The Boxbike


A modular cargo bike made in Portland (based on an original Boxbike frame made overseas).

The Joe Bike, a modular cargo bike we designed and handmade in Portland, based on an original Boxbike frame made overseas.

Note: We’re not offering the Boxbike right now. Sorry to all those we’ve had to turn away in the past several months. Farewell to our former Boxbike model. You’ve exceeded expectations, former Boxbike model! Here’s what it is… The 2011 boxbike ($1699) is a nimble, well-spec’d, Portland-remanufactured boxbike whose frame was made in (gasp) China, just like over 90% of all bikes sold in the US. It’s incredibly easy to ride. A new, made-in-Portland wooden cabin (photos below) is now standard with no price increase over last year’s model. This new box, made of premium marine-grade plywood, carries up to 200 lbs. To see how one family uses their Boxbike, check out this review with plenty of photos.

Boxbike with 4 kids

The Boxbike was also the platform for a modular cargo bike we made called the Joe Bike.


Standard features include quick-adjust seat height so that you and your partner can both ride, a Shimano dynamo hub that powers a light-sensitive Shimano front light, a rear-wheel, a very steady four-point kickstand, a folding bench with two sets of safety harnesses, and a sturdy rear rack. The standard drivetrain is based on Shimano’s premium Redband 8-speed internally geared hub matched with Shimano’s best roller brake (it’s not a coaster brake!), the amazing IM-80, which in this application is superior to a rear disc brake. (The older IM-70 is shown in photos below.)The rollerbrake stops heavy loads with better modulation than a disc brake and with less likelihood of locking up. The IM-80 is also maintenance-free in that, unlike disc brakes, there are no pads to replace, there’s no rotor that can get bent, you can’t contaminate it with misplaced oil and, versus hydraulics, there are no lines to bleed. Shown below is our new standard box, handmade in Portland. The bench folds up and out of the way for cargo.

Boxbike with stress balls at Nuvinci booth, PDX Bicycle Show Even the safety harnesses are handmade in Portland.

New harnesses for the Boxbikes






Nexus 8 Redband, Nexave roller brake

Made-in-Portland rain canopies that cover your hands as well as your kids are available ($200).

2011 boxbike brake Add an Avid BB7 front disc brake with a Shimano Alfine dyno hub and Planet Bike light with capacitor, $300 (or the same brake without a dyno hub or light, $195). Schwalbe Marathon tires with Kevlar belt and reflective sidewalls, $79 for the pair. Options available now: Planet Bike fenders ($50 pair), Portland-made Sykes Wood Fenders ($150 pair), Crane brass bell ($15) or Portland Design Works King of Ding brass bell ($20), rear light ($20; front dyno light is standard). For sunnier regions of the US, a Portland-made shade canopy is available for $250.

Joe Bike boxbike with Nuvinci n360

Optional Nuvinci N360 hub (shown above with Shimano IM-80 roller brake; add $200 for the n360) for extremely low-end gearing–great for getting up hills (we gear the standard drivetrain low, but the n360 has a somewhat wider range, allowing you to climb even steeper grades with weight in the box). The n360 is much lighter than the first-generation Nuvinci, has a wider range, and gives you precisely the feel you want–no gears! In fact it feels more like a muscle and gives you precisely the feel and torque that you want.


Colors available now: none. sorry. Origin: Over 90% of all bikes sold in the US are made, painted, assembled, and packed in China. After a few stops along the way, the bikes arrive in US bike shops in about 90% assembled condition and require maybe 30 minutes of local labor before they’re on the sales floor. Our boxbike is based on a frame made in China, and everything else is done in Portland: powdercoating/liquid painting, the box, the optional canopy, and full assembly. There is thus as much domestic input with the boxbike as there can be, short of making the frame in the US. Likewise, there is significantly more domestic input with this boxbike than with any factory-made cargo bike on the market. This also allows us to customize the bike for you to a much greater extent than with any factory-made bike.

Below: Our fully handmade-in-Portland ShuttleBug. Please click here for more.


The ShuttleBug. Designed and handmade by Joe Bike in Southeast Portland.



And oh, by the way, Henry over at Workcycles in Amsterdam liked to denigrate the quality of this bike, even showing photos of our bikes in disrepair…except that those were not our bikes. As of February 2016, here’s a list of all the failures of the 90-some Boxbikes we ever sold:

  1. One instance of a welded-on seatpost collar breaking.
  2. There is no 2. The only structural issue we’ve ever heard of on any of our Boxbikes was the single broken collar.

If you’re not familar with the Workcycles Bakfiets, we’ve posted here a few pictures of a genuine, Dutch-made Workcycles Bakfiets that recently visited our shop for a badly needed overhaul. It featured (and we don’t know if this was stock spec or not) a disintegrated plastic bottom bracket. The bottom bracket shell itself was deformed–apparently a little too much heat during welding. The paint was peeling off, and rust was taking over.

A Dutch-made Workcycles Bakfiets beginning to rot away in Portland.


This Workcycles Bakfiets came to us for an overhaul. We discovered it was sporting a disintegrating plastic bottom bracket inside a welding-deformed bottom bracket shell.


A genuine Workcycles Bakfiets slowly returning to earth.