Sun Atlas Cargo, $679, cro-mo


Yes, $679. Rides well! Shown with 2011 Xtracycle Freeloaders and Mugwump deck pad, sold separately. Will accommodate 2 Yepp Maxi child seats!

41 thoughts on “Sun Atlas Cargo, $679, cro-mo”

  • Mark Stosberg

    It's a welcome price point for a carg bike. So why pay $2k for a Big Dummy when this complete is $200 less than just a Frame of the Big Dummy?

  • Todd (admin)

    Our first unit (a test) sold before we could check it out much. More coming. We can't say we've pushed it to discover limitations, but some easy observations:

    * handles nicely, empty at least. the steering feels light, in a good way
    * not too heavy. heavier than most xtracycles, but heavier duty. no scale handy (we're not that kind of shop) but it just might be lighter than a big dummy (would depend on parts).
    * components are sort of meh. what do you expect for the price? they'll probably git er done.
    * welds aren't pretty. paint's not pretty. there's this weird platypus spur on the rear dropouts like some CAD error that would maybe have cost $38.17 to fix, so they didn't. frame shape's not pretty, though starting with my own 2003 xtravois through custom longtail one-offs from sacha white, tony pereira and others, i've loved variations on a theme of mixte. that tube coming off the middle of the DT sort of blows the look for me.
    * $679? really?
    * my god, it's cheap. how do they do that? anything bad you might have to say about the bike, the answer is, "yeah, but it's REEEEEAAALLY cheap."
    * yeah for xtracycle parts compatibility

    to your question: a big dummy is much better made, comes in many frame sizes, and has much better parts on it. more time will tell if the story goes past that.

  • Jake Wilson

    Jake likey, now I can remove the Xtracycle/Free loaders from my Surly Long Haul Trucker so I can get my traditonal road bike back, fit all of it on the Atlas Cargo and call it done. So let's see now...where can I find $679 in this 'bump in the road' economy=:-)

    Kudos to Xtracycle for making their concept open design, and a big thank you to JB/Sun for producing an afforadble cargo bike that accepts the X platform components. This is big news! The best part, more people will be able to own a cargo bike. More bicycles on the road, everyone wins!

  • David Chase

    Is that 48 spokes in the rear wheel? It looks like they got that part right.

  • Matt

    I just picked up my Sun Cargo. Seems to me, the xtracycle v racks are freestanding, and the equivalent on the Sun has a steel deck that connects them already built in. I'd like to mount a PeaPod child carrier on the Sun, but don't know how to do it since the factory xtracycle peapod 3 assumes you have a flightdeck base. It doesn't look like a flightdeck will mount on a Sun since there is already an integral metal deck. If anyone has any thoughts or a solution to mount a child carrier on a Sun, I'd love to hear it.

  • Mark Stosberg

    Matt,

    The PeaPod III is a re-branding of the GMG Yepp Maxi and its adapter, which is made for regular bicycle racks. I recently received my own Yepp Maxi and adapter today and have taken a look at it. While I have not seen the Sun Atlas Cargo, I suspect you can make it work with some amount of drilling to the built-in rack, and possibly to the adapter. I think this could be structurally sound, although possibly warranty-voiding. If you can see the seat adapter in person, take a look and see what you think.

    Otherwise, the Yuba "Peanut Shell" will likely work without modification-- I already own one of those, and it is not as nice as seat, and takes something like 10 to 15 minutes to take on or off, while the Yepp Maxi has quick release.

  • Todd (admin)

    Mark is correct. The Yepp Maxi "Easy fit" version (http://clevercycles.com/blog/products/accessories/child-seats/rear-mounted-child-seats/#Yepp-Maxi-EZ-Fit) clamps to the Atlas steel deck. There's room for 2.

  • Derek

    What is the mugwump deck pad attached to in that picture? Is it a flightdeck?

  • Todd (admin)

    Mugwump (http://www.imugwump.com/) is our neighbor. She sews deck pads, one-of-a-kind from reclaimed materials. Shown is a prototype, attached to the Sun deck. At this date, the prototype attachment system needs work.

