Spotted: Soma Pick Up Artist Prototype

The Soma Pick Up Artist is modeled after Dutch Cargo Bikes. The bike utilizes a steering linkage in order to remain stable while under heavy load. The company claims the average rider can safely tote 150 lbs, while a good rider could probably manage 200 lbs.

The bike has a 20” front wheel and 26” rear wheel, and is finished with a Shimano Acera drivetrain, and Avid BB-7 disc brakes. Estimated retail is $1500.

The only cargo bike in Soma’s current line up, the Tradesman, does not have a steering linkage but also utilizes a 20” front wheel. It is rated for loads between 40-50lbs. The Pick Up Artist has a 1350 mm long wheelbase, 225 mm longer than the Tradesman, which ads stability but increases the bikes turning radius.

The Pick Up Artist was extremely comfortable to ride due to its upright position.  The tires and frame did an excellent job of absorbing chatter from the hideously cracked and potholed streets of South San Francisco.

Due to the  the fork rake and steering linkage the Pick Up Artist also handled very nimbly. It has a fairly tight turning radius considering the long wheelbase and was easily tossed side to side in a controlled dip.

Turning was a unique experience because the front rack doesn’t turn with the wheels and bars. As you’re turning the front of the bike points straight. It’s a bit unsettling but you quickly acclimate.

The steering column folds down to facilitate shipping.

According to Soma, while the “Pick Up Artist is a fun bike to have, we have not made up our minds whether to add a second cargo bike to the line-up. To repeat this is not in our 2012 line-up. So we’d love to hear your opinions on this design, price, and cargo bikes in general.”

The Tradesman is currently sold as a frame only. If you’re interested in seeing a frame only, internally geared complete, or a gates compatible Pick Up Artist – drop them a line!

More Via The Soma Blog

 

Comments

feg - 06/05/12 - 1:42pm

yes gates compatible frameset only please.

Mark Hodgson - 06/05/12 - 6:02pm

I would like to see this frame with more of a crank-forward design.

Gillis - 06/05/12 - 7:42pm

Belt drive compatibility, housing guides to accommodate a Rolhoff and/or Alfine, and make it rated for larger discs. Nice to see the center-stand included.
Those two bolts holding the rack on seem a bit flimsy for 200lbs though. A steerer-tube attachment for the rack would help a lot that area.

Db - 06/05/12 - 10:18pm

We need more US based companies selling cargo bikes. Are they for everybody? No! But getting more on the road lets more people see what can be done on a bike which in turn may get them out of their cars.

skunk - 06/06/12 - 10:08pm

I have a Tradesman and I love it. If they decide to make the Pick Up Artist, it will probably replace the Tradesman.

somafab - 06/19/12 - 11:37am

The Pick Up Artist has been green lighted. The second prototype has been approved. Barring delays, we may get the first batch in 4 to 5 months. Thanks, Bike Rumor.

A - 08/19/12 - 6:06pm

This design is very close to being a lumber-carrier, which is a hole in the cargo-bike market. The small front wheel would allow the lumber to extend from the front to the back, between or around the legs depending on how the front and back support racks were designed. The trick is that the front and back racks would need to be level and set up so that you could secure the boards on their side between your legs and far enough outside your legs to be able to comfortably pedal. The only problem is that the people I know who would need to carry lumber with a bicycle probably wouldn’t have $1500 to spend on one. Maybe there will be some cheaper 2nd hand ones available in a few years after Schwinn picks up the design to mass-produce for Walmart.

bubba - 12/28/13 - 9:53pm

I would love to see this ‘lumber-carrier’ commercially available:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhL_BykUQFc

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