Camioncyclette by Christophe Machet

Concept, Student Design, Utility 14 19

Camioncyclette cargo bike design by Christophe MachetA recent GOOD Design post asked the question, “What if Your Bike Was a Station Wagon?” The bike that they featured in that post, Camioncyclette by Swiss designer Christophe Machet was designed to carry loads up to 150 kilograms (330 pounds) in the big yellow integrated front and rear wire baskets.

“What do you get when you mate a bicycle and a shopping cart?” was the reaction from Xtracycle on Twitter. They hit the nail on the head with that description, but I do think that it is an interesting concept. I am still not sure how this bike would ride fully loaded, but the pictures do indicate that it is a rideable prototype that has been tested with different types of loads (including a passenger). Camioncyclette was Machet’s graduate school project, so it is only a concept bike at this point, but I believe a bike like this could find a place in the market along with the other cargo-oriented bikes that are a growing in popularity at a rapid rate (here in the U.S. at least). Longtails like the ones from Xtracycle, Madsen, Surly, Yuba, and many other companies are becoming more commonplace, and new variations on traditional bakfiets designs and cargo bikes are popping up all the time.

Camioncyclette cargo bicycle with passengerPersonally, I am always glad to see new ideas for bikes that can “carry a lot of stuff.” I am curious what you all think about this concept though. Is the Camioncyclette a viable solution for shopping and running errands by bike, or just another designer bike that will make the blog rounds and disappear? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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14 Comments

  1. Jim N October 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

    This looks like a cargo bike designed by someone who has used a cargo bike. Really like it. It seems to keep the weight relatively low. I love how the baskets are a part of the frame (replacing seatstays, for example). He has come up with a fresh design that seems completely practical.

  2. Impossibly Stupid October 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

    I’m generally not a fan of single-purpose bikes, but this one is fairly well designed for what it does. The front basket in particular looks like it’ll work a lot better than a rack that gets bolted to the fork or a basket that gets stuck on the handlebars. Still, the empty bike itself looks heavy, so I’m not sure how much fun it would be to ride even without being loaded with cargo.

  3. Nick October 28, 2010 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    I like it! It looks kind of funky… which has positive and negative connotations… but most new stuff does.

    I suspect it would handle nicer of the rear wheel was moved back so that it ended flush with the basket… A longer wheelbase when you are carrying weight is a great thing. And while keeping the rear wheel forward probably does it’s part by keeping more weight off of the steering, it might also take too much off and make it difficult to keep the front wheel from skidding if you have a person in back. (Like in the photo.)

    Also, an oversized axle in the rear would definitely be a good idea. And fenders! I’m sure they are planned but it would be nice to see them on the prototype- I think color matched fenders would really make this design come together visually, because right now the full black wheels seem kind of alien from the rest of the design

  4. jamesmallon October 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm -  Reply

    For any bike you want the load as low as possible. Many of the ‘mother-bikes’ here in Japan (‘mamachari’) have a smaller front wheel to facilitate putting a child at front but keeping decent steering. Civia has a new cargo bike doing the same, and Madsen has done this on the rear. I do not like the idea of different wheel sizes, since I switch tires, etc, as seasons change. It seems to me that this bike has the right idea: cargo bikes are not performance bikes, so use a pair of smaller wheels. The only caveat is that I would want some big tires on 20″ wheels, to soak up the road.

  5. vovsad October 29, 2010 at 3:54 am -  Reply

    It looks pretty good on the snaps and seems to be really robust but I will not buy it for myself. It is very *specialized* ;) bike, good for rustics in plain areas – I cannot imagine how to take uphill 150 kg..

  6. Ross Nicholson October 29, 2010 at 9:10 am -  Reply

    This design seems ready made for using fully faired wheels or ‘fenders’ if you will. Enclosing both the front and the back wheels except for the skid pad on the tires would diminish wind resistance around the wheels without increasing rotational mass. A fairing for the rest of this bike might be a challenge, though.

    • Nick October 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

      Would enclosing the tires make this thing faster? I suspect the difference would be comically negligible, due to the small wheels and the MASSIVE drag presented by the entire rest of the bike. Not to mention it would make this thing even more unstable in crosswinds.

  7. Efried November 1, 2010 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Adding some cargo space left and right to the rear wheel would be nice. The “Wald” Folding Baskets would give the dimensions but I would foresee to boxes which may be detached and clip in when attached so they may serve as shopping bags (2).

  8. Juliano Pappalardo November 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    this is for me a concept bike, not these futurists bikes which are influenced by futurists cars.

    • Juliano Pappalardo November 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

      I mean: a real concept bike…

  9. Saori November 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    An ultimate Mama-Chari!
    Very simple shape makes it lovely. But if it has electric-assistance, it should hit here in Japan; there’s so many slopes.
    I hope he call to Yamaha, Bridgestone or Panasonic.

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