Top 3 Reasons Cargo Bikes are Going to be Huge

October 17, 2016

Keep reading to find out why more people are going to ditch their cars and go green with cargo bicycles.

While cargo bikes are common enough sights in Europe (especially in the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries) they aren’t something you see every day in North America. That’s certainly changing and we see a serious increase in cargo bike usage in the future. There are three reasons why and all are related to a single thing: urbanization.

It may seem that more and more people are cramming into cities but it’s a trend that has been going on for more than 100 years. In the United States, by the 1920s, more than 50% of the population was living in cities. The country as a whole now stands at 80% urbanization.

While I’m not an expert in urban development, I’d hazard to guess that increased urbanization in North America does not automatically translate into more cycling. A bicycle-friendly city requires a certain level of density and the appropriate infrastructure to enable cycling. I’d hazard to guess that the urban sprawl and lack of bike lanes that characterizes most North American cities are simply not bike-friendly.

So what part of urbanization can help increase cycling and, of course, the use of cargo bikes? Urban density.

I’ll be looking at a strictly local phenomenon to illustrate this. As many of you know, Wike is a Canadian company based in beautiful Guelph, Ontario. We’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from the largest city in the country, Toronto.

I should probably note that Canada has space. Lots and lots of space. The situation is similar in the United States. Lots of space translates to urban sprawl. Urban sprawl translates to longer distances to travel for jobs and pretty much everything else.

The Ontario government has been working for a decade to increase density in urban areas. Not just in Toronto but in other city centres around the province. The Golden Horseshoe is one of the main urban areas in the country and contains a large number of cities, including Guelph. In fact, 26% of the entire country’s population live in the Golden Horseshoe.

The Ontario government recently unveiled the “Shaping Land Use in the Greater Golden Horseshoe” ( ) which is a document that lays out some guidelines for growing communities. Feel free to read the entire report. It’s interesting stuff for those part of this geographic area.

But what does this have to do with more cargo bikes? There are a couple of things in this report that have a direct bearing on it. Specifically:

  • “Increase the intensification target in the Growth Plan to a minimum of 60 per cent of all new residential development occurring annually in the existing built-up area.”
  • “Increase the designated greenfield area density target in the Growth Plan to a minimum of 80 residents and jobs per hectare.”

Essentially, the government is planning for more intensification. More people on less land. The anti-urban sprawl if you will.

I’m sure you can see where this is going. More intensification, more people, more bikes, more cargo bikes.

So let’s see where all this intensification will lead.

Cargo Delivery Bikes

If you’ve got a load to deliver in, say, Mississauga, Houston, or Atlanta, it’s a pretty good bet that a truck is your only option. It’s safe to say that you’re your customers are scattered over many many kilometres. But urban density packs those customers into a smaller space, making delivering by bike much less of a problem. And while a bike trailer might do the trick, a cargo bike is really where it’s at if you’re delivering groceries or larger and more bulky items.

Cargo Family Bikes

Intensification and cargo delivery bikes are good from the perspective of “I am closer to customers”. Cargo Family Bikes take a broader perspective: “I am closer to everything”. If things like schools, jobs, day care, and grocery stores are no longer in far-flung destinations, the need for a car diminishes greatly. A solid cargo bike can take care of your everyday needs without a problem. And it’ll be good for your health too!

Driving Cargo Bike Costs Down

We’ve already made the case that cargo bikes are not as expensive as you may think but we can also admit that plunking $1000 or more on a cargo bike may seem a bit daunting. But since we believe cargo bikes will become more common, the increase in the number of cargo bikes sold will bring the costs of cargo bikes down.

Again, the Ontario government has made it a priority to increase density in the most populous region of the country so intensification leading to a golden age of cargo bikes might be a local phenomenon. But I suspect that our little corner of the world is not the only place seriously studying intensification.

Further reading

Urban density is key to smart growth

Density Toronto: As GTA population rises, so do expectations for denser living

And it’s not all chocolate and roses. More rural areas consider the intensification targets too high: Density increases could change face of Centre Wellington


How a Double Bike Trailer Can Amp Up Your Family's Adventures!

