The first production prototype of the STREEK Cargo Trike was shown at the world’s biggest bicycle show, Eurobike 2022 in Frankfurt, Germany, from 13th to 17th July. It was fresh from the factory and is the first prototype made from production tooling. Initial tests have already indicated that it needs some updates before we can say it is fully production ready.
The STREEK display was on the stand of HHH, worldwide distributor of Nidec bicycle motors and other advanced bicycle components. For Eurobike, STREEK was shown together with Voltraware wireless charging, which is a possible future option for the Cargo Trike.
A steady stream of visitors, including STREEK fans and professionals from all areas of the bicycle industry, kept us busy each day. There was not much time for looking around the show and almost none at all to take any test rides.
Frankfurt Messe is a big place and Eurobike was spread over four halls, so the following photos are from a simple once-through tour of the whole show. I spent the tour picking up on what I thought was directly relevant to STREEK or just plain interesting.
Other cargo bikes, predominantly Long John type.
Among the many cargo bikes on display, the predominant layout was the Long John type: long wheelbase two-wheelers with remote front steering by push-rod or, less commonly, cable, with the load on an open platform between the steering post and the front wheel, like this one in a brushed aluminium finish from Urban Arrow, the world’s biggest cargo bike maker.
Here is a montage of various interpretations of the Long John by, clockwise from bottom left, Gazelle, Johannson, Douze (with cable steering), Dolly-Bikes, i:SY, Carqon and, featuring a bamboo frame with flax composite joints, myBOO.
The predominance of Long John cargo bikes has led makers to seek various ways to differentiate their products from their competitors. For example, Ca Go was promoting the safety of their cargo box and child seat combination. Unfortunately, they have not uploaded any video of the crash testing, which would be a fascinating watch.
Ca Go also reduce the clutter of cables and fixtures with covers made from the same expanded polypropylene material as their cargo boxes. However, this feels like adding one kind of complication to reduce another.
Muli’s differentiator is this folding cargo box, with metal sides and fabric ends. The folding system is very simple, just a quick pull on the U-shaped bar around the steering post releases the hinged side panels or locks them in place. Closed, the cargo box makes a slim case for small loads and makes the bike easier to load on and off public transport. To strengthen the open box, tubular cross members attach fore and aft between the red quick-release knobs.
Riese & Müller
Riese & Müller displayed their new high-end cargo bikes, with their trademark rear suspension. They use hydroformed aluminium frame parts and moulded-in features on the cargo boxes to give a sophisticated, almost automotive look.
At the other extreme, Kettler has gone the minimalist route. The frame is pared down to the minimum and hub-steering provides a low, uncluttered front end.
VELO DE VILLE
The new FR8 by VELO DE VILLE offers an unusual battery storage solution and some unusual tube cross-sections. It is also fully customizable at the factory, including their wild range of colours.
Other cargo trikes
As designers of the STREEK Active Cargo Trike we are, of course, interested to see other tilting and suspension systems. This one by SBLOCS is a simple centre-pivot parallel-arm system with centre steering (“cart steering”) and no suspension. The big difference from other makers is that it tilts and pivots the cargo box, too.
GLEAM ESCAPE put the two wheels at the rear and get their tilting action from long, trailing swing-arms. Combined with the conventional front suspension, they claim it gives good obstacle clearance and a smooth ride for cargo. Their solution necessitates a sophisticated suspension drivetrain layout and GLEAM ESCAPE trikes are not cheap.
Frame design: bending vs cutting and welding
When we first showed the Cargo Trike, some people told us that a design using so much tube bending would not suit traditional bicycle manufacturing methods of cutting and welding straight tube. Judging by this year’s Eurobike, tube bending is now standard practice in the bicycle industry. There is a lot going on in these cycles by Benno and Urban Arrow.
On the other hand, Tern and Convercycle offer plenty of interest for cutting and welding fanatics.
For a British person, shades of the Forth Railway Bridge:
An outlier with rear-wheel steering
To finish, a very different tricycle solution from Black Iron Horse in Denmark, the only cycle I had the opportunity to test ride the day before the show started. It doesn’t tilt and the rear steering forces you to ride very sedately. After a few seconds of getting used to the unusual feel, though, it tracks surprisingly straight and turns easily in about double its own length without putting your feet down.
Sincere thanks to HHH, their partners on the stand at Eurobike who helped to make the show a success, and to all our visitors. We are already looking forward to seeing everyone at future shows!
If you would like to keep up to date with news about STREEK, please click on the link below to subscribe to our occasional newsletter, STREEK NEWS.