Covered cargo bike (olive cover) next to a yellow dumpster

How do you store a cargo bike in New York in the winter? And other things we learned from looking at bikes in New York

We spent a couple of days in New York this winter, more specifically Brooklyn, mostly in Park Slope. I checked out every bike that we walked by (as one does) and thought about how different riding a cycle is in New York compared to in California.

Winters in the Bay Area are much milder, as it rarely gets below freezing during the winter months.  We get winter rain, but rarely any snow or ice. In contrast, it's much colder in New York, there's more snow, slush, road salt, and other stuff that's tougher to ride a bike in, and tougher to store a bike in.

Some had a lot of rust

Rusty "GOFFA BIKE" in New York

As you can see on this "Goffa bike", the rims, brakes, kickstand, stem, spokes, chain, nuts are all rusted. This bike has been left out for a long time. Curiously the tires look old but inflated, so maybe this bike is still used semi-regularly. I did a search for Goffa bike, I can't find much about the brand by the way. Possibly a BMX brand that was later acquired by Huffy?

I suspect the snow + road salt does bad stuff to bikes left outside in the winter and causes rust and corrosion to happen way faster, especially to bikes that look like they're stored outside such as this one.

Some were low cost and practical, with child-carrying seats

Teal Ridgeland bike with yellow tires and haldebar grips, blue child seat, rusty chain

This "Ridgeland" bike is a Kent model. Fun colors with a teal frame, yellow front tire and neon green rear, green brake levers.. but there's not too much special about it. It's a low-cost, economical bike (MSRP $160). It looks like the owner upgraded the bike with a 2-legged kickstand, a bell, and then added a budget child seat onto the back. It's got a well-rusted chain and is a single-speed. This bike setup probably cost less than $300 total, but looks like it can carry a kid in the rear alright and gets the job done. This one looks like it might be stored outside too, based on the state of the chain.

Giant Stepthrough commuter bike with a Thule rear child seat

This is another practical commuter bike, a Giant, with a stepthrough frame for easy on-off access, and a rear Thule (old style) child seat. It's locked with a pretty poor lock and the chain looks rusty. The front tire looks like it needs some love, but the fenders probably help in the rain.

There were nicer single-person commuter bikes also

Vintage upgraded Klein Pinnacle bike seen on the streets of New York

This Klein Pinnacle has a frame that is probably 30 years old and it looks like it's been pretty well restored. It's got a 1x drivetrain (Velo orange crankset and updated derailleur) and red cable housing that matches the Klein decals. The front brake looks updated, the handlebars new, as well as the wheels and tires of course. There is no rear brake though there's a cable hanging there. Not sure what's up with that. It looks fun for getting around town. The chain is rusted, but other stuff looks to be in decent shape.

Bike Stickers: "But Did You Die?"

Yellow Diamondback bike locked with a "But Did You Die?" sticker

This yellow more recent Diamondback bike (mid 00s? No idea.) amused me because it has a holographic "But Did you Die?" sticker on it. (From The Hangover Part II?)

Other bikes had weird accessories


old bike with hand grabber atop

This old bike (1970s?) is well rusted and has a perfectly placed plastic hand grabber atop. Well rusted as many of the other bikes were. I guess this is a common theme with the bikes we saw in New York.

Retail shops (Brompton folding bikes!)

A 2-D array of Brompton Bikes, folded on a shelf

We only stopped into one shop, the Brompton Shop in the West Village. It was a fun visit, super nice staff. They offered a test ride, but we didn't have a ton of time, and I would have wanted to test ride for a couple of days, not just a few minutes!  We practiced a fold and looked at Brompton carriers while in the shop.

Family bikes in New York are still fun machines

Long tail Yuba bike in New York, locked

This Yuba bike (non-electric) had the "Monkey Bars" or whatever the kid handlebars are called. Despite the quality of the picture, it looked pretty good. It looks like an older Yuba Mundo Lux model. There's a wheel cover in the back to prevent kids' feet/etc from getting stuck in the spokes, and as mentioned earlier bars to hold on to and keep the kid inside. There are footrests and a cushion for the kid. It looks like it can carry 2-3 kids on the back.

It's locked with a big Kryptonite chain lock, which is practical because cargo bikes are harder to maneuver and lock to things.. so a longer big lock helps. I've also heard that chain locks are harder to cut and thus steal with angle grinders because they move more when cutting.

Flyer e-bike locked in front of the YMCA in Park Slope

This Flyer Bike (yes, as in Radio Flyer!) was parked in front of the Y in Park Slope. It is an electric bike with a Yepp/Thule kids seat in the back, with more space for another kid or cargo behind that.

