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Cargocycles founder Gary Cookson is not just running a thriving business. He’s passionate about what the products he sells can do for our families, cities and environment.
“Cargo bikes can definitely replace a second car,” Gary stated. “We also have some families where the cargo bike is their only form of transport.
“At least 80% of our customers are buying cargo bikes primarily for transporting their kids. But usually that goes along with the ability to use that bike for other things such as the family shopping.
“Other people buy cargo bikes for business, gardening, leaflet drops and other deliveries.
A typical journey for many people is that they leave home in the morning with their kids. They drop them at kinder, child care or school and continue on to work. That journey might have been completed with a car previously. That’s a very common scenario for our customers.”
Gary’s best selling model is the Yuba Spicy Curry.
“In theory you can carry three kids on the back, up to five or six years old, but the majority of people carry two kids,” he said.
“Realistically it can take one adult plus a child on the back and a lot of our customers do that.
By the time the kids are seven or eight they’re generally riding their own bike and their younger sibling is still on the cargo bike.
“With the Bread Basket on the front you can typically carry a couple of the green shopping bags full of groceries as well as having two kids on the back. You can do a small supermarket shop. For more groceries there’s the ToGo (check) bag that can go on the back, but then you’ve got less carrying capacity for kids.
Electrification has made a huge difference to cargo bikes and their worldwide sales have been growing by a staggering 50% per year in recent years.
“We started by doing electric conversion kits,” Gary recalled, “but as soon as factory electric options became available, they were clearly the way to go. Just the brand reassurance of having Bosch or Shimano motors made it a very well branded package for an interested customer.
“It became a realistic car replacement when they trusted that the drive system would be reliable.”
Despite rapid sales growth, which has seen keeping supply up with demand as one of the main challenges during Covid, Gary still feels that there is a lot more potential upside for cargo bikes in Australia.
“People get the concept,” he said, “but they’re still a bit reluctant, mainly because of price. “What they fail to understand is how much more complex a cargo bike is to manufacture. It’s a much more substantial piece of equipment than any conventional bike including electric bikes.”
Cargocycles’ bikes are available for purchase via their Lygon Street, East Brunswick store in Melbourne, or via dealers across Australia.