Danish Sensibility: Why The Winther Cargoo is the Danish Minivan
Posted on 16 February 2022
DANISH SENSIBILITY: WHY THE WINTHER CARGOO IS THE DANISH MINIVAN
Sometimes if you’re looking for a cargo bike, you just want to know that it’s modern, safe, roomy and economical - and that’s exactly what Winther offers. In a world where many cargo tricycles are reproducing the past with heavy steel frames and wood boxes, Winther uses modern materials like aluminum and impact-resistant ABS plastic to make a lighter bike. And where most cargo trike innovation seems obsessed with steering innovations for higher-speed handling, Winther assumes that you’re a pretty chill parent, and that you’re far more focused on safety and talking with your kids than pushing the threshold of speed. That makes Winther bikes the minivan of the Danish cargo bike: it’s all about easy loading and easy riding, all the while ensuring investment-grade quality designed for life.
1. KIDS ARE UP FRONT!
KEEPING A WATCHFUL EYE - One of the most beautiful things about watching people use their Winther Cargoo 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 conversation steer with the bike. Go exploring!
2. SO MUCH ROOM!
THE MINIVAN - One reason we love Winther is for just how well-engineered and modular the box and accessories are. The Winther Cargoo was designed by Lars Molmborg (who also designed Larry vs. Harry Bullitt bikes) and both brands are legendary for their perfectly engineered plug-and-play seating. That means that the Winther Cargoo can grow with your family, just like a good minivan would! Whether you’ve got a baby (or two!), toddlers, or kids, the Winther can take up to four little ones with plenty of room to spare.
3. IMPACT RESISTANT SAFETY
SAFE STORAGE - One of the best parts of owning a cargo bike is all the great conversations you get into. Cargo bikes really build a community! You might say they are high impact this way. But, a good cargo bike is actually designed to be impact resistant. That box you see in the front of the Winther Cargoo is tested to keep precious cargo safe, and can sustain impacts up to 40km/hr. When you’re buying a cargo bike it makes sense that you are thinking of the box as storage, but remember that it must also be safe storage.
MODERN MATERIALS - The Winther Cargoo is probably best compared to trikes like the Babboe Curve Mountain. We import the Babboe Curve Mountain because it's good. It’s high quality, durable, and very low maintenance. The Winther Cargoo shares those same qualities as Babboe - but it’s also much better. The reason for this comes down to materials. Winther uses lightweight aluminum and ABS plastic boxes whereas the Babboe chooses to honour the rich Dutch tradition of wood boxes and steel frames, and let us tell you - that stuff is heavy! In short, Winther puts modern materials before traditional aesthetics, which is why a bike like the Cargoo is only 85 lbs. whereas the Babboe Curve is 165 lbs. - that’s pretty much half the weight! This means more range, less work, and more battery life too!
5. GREAT HANDLING
BOX STEERING - We mentioned that the Winther is much lighter than its competition, but what we didn’t mention is that this weight reduction actually makes the bike safer too! Like the Babboe cargo trikes, the Winther uses ‘box steering’ to handle corners. This means that the entire box steers left and right using a pivot underneath the box. While bikes like Nihola and Black Iron Horse offer versions of ‘independent’ steering, they are also significantly more expensive and the steering can cut out a ton of box capacity. Box steering is not a bad thing if you’re looking for a minivan and not a Porsche but it remains the case that the heavier the front load, the lower-quality the handling will be. This isn’t helped when the box itself is super heavy. Take, for instance, the Babboe Curve. It’s wooden box is about 65 lbs. all on its own. Now, add two kids, a dog and groceries, and you’re using a lot of arm strength to pivot the box left and right. Thankfully, this is where Winther puts a handle on things. The Winther’s box is just 15 lbs. That makes the Winther the best handling box-steering bike on the market. In fact, we’ve had customers try the Nihola and then the Winther and comment that while different, both had the same high-reactive handling. And at the end of the day, good handling means accident-free handling.
