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; dutchbikes.us/cargo). Xtracycle helped inspire the cargo-bike movement in the United States with its FreeRadical extender kit ($399; xtracycle.com), 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.
Newsweek rundown of utlity bicycles includes Xtracycle SUB and Mundo Utility Bicycle
Utility bicycles are the pickup trucks of the cycling world.