Tern of Taiwan has partnered with Xtracycle of California to produce a folding cargobike, the Cargo Node, and the companies are crowdfunding its release. This is a cargobike that "fits in your closet" says the Cargo Node’s Kickstarter campaign page. A day after the campaign started it has raised more than half of the $60,000 funding goal.
The Cargo Node was unveiled at Eurobike. Tern’s Josh Hon told BikeBiz.com:
“Ross Evans, the founder of Xtracycle, is a good friend,” said Hon (pictured below grabbing a slice of pizza at Eurobike). “We went to Stanford University together and have kept in touch.”
Almost literally because the Cargo Node originated from some close proximity thinking: “We were sat in a hot tub, and I said you make this really cool rear rack and we make these cool bikes, maybe the joining of the two could make something interesting?”
The result was a longtail folding bike with a 65 percent smaller footprint than a standard cargo bike. The Cargo Node is equipped with Xtracycle’s new Leap rack, the 2016 version of the Freeradical rack that the company has been making since 1998.
The Leap has a telescoping front boom allowing it to fit a wide range of bike sizes, from a 24-inch-wheel folding bike like the Node up to a 29er.
“The Leap is super solid,” said Shannon Evans of Xtracycle (shown giving Josh Hon a lift, above).
“It’s torsionally rigid, and it’s not going anywhere, even with two people on the back.”
She said the Cargo Node was a “game-changer” for urbanites: “A lot of people want to use a cargo bike but don’t have the space. With the Cargo Node, you have all the benefits of a cargo bike but you can fold it up, and stick it next to your couch. Even if you have a garage, you may not have enough room for a full-size cargo bike so to be able to stick it in a corner out of the way is huge.”
It’s also perfect for taking on public transportation, said Evans. “I can fold it and get it on buses and trains. If I can’t get a seat on the train, I can use the Cargo Node as a bench.”
It’s also her “date bike,” she said. “To go to the city on the train for dinner with a bunch of friends this is the bike I now use.”
Why did Tern and Xtracycle decide to launch the Cargo Node on Kickstarter.com? The campaign page says: "We want to prove that there is a market need, and an enthusiastic audience, for this bike."
It adds "many sport-centric bike shops haven’t yet embraced the rise of urban utility cycling. That’s why we’re turning to our community and Kickstarter."