finally: our first cargobike

Our first attempt: the selfmade Omnium-replica

I was thinking of getting a (real) cargobike for quite some years before it worked out. Thanks to the Bikekitchen in Augsburg Germany I was finally able to weld a bike inspired by the Omnium Cargo bikes. As it was my first time welding after ages, it was quite a challenge: some of the weldings looked -I admit- sh…. -imperfect. Though, having built it entirely by yourself, you establish a special relationship to a bike, which can’t be compared to having a frame (or complete bike) bought.

As I was not having a large budget, I kept it simple: the Bikekitchen has a big collection of old frames and tubings, in order to upcycle the material into tallbikes, swingbikes, selfmade tandems and other freakbikes. So I took an old italian crossbike frame, one Wheeler trekking-frame, a BMX-fork and when I was looking around for the downtube a steel table-leg hit my eye. That last might sound a little bit obscure, but it was actually perfect in length, diameter, wall-thickness and weight.

Also for the components I tried to work with what was there. I still had some parts from my early days, when riding DH mountainbikes. So I found some solid hubs, strong breaks, stem, bar and more somewhere in the basement and used it. “If something is built for racing down mountains in rough terrain, then it should be strong enough carry some cargo” I thought. This concept should work out  nicely.

As I said: I’m far away from being a professional welder, but the bike turned out fine. Compared to the original bicylce it is not as big: the rack is about 10cm less in both width and length. But therefore the wheelbase of this cargobike is about 20cm shorter, which makes the bike even more agile, than the fine work of Omnium.

Due to the work put into that project it was painful, when a motorists knocked me off, when turning right. That crash ruined the frame: it got bent pretty far and major work would have had to be done in order to straighten the bike again.
Lucky side: I didn’t get hurt and the ensurance payed the time I spent building the frame just as the value of the components broken.

6 thoughts on “Our first attempt: the selfmade Omnium-replica

  1. Hallo,
    Ich habe mich vor ca. 4 Jahren ebenfalls dazu entschlossen auf das Fahrrad als alleiniges Transportmittel um zu steigen und bereue es überhaupt nicht – ganz im Gegenteil. Die letzten Monate stieß ich jedoch häufiger an die Beladundsgrenze meines treuen Villiger. Da ich eh die ganze Zeit an Rädern selbst schraube und solide Fertig-Lastenräder ein halbes Vermögen kosten entstand schnell der Plan selbst eines zu bauen. Zunächst plante ich den Bau eines Long John, fand dann aber die Omnium Räder und finde das Konzept großartig. Bei der weiteren Such bin ich dann auf deine Seite gestoßen und habe dann auch noch gelesen das du wie ich aus Augsburg kommst – ich dachte mir perfekt!!!
    Ich habe bereits einige Teile zusammen (Rahmen, Schaltung, diverse Anbauteile…..)
    und würde mich riesig freuen wenn ich ein paar weitere Informationen bekommen könnte (Material, Abmessungen, vielleicht sogar Pläne) – das wäre großartig.
    Vielen Dank.
    Schönen Tag und beste Grüße.

  2. Hallo,

    ein sehr schöner Eigenbau. Sehr schade, dass es nicht mehr zu retten war.

    Kannst du dich noch an die Wandstärke und den Außendurchmesser des Hauptrohres erinnern? Waren die Steuersätze vorne und hinten 1 1/8 Zoll? Das gewicht wäre auch sehr interessant.

    Danke und viele Grüße

  3. Hi
    So sorry to see the broken frame, it was such a beauty! Thanks for the pictures of the build process.
    My Bullitt got stolen after the 5th ride, that was pain enough (I assembled it by myself + my wife made a nice wooden box…)
    Ride safe

    1. Yes this really hurt, but it took a good ending with the ensurance paying the Omnium. And hey: luckily no injuries…
      I can imagine, how you feel after the loss of your bullit. Where did it get stolen and when?

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