Found: Donky Bike – Versatile, Heavy Duty Cargo Bike w/ a Small Footprint

Donky cargo bike with removable front and rear racks and tight handling

Donky Bike is a new cargo bicycle brand with a small, nimble and rather versatile hauler.

The bike is designed to handle well, even in tight traffic and with heavy/large loads. It’s also designed to be both affordable and durable, letting you use and abuse it without worrying about it falling apart or becoming landfill fodder after a year or two. It’s also pretty low maintenance, using proven and commonly available parts to make repairs easier and cheaper.

The frame has two removable racks -one front,one rear- that put the load on the frame rather than the fork. In time they’ll add accessory options to make the Donky even more versatile, including front and rear child seats. Click through for more pics and video…

Donky cargo bike with removable front and rear racks and tight handling

The idea began with a conversation between friends Ben Wilson and Jonathan Pooley in 2006. They wanted a cheap (but good) bike for whipping around town that could also carry lots of stuff. To do that, they gave the Donky a steel frame riding on 20″ BMX wheels and a compact footprint. It uses V-brakes, a single piece crankset and 3-speed internally geared Shimano Nexus rear hub. Combined, this gave it the usability and handling they wanted while keeping it simple. The frame has a built in wheel lock on the rear, and both racks secure or remove easily with quick release knobs.

Donky cargo bike with removable front and rear racks and tight handling

It’s only available in one size and two colors (black or green). The seatpost and handlebar are adjustable to give it a wide fit range. Retail is £499, and they’re available direct through their website.

 

Comments

Topmounter - 11/06/12 - 11:05am

Wow… and they did it while resisting the temptation to add a bottle opener, flask holder and/or “secret compartment”.

Nice job guys!

Speedy - 11/06/12 - 1:18pm

This is a rad little machine! Sign me up.

Steve M - 11/06/12 - 2:00pm

Freaky deaky Dutch pickup truck.

a - 11/06/12 - 3:45pm

So a bit like what Moulton has been doing for the last 50+ years but with cheaper parts, less refinement, less versatility, and poor structural design etc? How does anyone spec a bike with parts this cheap and have it come in so expensive?

Speedy - 11/06/12 - 4:20pm

@a – Yeah, it’s a cheap build I am with you there. But can you please expand on your comparison to Moulton ? That company makes tiny road bikes. This is a cargo bike. The two seem pretty different to me.

Harry's dog - 11/06/12 - 4:43pm

I like it, nice idea and not really anything like a Moulton. ‘Cheap’ build but specific frame parts and probably low sales numbers, so not a bad price really – it’ll sell on value-for-use not value for parts rrp total. Structurally, it looks ok if that central beam x-over is well thought out. Isolating the front load from the fork is a good move.

S. Molnar - 11/06/12 - 5:59pm

The single-piece crankset is greatly underrated, somewhat like the integrated amplifier in hi-fi. The bike won’t win any awards for aesthetics, but it doesn’t have to if it’s cheap and works well.

echotraveler - 11/06/12 - 6:49pm

a cheaper moulton…

I had a 1965 moulton and while heavy, had the front and back racks, which rocked!!!!!

Androo - 11/06/12 - 7:00pm

Love it. I love it.

Little bit pricey for me, since it’s coming from the UK, but the concept of a cheap and cheerful cargo bike is awesome. Makes me want to weld up an old BMX into a cargo-beater (which pegs for the girlfriend to stand on, of course).

AD - 11/06/12 - 7:28pm

How do you pedal it with a ladder attached?

a - 11/07/12 - 11:11am

Moulton in utility mode:- http://www.63xc.com/zerowork/moulton.htm

Donky has the point of maximum bending stress coinciding with the junction of two triangles on their corners, it is hard to imagine a worse structure for a bike… either these bikes will break there or they will weigh a ridiculous amount… my bet would be both..

Chris L - 11/07/12 - 12:17pm

A Moulton also costs ten times as much. Something to keep in mind. If you had that much money to spend and utility was your main concern you could get a decent used car!

Androo - 11/07/12 - 1:28pm

@a

By that logic, “it is hard to imagine a worse structure for a bike” …except for the Moulton that you posted, which has “the point of maximum bending stress coinciding with the junction” of one triangle and a single tube. With a massive cantilever coming from the headtube to increase the bending stresses at that point.

Neither of them may be ideal, but your argument works against your own point.

a - 11/07/12 - 4:27pm

10 times as much?!?!? Twice as much maybe, but for a UK handbuilt bike with a way higher spec.

When the 60′s Moultons launched they were probably about an equivalent price to this.

Androo; the Donky looks to have a main beam that is about 40-45mm tall, the 60′s Moultons had a section here that was way over 60mm. In this bike there is a triangle each side of the X so neither side can flex to absorb energy, all movement (and therefore fatigue) has to be concentrated right on the welds, with the Moulton the beam had a significant length over which to disperse energy and the only joint was on the side of the beam that sees primarily compressive loads…. and the top flange of the beam was not pierced… and it was a brazed joint rather than a weld.. and it had a re-enforcing plate there too.

Jaap de Sleghte - 11/12/12 - 11:19pm

What the…. it’s a direct copy of my wife’s Lorri from the Netherlands. You can run a Google search for images and you will see I am right!! It’s a shame that the Bike Rumor editor did not conduct a quick search if it really is an original design as it’s claimed to be. :-( :-(

moudgie - 12/10/12 - 4:51pm

Well, had my Donky for a couple of weeks now – gotta say it’s been a hoot riding it. Handles great, even when loaded with two of my mates going to the pub! Frame’s proper strong -

moudgie - 12/10/12 - 4:55pm

Also, just wanted to point out that a $1,000 hardtail from most big manufacturers are pretty much identical bikes – same frames, same component specs, even same colours! This is way different from the Lorri – much more versatile thanks to the removable racks

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