After quitting his job to be a stay at home dad, Alex Yasbek was loving life but missing his passion for cycling. He decided he needed a bike that would carry his kids and cargo so he could keep riding in his daily routine, since he no longer commuted to work.
With a diverse group of parents, engineers and bike industry experts Yasbek founded the Bike Box Collective in Santa Cruz, California, and began drafting up designs. They came up with the Box Bike, a two-wheeled hauler with electric assist for carrying kids, groceries, parcels, and of course surfboards!
The collective is a notably ethical bunch- Not only do they intend to promote a healthier and greener alternative to driving, they also plan to hand build the bikes in Santa Cruz and offer reasonable wages to employees. The Box Bike’s Kickstarter campaign is on until Feb. 20th, with the goal of gaining funds to begin production…
The Box Bike utilizes a two wheeled design, with a 4130 chromoly and steel frame that rides on sturdy 20”wheels. It cruises and corners like a traditional bike, and its low center of gravity ensures stable handling when carrying heavy loads. The one-size frame is designed to fit riders between 5’0” to 6’7”. The Box Bikes have a wheelbase of 72”, and their outer dimensions measure 90.5” long and 23” wide.
The Box Bike’s cargo carrier starts as a simple floor with open sides, but incorporates a number of features and attachments for accessories. A flag holder to keep you highly visible, attachment holes for a rain cover, and eight eyelets for securing tie downs are integrated on every Box Bike. Optional accessories include detachable canvas side panels with outer pockets, a removable two-child seat, and carrier racks that attach to either side of the bike for hauling longer items like ladders, lumber or your surfboard.
In Standard trim, a 36v, 500w battery providing 8Ah drives a brushless front hub motor to provide pedal assist power only- the Box Bike does not have a full throttle mode. Its max speed is 17mph, and the range is 10-15 miles on a charge. That’s not a lot of range, but extra batteries and chargers will be available. The bike’s maximum combined rider and cargo weight limit is 350lbs.
The collective will also sell you the Box Bike without any electronics- a setup they’ve dubbed ‘The Messenger Special’ but you may want to inquire about the bike’s weight (which is not listed online) before making that call.
Component-wise, the Box Bikes boast Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, FSA headsets, Schwalbe Big Apple tires, plus front and rear fenders and a cushy saddle. The Frames also feature integrated kick stands and rear rack mounts.
There are two electric models of the Box Bike to choose from, the Standard and Deluxe. The Standard model uses a Shimano 9-speed wide range drivetrain, and comes in blue with a yellow cargo deck. The Deluxe adds some bells and whistles including a belt drive system mated to an internally geared rear hub, a higher capacity battery, plus integrated lights and a horn. Buyers can choose their frame color for the Deluxe model.
The pricing does reflect a degree of ethical consumerism- The Standard Box Bike can be bought for $3900 USD and the Deluxe model for $5800, but Kickstarter supporters will get a child seat, canvas side panels, a set of side carrier racks (and a rain fly with the Deluxe) included. The non-electric Messenger Special sells for $2900 with no accessories.
The first finished Deluxe Box Bikes are expected to ship for April 2016, and the Standard models in June/July. Check out the Box Bike’s Kickstarter campaign here.