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Some dealers have been hesitant in stocking cargo bikes due to their relatively niche market and higher unit price.
But as Gary Cookson, explained, there are big upsides for dealers in the high value of accessories they can easily sell with each new bike.
Gary is the founder of Cargocycles, the exclusive Australian importer/wholesaler for a number of leading global cargo bike brands including Yuba.
Gary’s best selling model is the Yuba Spicy Curry.
“You can carry three kids on the back, depending on age, but the majority of people carry two kids realistically and a whole lot of stuff,” he said.
“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 but there are occasions when it’s very convenient to drop the older child off for all those weekend sport or music commitments where parking or traffic is an issue even up to early teen years. Most families say they take the cargo bike more because the kids enjoy it.
“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 with the kids along for the ride. For more groceries there’s the 2-Go bag that can go on the back, but then you’ve got less carrying capacity for kids.
“Usually it’s a package deal with these accessories. If people are buying the bike then most dealers do 10% off each accessory that they also buy at the same time. It is a substantial upgrade for our dealers.
“Most customers end up buying Soft Spot seats, SideBoards and the Bread Basket. A $500 to $1,000 accessory upsell per bike is not unrealistic.”
Despite their name, most cargo bikes are actually ‘kid’s transport bikes’.
Gary continued, “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.
“Electrification has made a huge difference to cargo bikes. We started by doing electric conversion kits 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 rounded package for an interested customer.
“It became a realistic car replacement when they trusted that the drive system would be reliable.
“Cargo bikes can definitely replace a second car. We also have some families where the cargo bike is their only form of transport.
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.”
As to the future, Gary sees huge potential. This is not just wishful thinking, because the category has been growing by approximately 50% per year worldwide.
For more information visit www.cargocycles.com.au or phone 03 9042 9058.