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8 Reasons To Love The Babboe Carve Cargo Bike

8 Reasons To Love The Babboe Carve Cargo Bike

Posted on 01 February 2022


A father rides a Babboe Carve cargo bike with his two young children in the front box. The infant is riding in a Maxi Cosi car seat strapped in with a Maxi Cosi Adapter.

The Babboe Carve represents a new generation of Dutch cargo bikes that were originally made for the bicycle superhighways (yes, the Dutch have those!) that link towns, suburbs and cities throughout The Netherlands. Here in North America, you might have great paved bike paths nearby that run through parks and take you to work. These superhighways and bike paths are kind of the same thing. What they have in common is that both are car-free, so it feels much safer to reach your destination at higher speeds. You might argue “Hey, isn’t that what a two-wheeled cargo bike does best?” And you would be correct! A two-wheeler can lean into corners at greater speeds when most trikes will tip up onto two wheels. So, what’s the advantage to buying a trike cargo bike instead of a two-wheeler?

This is where the Babboe Carve shows its ingenuity: it has tilt steering. That means all three wheels are glued to the ground while the rest of the bike tilts into a turn. The genius lies in an on/off switch found close to the rider's hand on the back of the box. This turns the tilt steering off so that when you finally arrive downtown, you have the same near-perfect slow-speed handling of a trike. And because there are two wheels up front instead of one, the Babboe Carve can argue that it has better grip on rainy days - which is true. So, if you’ve ridden a two-wheeler and find the bike just a touch wobbly when riding at slow speeds, the Carve gives you the ultimate in downtown handling and bike path handling too. Now, if only we had more bicycle superhighways!


One of the most beautiful things about watching people use their Babboe Carve is seeing how parents can talk to their kids and enjoy the ride together. The whole ride becomes a great conversation! Take it out on the weekend and let the good times roll. Go exploring!


Detailed shot of the Babboe Carve cargo bike's marine-grade plywood box.

We’re seeing a bunch of newer and inexperienced cargo brands make cargo bikes with lots of storage in the box, but no box safety. The Babboe Carve takes safety seriously with a rigorously tested marine grade wooden box designed to sustain impacts up to 40 km/h. The Babboe Carve is not just about how much the box can store, it’s about how much safety the box can fit in. That’s an important distinction!


A Babboe Carve bike's front box tilts left and right.

In our experience, we’ve found that some people hop onto a two-wheeled cargo bike and only really feel stable once the bike reaches cruising speed. This feels great, but it also feeds worry or nervousness when it comes to slow-speed handling - which is what a lot of gridlocked city riding can be! The Babboe Carve solves this with its on/off tilt steering. On a car-free bike path where you can open up the speed (even around corners!), you get the same cruising stability as a two-wheeled cargo bike, if not better. Heading back into town to pick up the kids? Turn the tilt off to get great slow-speed handling and all the extra stability of three wheels versus two.


A baby rides in a Maxi Cosi car seat adapter with her sibling in a Babboe Carve front cargo box.

The box on the Babboe Carve is huge, like huge! And it can grow with your family too! If you have an infant, we can install the Maxi Cosi Adaptor in the front of the box so you can use your existing Maxi Cosi car seat while still having space for two kids on the bench! Or, if you prefer, we can install the Babboe Baby Seat on the bench and you can reserve the front of the box for Fido or groceries. As babies become toddlers, you can add the Babboe Toddler Seat, which is made of shock absorbing material that smooths out the ride. Got an even bigger family? We can install a second bench, putting up to four kids in the box! It’s like your minivan turned into a bicycle, except better!


A father rides a Babboe Carve cargo bike with a toddler and baby strapped into the front box.

One very strange thing about bikes sold in North America is that they all seem to hunch the rider over the handlebars, which is super uncomfortable. The Dutch don’t understand this at all. In Holland they like to say that the Dutch riding position is “sit up and beg” - which we suppose is the Dutch making fun of themselves. But, it’s true! On a Babboe cargo bike the position is gloriously upright. Your back is straight and you can see and be seen. You’re not reaching at all for the handlebars - your shoulders are squared. It may not be sporty, but why should dropping off the kids at daycare be a sport?


A close-up image of a Yamaha mid-drive motor on a Babboe Carve cargo bike.

A cargo bike is very different from regular bikes because it carries cargo. That means the overall weight of the bike is constantly changing. The heavier the bike gets, the more you have to work! That’s why the Babboe Carve is such a popular bike. Featuring a Yamaha motor, the Babboe Carve can assist with heavier weight whether it’s travelling a long distance or going up hills.


A photo of the back end of a Babboe Carve cargo bike, highlighting the chainguard and internal gear hub.

We started bringing Babboe into Canada back in 2009, and that means we’ve had lots of time to see how they handle a salty and snowy Northeast winter. And boy, do they ever stand up. Let’s start with the frame. The Babboe Carve is made of steel, which is stronger than aluminum, but requires good finishes in order not to rust. Each Babboe Carve is coated with a layer of rust-resistant undercoat and then a tough-as-nails powder coat finish to ensure chip resistance. But how about the parts? The Babboe Carve uses an internal gear hub, which means the gears are sealed inside the rear hub from the weather. This also means lower maintenance and less trips to the bike shop! Finally, the Babboe Carve comes with three powerful hydraulic disc brakes that ensure safe stopping in all weather. Add the marine-grade box and this is a bike designed to weather the weather!


A Babboe Carve cargo bike.

The cool thing about buying a Babboe is that it pretty much comes with everything already. There are fenders to keep you dry, the wheels are bolted down to prevent theft, all bikes already come with high quality lights, and there is even a bell! But look a bit closer and you’ll see some other cool stuff. For instance, the tires all have an internal puncture-resistant lining because no one likes flats! And, if you look at the rear wheel you might notice a built-in lock that is terrific when you’re dropping the kids off (so you can ensure the bike won’t ride away on its own). Finally, all Babboe bikes come with a chainguard. In North America you always have to change into Lycra to ride a bike. But, in Holland people dress up to ride their bikes! The chainguard keeps grease and grime away from clothing. That means white dresses and picnics in the park!

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