  • Mark Stosberg

    Derek, the Sun Atlas Cargo has a built-in metal deck. You can see a photo of it here if you scroll down:

    http://www.joe-bike.com/cargo-bikes/sun-atlas-cargo/

  • Derek

    We just bought one of these bikes this week and we're trying to figure out which xtracycle accessories work easily with it and which do not. I was hoping to find a more forgiving surface for our kids' bottoms than the existing metal deck. Seems like we can finagle something, though.

  • Aaron Goss

    I had a hand in helping design the front end geometry. Chris Dupis of J&B Importers actually just took our advice! You can see the front end specs here: http://tinyurl.com/6e94ljo It handles almost exactly like Val Kleitz's Dreadnought and the fit is almost exactly like my personal custom 16" Big Dummy with 24 x 2.35" tires, yet the Atlas Cargo has 2cm lower stand-over. We have been selling "too small" Big Dummies for years. Most average men (6 foot) can easiy ride the 16" BD. Add a non-suspension corrected fork and 24" tires and you get a very well handling BD.

    The "X" tube is trade dress for the Sun Atlas. Customer comments so far are like, "Wow! Looks burly!" Chris did an amazing job designing this bike. It is nearly as stiff as a Yuba Mundo. Quite amazing actually and due to the actual chainstays running from the Bottom Bracket to the rear axle.

    With the light steering, you can have 2 happily screaming and squirming kids on the back and ride one handed. It must be ridden to be believed. I would like to give a big thanks to Jan Heine for his research into geometric and pnumatic trail which helped us understand what cargo bikes need. This bike should even ride nice with a frame mounted front rack or basket. A fork mounted would also work, but is less desireable for heavy loads. Todd/Clever, do the dutch style front down tube mounted racks fit?

    This bike is hands down the best designed longtail on the market. The chainstays and the front geometry are very important in longtail design. Test ride it next to a Radish.

  • Aaron Goss

    We weighed the Atlas at 49 lbs with the old school Xtracycle bags and wood deck.
    Our stock BD with same bags & deck weighs 46.5 pounds.
    2.5 pounds is hardly anything especially when you consider the rider and cargo weight!

    On my previous post I should have clarified that we sell all of our longtails with city type handlebars similar to what comes stock on the Atlas Cargo. QBP Dimension brand.

  • Will

    Derek, you can just pull out the integrated steel rack and use xtracycle vracks or p-racks. I use v-racks, freeloaders, and snapdeck. You can check out my posts and pictures, and those of another user, in the utility cycling forum at bikeforums. Aaron, you and Atlas did a great job on this bike. It rides great, I haul my two kids (8 and 5) everywhere; even my skeptical (and non-cyclist) wife loves riding it...

  • Derek

    We've decided to stick with the integrated rack that came with the bike and my wife rigged up a pad for the top of the rack to make the ride a bit smoother for our small passengers. It works great with the freeloaders attached. Overall, we're super happy with this bike but I recently encountered a small issue with it. I noticed that, when in the granniest of gears, the chain rubs against the rear tire. Has anyone else had this issue with the bike? Any thoughts on what can be done about it? The low gear sure is nice when grinding up the hill, fully loaded.

  • Mark Stosberg

    Derek, you could always opt for a slightly narrower tire.

  • Nic Nelson

    Wow. I may have found my next Xtrabike. My old Jamis/2001-vintage FreeRad/Freeloaders are faded in color and showing wear, but still going strong. As soon as one of my kids are ready for their own longtail, I'll be revisiting the Atlas. And if I can pick up a used 2011 in a couple of years, I might pay even less than $679.

    Assuming that anyone will be willing to part with it... ;-)

  • robert

    Notes on Sun Cargo Bike,

    The V or P racks do not fit well into the Sun tubes, the angles are incorrect and you don't end up with enough Rack rails insertion to really be very good. The kickstand on the Sun bike isn't very good it is tippy while loading groceries with a child seated and you can't use the Xtracycle kickback on this bike since the bottom of the tubes and the stock kickstand plate are not the right shape. The Steel rack is way overkill and doesn't allow using Flight decks or the wood deck so you are kind of stuck if you have a bunch of Xtracycle accessories to use and are limited to Wide loaders and the bags. I called J/B to talk to to them and they said that the bike was never advertised to be fully Xtracycle compatible, only somewhat and that some redesign might be needed for version 2 down the road. I think that the bike while so excellent for ride quality is missing some of these key things. We have one, really like the ride but are selling it because of the other issues and looking for something else. The kickstand issue is the largest one for us unless someone has a good idea for a retrofit?

