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Bicycles have many uses. Among the best is the ability to move stuff. In this post, I look at all the ways of how to move things on a bike.

Moving a mattress in Amsterdam

Watching this guy move a mattress reaffirmed that nearly anything can be moved using a bike. Dutch cycling culture confirms that if you think you can, then just do it. Sure it may not be the best way to move something, but it’s a small victory for the bicycle against a moving fee.

Moving things on a back rack

While moving a mattress on a bike is rare, bicyclists in Amsterdam move small items all the time. Most bikes have a back rack that allows one to balance what they are carrying with one hand. This is helpful because it doesn’t require much planning or effort. Especially if you happen to buy something on a whim. Other times you may just really need to get something somewhere on a bike.

Using a front rack

If you want to up the ante a bit and move bigger stuff that won’t fit into a basket, using a bicycle front rack is a better option. I’ve moved countless things using my front rack. When I moved to my new home in Amsterdam, I got my keys early and wanted to move as much stuff as I could before moving day. I did about 25 trips by bike. The front rack was all I needed to move boxes, furniture, and packed suitcases.
In hindsight, I doubt that I saved much time in the grand scheme of things during my move. But at least it was my free time and not the time I had to pay someone else to do it. In the long run, my front bike rack has been a small yet worthy investment.

Tips on how to move things with a front rack

Ideally it would be best to have a front rack that is attached the frame, such as the down tube and not to the front wheel and handlebars. A fixed rack will help when piling things on top and prevent you from topping over when turning if you’re carrying a lot of weight. But if your front rack is an attachment, here are some tips to help make moving things easier.

1. Use A double kickstand

The most important factor when moving by bike begins when standing still. I use a Ursus Jumbo kickstand with a 45 cm spread. The wide stance isn’t just useful but practically necessary as it will keep the bike centred and rack straight. 

Ursus Jumbo Double Kickstand

2. Use bungee cords

You got to love bungees. I have a pair that I keep on my front rack at all times. These cheap elastic cords are a quick and easy way to secure objects without the hassle of tying knots. They’re also do a good job absorbing shocks when riding over speed bumps and potholes. 

Bike with bungee

3. Work the angles

One small advantage of having a rack attached to the front wheel is that some versions can be adjusted on an angle. A wide rack is the most practical and is really useful when you a bit of overhang. In some instances, you can even forgo using bungees or tying stuff down.

Bicycle front rack

4. Watch the weight

The width of a bike rack is usually shorter than whatever you’re carrying. This works great if you want to move chairs or furniture with legs. But if there will be a lot of overhang with things like boxes and suitcases, pack some heavy stuff to one side. When it’s time to plunk it on the bike, the weight should be flush against both sides of the rack.

Consider a cargo bike

If you want to get serious about moving things, then consider a cargo bike. There are many styles to fit nearly any need. These are especially great for side hustles, or if you just have a lot of stuff to move.

Alternative solutions to moving things on a bike

If you don’t move stuff often, then a cargo bike might be too great of an investment. Consider a bike trailer as an alternative. As with cargo bikes, there are tons of styles available, from dedicated pet trailers to flat beds. The benefit with these trailers is they can easily attach to nearly any bicycle. Many have folding frames that allow for compact storage when not in use.

Rent flatbed cargo bike

Perhaps you just need some help for a one time move. Renting a flatbed cargo bike is a great option if you have some helping hands. You can rent one of these at a Macbike shop in Amsterdam for €10 per hour or €30 for the day.

Flatbed cargo bike

Whichever method you choose, moving things on a bike is a practical, cost-effective and sustainable solution. It will also deliver a sense of satisfaction knowing that your choice to use a bike will always result in a win-win situation. Happy riding!

Disclosure: This article may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs, or otherwise.

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