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How to Carry Cargo on the GSD Gen 1

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This article refers to GSD Gen 1 bikes.

The GSD’s ability to carry heavy loads is one of its most useful features. With a maximum gross vehicle weight of 200 kg (440 lb), the GSD is ready to tackle your cargo-carrying needs.

This article will explain how to carry cargo safely on the GSD and introduce you to a few of our suggested cargo-carrying solutions.

How to Carry Cargo Safely on the GSD

Where to Put Your Cargo

You can choose whether to put cargo on the back of the bike (using rear rack accessories) or the front of the bike (using a front rack that attaches to the built-in Combo Mount).

Because the rear rack can handle substantially more weight than a front rack, it’s a good idea to load your heaviest items onto the rear rack first. Then, use the front rack to carry lighter items.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when placing cargo onto the GSD:

  • A low center of gravity is key to safe and easy handling. Place heavier items on the bottom of racks, panniers, baskets, and boxes.
  • Make sure the cargo is balanced evenly on your bike. Avoid putting all of your heavy items on one side of the bike.
  • Ensure that items are firmly secured to the bike. Use Batten Straps to tie down loose items and prevent them from moving around or falling off the bike during transport.
  • Never exceed the bike’s maximum gross vehicle weight (MGVW) of 200 kg (440 lb). The MGVW is the combined weight of the bike, rider, accessories, cargo, and any passenger
  • Pay attention to the maximum capacity of any accessories you use with the bike.

How to Ride With Cargo

Riding a GSD loaded with heavy cargo feels a little different than riding a regular bicycle. It’s a good idea to practice in a safe area before you go out on the road with your cargo.

The main thing you need to remember when riding with heavy cargo is that you’ll need extra time and space to decelerate and come to a stop. Use caution when approaching intersections and other braking situations. You’ll need to brake sooner and more gently than you may be used to.

Cargo-Carrying Solutions

We’ve created a whole ecosystem of cargo-carrying gear to make your GSD even more useful. Here are a few accessory combinations to consider:

  • Shortbed Tray + Transporteur Rack. This combo is perfect for carrying one 600 X 400 mm Eurocrate and one 300 X 400 mm Eurocrate—just load up the boxes and go.
  • Clubhouse + Eurocrate. The Clubhouse can carry two big kids or one 600 X 400 mm Eurocrate, making it just as useful for grocery runs as it is for school drop-offs and pick-ups.
  • Cargo Hold 37 Panniers + Sidekick Lower Deck. The Cargo Hold Panniers have a combined capacity of 68L and open wide to fit bulky items. The Sidekick Lower Deck provides extra support for fully-loaded panniers.

If you’re not sure how to secure an oddly-sized or -shaped item to the bike, remember that you can always use Batten Straps to fix the item directly to the rear rack.

You can also combine the Batten Straps with other accessories. For example, place a guitar or surfboard vertically in the Cargo Hold Panniers and secure the upper portion to the rear rack using the straps. Or place extra-heavy items on either side of the Sidekick Lower Deck to keep the weight low, and secure the items to the rear rack using Batten Straps.

Extend Your Carrying Capacity with a Trailer

Need to haul something that won't fit on the GSD? Your best option is to use a trailer.

For more information about trailers for personal use (such as child trailers and pet trailers), check out this article.

If you represent a business looking to do some heavy hauling, you may be interested in Tern's partnership with Carla Cargo trailers. The GSD + Carla Cargo system is a solution for commercial users who need to move loads of up to 318 kg (700 lb) by trailing them behind a GSD.

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