    Too bad, the price point rocks and the frame is rock solid, maybe even better than the Big Dummy.

  • Todd (admin)

    Robert, we have fit the V racks without complaint. Maybe there are tolerance/production issues affecting fit with some frames.

  • Aaron Goss

    There is a slight tolerance/aligment/welding/tube burr issue with the Atlas Cargo V & H rack holes. But then what do you expect with cheap Chineese labor? The Surly Big Dummy holes are perfect, exactly what you would expect from a factory that pays its happy employees well. GET OUT YOUR FILE, like I did.

    As for the kickstand, yes, lowest bidder indeed. Recycle it and buy a Rolling Jackass Centerstand. You will not be unhappy. Sure it is more than half the price of the bike, but you get what you pay for!

  • robert

    Hi,

    The insertion of the V racks in the rear ends up being less than 1" and the quick release slot is significantly deeper than that but that is as deep as we could go and have the tire plus fender clear the underside of the Flight Deck. We had to hammer the V Rack into the frameset with a rubber hammer the angles of the frames insertion tubes were off by that much? We end up scarring the aluminum V racks and really beat them up to get them to fit. The quality of the bikes is ok, the handlebars are off center and welded crooked, but kind of functional, the kickstand is still as stated before the big issue. We have used the bike often over the last 3 weeks and the kickstand just isn't up to the task of groceries and a child and the pavement better be perfectly flat at best or else it is a disaster. The wheels came grossly out of true, the headset is so cheap that it is either stiff or too loose when adjusting and finding that sweet spot in the adjustment is a struggle. Sun is spot on for frame stiffness/ gearing and price point it is just these nagging details that make me wonder why they failed to finish completely the design process or did they even test their kickstand before release or was this some kind of after thought? The stock Rack is a mystery and could not have been made heavier or less compatible with Xtracycle accessories. If these little things were corrected this could be the best selling longtail bike out there, you really can't argue with the price point it is phenomenal and while cheaper components overall in the drivetrain they work flawlessly and whoever calculated the gearing is a genius! Any ideas on the kickstand before we put ours up for sale?

  • David Chase

    For what it's worth, any kickstand with a loaded longtail is a dicey proposition, so I can't ding them too much for that.

    And the other stuff, design and finish work is hard. Stuff that looks obvious in hindsight, often ONLY looks obvious in hindsight. Take a look at a FreeRadical sometime, see how it manages to (mostly) fit a chain in there as you shift gears, see how it all manages to work on most mountain bikes without too much screwing around.

    If the guys at Sun are vaguely on the ball, Sun Atlas Cargo V2.0 will be a serious competitor to the Big Dummy for market share.

  • Will

    Fitting of V racks on the back of the Sun was unproblematic for me. Fit deeply and locked in. You can see pictures at bikeforums in the Utility Cycling forum. They didn't fit at first, the "angles were incorrect" as poster above says but that was because I was putting them in SDRAWDKCAB. Something for the poster to think about. I concur re the kickstand, but the Big Dummy kickstand is no better on stability under the circumstances described (kid on, full load).

  • Robert

    We have elected to keep the Atlas since my wife loves the ride quality so much. I am fabricating an additional chromalloy cross tube to hold the kickback with a small tube protruding forward and supported by a plate to capture the stop on the Kickback stand so we can have the Atlas with the better kickstand. There will be some disruptions to the paint due to welding but that will be a small price to pay and nothing a rattle can can't cure. For anyone that somehow got the idea that we are Atlas haters, nothing could be farther from the truth, it was just these nagging details on a new bike that set us back a bit. Rolling Jackass did respond that their stand fits the Atlas, although spending half the cost of a bike on a center stand seems extreme. I think we really do have a rack tube insertion factory defect. We are not trying to put the rack in backwards as was suggested by one poster, this is our V Rack from our Freeradical frameset which we have used for years. I cannot insert the V Rack past 1/2" into the rear tubes of the Atlas before my Flight deck is touching the rear tire. The quick release still tightens but it isn't near enough for good fit and is hard on the V Rack tube ends especially when we had to pound them in with a rubber mallet. I am glad this isn't epidemic and that other users have not had this issue.