6. YOUR PRIMARY CAR (OR SECOND CAR)
SENSIBLE LIVING - Like the Dutch, the Danes tend to be very sensible. This is especially true when it comes to transportation. The Danes see things this way: if you're living downtown, you probably live most of your life within biking distance - say, 7.5km - so you'll choose biking over walking or driving. It saves money and it makes you happier. If you're going further, maybe 15km, you still bike, but now maybe you use an e-bike. Now, consider this: since the large majority of a person's life is lived in a 0-15km range, it makes sense that the bike is viewed as the principle transportation tool. A bike saves you tons of money - in lease fees, insurance, gas, parking, maintenance, and tickets. And in Denmark, this saved money often goes towards a car. Why? Because a car is perfect for the minority of trips where you generally travel more than 15km, like on a holiday. Ah, you say, but in North America things are different. But it's really not. It is well documented that the majority of car trips in North America are under 7.5 km. Replace that with a bike and you are much richer in money and happiness.
7. SHIMANO MOTORS
TUNED AND WELL DISTRIBUTED - 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 an electric assist is so popular on cargo bikes - it helps carry heavier weight over long distances and up hills. The three best electric assist system brands for quality and service are Shimano, Bosch and Yamaha. Bosch and Yamaha tend to be focused on power, whereas Shimano has concentrated their efforts on how that power is tuned and distributed. That’s why bikes that are famous for excellent handling (Bullitt, Winther) choose Shimano motors over Bosch and Yamaha. Shimano might not get top points for big power (big power is only required on heavy cargo bikes and the Winther is light), but it does do the best job at distributing power when you need it.
8. IT CAN WEATHER ANYTHING
ALL WEATHER - Perhaps the strange thing about Denmark is that so many people choose to bike despite the constant rain, even snow. Perhaps it’s that fierce Danish spirit that prefers to be independent rather than take a bus or tram. But when you add inclement weather to the fact that most people don’t own a garage in Denmark, it becomes imperative that their bikes can weather year-round riding and year-round outdoor storage. The Winther bikes embody this design philosophy perfectly. The aluminum frames are naturally rust-resistant and are finished with a chip resistant powder coat paint to keep things looking pretty. Even better? The gears are all sealed from the weather, but we’ll get to that in our next point.
9. LOW MAINTENANCE
MORE RIDING, LESS REPAIRING! - The great thing about sealed mechanisms on a bike is that they are designed for all-weather conditions and are super low-maintenance too! The Winther Cargoo uses a Shimano Nexus-5 internal gear hub. It’s sealed from the weather and legendary in the bike world for its low maintenance. But it’s also one of the few hubs on the market that is actually designed to take the continual torque of an electric-assist motor, meaning it will live that much longer. The brakes are also worth a mention. The Winther Cargoo has three disc brakes, and not just any disc brake but hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes provide all the power needed to stop a cargo bike, and they won’t freeze up in winter - another reason why the Winther is the ideal all-weather cargo bike.
10. UPRIGHT SAFETY
UPRIGHT AND READY TO RIDE! - One critical aspect of safety is the way that you, the rider, sit on the bike. If you are hunched over - like with most North American bikes - then you probably can’t see ahead of you, or carry on a nice conversation with your kids. That’s why the Winther Cargoo puts the rider into a gloriously upright position. You can see and be seen, as you enjoy the wind in your helmet!
11. LOTS OF GREAT EXTRAS!
ALL THE ESSENTIALS - The awesome thing about buying a Winther Cargoo is that this bike comes with pretty much everything already on it. There are fenders to keep you dry, the wheels are bolted down to prevent theft and there is a powerful German-made lightset to ensure night-time safety. But look a bit closer and you’ll see some other great stuff. For instance, all the tires have a layer of puncture-resistant lining inside of them, because who likes flats?! And, if you look at the rear wheel you might notice a built-in lock that is terrific when you’re dropping kids off (so you can ensure the bike won’t ride away on its own). Finally, all Winther bikes come with a chainguard. In North America the assumption is you always have to change into Lycra to ride a bike. But, in Denmark people dress up to ride their bikes! The chain guard keeps grease and grime away from clothing. That means white dresses and picnics in the park!