Madi Carlson shows how straps can make you a next level cargo biker

When I first started exploring cargo biking as an option for my family, I quickly stumbled upon author of Urban Cycling Madi Carlson’s blog, Family Ride. Pictures of her riding with her kiddos and epic cargo loads gave me just the inspiration I needed. If Madi could carry two kids and a bike on her cargo bike or haul home her IKEA purchases with a series of straps, I could surely use a bike to simply get to the grocery store or ride my kid to the park.

madi carlson cargo bike

(That caption is everything I love about cargo biking!)

So when it comes to real life cargo biking experience, Madi’s got it. This is why I was so excited to see her recent post over on the Bike Portland blog detailing the straps she finds most useful: Family Biking: How straps can unlock your bike’s carrying capacity

family biking: how straps can unlock

Madi’s list of recommended cargo straps is super helpful and her pictures show that you can carry darn near anything on a bike!

“…Although cargo bikes certainly make carrying big things easy — all bikes are great at carrying more than just their riders…or instead of their riders: one of the best things about any bike is its ability to transform into a dolly/hand truck. It’s fairly easy to pile heavy and/or bulky things on your bike and walk alongside, pushing. The day we moved to Portland (most of our stuff came in a 16-foot PODS moving container) I still had a lot of stuff to bring with us via bus-train-light rail-bus so I used my folding bike as a luggage cart.”

If you are looking to up your cargo carrying game, I highly recommend giving this article a read!

madi carlson cargo bike


Here are some straps I would add to this list now that I’ve been at this cargo biking game for a few years.

Xtracycle CinchStrap (similar to the Yuba strap including in the article):

xtracycle cinch strap


The straps built in to the Xtracycle SlingSet, which can buckle over the top and snap in to the buckles of the opposite side’s sling. The straps are also adjustable and easy ti cinch down tight. Bonus: they are always on your bike!

slingset straps


Voile straps, which are silicon and come in various sizes…

voile strap


Good ol’ nylon toe straps with a spring buckle. I love how small and handy these are. In the below pic, I used one to attach a removed front wheel to the basket of the bike I was towing. You can either use actual toe straps or get customer lengths and sizes for a great price from Strap Works.

toe strap


Feel free to link us to any straps you love in the comments!