    ciao

    robert

  • Matthew

    Robert,

    Have you contacted Sun Bicycles... seems they wouldn't want your review out there on the net since you had issues with the xtracycle racks not fitting.. I'm already leaning toward the Yuba Mundo for this reason. I'm too afraid I can't get xtracycle stuff to fit the Sun correctly and I don't want to go ordering stuff only to have it not fit. Perhaps they can do something for you.

  • Jon Wright

    Almost too good to be true at this price but probably worm more considering what things cost today. I am thinking about a cargo bike and what to put the xtracycle kit on and considering the price this is wonderful. With an electric motor on it one could do some serious shopping with it. I have one on my townie21d but think it would be better served on this bike.

  • Mike

    Had the Atlas for a month. Paid $675 for it. Made my on flight deck and stokerbar. Slap on a milkcrate or a basket and go to town. It's a huge blast to ride.

  • Larry

    What about compatibility with other parts? Rear wheel being the first thing, with its 14mm axle, how easy would it be to switch it out with a cassette equipted rim?

  • Mark Stosberg

    Larry, about the 14mm axle... you could buy a $12 adapter from Yuba, and then you fit standard 10mm axles. Here's the link:

    http://yubaride.com/yubashop/product.php?id_product=38

    I did that on my own Yuba, so I could install a NuVinci hub.

  • bradical

    Has anyone done an electric conversion on this? How about just buying the frame to build yourself? Seems like you have to buy complete.

  • Todd (admin)

    I see no reason a hub motor couldn't be fit. I don't think the distributor sells framesets.

  • Aaron Goss

    There is a warning sticker on the frame that specifically forbids add-on motors. Remember this frame is high tensile steel NOT cromoly. The components are so cheap you are just paying for the frame. OEM price on the components is about $50

  • Todd (admin)

    Hm, Sun is still advertising as 4130: http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_detail.php?short_code=Atlas+Cargo . That same warning sticker says "wear a helmet" and "use lights at night," which makes the warning about no assist sound to me like "don't contact us if your motor or 90 pounds of lead acid battery makes something break." Seems to me this is a more robust assist platform than most currently rolling out there. Which isn't saying much, but something...

  • Chris

    The Sun Atlas Cargo frame is 100% 4130 chromoly.

  • Aaron Goss

    I stand corrected! Perhaps Sun Bicycles will consider a running change: Put a frame tubing sticker on the frame!
    If it is full chromium molybdenum steel then there should be no problem installing a mid-mount or hub drive motor. It does not appear the Stokemonkey will fit. Todd?
    I am sure lawyers made them put the "no motor" sticker on the frame.
    We do not like the stock brakes and instead install Shimano V-Brakes with Kool-Stop Eagle Claw 2 pads. Then the brakes work just fine!
    Just like the old automotive axiom, if you have a powerfull motor to get you into trouble then you need powerfull brakes to get you out!

  • Todd (admin)

    As of October 2011 Stokemonkey isn't available for any bike, but the Atlas doesn't appear to have the necessary clearances even if we were to entertain fabricating a mount specific to it.

  • bradical

    Thinking of an eZee motor....si or no?
    Also is the paint matte or gloss?

  • Aaron Goss

    What!? Stokemonkey is discontinued?
    But it is such a great product! Really!

  • Todd (admin)

    Don't be spreading rumors now, Aaron! :-) The place to read about it is http://stokemonkey.com/ . I don't want anybody to look anyplace else for info about it, including this thread about the Atlas.

  • Jim

    I'm not sure I buy the Tensile Steel is Unassistable argument. Workcycles bikes tend to be (are all?) Hi-ten and overbuilt.

    Isn't it just a matter of the quality of the Hi-ten and the amount of material needed to make a strong structure?

  • Matt

    Anyone put fenders on this bike? Details? Thanks.

Comments