Butchers & Bicycles' Mk1 offers a new angle on cargo trikes


January 20, 2014

The Mk1 cargo trike leans like a bike

The Mk1 cargo trike leans like a bike

Image Gallery (6 images)

Cargo trikes may be very practical, but unfortunately they can also be pretty slow and dumpy. This is particularly noticeable when taking corners, as they can can't lean into the turn like a regular bicycle. The designers at Denmark's Butchers & Bicycles, however, have decided to change that, with their Mk1 leaning cargo trike.

Named for its location in Copenhagen's meat-packing district, Butchers & Bicycles is headed up by entrepreneurs Morten Wagener, Morten Mogensen and Jakob Munk.

The base Mk1 incorporates their proprietary Balance Point Tilting system, allowing for not only a more "spirited" ride, but also increased stability in corners. Some of its other features include a powder-coated 7005 T6 aluminum frame, an infinitely-variable NuVinci N360 planetary hub transmission, an ABUS frame lock, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes on all three wheels, and Schwalbe puncture-proof 20- and 26-inch tires.

Its ABS cargo box has a front access door along with mounts for childrens' car seats, and a maximum load capacity of 100 kg (220.5 lb). Additionally, a lockable glove box (with cup holder!) is provided for the rider.

Should all that stuff make unaided pedaling just a little too difficult, there's also an electric-assist model known as the Mk1-e. It has the same specs as the Mk1, but with the addition of a 250-watt center-mounted motor, a 12-Ah lockable lithium-ion battery pack, and a backlit control unit. It has a maximum motor-only speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), and a claimed "uphill, headwind and fully loaded with max assist" range of at least 15 km (9 miles) – obviously, its range would be considerably longer under less demanding conditions. Recharging the battery takes three to four hours.

Optional extras include a Gates belt drive, a rainproof cargo box hood, and a two-person seat with 3-point seatbelts.

Both models are available now in the company's Copenhagen showroom, and should be ready to ship to other markets as of this spring (Northern Hemisphere). Prices for the Mk1 start at €3,395 (about US$4,600), with the Mk1-e entering at €4,995 ($6,770).

The Mk1 can be seen in use in the video below.

Source: Butchers & Bicycles via Inhabitat

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

I spent three years making a tilting cargo trike with a front box and concluded that whilst cornering is better, the increase in cost and restriction to what can be carried in the front outweighs any benefit. The problem I also found was that as you have no control over the mass in the front when you are on a tilt, it is really hard to judge how you handle a corner especially if your mass moves (eg kids/dog).

Saul Griffiths from Otherlabs has made something similar, again with a tiny cargo box. From my research I think the best value for money is a standard cargo trike with electric assist. I bought a Velo Electrique from the UK which does the job perfectly.


I imagine that keeping the thing vertical when heavily loaded and stationary and canted at just the right angle when on the move is essential, otherwise I just cannot see those front wheels taking the side loads, especially if spoked, as shown. (Jeremy.davies' comment is especially pertinent here.)

While it is officially limited to 100 kg, the temptation will be to carry as much as there is room for. Two tubby teenagers would flatten the two seat option at worst and leave it with some very loose spokes at best..

Mel Tisdale

Lovely it its way but you could bodge together something very similar for half the cost, using a sistema noomad converter and an electric bike of your choice. Admittedly, it wouldn't be as slick. If I were using this set up for carrying children, I might spend the extra to get the very nice looking cargo box. As Jeremy says though, you wouldn't want to be hauling great weights in this thing: better off with a trailer.

Richard Guy

So much by so many going into new bike design, any bike is a step in the right direction. Get 50% of cars off the road will benefit any city. This is the direction to travel.


"Optional extras include a Gates belt drive, a rainproof cargo box hood, and a two-person seat with 3-point seatbelts."

Can we have an Airbag and stereo system as well, please?


'From my research I think the best value for money is a standard cargo trike with electric assist. I bought a Velo Electrique from the UK which does the job perfectly.' jeremy.davies 21st January, 2014 @ 05:00 am PST

Come come Jeremy, let's be honest here and admit you didn't just buy a Velo Electrique but you are in fact the owner of Velo Electrique. Shameless plugs aside, your rides look great.


This is really expensive. I'll stay on my urban arrow project...


I need to see some photos of the tilting mechanism. I have some ideas, but I really need to see how it is done.

Nohj Yesdnil
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