6 Reasons you Need a Child Bike Trailer and Stroller Combo In Your Life

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Kayak Trailer for your Bike

The 8 Best Ways to Get Your Groceries Done Without a Car

Can I Use My E-Bike With a Trailer?

Reclaim Your New Years’ Resolutions with your Bicycle

Can you bike on a trail with a bicycle trailer?

Nuclear fusion, green energy, and... bike trailers? Oh my!

Winter Bike Trailer Comfort: Keeping Your Kids Warm

What makes a bicycle trailer extra strong?

Should I get a Single Bike Trailer or Double Bike Trailer?

Child Bike Trailers Materials Guide, Part 1: Bike Trailer Flooring

Proper Bike and Trailer Lighting for Night Cycling

How to Choose the Right Special Needs Trailer For Your Family

At What Age Can My Baby Ride in a Bike Trailer for Kids?

Which is Safer: a Child Bike Trailer or a Bike-Mounted Child Seat?

How To Build a Cargo Bike Trailer Using an Easy DIY Kit

Anti-Theft Tips: How to Lock Your Bike Trailer to Prevent Theft

Bike Trailers / Cargo Bikes for Couriers and Other Businesses

7 Ways to Make Your Child's Bike Trailer More Comfortable

Bike Trailers & Wheelchair Bicycles for Older Kids with Disabilities

Complete Guide: How to Attach a Bike Trailer to Any Bike [With Photos & Videos]

WIKE Inertial Braking System

Bike Trailers For Kids: Everything You Need to Know About Child Bike Trailers

Can I Put a Bike Trailer on My Bike?

Bike Trailers For Kids - Everything You Need to Know

Most Beautiful Machine

Reckless Bikes in Vancouver sells Wike Cargo Bike

Cycle Light Solution for U of G Students

Types of Bike Trailers

Bike Trailer helps Youth Employment

Bicycle Trailer Capacity: What is the Weight Limit for a Bike Trailer?

Bike Trailer Parking: How to Park, Lock or Fold a Bike Trailer

Electric Stroller Bike Test Report

Electric Salamander

Keeping your Bike Trailer in Tip Top Shape!

Cost Effective Housing for Homeless - Tiny Town Pilot Project

WHAT’S NEW? .... The Wike Newt!

Going Green – Cargo Trailers Part 1

​Wike on CBS Innovation Nation

Multi-Brand Double Occupancy Bicycle Trailer Comparison

Cargo Bikes vs. Cargo Trikes: Features, Pros and Cons

The Benefits of Active Transportation

Guelph Company Awarded 2018 EUROBIKE Award for the Salamander Cycle Stroller

What happened to Taga? The crowdfunded stroller bike that left backers in the dust

Wike Enters The Dragon's Den!

Soar into the New Year on Your Bike

Unlock Independence - Kids, Bike Trailers, and Cargo Bikes

Bike Trailer Components You Need to Know

Three Reasons why Getting a Cargo Bike can Change your Life

The Best Cargo Hauling Solution for Your Bike

Breaking the Ice Around Cargo Bikes

Child Bike Trailers - Freedom for the Holidays

Cargo Bike or Cargo Bike Trailer?

Top 3 Reasons Cargo Bikes are Going to be Huge

Do You Know Your Awesome Cargo Bike Type?

Cargo Bikes - A Lifestyle Choice

How to Choose the Best Cargo Bike for You

Top 4 Reasons Why You’ll Love a Cargo Bike

Choosing a Cargo Bike Trailer

What Makes a Good Bike Trailer?

St. James High School Visits the New Wike Bike Trailer and Box Bike Factory

Guelph Magnolia Bike Ride

Amphibian Series Product Launch

Wike featured on the CTV News

Will bicycle trailers evolve into the cars of the future?

We’re Moving!

Wike featured in Pedal Magazine

Change Your World - Article by Guelph Mercury

Cargo Bike Showplace opens in Guelph

Wike Offers delivery to your door of Box Bikes and Cargo Trikes

Wike Featured in the “Financial Post”

Wike Bicycle Trailers Featured in the Globe and Mail

Wike opens new Distribution Facility in Europe

Wike appears on Dragon’s Den October 23, 2013

Pedal-Powered Family: A Trip Across North America

What’s up in Active Transportation