Orange Yuba Kombi e-bike with child seat and safety pizza reflector

This Yuba Kombi is a "compact" e-bike with a Shimano mid-drive motor. It's locked again with a Kryptonite chain lock. It looks like the owner has removed the battery to make it less attractive to thieves, which I think is a good idea. It has a Thule child seat on the back, a feed bag near at the handlebar, and a fun Safety Pizza reflector on the back.


2 matching Vanmoof bikes with child seats

These two Vanmoof bikes aren't family bikes or cargo bikes, but these two were set up nearly identically and parked side by side. They both have Hamax child carriers. These electric bikes look pretty new, or at least are in pretty good shape. The two are locked together with a cheap combination cable lock, and then further locked with a heavy-duty Kryptonite chain lock.

Cargo bikes are fun machines

Parent and two kids with cargo bike watching ice skating at Prospect Park

It's always so awesome to see parents and kids have fun together with cargobikes. In this case, this parent and their 2 children were watching ice skating at the LeFrak ice skating center at the park. With their cargo e-bike (I believe a Tern HSD), they just rolled up to the viewing mezzanine and hung out for a while. The kids were in a cargo bike blanket similar to Lark's Bike Blankets.

Two cargo bikes parked at a bike rack in Prospect Park

There were two other cargo bikes parked at the LeFrak skating center that we saw earlier that day.  One of them is a smaller folding bike with a small child seat on the rear. Next to it is a Tern GSD, with a full Storm Shield setup. This is a step up from the Rad Conestoga cover. It offers full wind protection and some thermal protection for children who are riding on the back.

Here's another view of that nice setup:

Tern GSD with Storm Shield Child protection, viewed from the side. Light blue color frame.


Radwagon ebike with conestoga kid protection canopy

This RadWagon Rad e-bike has their "Conestoga" canopy to protect kids from inclement weather and provide a little bit of warmth. You can see that the battery has been removed for parking, and this bike looks to be kept up pretty well for possibly frequent use.

Citibike bikeshare bikes - lots of people seem to use them

A rack of acoustic citibikes near Chelsea Market

The electric version of the citibikes is distinctive, especially at night, because of the purple glow. Lots of people were riding both acoustic and electric versions around.

Utility bikes in New York

blue tricycle with wicker basket in back, in new york

I don't really know what to call this trike, but it looks like it's used for carrying stuff. The wicker basket doesn't seem to be too rugged though.

Bike covers for bike protection: from weather and theft?

Orange Radwagon bike with a partial cover

This Orange Radwagon from Rad Power Bikes has a cover on top. This helps protect the bike in bad weather and from theft. It doesn't look like the bike has moved in a while though, as you can see a very flat rear tire. I'd guess that people ride less in the winter and just store their bikes outside over those months as there may not be other space available.

I started to notice a lot more covered cargo bikes later.

Covered cargo bike (olive cover) next to a yellow dumpster

I don't know the make of this bike, though one may be able to determine from the kickstand. It looked well protected from the weather and hopefully less attractive to thieves.


This is a Ferla Family e-bike. It has two wheels in the front and big cargo bucket for carrying multiple kids and cargo. The cover probably also helps prevent debris from getting into the front bucket.


This is another front-loading bucket bike with two smaller wheels in the front and a larger one in the back. It looks older than the Ferla, and I can't tell much else about it.


Ghostbike in WilliamsburgThis ghostbike in Williamsburg looks trashed but its state kind of reflects its intent. "In 2013, at least 12 bicyclists and 168 pedestrians were killed in New York City. This is a memorial for all those whose deaths never made the news." After going down for a number of years, pedestrian deaths are starting to go up again. 123 pedestrians in 2021 were killed in New York by motor vehicles.

Nice commuter bikes

A nice All City Bike parked in New York

This All-City bike was set up really nicely. A slim Axiom (?) rack on the rear, hammered black fenders (by Velo Orange?). Fyxation pedal straps, a front basket, a saddle chain lock, and interestingly a cheapo tail light on the rear rack. Maybe it's a cheap one so they don't have to feel bad if it gets stolen.

Trashed bikes

Bike stripped for parts, "locked" to pole with coaxial cable

Just like in the Bay Area, there are also bikes that were trashed, stripped for parts, and still reside locked to whatever it was that they were locked to. This one was attached to a pole with a piece of coaxial cable. I can't tell who the manufacturer was, but it's well worn, looks like it had been red before painted over with black. There's rust all over and lots of stuff is missing.


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