Designing a new cargobox for a Bullitt Cargobike

Now that I have a few days touring and camping experience with my Bullitt Cargobike I have some ideas for a new cargobox.

This needs to fit in with my “normal” uses as well. So it should be able to carry long items on top (such as projector screens or guttering). It also needs to be able to carry a full shopping trolley of groceries from Asda.

The goals are:

– Security. I want to be able to lock the bike up with the cargobox full of my camping gear and be able to leave it while in a tea shop or whatever.

– Waterproof. I want to be able to put things in just as I do now without needing to make them waterproof first.

– Kitchen. I still want to be able to use the cargobox as my camp kitchen. That means I need some ventilation, the sides cannot be too high and I really want something to hold the little gas stoves securely.

– Capacity. I need a bit more space than the honeycomb sides with fabric cover gives (I need this for grocery shopping as well as for camping)

My plans so far are:

– keep the lightweight honeycomb base. There are no problems with this at all and I couldn’t make a replacement as light.

– replace the honeycomb sides with marine plywood. These would be quite a bit higher but low enough that the handlebars on low setting clear them. Like the honeycomb sides there will be a small ventilation gap at the bottom (makes it a lot easier to wash & provides ventilation when using a stove. I have never had water coome up through this gap and anyway I now have Brooks mudflaps front and rear which should reduce the risk of water getting in still further).

– Replace the back (which is a combination of honeycomb and semi rigid material) with marine ply. On the outside of the box the back will have water bottle holders bolted to it.

– The front is the most tricky bit for both aesthetics and practicalities. It needs to be level from side to side (which means above the headset) as that makes loading long things on top much easier. But I am not sure how what angle it should be at and how it should fit around the headset. I want to fit my electronics to it providing a dry place for the Edelux light wire and the cable for the ReeCharge plus the ReeCharge itself (the only disadvantage of putting the ReeCharge here is that I won’t be able to see the indicator lights while riding but the security and weather protection are more significant).

– The lid should be a simple flat piece of marine ply with a small slope down to the front for drainage. It needs small side rails with eyes for bungies to attach things on top. I think the back will fit under a lip so that I can just padlock the front of it.

– When camping the lid should be able to clip onto one side of the box with legs on the other side so that it becomes a table

– the other side of the box needs a hinged section that can drop down to become a small shelf at the right height for the stoves to fit behind it.

– I think a few light battens should be able to drop in the bottom of the box making a grid that the stoves can drop into so that they can’t be knocked over while in use.

– somewhere on the outside so that it is always easily accessible I am going to incorporate a rattle free holder for my U-Lock

– I think that like the present box this should be separate flat pieces that all bolt to the bike rather than a whole box that itself bolts to thge bike. The front may need to be an exception. But I will boilt that in place once the sides are fitted. I may want a brace at the back to join the sides and the back.

– I am not sure what colour to paint it. I have not found a wood paint to match the Clockwork Orange powdercoat colour. Black would be another option but I worried that the contents would get too hot in the sun. Maybe silver would look ok? Any suggestions?

What do you think?

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  1. Was going to suggest Correx for at least some of your box (corrugated plastic sheet used for For Sale signs), but can’t find anywhere online that does anything less than a pack of 5 four by 8 ft sheets :>/

    Recumbent cyclists sometimes use it to make streamlined tailboxes – it’s also self coloured.

    • Ian,

      Yep I have seen stuff made from Correx. My concern is it being secure enough to leave stuff locked up in. Someone could use just a Stanley knife to get into the box.

      I figure 3mm plywood would be a reasonable compromise.

  2. Orange. Yes, go with orange as the color and then add some fun “Dave” company logo on the side.

    If you have some sketches, I would love to see them.

    I plan to make a Pallett (Bullitt spelling) for my bike: low sides, but sides nevertheless so that I have something on which to add bungees.

    I would also like to make a little box inside the box space for small items like tools and such for repairs. I have also thought of making a bag on the feet side of the headset tube (where the little foot platforms are) that would be like a two small backpacks for carrying items like tool kit; spares; pump; etc.

    I will post when done.

    Cheers,

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