Trek Longtails

Trek is getting into the cargo bike business with their Transport and Transport+ longtails. Both are part of the “Gary Fisher Collection” that was recently rolled out. Specs include aluminum frames, disc brakes, and integrated racks. The “Plus” model comes stock with a 350 watt e-assist rear hub.

More at Trek

28 Responses to “Trek Longtails”

  • jamesmallon says:

    Looks interesting, but reminds me of something that annoys me about this bike’s racks, and after-market racks from almost all makers: why leave so much clearance above the tires and fenders that cannot possibly be used, when lower racks would lower the centre of balance of the load, and improve handling. Looks like the frame here is better designed for 29/700 wheels. Wheels which the Kona Ute has, and rear-rack height better done, whether or not you like the rest of the bike.

  • Ann says:

    Given the premium that big bicycle manufacturers charge for rather anemic e-bike systems, I’ve been extremely disappointed in the number of Trek e-bike owners that are reporting issues with new Trek e-bikes. Granted, these bikes are new and under warranty, but owners are reporting that they have been told to expect a 3-6 month period without their bikes because Trek is handling all repairs/replacement issues at corporate level rather than just authorizing dealers to swap out bikes with defective motors/controllers/battieries for new bikes. I hate to see what Trek will be charging for this cargo bike, but I know it’s more that I’d pay, especially knowing about existing Trek e-bike performance issues. I’d rather buy a Big Dummy and add my own electric conversion kit or add an Xtracycle kit to my existing e-bike.

  • Sami says:

    I like the greater availability of the cargo bike, however I feel bad for Surly because this is surely going to decrease the sales of the Big Dummy. If I am not mistaken, Surly was the first production company to offer a rear loading cargo bike in the US. At the very least, I think the Big Dummy will still be a superior bicycle because it is chromoly and not aluminum. I really don’t understand why cargo bikes which are going to take a lot of abuse are being manufactured out of aluminum by the major manufacturers (Trek, Kona, etc.) IN any case, methinks its unfair that Surly is out there taking major risks in introducing innovative designs and other manufacturers are reaping the benefit with substandard knockoffs.

  • jamesmallon says:

    Except that for the price of a built Big Dummy and Stoke Monkey you could buy two or three of these. Love the product, but $3000 is a lot of taxi rides, or beer.

  • Alan says:

    @Sami

    I wouldn’t feel sorry for Surly – they’re owned by powerhouse QBP. They’ll do fine.

    To me this is a sign that utility bikes are going mainstream in the U.S. which is VERY good news.

    Alan

  • brian says:

    I hope that every bike manufacturer decides this is the way to go. We need more utility bikes.

  • Alan says:

    @jamesmallon

    In the case of longtails, taller racks mean larger bags and more hauling capacity. Also, because the rack extends past the rear wheel, it has to be relatively high to keep it from hitting the ground when riding through driveway/sidewalk transitions, etc.

    Alan

  • joe says:

    I also would not feel sorry for Surly. They have such a cult like like following, they will not loose any sales. Someone who will not ever own a trek, like myself, will most likely go that route. Bu tI will ad I do like some of the removable bracing and pannier hangers. I like to be able to take something thats not being used off easily, and I’m sure that was their thinking. The assist sounds interesting, but unless they have workout out some the the bugs other treks have had, there may be issues to come. I have heard the same sort of stories noted above by Ann.

    @ Alan,

    I think JamesMallon was noting the space between the top of the wheel and the bottom of the rack, not the longtail framing. I agree with him, that it seems like wasted space, and the lower center of gravity would be nice. Even with the MONSTROSITY of a rear light on the Trek, they could have lowered the top rack a few cm’s.

    Not being a huge trek fan, I see this going the way of the Ute. Some will find it useful, but will not develop the following of the Dummy or the Mundo. Things develop a following for a reason, and most of the time that reason is quality. Seems like Trek is just trying to jump on the cargo bandwagon, and the things that make this “different” or “better” May just not seem to be worth it. I mean, not to stereotype, but those who will be using a cargo bike, are not normally the ones that will be buying Trek of Fisher.

