The Soma Pick Up Artist is modeled after Dutch Cargo Bikes. The bike utilizes a steering linkage in order to remain stable while under heavy load. The company claims the average rider can safely tote 150 lbs, while a good rider could probably manage 200 lbs.
The bike has a 20” front wheel and 26” rear wheel, and is finished with a Shimano Acera drivetrain, and Avid BB-7 disc brakes. Estimated retail is $1500.
The only cargo bike in Soma’s current line up, the Tradesman, does not have a steering linkage but also utilizes a 20” front wheel. It is rated for loads between 40-50lbs. The Pick Up Artist has a 1350 mm long wheelbase, 225 mm longer than the Tradesman, which ads stability but increases the bikes turning radius.
The Pick Up Artist was extremely comfortable to ride due to its upright position. The tires and frame did an excellent job of absorbing chatter from the hideously cracked and potholed streets of South San Francisco.
Due to the the fork rake and steering linkage the Pick Up Artist also handled very nimbly. It has a fairly tight turning radius considering the long wheelbase and was easily tossed side to side in a controlled dip.
Turning was a unique experience because the front rack doesn’t turn with the wheels and bars. As you’re turning the front of the bike points straight. It’s a bit unsettling but you quickly acclimate.
The steering column folds down to facilitate shipping.
According to Soma, while the “Pick Up Artist is a fun bike to have, we have not made up our minds whether to add a second cargo bike to the line-up. To repeat this is not in our 2012 line-up. So we’d love to hear your opinions on this design, price, and cargo bikes in general.”
The Tradesman is currently sold as a frame only. If you’re interested in seeing a frame only, internally geared complete, or a gates compatible Pick Up Artist – drop them a line!
More Via The Soma Blog