Bikes and Boats, Better Together, Chapter 2

 Chapter 1 of Bikes and Boats, Better Together is here.

Cargo bike hauling a cargo bike.
We pared down our bicycle selections to just one cargo hauling bike for a wide range of reasons. A cargo bike is a lot like a bicycle saddle: one size does not fit all, and what worked perfectly in the past might not fit so well when things change. We replaced two cargo bikes with one electric-assist Hase Pino tandem. This is the second semi-recumbent tandem we have owned. 

Bilenky Viewpoint custom semi-recumbent tandem

The Bilenky no longer fit our needs at the time, but we really should not have sold it. Despite this repeated lesson, Wayne still tends to purge things the moment their usefulness isn't immediately apparent. We also would probably never go with another fully custom build: custom bike, custom problems. This issue applies to just about any mechanical thing, not just bikes from Bilenky.

We combined the Hase Pino with a Surly Bill longbed trailer. Now, we can haul things that don't fit in our small car (VW Golf). This combo makes for a lot of hauling volume and weight capacity. We  recently carried multiple sheets of 4'x8' marine structural board and 200 pounds of marine tarp. 

Need to haul a few hundred pounds of large things? No problem!
The Pino came equipped with a Grin GMAC motor, Grin's cargo bike specific design. This is what Wayne put on the Bullitt and Bilenky, and it is an excellent motor for general use, hauling, touring, and most things one does with a bike.  The electric build was done by Bike Swift in Seattle, and it is a superlative build. The electric system looks and feels like a factory bike. 

We also put the Hase midships pannier rack on our tandem. We highly suggest you avoid this rack. It's supposed to hold four panniers (two standard and two small), but it doesn't. It's way too expensive for what it does, it is a pain to install, and it is a pain to use, even after months of practice. We wish we had bought the porter rack instead, which occupies the space between the wheels. 

The Hase porter bag, though...
The Hase porter bag, however, is a huge bucket of win. Yes, it replaces the stoker position and means some rejiggering in order to carry a stoker. There are three zippered pouches for organizing your stuff, tiedowns inside the bag for securing against loads shifting in transit, and great weather resistance. There's even a flat garment compartment in the lid!

Despite being explicitly designed as a loaded touring bike, the Pino oddly only has one set of braze-ons for a water bottle. And it is difficult to reach that water bottle while riding. Wayne is trying to figure out a way around that. So far, the best fix we encountered is Topeak Versamount clamps. They are good enough for a large water bottle, but we wouldn't trust them with much more mass than that. The grub screw that tensions the strap is also plastic, which is an odd choice. If there is a company making an all stainless steel version of these, someone please point us in the right direction!
Topeak Versamount clamps

 

There is also no option for drop bars. This is normally a dealbreaker for both of us, and why Wayne went with the Bilenky Viewpoint ten years ago. The Pino is surprisingly comfortable as is. The longest single ride so far was 54 miles, and there were zero hand issues. The bars are adjustable for a wide range of rider sizes and preferences. There are also an aftermarket set of alternate hand grips, but the price can induce nosebleeds. Like the cost on all Hase accessories.

Pros and cons all put together, the Pino is still a joy to ride. With a ~700Wh battery in hilly, rolling terrain, Wayne can get almost 90 miles of range with a moderate load. The stock gearing is low enough that riding with a dead battery is still doable, just a bit slower. How much slower? In 500 miles of instrumented riding, about 3 MPH slower average speed. That's a big delta, but still very reasonable for a loaded touring and cargo bike, especially one that can average 22 MPH when loaded. 

Now the trick is to figure how to fit the Pino on the boat during a passage. 





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