We mean it's REALLY Versatile.
Versatility may be a bit of a buzzword in the world of cargo bikes. Cargo bikes by their nature are some of the most versatile bikes around. Whether front loader or longtail, two-wheeled and three-wheeled, cargo bikes are known for their adaptability. They are also known for owners who know how to get creative in order to carry a load. Give a cargo bike owner a load, and most likely no matter the type of cargo bike, they'll find a way to carry that load. In fact, for many of us it becomes a sort of game to show off the broad array of what our bikes CAN carry.
So, when I speak of the Larry vs Harry Bullitt and its versatility, I'm doing more than referring to the adaptability exhibited by most cargo bikes and their owners; I am talking about the high degree of versatility it has relative to other cargo bikes. The Bullitt is very load-capable and it adapts well to a great degree of customization. Because its frame geometry is not too laid back or too aggressive, it is versatile in not only fitting a broad array of load hauling demands but also of fitting a broad range of riders. Let me explain:
Rider height range -The Bullitt cargo bike has few limitations to fitting riders of a broad range of heights and riding position preference. It offers most riders a very comfortable fit and many customization options. It also fits most short- or long-legged riders. At Splendid Cycles, we have been able to fit riders 5' to 6'8." On the extreme ends of that range leg length will determine the ability to get an appropriate fit.
For tall riders, there's a limit to seatpost and stem lengths. Still, as long as the rider can achieve proper leg extension, a Bullitt can be adjusted for proper fit. We offer two stock seatpost options: 350mm and 400mm. That means tall riders can select a long post at the time of purchase with no extra charge. OR for the extreme long-legged rider upgrade to a 410mm, setback Thomson seatpost and bump up the crank length to 180mm.
For shorter riders stand-over height is critical. There are folks with legs too short to comfortably clear the top tube. We generally direct that rider to other cargo bike options. BUT I've seen that same rider not fit on other cargo bike brands with step-through design because the seat tube was too long and didn't allow for proper seat height adjustment. As a side note: some riders believe that a step-through frame style would be preferable in a cargo bike. I prefer a step-through when wearing a skirt on a regular bike but find the top tube on a cargo bike is a great tool for stabilizing heavy loads when stopped. I learned by experience that if the load shifts while I'm stopped, I can "catch" the bike with my legs: with feet planted squarely on the ground, knees clamp together on the top tube to help hold the bike upright. That trick has saved me, as well as my passengers, from a bike-ground impact more than once!
For "average"-height riders between 5'4 and 6'1', you'll find the standard hybrid-like geometry of the bike very easy to fit and comfortable to ride.
Body Position - Bullitt cargo bikes have an adaptable cockpit configuration that gives riders, whether 5'2 or 6'2," many options for how they set up the bike. With a nearly infinite array of handlebar and stem combinations, and using the stock Satori Easy-Up, a rider can set up the bike to have an extremely upright position OR make a few minor parts changes and that same bike can be set up with an aggressive racing position.
In either position, the rider is NOT compromising frame geometry or ride characteristics. In other words, the bike itself retains its efficiency. Whether casual or competitive-minded, all Bullitt riders benefit from a frame that optimizes the rider's power output: minimum amounts of frame flex and no laid-back seat angle to eat energy output. Even with an extremely upright position, Bullitt riders benefit from a frame that is inherently efficient. Many other front-loading cargo bikes have more flexible frames (due to frame material or design), short top-tubes, laid-back seat tubes, or a combination of those features, and therefore those bikes are difficult to set up for taller riders or for riders wanting a less upright position.
Additionally, the Bullitt frame is configured with modern components in mind. That means that stems, handlebars, and seatposts are common sizes and retrofitting the cockpit for the intended use and rider preference is easy. Most bike shops, including Splendid Cycles, stock an array of handlebars and stems that allow you to get the perfect set-up.
In summary, it's not unusual for a cargo bike to be offered in one size, it is unusual to be able to properly fit a rider to a one-size-fits-all bicycle. The Bullitt is truly flexible in its ability to fit riders of average, tall, or short stature, and still perform well when carrying loads.
As mentioned above, Bullitt frames are designed to work with a broad range of parts. Whether you're buying a stock bike with Shimano SLX or customizing with Rohloff hubs, running internal or external gearing, choosing value-priced Shimano Alivio components or going high-end with Shimano XT, you'll find that your Bullitt operates smoothly. That means the bike works, needs fewer repairs, and maintenance or replacement of parts is easy, all because the frame was designed with part compatibility in mind.
