Bikeleasing decision support: cargo bike or bike trailer?

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For many cyclists, the bicycle is not only climate-friendly but also a practical means of transportation. But what is better suited for getting children, pets, shopping or luggage from A to B? A cargo bike or a bike trailer? We explain which questions you should ask yourself before deciding between a cargo bike and a trailer.

What do you want to haul?

You want to use your bike for the weekly groceries? Or for your next trip without a car, but not without luggage? Or do you regularly chauffeur your kids to daycare, to appointments or to sports and do you take your dog on bike tours? What or whom you want to transport – and over what distance – is probably one of the first but not the only – question to be addressed when deciding between a cargo bike and a trailer. While you can transport heavy loads such as bulk shopping, including a family pack of bottled water, rather comfortably on a cargo bike, a trailer might make sense for children and pets. However, children and dogs can also be transported on cargo bikes with relative ease. Special cargo trailers, on the other hand, are just as useful for hauling groceries or luggage.

How flexible do you want to be?

When it comes to flexibility, we believe that the bike trailer comes out on top. If you take your child to daycare in the morning, you can simply leave the trailer there so that someone else can pick it up by bike in the afternoon. If you don’t have anything to haul, you can simply ride without a trailer and be more agile than with a cargo bike. In addition, many bike trailers can be used without a bike as a jogger or stroller. However, if you regularly use the cargo bike, you save yourself the thought of whether or not to attach the trailer to the bike today, because you always have the cargo box, crate or tub with you.

Hauling the kids: what age are your children?

If you mainly want to haul children with your bike, the questions of age and number are key. While only a maximum of two children (up to a maximum age of seven) may be transported on the bicycle trailer, there is no age limit for appropriately designed cargo bikes and, depending on the model, there may be room for up to four or even more children.

What about safety?

There is no generic answer to the question of whether you are safer traveling with a bicycle trailer or with a cargo bike. According to the ADAC, the trailer is at an advantage when you transport children and you collide with a car. Cargo bikes, on the other hand, score points thanks to their size, better visibility in traffic and the fact that you can always see your little passengers because they are transported in the front.

How safe is your ride with a cargo bike or bike trailer?

This question refers to the ride characteristics behavior of either solution. Regardless of whether you choose a bicycle trailer or a cargo bike: Both differ from classic (e-) bikes in terms of handling and ride experience. A trailer requires a larger turning circle and increases the brake load of the bike. The brakes of the cargo bike, on the other hand, are inherently designed for heavy weight. Depending on the model (e.g., three-wheeled or two-wheeled with an extended wheelbase), the steering behavior and stability of a cargo bike differ significantly from those of a classic bicycle. The best way to find out which option you feel safer with is to go for extensive test rides.

How much space do you have?

You have a large shed with plenty of space? Or does your bike have to fit in a rather small garage next to your car, stroller and all kinds of other things? If you are planning to buy a cargo bike, you should definitely consider in advance where you can safely store it. If you don’t have much room for storage, you’d be better off with a folding bike trailer that you can even take with you in your car when going on vacation.

What’s your budget?

If you already have a bike or e-bike that you enjoy riding, the bike trailer provides a better match for your budget. However, if you add the cost of a new (e-)bike, the price difference between a trailer and a cargo bike tends to shrink. In any case, if you want to be easy on your budget, it’s a good idea to acquire the bike or cargo bike as a company bike via salary conversion.

Cargo bike and bike trailer via company bike leasing

Whether it’s a classic bicycle or a cargo bike: Leasing a company bike through your employer can save you a lot of money compared to buying it directly. And with Bikeleasing-Service as a company bike provider, the same applies to your bike trailer, because it is one of our leasable accessories that can simply be leased along with the new company bike.

This is the best time to ask a Bikeleasing partner dealer for advice, choose your favorite bike plus trailer, or a cargo bike, and start phasing out the use of your car as your daily means of transportation.

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