RANS, builder of recumbents, crank forwards, tandems, and trikes, can now add cargo bikes to their list of innovative products. Their new HammerTruck is based upon a modified crank forward layout with a wheelbase of over 58″ and an integrated aluminum rack system, reminiscent of the Xtracycle FreeRadical and Surly Big Dummy.
The HammerTruck is a cargo hauler designed from the ground up incorporating our Crankforward design. As a Crankforward, it is an ideal package, since the lower seat and top tube height allows for easier mounting, controlling the bike at stop signs, and handling when loaded. At InterBike many cyclist instantly recognized the merits of using Crankforward design for a heavy hauler and took the “HammerTruck Challenge”. The bike was loaded 10 one-gallon water jugs, for an 80-pound load. Everyone was able to ride the bike back up the steep hill, and returned with positive comments about the smooth handling, great power transfer, plus the climb ability of the Crankforward position. We never told them there was any issue with standing and riding, and I observed many first time riders of CF taking to it naturally, the B-37 handlebars and curved riser placed forward make for a very inviting space to get off the seat and hammer it.
Based on the Dynamik the 4130 steel cro-moly frame is TIG welded and powder coated in a stunning silver and charcoal finish, all at our Hays Kansas plant. The custom frame features hard points to attach its made to order rack system. The rack consists of 1” and 1.125 aircraft aluminum tube, assembled using special fittings. The frame hard points are welded with tapped inserts, so removing the rack is a matter of 8 bolts and about 3 minutes. By itself the bike is a fun ride, even considering it’s wheelbase of 58.625”. All of our CF’s are longer than typical bikes, but the HammerTruck is another 9.125 inches over the Dynamik. The length makes the bike well suited to transport the loads, offering space to attach the large rack and bags. Being longer also means the design has to be stiffer in torsion. This is accomplished by adding a series of smaller tubes within the rear triangle. At 29.5 pounds, the bike is fairly light, and a very spirited ride, adding the tube rack, runners, sling bags, and runner covers bring it up to 42.5, still light compared to other long haulers. This is good, because a light strong, hauler can offer more net payload and better performance.