Gearing - Bullitt frame sets are designed to handle a broad range of gearing options. Two drop out styles accommodate either internal or external gearing (what about coaster brake dropouts and 700c dropouts...also available). Whether you want urban-friendly internally geared hub or mountain friendly external gearing you can do it on a Bullitt.
Another thing we love about the Bullitt is its ability to accept both road and mountain bike front derailleurs. Single, double, or triple chainrings are all viable options. That means that you can select gearing for your bike based on the your riding style, fitness level, the terrain you ride, and loads you carry.
Drive - All 2016 frames are now both chain- and Gates Belt drive-compatible. If you prefer the clean, quiet drive of a Gates belt drive matched with internal gearing, you can have that on a Bullitt.
Brakes - We have a few strong opinions here at Splendid Cycles and one of them is that unless you're in a completely flat area, you need disc brakes. The bikes we sell all have disc brakes and in fact, the majority have hydraulic disc brakes. Disc brakes are powerful, dependable, and work well in sloppy conditions (rain, snow, mud) so they're ideal (or I might say a must) for bikes that are carrying precious cargo.
Electric Assist - We've tested many electric assist systems on Bullitts. Only a few have passed our product testing standards but an e-assist system on a Bullitt results in a bike with very few limitations. With the Bullitt, you can choose from an integrated Shimano STEPS mid-drive or a retrofit from BionX. Either system will broaden your range: ride further, carry heavier loads, go faster, or arrive at the office fresher. Whatever, the benefit to you, and e-assist Bullitt will surely add versatility too, resulting in fewer (or no) auto trips and more fun.
Cargo Platform -There are three aspects of the deck that contribute to its versatility: it's strength and rigidity, it's width, and lots of attachment points.
I remember a lesson in elementary school about bridges. We used Popsicle sticks to experiment with design fundamentals in order to build a stable and strong span. When I first gazed upon a bare Bullitt frame, I was reminded of that class. Not only is the front of a Bullitt strong, it is torsionally rigid. That means that you can carry very heavy loads without disrupting the steering; front ends that flex or twist and can change the direction of the front wheel, resulting in awkward handling under load. The Bullitt frame design and tubing partner to create one of the strongest, most rigid frames we've ever seen. And, on cargo bikes rigid is good if you want a versatile bike.
The eighteen-inch wide deck accommodates a wide variety of cargo. Unlike some other front-loaders you can easily use the deck without a box. In fact, it's really quite amazing what you can carry on the deck of a Bullitt. That eighteen inch-wide deck is functional with or without a cargo box. We've carried couches, fruit trees, and even Bullitt frame boxes on that deck - all with ease. Just center the load, secure it and go...although with a couch across the deck you'll need to pick your route carefully.
The high quality Larry vs Harry deck and side panel kit create a sleek and sturdy cargo box that easily attaches to the frame. However, because the frame has many places to attach boxes do-it-yourself boxes and the boxes we produce and sell fit just as easily and securely. Kid-carrying wood boxes, locking alloy cargo boxes, or homemade boxes for anything you can imagine are easily and safely secured to the deck of the Bullitt thanks to its many attachment options.
Additionally, all of the features that make the Bullitt fun and easy to ride with a load also make it a great trailer-pulling bike. Similar to using a truck instead of a sedan for pulling heavy loads with autos, the stability and weight distribution of the Bullitt make it a fantastic "semi". We regularly haul heavily loaded trailers to pick up freight at our local airport; a trip of about 10 miles (one way). With the Bullitts we are grateful for its stability, strength, and its comfort and efficiency over the distance. It makes hauling surprisingly heavy load a ton of fun.
Deciding on color is often THE most difficult decision a Bullitt customer has to make. Most bike models, and especially most cargo bikes are offered in one or two colors, three if it's an unusually model. The Bullitt color palette includes eleven stock colors, and Splendid Cycles offers a super cool, super tough Matte black too. That is as close to custom as you can get on a production cargo bike. We've seen some lovely bikes using stock colors with personal touches. If you need more ideas than you see on our website, take a look at our Flickr page.
That's a basic outline of the versatility available when you buy a Bullitt cargo bike from Splendid Cycles. Remember here, or with one of our affiliate dealers, Bullitt cargo bikes are built to order. You get to pick your color, pick the components, pick your cargo option, and pick the cockpit configuration that fits you (selecting stem, bar, post, saddle, crank length is entirely possible)! The result is an incredibly versatile bike. One for which we've found few limits. Commute, bike tour, haul goods, carry children (of all ages), ride casually, ride fast, bring your dog, but be prepared to park your car! With the versatility and fun factor of the Larry vs Harry Bullitt you'll want to ride it everywhere.