April 22, 2009 Given that there are more bicycles sold in the world each year than cars, they are non-polluting, the transport of choice for many developing countries and are used to deliver a large part of the world's freight the final mile, it’s a wonder there aren’t more purpose-built cargo bikes around. The Cetma cargo bike, produced by a small, one-man operation in the US state of Oregon, is one that is out there ... delivering.

Purpose-built for carrying cargo, the Cetma design focuses on being versatile and highly practical for real-life situations. In order to achieve this, all Cetma cargo bikes are handmade and built to order.

In this way, the Cetma cargo bike doesn't work off a modified design of a traditional bike, like some factory-produced cargo bikes. Instead, it has a 2x3 foot cargo area, located at the front of the bike, completely incorporated into the frame. This gives the Cetma bike a lower centre of gravity than most other non-purpose-built cargo bikes on the market, enabling it to carry large, heavy loads and giving the rider greater control.

The Cetma bike has seven-foot wheel base, which enables the cargo area to support about 70 pounds. The Cetma bike has a bi-partible frame, which means it can be separated into two pieces for easy transport and storage.

In building its cargo bike, Cetma uses quality parts. These include:

  • Avid BB7 disc brakes/levers
  • Rhyno Lite rims/ Deore M525 hubs
  • Sugino RD cranks/ 37T ring
  • SRAM X5 9-speed derailer/ shifter
  • SRAM 11-34 cassette
  • Schwalbe Marathon tires
  • Cetma also provides a range of cargo racks that can be fitted to just about any bike. These are available in three, five or seven rail designs, with the option of a removable side rail. The company also offers a wooden box with fold-up bench, finished and sealed for all weather conditions, that can be fitted to the cargo area.

    According to Cetma, it takes about four weeks to build a bike. Bikes cost about USD$2900.

    Cetma is one of many cargo bikes available. Some others include: the xtracycle, Cycles Maximus, Miklink and the Yuba Mundo cargo bike.

    Tim LeFevre