    Or maybe I’m totally wrong and this will bring the whole cargo bike usefulness and lifestyle to the masses. And that in the long run, or heck even the short run, is a good thing.

    ~joe

  • Brian C says:

    Alan:
    Entirely agree with your comment. One of the things I loved when cycling through Holland last year was all the young women cycling utility bikes with their kids in the big bucket in front of them. Something fundamentally right with the universe when you get to see that!

    I am very happy to see more and more bikes appealing to the bike as a utility bike (Civia, Surly, among many others). And seeing the big boys such as Trek paying attention is nothing but good news.

  • Alan says:

    @ Joe

    “I think JamesMallon was noting the space between the top of the wheel and the bottom of the rack, not the longtail framing. I agree with him, that it seems like wasted space, and the lower center of gravity would be nice. Even with the MONSTROSITY of a rear light on the Trek, they could have lowered the top rack a few cm’s.”

    With all due respect, I think you may have missed my point. Every centimeter you lower the top of the rack cuts one centimeter off the top of the saddlebags. Certainly the rack could be closer to the wheel, but the trade-off would be reduced saddlebag capacity. My guess is that the designers were shooting for a particular bag volume to either match their competitors’ capacity or fit a certain grocery bag size.

    Regarding the tail light, that’s actually the battery for the e-assist.

    Alan

  • joe says:

    Now that you mention it, your correct. I was thinking way off here. Maybe its too late, lol. Does anyone know the capacity of the bags?

    Thanks for clearing that up on the light. It is a nice place to “tuck” it away, but still accessible when needed.

  • Alan says:

    No sweat, Joe! :-)

    I haven’t seen the capacity on the bags, but I submitted a question on the Trek site, so we’ll see if we get an answer. I’ll report back here if I do.

    Alan

  • AdamM says:

    Looks a LOT like a Yuba Mundo… only in alumnium. I’ll be interested to hear more about this when they are actually for sale.

    The space above the rear wheel wouldn’t look quite so bad if there was actually a fender under there.

    Other factors to consider about the deck height is stability of taller/more awkward loads and comfort for carrying passengers who may not want their knees near their shoulders. :^)

  • Alan says:

    @AdamM

    I agree, it looks a lot like the Mundo, though the Mundo’s triangulation looks much stronger to my eye. I’d wager the Trek won’t have anything near the Yuba’s 440 lb. capacity.

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  • Phil Barns says:

    I’ll second Alan’s comment; that triangulation on the Trek cannot be as strong as a Mundo, and the risk of aluminium failing expensively under a load would put me off. On the plus side, I like the size of the Bontrager bags, and wonder if a) they are available on their own b) they would fit on my Mundo, and c) are they cheaper than the Mundo bags at £85 each?

  • jamesmallon says:

    Alan and Joe are right too… However, to get a big enough bag etc., and also not to have it top heavy, the simple answer is to keep the geometry similar, but use 29r wheels, at least on the larger size(s). There are Big Dummy fundamentalists who will say only 26″ wheels are strong enough, but people downhill on 29r bikes, so that can’t be true. I’m 6’1″ so little wheels are silly for me. I’ll be buying the Ute.

  • Androo says:

    I’m glad more manufacturers are getting on the long-bike boat, as it were. Niggling issues aside, this looks like a great debut product (which I’m sure will be improved with customer feedback in coming years), and the e-assist opens up the market to a lot more people who just want something that works out of the box.

    A e-cargo bike really does seem like it could be a car replacement for a lot of people.

  • joe says:

    I think the question regarding the e-assist is will it be reliable and powerful enough for the loads carried on a longtail. Some like to push the limit of the capacity of the bike, and I wonder if the e-assist is at a point in its development life to be “ready” to handle a cargo bike. It is an idea I have been toying with for when my pair of Mundos arrive.

