I have been on a commuting kick for a while now. Just because I got my mountain bike set up for commuting does not mean that I have not done it before. Previously I used my Trek 1.5 and a big backpack to run errands. Then I got my Specialized Langster single speed, and that took over the duties.
I must say, now I have the mountain bike set up for more commuting, I really enjoy the ability to store items easily. I have been keeping up with a blog by Russ and Laura, who are cycling tourers. I would love to tour myself, but it would only be maybe a little vacation, not for several years like they have. Their blog is The Path Less Pedaled . He was working as an “eco photographer” before they left out on their journey. He was eco because he took his bicycle to every photo shoot. The bicycle was his car. He used an Xtracycle add-on. Click here for a picture from the Xtracycle website.
The Xtracycle bolts up to where the rear tire goes and extends the tire out a fair amount. This allows for more storage. I thought it was interesting. He carried quite a bit on it, for more pictures of the Xtracycle Russ owned click here .
It got me thinking, since this was a few years ago and I know bicycle commuting has increased over the years, there had to be a more complete offering out there. So I went to my favorite bicycle manufacturer, Trek. I hit up their website and looked around to see what they offered. My mountain bike has turned itself into more of a utility machine. Yet it is still limited. I mean, just look at what the Xtracycle can carry. I did remember hearing that Trek was going to make a utility bicycle, but I really did not pay attention to it. I suppose you could say that I felt like just setting up the mountain bike would be more than enough. However, I realized just how useful a bike can be now I got the mountain bike set up. Having the panniers for easy access and nothing on your back is great.
So I went to Trek’s website and went under the town section of bikes. They had a link to utility bikes. I saw several of the normal bikes, like the Trek FX series. Then I saw it, the Trek Transport. Click here for the image from the website.
Just like the Xtracycle, it has the tire further away to give extra room for the heels, to keep your feet from hitting the cargo. The amount the bike carried is just crazy! I would love to have a bicycle like that to take to the grocery store. I could easily fit in several grocery bags and possibly some other items. Trek lists the bike at $1,400. Some may say that is a lot of money, and they would be right. I am rather cheap when it comes to most of my bikes. My road bike is near “bottom of the barrel” when you look at quality bikes. The current commuter, the Hardrock Sport, is one of the cheapest 29-ers you can find. My single speed, same thing. The only thing I splurged on was the Gary Fisher HiFi Plus that ran me just over $2,000. The full suspension is amazing on the trails!
Seriously though, for what you get, you definitely get a bang for your buck with the Transport. It comes decked out with the bag on it already. The frame is light considering its size, and it can hold a rated 200-pounds! There is enough room to out carry a Smart car. If you need more, simply add a trailer (like Russ did to his cargo bike) and your storage capacity instantly increases.
It would take several trips to the grocery store to even out the cost of the bike, that is for sure. Many people only travel a mile or two to get to the store in somewhat big cities. I know mine is about a mile and a half away from my house. Hey, people always want the closest parking spot, now they can have it! Right by the door!
I seriously would love to have the Transport in my garage. If I did get one, I could not spend cash out of my pocket. I would have to sell off several items to pay for it. Currently the savings account is starting to get some attention, so no paycheck money could be used for it. Maybe I will get around to starting to put a “side savings” in place for things I sell, in order to fund future projects. Maybe one day I will be able to get a bike like that to carry larger items without needing a car.
One of these days…
EDIT: I am adding this because I also love this brand of bicycle. The Surly Big Dummy is another bike that would be excellent to own. It costs roughly the same amount as the Trek. Click here for a picture from their website.