The Chainlink

Backstory: This is a bakfiets style cargo bike, handmade by the original garage cargo builder, Tom Labonty, in Portland. Each bike he made was unique. His bikes have structurally stood the test of time. This one has made its way across the country to end up in Chicago.

I think the history is cool, but I'm not selling it as a one-of-a-kind antique. I got it as a somewhat inexpensive cargo bike that I wasn't worried about using hard or getting stolen.

Build: This model is semi-step thru. The original idea was to turn the stem backwards so that it is very upright, relaxed, Dutch-style. I have done that and different bar configurations. Now I have it so that it can be a more sporty, bar and extensions just how I like them.

Cargo Bay Build: Tubing all along the top (not a cargo box just sitting on top of a platform or single tube like some of the cheap Dutch-style bakfiets). Durable material and wood planks for the box that screw in to eyelets of the frame so you can take the planks out and change them up. There is a crack in one piece of this material that has been there unchanged for years. Still super reliable. And yes, that is a kick ass big rig mudflap in the front! I would describe this as a medium cargo box (I'll measure tonight).

Clearance: It's probably low clearance, but I never bump the bottom on anything, going over bumps and holes, walking it over curbs and steps, etc.

Child-carrying: There is NOT a bench or seatbelts/harnesses in the cargo bay. I originally intended to build a bench but honestly my kids love riding in their front and rear child seats. So besides sitting in it for fun sometimes, they ride up top in their stem mounted and rear seats. So the cargo bay is for cargo, at least for me. You could build something if you want, but that was not my use. Really you could replace sections of the planks with a piece that has a built-in bench seat of some sort. Maybe turn the stem around. But again, that is up to you. For me it's just about cargo.

Brakes: Powerful v-brakes. They have given me plenty of stopping power, even going down Mount Damen with a full Costco load when I don't make it through the light. I don't have much experience with disc brakes so I'm happy with this set-up.

Brake lines: There are lots of stops and braze-ons for doing the brakes and shifter cables different ways. I'm using extra long lines to reach front (they are the "tandem" models, easy to get and cheap at bike shops).

Wheels: Heavy duty, 26" in back and 20" in front. Wide in front and slimmer in back. Basic Full fenders that fit ok. Tires are fine but not new.

Steering linkage: Below bay, welded onto front fork. I took all this apart, rust protected, and put back together maybe a year and a half ago. It works pretty smoothly and is easy to maintain.

Stand: Heavy duty stand that folds up and comes down - super stable, obviously. Kids alone on bike without a second thought.

Maintenance: About a year and a half ago I redid all the brakes, gears, took apart moving pieces, rust proof etc. Nothing since then really. Last time I changed stuff, I put in friction shifters but you can put indexed shifters back on. I don't do alot of shifting and it's been awhile since maintenance, so you probably will want to tune up that stuff. Same with brake adjustments and pads - I am still riding it now but nothing has been recently tuned up.

Heavy duty pedals and crank.

Feel: If you haven't ridden a front-loading cargo bike before, prepare to give yourself a couple blocks to get the hang of it. It is a little different for sure, but doesn't take long. I LOVE this bike, how it rides, and really everything about it. I take it to work sometimes even when I don't have a huge load to carry. I find it zippy, responsive, comfortable. With a heavy load it rides great (I've done alot of furniture, huge/heavy grocery runs, etc.) There is no rating in terms of lbs. I'm heavy, and have hauled big time loads with kids, but I don't have a number for you. Again, Tom's bikes have held up well.

Brooks saddle shown - I would like to take that with me. Got lotsa other seats you can have with it.

Weight: No idea how much it weighs, but I would say: It is lighter than it looks! (But it's certainly not light). I'm not very strong but I can walk it down some steps into the covered basement area where it's kept daily without too much cursing.

I will be adding some pictures later today. If you can't tell, I have loved this bike, and I love cargo bikes. I am happy to answer any questions that I can. I would keep this bike forever but clearing everything out to move across the country (to where they have a great used cargo bike market, unlike here...)

I picked a price that seems fair to me. It's a price that can give you a sense of whether you like a cargo bike and want to buy a nicer one, or maybe a price that makes it so you aren't paranoid about it being stolen or damaged. It probably helps that it is one-of-a-kind. Hard for someone to re-sell if they did steal it. If you think I am way off on the price, feel free to tell me why and what you think is fair. It's worth far more than 750 to me, but that's just me.


Fully assembled dimensions:

8.5 ft long tip to tip

26 inch widest part

44 inches tall

Cargo bay

21 inch wide by handlebars, tapers to 18 inches in front. 24 inches long flat bottom to 28 inches long where it goes up by front wheel.

11 inches deep at deepest

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