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Loko: One Rack to Rule Them All

by Ted Johnson

I haven’t been in the cycling industry too many years, but I’ve already seen some proprietary systems for racks and accessories that attempt to lure you into a particular brand’s inbred family. These are racks and bags that work best with sibling products.

Racktime has it’s Snapit system, and Thule has it’s Pack ‘n Pedal™ line of bags and racks.

But Loko Bike Racks are a new concept that is mad scientist in it’s ambitions for world domination.

And judging only from their Kickstarter project page, it looks really cool.

The rack system does many tricks, but my favorite is how it can turn any bike into a cargo bike.

I used to have a trailer-cycle, but when the kids got too big for it, I contemplated how I might turn it into a single wheel bike cargo trailer — a contemplation that lasted for about 20 seconds before I decided it was less work to sell it on Craigslist.

It turns out I’m not the first one to have that thought. It’s just that I’m among the 99.9% of cyclists who have never done anything about it. The guys behind Loko did something about it. In fact, the trailer-cycler conversion was their original inspiration for the whole system.

Loko Rack on a Trailer-Cycle

When mounted to your bike, Loko promises to provide 80 percent of the functionality of a cargo bike. Why not 100 percent? I imagine that you can’t really cantilever the full platform length of, say, an Extracycle cargo kit, onto a bike with a conventional wheel base without causing involuntary wheelies.

 

The “O-Mount” system, they say, is positioned to become a universal standard. That’s pretty bold.

Other components include a “U-rack,” and “V-bars.” Other letters of the alphabet expropriated in the near future.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the video is that they have pixelated over the sexy parts of the rack — that is to say the patent-pending parts. But it makes me feel like I’m watching something salacious that’s been censored — it makes me all the more curious to see what they’re hiding.

Bike Child Seat on a Loko Rack

The bike child seat scenario seems to be thought through the least, considering the animation in the video. (A proper rear child seat scenario includes foot rests and more back support.) But hey, you can mount a skateboard to the system.

I also like that they’ve thought about e-bike adaptations (but not so thrilled about the gas-powered motors). If the rack is easy to remove, you would be able to easily remove the heaviest part of an e-bike.

I’m hoping to see this project funded, and possibly test it in the future.

 
Burley nomad 229

8 Responses to “Loko: One Rack to Rule Them All”

  1. Jason McCay says:

    The product looks promising but the Kickstarter page is obnoxious. The text is littered with overuse of bold, italics, and caps, along with a healthy dose of misspellings and unnecessary acronyms. The overall tone is loud and insincere… reminds me of an “As Seen on TV” product.

  2. Balanced & fair story with what we’ve shown publicly thus far. We’d be honored to have you review our production product late next month.

    More will be on kickstarter.com soon and online at LokoBikeRacks.com. Our O-mount system is the least developed. Initial tests show it’s as useful as Thule system and retrofits to most existing bags or boxes.
    Look for Loko Quick-Release Cargo System™ online and initially in Southern California and Rocky Mountain bike shops this April.

    Motors are widely available and I too was hesitant about them. Many rides and conversations with injured vets and those less able to ride, revealed they help people use bikes more, and drive less. Our favorite is electric. Loko™ adds proven motor systems, turning bikes into mopeds instantly without tools, time, trouble or alterations – a biking first.

    Thanks for your work in Washington to help more people use bikes.

  3. Thanks Jason. Tripling a bikes carrying capacity while adding instant and temporary motors of almost any type leaves us, well… EXCITED !!

    Is there anything substantive you doubt this product actually does and what would you want to see as a potential buyer? Every facet and figure on the page is accurate and upcoming videos clearly show our mounts.

    Two questions raised by Ted were: 1) wheelies under weight and 2) child seats. We don’t make seats. Many, most cargo child seats, fit or adapt. The biggest problem for most cyclist surveyed was bulk, not weight, but I’ve ridden rough roads (videos will show) with 100+ lbs and parked the bike without the front end coming up. Realistic loads are < 75 lbs and this system easily handles that by keeping 65% of load over or forward the axel. Our modular system expands and allows load to fit lower and most anywhere unlike welded racks which often have flimsy tubing. I'll admit I hated the look and function of most bike-racks. This lets you remove it or add the options that best suit your needs.

    If you have specific questions we'd be happy to address them. Cheers.

    • Ted Johnson says:

      Regarding bike child seats, I’d personally recommend making a platform that is compatible with the Yepp Maxi Easyfit
      Yepp Maxi Easyfit
      .

      Not only is this seat manufactured to European safety standards (German designed and Dutch-built), it is already familiar to users of longtail bikes.

  4. That’s our favorite system – pure quality. We’ll also adapt a quick-release lockable system that (hopefully) will fit similar and lower priced units that are less adjustable but also meet US and European standards for safety.

    Had a great meeting last night with a bike-shop owner known 15 yrs and he penciled out an exciting new option we’ll develop directly or in parallel with a company like Bike Planet whom we’ve also met with. Lockable solar LED lights facing front, rear that illuminate the bikes profile. Our newest modular design has sectional tubing that can easily fit this type of locking retrofit into the rack to minimize theft and increase safety. Another item you’ll see from us is an attachable quick release kickstand because similar to racks, they’re resisted by many bikers on their nicer rides but VERY handy and downright necessary when you actually carry something typical like 4 bags of groceries or laundry.

    We welcome developers ideas, input and even licensing of your own products through this new piece of “removable biking real-estate.” My barber wants to build a skate ramp for a mobile trick-station on his Fixie. We’ll see…
    What else would be helpful ? We’d love to hear it! Cheers, Bruce

  5. Almost forgot. We heard Jason and others who said similarly so we toned down our excitement. A short section under “Guarantee” lets any backer vote on options you want sooner, than later. Thanks again.

  6. Seems pretty brilliant! Functional and attractive, with aesthetics, or the lack thereof, often being the deal breaker for me. I love that I can add to it over time.

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