If you live in the big city, it’s likely you that either don’t own a car, or you’ve looked at the one you do own and wondered just how badly you need it. Going car-free could alleviate a significant financial burden, but doing so is not exactly straightforward.
Proximity to shops is always an issue, and if you regularly need to carry large or heavy objects (think weekly shop, disposing of recycling, that sort of thing), giving up your vehicle is likely to be a non-starter.
In theory, a cargo bike might well the solution to your problems, but in practice, it’s not quite that simple. Current models on the market all suffer the same essential drawback – they’re too damned big. For all but the ultra-wealthy, urban living means an apartment, usually one that’s not on the ground floor, and often one with nowhere to store a gigantic bicycle.
The Cargo Node from Tern was recently the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign in collaboration with cargo bike company Xtracycle. We’ve now laid hands on the bike at a press conference in Taiwan, and it looks like it might be the answer.
Unlike Tern’s other bikes, its primary purpose is not to be taken on the train or stuck under the table in a café. Rather, it folds down so you can fit it in elevators or cars, and store it in a closet at home when you’re not using it. Where a conventional cargo bike might occupy your entire hallway, this one will be out of sight and out of mind.
The Cargo Node has a pump inside its seatpost
At around $1800 (British and Aussie pricing is TBC), the Cargo Node isn’t exactly cheap, but it is competitive with its non-folding brethren, and a whole lot more practical too. It’s also considerably less expensive than a (new) car, with running costs like any other bike. The Cargo Node is expected to be available around April next year. Could this be the answer to your urban load-hauling woes? We think it might be.
BikeRadar got to fondle the Cargo Node on a media tour of Taiwan hosted by TAITRA, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. TAITRA is promoting the Taipei International Cycle Show, which takes place from March 2-5 2016. We’ll be posting more highlights from our travels over the coming days.