You could be thrown off by the name, but Pick Up Artist is actually the name of a new cargo bike by Soma. The bike design firm has designed a prototype for this new cargo bike. The bike itself may not be the sleekest of contemporary bicycles. But it scores on functionality and performance.
The Soma team has fitted this two-wheeler with a long wheelbase of 1,350mm. Notably, this is 225mm longer than the wheelbase on Soma’s other cargo bike, the Tradesman. A longer wheelbase ensures stability, something that is essential in the case of cargo bikes loaded with goods. Soma has ensured a wider wheelbase by moving the front wheel forward and fitting it under the load area. The movement of the front wheel follows a linkage principle similar to that used in bakfiet bikes that are used in Northern Europe. As a result of this linkage, the movement of the wheel is not hampered by the load above. It moves independently, guaranteeing additional stability.
The Pick Up Artist is equipped to carry up to 200 pounds (about 91 kg). Soma recently showcased the bike at UC Berkeley and allowed students to test it out. Soma has found that casual riders can easily carry weights of up to 150 pounds on the bike. An experienced rider should manage 200 pounds.
Soma has not yet decided to produce this new cargo bike. What we do know is that if the bike did hit the stores, it would retail at about $1,500 per unit.