Help! Where's life at these days? Conversion for a cargo bike


Finding my (electric) wheels
Apr 7, 2009
I have the chance of getting an allotment. It is too far to walk, and I will have luggage (I could drive, but that misses the point).
I'd like an eBike. Requirements:
  1. Rider weight is 130kg (actually a lot less at the minute, but let's assume I could put the weight back on).
  2. I expect to carry tools, and the odd sack of produce. Let's say another 30kg tops. So the total is 160kg.
  3. There are really steep hills here in Derbyshire.
  4. I need a range of approx. 30 miles so I can take trips into Derby (my nearest big city).
  5. There are steps to my house. Lots of steps. Something that could assist as I pushed up steps would be useful.
  6. I like to work on my bikes myself, so I'd rather convert an existing machine than buy new.
I have three bikes I could use:
  1. A Rudge bi-frame:
    1. Stronger than any other folder.
    2. Good quality.
    3. Mostly standard parts.
    4. Good geometry for carrying luggage.
    5. Very relaxed and stable with heavy weights.
    6. Weird bottom bracket where the seat tube protrudes into the shell. You have to use an old-fashioned cup and cone one.
  2. An Alpinestars CR400. Sporty MTB from the nineties in Tange DB.
    1. Totally standard allround, including the BB shell.
    2. Too lightweight?
    3. Lots of brazeons for racks.
    4. Slightly racier geometry than the Rudge - not ideal for a cargo bike?
  3. A Pashley Mailstar
    1. Good for luggage with that rack.
    2. Excellent for carrying weights, and strong. It would make a splendid dent in somebody's car.
    3. Really, really unwieldy.
Or am I better off getting a proper cargo bike and converting?

My understanding is I'd be better with a BB drive kit. But I haven't looked at this in a few years. I want to spend as little as I can, but I don't want to spend too little.
Have you got any advice? Any books I can read? Or should I stop being silly?


Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
Rather than a cargo bike. A trailer would be a much better solution. You can get a reasonable one for £60. Do some research on trailers and how they fit to bikes, then choose a bike and electrical system that suits it.

The single wheeled trailers give the best cycling experience. You don't even know they're there,but the two-wheeled ones are the most convenient regarding putting stuff in them.


Finding my (electric) wheels
Apr 7, 2009
Yes, I had a trailer back when I used to live on a boat. It was quite good fun, and useful for gas bottles. A pain at gates though. I used to call it Helena Handcart.
Maybe I'd get another. They are a bit of a drag, if you'll pardon the expression.

What about the electric conversion, though? That's the bit I'm really asking about. As I said, I am not interested in a conversion of my back wheel, so I don't really see how it would interfere with a trailer.
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Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
West Sx RH
Use a good rear hub kit for towing a trailer.
Bafang CST isn't cheap but a AKM128c is not overly expensive or the Bafang G310.
Which trailer depends on the weight and bulkyness of items towed.
I use a Carry freedom for my bulky/heavy carries as it has an excellent stable base.