Using your bicycle as a primary mode of transportation will eventually require you to haul things. Whether it is only a few bags of groceries or even larger cargo, you’ll need to ensure the stability of your load as well as your safety. Knowing what your capacity is will help you prepare-here are some guidelines for staying within your limits.
Weight Capacities can Vary
There is no one particular weight capacity that works for everyone. Several factors will play a role, including your age, fitness level, the type of bike you are riding, and local terrain. If you have other riders or are pulling a trailer, this will affect how heavy your load can be as well.
Long distance cyclists may carry around 100 pounds of gear with them. Mountain and cargo bikes on the other hand are capable of hauling between 300 and 600 pounds over very short distances. Subtract weight when riding uphill or traveling on a standard, recreational bike.
Avoid Awkward Loads
Weight is not the only thing you must be concerned with. Very light loads can also become a safety issue if they impair your vision or cause you to ride in an awkward position.
Improperly secured loads might also come loose and create a traffic hazard. Never try to ride while holding onto cargo, but instead make sure that all items are properly fastened before taking off.
Test Drive your Load
The biggest indicator of load size is how you feel when carrying it. Before heading out, take a short test spin to verify that:
- You are not straining to carry your items
- The bike does not wobble or become difficult to control
- Nothing shifts when you start, stop, or turn the bike
- You can fully access all controls
- Cargo does not block your vision or make it difficult for passing motorists to see you
Injured While Carrying Cargo? You may Require Legal Assistance
Bicycle injuries are more likely when riders are carrying cargo than at any other time. If you were hauling a load and were subsequently injured, you could need advice from an attorney. Please contact us to discuss your concerns.