Rock The Bike

Newsweek rundown of utlity bicycles includes Xtracycle SUB and Mundo Utility Bicycle

Utility bicycles are the pickup trucks of the cycling world.

Utility bikes are the pickup trucks of the cycling world. Made to carry big loads that would normally require a car, they are popular abroad and are now catching on here. Imported from the Netherlands, the Bakfiets brand is like a pedal-powered minivan for soccer moms. Shoulder harnesses secure up to three kids, eight gears provide torque for hills, and a chain guard, fenders and mud flaps keep riders clean ($3,023; Xtracycle helped inspire the cargo-bike movement in the United States with its FreeRadical extender kit ($399;, which converts your old mountain bike into a workhorse. The Ute (short for utility) is a 16-speed commuter with an oversize rack that holds four saddlebags for groceries ($799; konaworld .com). Surfers and kayakers can strap their boards and boats to the Mundo’s extended rear rack (built to carry 450 pounds) or pedal their friends to the beach. ($799 for six speeds; yubaride .com). Most utility bikes feature an extended wheel base. Not the Tran Sport LX, which is essentially a mountain bike outfitted with burly racks front and back. It holds less cargo but is ideal for trips to the hardware store ($650; giantbicycles .com). Chores were never so much fun.