plenty wide for a cargo bike.

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