If you haven’t seen the zillions of posts about the LIFT cargo bike Kickstarter yet, here’s the gist: for $725 (early bird pricing), you get the front end of a bakfiets style cargo bike that hooks to the front of your existing bike in about a minute. Compare against $3,000 and up for low-end box bikes, and this looks like a pretty good deal.
I try to only mention Kickstarter projects that I think are truly useful, innovative and have a legitimate chance to deliver, especially when more than a few hundred dollars are involved. LIFT bike designer Scott Taylor is a small-business owner who’s well known to the cyclist community in Denver, Colorado.
The install demo video shows that you drop the front fork into the steering mechanism inside the cargo area, and another attachment by the bottom bracket at the cargo bike’s double stand completes the installation. After some fiddling with the front brake cable, you’re ready to go.
Bakfiets handling can be “funny” to the uninitiated, and I have no idea how this conversion with the front-fork connected to a steering linkage will feel. I haven’t had a chance to demo this bike, but my long-time friend Arleigh met up with Scott in Denver, so I hope to see her perspective on this bike from her soon.
The specifications will fit many modern bikes, but there are limitations. According to the Kickstarter page, you need a bike with (1) 68mm or 73mm English threaded bottom bracket, (2) cable actuated disk or rim brakes (no drum brakes or hydraulic brakes), (3) Rigid (un-suspended) frames, and (4) 9mm standard dropout fork with either a)no suspension or b)locked out suspension. 9mm is the standard diameter for front quick release skewers and front axles, so I think those of you with the wider thru axles are out of luck.
I love that this might solve an N+1 problem for people with limited storage space (such as apartment dwellers like Yours Truly).
Learn more at Kickstarter: The LIFT turns YOUR bike into a Cargo Bike. And back again… Now your bicycle can do so much more.