How much can you carry on a bicycle?


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I have a couple of Jandd grocery panniers (unlike the xtracycle, they’re waterproof) and I’ve certainly carried more than one watermelon in them before. The most I’ve ever carried is two 30-racks of Extra Gold Lager, which fit nicely thanks to the skinny cans.

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Owning a front-loading cargo bike has been a game changer for me.

  • Need to pick up my daughter and her friends? Go by bike.
  • Grocery shopping? Bike.
  • Pick up a keg (or two) Also bike!


Pfft. He’s an amateur.


“It is called transportation. It is not. That’s because the bicycle is not, strictly defined, a transport device. Ever try to carry a watermelon on a bicycle? (Yes, it can be done, but how much else could you carry?)”

HUH??? Isn’t it enough that it carries, you know, A PERSON? Sometimes even TWO PERSONS? This is just arguing in bad faith, sheer dishonesty, sophistry, and plain old being a jackass. Sorry Syd. You’re a great designer, but you also sound like a jerk.


I also am the proud owner and rider of an Xtracycle. I can carry two children, an entire picnic (including a couple of bottles of wine, if it’s that kind of picnic), kites, a Frisbee and a Mexican blanket. Or I can carry an entire haul of groceries for the family–it can easily fit eight full bags or more. Or it can haul about 12 cases of beer without much difficulty.

Yep. A very common sight in every city in China.

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Exactly why I’ve always wanted a flatbed pedicab of my own. My heaviest load as a pedicab operator was three members of the UT Austin football defensive line, two of their girlfriends, and myself. I couldn’t eat their weight in groceries in a month.

(Yeah, technically illegal, but on New Year’s Eve, aka Amateur Night, nobody gives you a problem as long as you can help get the people the hell out of downtown.)

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Most of the time I keep a BoB trailer (loaded with an 18 gallon Rubbermaid tote) attached to my bike which can carry a bit more than the XtraCycle the author of the article uses.

When I need to carry something large or lots of things, I’ll use my BikesAtWork trailer. On that I’ve carried lots of things that I literally couldn’t put in my car including: 4x8 sheets of plywood from the hardware store, a chest freezer from the appliance store, and a 6’ x 2’ x 4’ bundle of yard waste. At Burningman I carry loads of 200 pounds of ice for my camp with it (the trailer is rated to 300 pounds which I’ve overloaded a few times). On level ground, all of the above is easy.

Hard to haul off a body for disposal though.

I have a hard enough time carrying my fat ass on a bike let alone other stuff.


Ah, the Xtracycle. I was trying to tell someone about that the other day, but all I could remember was that it came with a blender attachment. (“Not strictly a blending device”, no doubt.)

It seems like a great idea, except that it’s kind of costly and don’t look particularly easy to remove when not needed. Of course, for those who need it frequently, the latter is not an issue.

My bike is transportation. It gets me to work every day. It gets my son to school. I don’t personally use it for carrying lots of stuff (I have a van for that) but my preferred way of doing that on a bike would be a trailer. Its versatile in the sense that you can choose when to use it. My neighbours here in East Brunswick have no car, a bike for everyn member of the family and a couple of bike trailers.

rear rack. two panniers hanging off the sides. $60-$100 of groceries everytime i go, and a 15 lb bag of dog food on top. haven’t had a car in over a decade. but mostly, I transport myself everyday. Syd Mead, how can your mind work at a level to design for Blade Runner and not understand the definition of transportation?

I saw this bike on sale locally just yesterday:

(apparently, the washer and dryer and not included.) The bike is a Yuba Mundo.


My bike 12 years ago:
(just arrived with full camping kit at the World Championships in Brighton, U.K.)


I’m thinking a banana seat, a tall sissy bar, and lots of bungee cord should do the trick.

I use my recumbent bike to haul stuff all the time – mostly groceries, but also library books, potluck food, hardware store stuff, etc. I have a nice zip-up “trunk” behind the seat, but also use bungee cords to secure taller stuff or overflow.

For a supposed imaginer of the future, Syd Mead is just downright blinkered.

I took this across the U.S., but I only use the front bit now.

To be fair, it’s a tricycle. With a trailer. And…other stuff.

But jeez, Syd, that’s a bunch of dumb shit to say in one place about a bicycle.