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Bastiaen Cargo No.3
Bastiaen Cargo No.3 of a series of 10 with the innovative king-pin steering on the road to VeloBerlin
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A few days before my birth my parents visited a bike exhibition. This caused some sort of prenatal imprinting, for I always liked bikes and in 1990 started building a cargobike by hacking apart some old diamond frames and a folding bike. My father joined the project – I still don´t know if for eagerness or concern – and soon our „Long John“ ran, and it still runs today. (Did anyone say anything against 1970´s bike junk?)
Many years and two professions later we were expecting - to need another cargobike soon. As I suffer from designers disease (inability to simply buy something) the new cargobike had to be homemade, or at least of own design. When building bikes without a proper workshop, bending tubes is out of question, so I was looking for a simple „straightforward“ design. Also - to my eye – forks on cargo bikes of the Long John type always looked wrong. A fork takes up precious cargo room and transfers (brake) energy to a peculiar point of the frame with the fork acting as a lever. So, the first sketches showed a center-hub steering. As this seemed impossible to build, I quickly forgot the idea until it surfaced from subconscience at the sight of an old Italjet scooter. I ordered a front swing arm with wheel and brake from ebay for little money and found it heavy but usable. It was joined to an old Trek MTB by a single tube by a trusted framebuilder and THE SUB was born.
I was completely surprised by the reactions that followed: people on the street were cargobike enthusiastic! 25 years ago I had been practically invisible riding a cargobike and now I was asked eager questions on every red traffic light. About that time the Bullitt came on the market, followed by many others. The first SUB was followed by a second one, this time with a face-to-face childrens seat, which received appraisal particularly from mothers. „Where can I buy that?“ or „You should sell those!“ was heard so often, that I started re-designing the steering to eliminate all the heavy scooter parts, which also had become more expensive at ebay, since I had published the building instructions on werkstatt-lastenrad.de.
The project lingered on my computer for three years pushed aside by life´s more import matters and other cargobike projects like the D30 and THE BOX until in 2014 the SUB placed 2nd in a cargobike design competition hosted by IHK Dortmund – by chance the very city where I had build my first cargobike 25 years earlier. So, I finally had the tooling for my front wheel and the first wheels made and ordered an aluminium frame.
Read all about the Bastiaen Cargo history and it's future in our NEWS BLOG.