CETMA Cargo Bike

18 05 2010

Doug and Fiona getting their CETMA on...

I like cargo bikes. I love my Surly Big Dummy.  However I must admit my gaze wanders to other cargo bikes.  My friend Doug has a cool CETMA cargo rig that he uses to get around on with his kids.

Front steering linkage...

Unlike my Big Dummy the CETMA is a front loading cargo bike.  Doug’s bike has a flat cargo platform and a cargo box attached to it.  The CETMA uses a steering linkage to take input from the bars and transmit it to the front wheel.

Fiona - a happy passenger!

The front cargo box with a bench seat is ideal for carrying a young child since you can keep an eye on her and communicate with her easily.  It’s also handy for carrying loose items without having to strap them down.

Bike Bins mounted to a rear rack...

The more I talked to Doug the more intrigued I was about his CETMA bike.  It seems like it would be an ideal companion for my Big Dummy.   Between the two bikes you could carry just about anything without much hassle.

Cruising the pathways...

Doug even let me try his CETMA…which was nice, but I was concerned about the safety of his daughter.  I was a bit wobbly at first until I relaxed and then it was a lot of fun bombing around town on the CETMA.  Its steering is quite sporty and once you get over the fact it steers via a linkage the handling isn’t as funky as you might expect.  I was also impressed how torsionally stiff the ride was.

Thanks to Doug for the test ride and trusting me with his wee one!

A CETMA moment...=-)

One really cool feature of the CETMA is the fact it breaks into two pieces [just behind the bars] for easy travel and shipping.

I’m keen enough about the CETMA I’m going to take a long hard look at my bikes and I may just have to cull the herd to raise some $$$ for a CETMA.  Just for product testing/blogging purposes of course…I don’t have a cargo bike problem….=-)

Fiona ducks for cover!...=-)



18 responses

18 05 2010

Uh huh… no problem that won’t be solved by another cargo bike.

I know the feeling… been pondering a lowracer recumbent, even though I know I’ve got some good bikes already. Also read today about a lightweight Quest that might go into production. Two cargo bikes seems rather sane compared to the idea of having two velomobiles. (race the light one, put electric assist in the other for a commuter, yeah…)

But, on topic, I’ll agree with ya… something almost mesmerizing about a front-load cargo bike.

18 05 2010

love the locking panniers. i could see having a set on the front of my dummy if it didn’t funk the steering up too much.

18 05 2010

I love that your first thought was how this would be a complementary ride to the big dummy. Not a replacement. I happen to agree, but I think others might view this as a sign of some deep seated bicycle issues.

18 05 2010

@ Tarik…I’d never give up the Big Dummy. The CETMA looks very cool, but I think the BD is more versatile for general purpose cycling + cargo carrying. I’d say the CETMA is more versatile for dedicated cargo carrying.

Having said that the only way to know is to try one for a while…=-)

18 05 2010
Doug D

Vik is absolutely correct on that one. I almost never accidentally take the cargo bike when I don’t have kids or stuff to carry. In that sense, it is way less general purpose than even (say) my Pugsley, which I might take mountain biking or to a friend’s house.

18 05 2010


Another nice example of the same kind of cargo bike….


21 05 2010
Thorn Nomad S&S For Sale « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] expedition tours on the books I’ve decided to sell my Thorn Nomad S&S frame so I can fund a CETMA cargo bike.  This is a heavy duty  steel frame specifically designed for use with the Rohloff hub [although […]

21 05 2010

Dear Vik, please, what type of panniers are those? Thanks!

21 05 2010
Doug D

The panniers are bikebins and they work well. I am not sure how well they will last since they have only been on the bike for a few months. They seem reasonably tough and they are a very convenient place for me to store my helmet and all the other junk I am prone to carrying on the bike.
Loose hard objects make a terrible racket when they rattle around in the bins so I usually carry a rag or a jacket in the bin to dampen the noise.
They will mount to just about any rack and the mounting mechanism is quite secure. The locks will deter very casual thieves. So far for me they have been totally rainproof.
They have strap channels so that you can strap stuff to the flat surface they make on the back of your bike.

22 05 2010
27 05 2010
Bike Bins « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] friend Doug has a set of Bike Bins on his CETMA cargo bike.  I asked him what his thoughts were after using them for a […]

30 05 2010
More CETMA : bakfiets.co.uk

[…] am late to the party, but The Lazy Randonneur has some Cetma Cargo Bike videos up, and a neat overview. The first thing I thought when I saw the video was that the stem/handlebar looks awfully close to […]

4 06 2010
Thorn Sold – CETMA Ordered… « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] Thorn Nomad and pack it for shipment to its new owner, but on the plus side I placed an order for a CETMA cargo bike frame…=-)  I’m hoping to get her by early August and will be building up the following […]

13 02 2011
Transport bar : bakfiets.co.uk

[…] at The Schoolrun Centre suggested that taking the normal bar our, and spinning stem around like Doug’s Cetma was a better solution, and one he’s performed before. I’m going to put a few hundred km […]

8 11 2011
dangerous mcbride

i’ve been looking at cargo bikes for a while now and haven’t taken the plunge. i want something that i can haul both my kids on and groceries, and maybe even be able to throw the mrs. on for a family picnic. the question i have is whether the cetma cargo bike would be compatible with an xtracycle free radical. i also wonder if extending the wheelbase so much would make it unruly. thoughts on the idea?
(sorry for joining in on this a year and a half after the fact. i’m just getting into the cargo cycling thing.)

8 11 2011

@DMcB – I can’t say it’s impossible, but it’s hard for me to imagine a CETMA + XTRA combo. It would be crazy long and if fully loaded would be trying to support 400-500lbs over a super long span. It would be hard to handle and maneuver a bike that long. You can ask Lane @ CETMA what he thinks, but my first thought is you are asking too much from it.

8 11 2011
dangerous mcbride

thanks for the quick response. i’ve never seen one in person and i still don’t have any real experience with cargo bikes. i appreciate the input!

8 11 2011
doug d

@dangerous My question would be why. I can carry my wife and two kids and a picnic in the CETMA without issue. I can honestly say that there has never been a time when I wished I had an Xtracycle to carry more. I appreciate Xtracycles as a really great way to carry stuff, but I am pretty sure that you would weaken a CETMA by adding an Xtracycle to it and you would definitely lower its overall carrying capacity.

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