  • Elliott @ Austin on Two Wheels says:

    Regarding comments on this negatively affecting other long tail producers, I agree with Alan. More companies, especially companies like Trek with larger marketing and distribution, is good for all cargo bike makers. Rising tide lifts all ships. Plus I’m guessing Trek sees an expanding market here or they probably wouldn’t have released this product. We are so early in the transportation bike market with such an enormous potential pool, folks should not be scared of more players on the stage.

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    It has a very “military bike” look to it; maybe it is the colouring. What is that green panel on the left of the rack?…

  • Alan says:

    @LB!

    That’s a pannier. If it’s anything like the pannier on the Yuba Mundo, it’ll easily swallow up 4 grocery bags.

    Alan

  • Dweendaddy says:

    I agree that:
    1. More manufacturers making cargo bikes is better for everyone, including Surly. This will make it more likely for someone to see one: on the street, in a store, etc. and get an idea that they might want one too.
    2. The steel loving, diy-ing, stick shifting, wool wearing, bike commuting, Eco-velo reading types here will appreciate and pay for the likes of the Big Dummy and Yuba over this.

  • Darryl Jordan says:

    I would like to know how many times an aluminum frame actually failed more often than steel?
    I like steel, but why are a lot of mountain bikes using aluminum if aluminum breaks a lot? Most people will not push a frame to the limit because who wants to carry around 300 pounds of weight or more all the time, IMHO.
    There are other brands besides Trek getting into the cargo trend/fashion such as Rans’ CF design and Terracycle and their Cargo Monster for recumbents. Not to mention Calfee’s bamboo cargo bikes.
    Heck in a few years, department stores may import some knockoffs, maybe? (wink)

  • Tim says:

    Just read this bike has a cargo capacity of 200lbs.That’s to bad cause it looks so much more substantial,you know like it could eat 300lbs easily.Oh well I imagine the people who buy this bike would never dream of hauling more than 100lbs tops.

  • Alan says:

    @Tim

    “Just read this bike has a cargo capacity of 200lbs.”

    I’m not surprised considering the limited amount of triangulation and the aluminum construction. I agree, most people (myself included) would probably never hit the 200 lb. limit in any case.

    Alan

  • Sid says:

    I think it is great the cargo bikes are beginning to take off. I have been riding a Kona Ute for about six months. Previous to buying the Ute, I was a bike-to-work commuter, and have been riding to work for about ten years. The Ute really transformed things for me. I found commuting on my road bike with panniers fast and fun, but it was tough to do normal things like shop because the bags and rack were just too limited to be practical. I really find with the Ute I do not need my car 90% of the time now, and was able to cut my car insurance from comprehansive to collision, figuring I just do not drive it that much now. I also rigged a stoker bar on back, so I can take my daughter to school and on errands. What really surprised me was how fast the Ute is. I was worried it would feel super heavy and cumbersome. Not so. And the pannier bags are huge. I can easily stuff four or five grocery bags in each pannier and strap stuff to the three-foot rack on top with bungies. Absolutely brilliant, planet-saving invention, though I do feel a bit eccentric riding it and get asked a lot of questions by kooks! Think of the bloody oil spill. Buy a cargo bike and cut back on your car insurance or get rid of the secomd car–because you just will not need it (if you live in a warmish climate like me). Cargo bikes are not cheap, but they can pay for themselves in a year or two. As for the electric assist… I think it is a good idea in terms of transportation, but people who ride bikes like to pedal, like to work. Pedaling, well, that’s an essential part of riding a bike–the pedaling, the beathing, the rhythm. Would be very cool to see thousands of Americans riding to work on electric bikes, though!

  • David says:

    A 17″ Transport arrived at the shop last week, and I posted photos and thoughts here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cold_iron/sets/72157625272505503/

    The bike comes with one bag, and it will easily hold two paper (or cloth) grocery bags. A second bag (for the other side) is available, and it sells for $130.

    I, for one, am ecstatic that there is now a cargo bike from one of the big bike manufacturers. Expect a full review of a 20″ when they become available.

 
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