How do you buy a used cargo bike in New England?
July 31, 2018 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Help me find whatever market there is for used cargo bikes in (ideally lower) New England.

The gauche family is moving back to our old haunts in central CT, and we are planning to live car-light for a while. With two small children that means a cargo bike and my research has me wanting a bakfiets/longjohn-style rather than a longtail.

(My reasons, briefly: lower center of gravity means easier handling; box means better safety; rain/snow cover means we can ride in worse weather; front-loading means the rider can look down at the kids rather than looking backwards, and the kids can see things other than the rider's backside; box also means we don't have to stop every time the kids drop a snack or a glove or whatever. If it weren't for all of the above I'd snap up an Xtracycle Edgerunner in a hot minute.)

These bikes are expensive. I get that there's a huge value proposition there and that they are overbuilt to handle the loads and all of that. I'm not complaining about the price. But I'd like to buy one used if I can find one.

I can't find one. Typically I find bikes on craigslist but I've looked all over the New England craigslists, using as many search terms as I can think of (cargo, bakfiets, longjohn, bullitt, yuba, workcycle, kr8, CETMA, &c., &c.,) and I'm not seeing any. I'm striking out on as well.

I know the market for these is relatively small, but I have trouble believing that on all of the internet there is nobody selling a used one. Any thoughts?
posted by gauche to Travel & Transportation around Hartford, CT (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A lot of bike sales in my area have moved to Facebook (which is annoying because it's harder to search/watch than CL); I'd check for marketplace groups, as well as cargo bike groups where you could put the word out.

If you're willing to consider a new thing, the Argo is a bit cheaper of a solution if you already have a bike to put it on.
posted by substars at 2:11 PM on July 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yeah, Craigslist is pretty dead. Facebook is where it is at!
posted by k8t at 2:21 PM on July 31, 2018

Maybe expand your search to NYC Craigslist? Super popular in Brooklyn these days, and I know several folks who got long-tails on CL. Good luck.
posted by mahorn at 2:22 PM on July 31, 2018

Yeah, I'd look in NYC. Also, at least one bike shop in Brooklyn has experience with the aforementioned Argo bakfiets-style conversion kit.
posted by enn at 2:50 PM on July 31, 2018

I've come across a decent number on my local Craigslist because the owners' kids have outgrown riding in them and they're not using them so much, so don't despair that you'll never find one. If you've got any local-ish bike groups with a social media presence, they can be a good place to try (and posting about wanting a cargo bike might prompt someone to remember that they've got one to sell.)
posted by asperity at 9:01 PM on July 31, 2018

I'd suggest you try a craigslist aggregator like to look at multiple cities at once - you can set a search distance from your home zipcode and see what is available.

On my first search I've found xtracycles, cargo bikes with electric assist, and dutch bakfiets all listed. Happy searching / driving to pick one up!
posted by stachemaster at 6:58 AM on August 1, 2018

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