The Biggest Cargo Bike in the World Is the Size of a Car

We love cargo bikes, so a few weeks ago we took a look at why cargo bikes are better than delivery trucks.

After reading the article, one of our readers told us about what is probably the biggest cargo bike in the world: The 8rad which is 5 meters long, 2 meters wide and supported by 8 wheels!

In this interview we talk with the creator of the 8rad, Nico Jungel. We talk with Nico about why he build the 8rad, how he did it and what his next projects are.

8rad bike with solar panels and rain cover

How did you decide to build the 8rad?

A real decision wasn’t made, it was more a series of steps that i took one by one. Maybe the decision was taken when I bought 8 high-end wheels for too much money and placed them on the floor in a 5x2m dimension. After that I couldn’t go back.

More generally spoken, the idea of building the bike is a mixture of the way of life I have taken. I once gave up living in flats, bought a van and lived a mobile, nomadic life.

I liked the idea not to have walls and only a few things, but cars cost money, a lot of money, they pollute, are way too heavy in proportion to what they carry and so on.

Coming from some kind of squatting and being involved in ‘right to the city’ movements, I wanted to change something and create a vision. I needed a new mobile space that fits my demands and I was also eager to built something new. I knew that I would need at least 8 square meters and this led me to the fact that I would have to have 8 wheels. 4 wheels would have to be able to steer and so on.

The 8rad is somehow more a chain of solutions, but in the beginning there was an idea of a mobile, pedalpowered space.

Was it difficult to build?

It was sooo difficult. I had never built a bike before and because I had just moved to Berlin, my friends weren’t there to start a group project. I had to gain all the knowledge, but it’s all on the internet and one just has to combine what is there. I don’t know how people did it before the internet.

I also checked every concrete truck I saw and crawled underneeth them. Learning is super easy today and I can just encourage everyone to watch, read and try.

I failed many times and it was obvious that the project was too big for one person, but once I have something in my mind there is no other way (and yes, I spend way too much money on my projects).

As a sidenote, the 8rad could be even bigger. German traffic regulations only speak of ‘vehicle dimension’ which are 12 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and 4 meters high if I remember correctly. And one shouldn’t be too much concerned with laws when inventing new stuff, laws can be changed…

8rad bike in a huge room

How is it to bike the 8rad?

It’s pretty easy, it moves when you touch the pedals. Most people are surprised once they start pedaling. Of course it needs mirrors and it takes a lot of space, but supplied with an electric motor (solarpowered ONLY!) one can ride it alone.

Because it has independent wheel suspension it’s super-smooth. I never understood why no one else took the decision to use independent wheel suspension, but recently, some projects (4-wheelers) have appeared.

But to be honest, the 8rad is still a prototype. I would like to change and improve many things, so if there’s someone with money or material/parts to spend – please contact me!

How often do you use it?

I don’t use it that much. It’s more a utopic idea, a vision to inspire other people. It’s shown at faires, and takes part in demonstrations/parades and other public events. Due to time and money, I choose events that reach many people and support its transportation vision.

Instead of the almost empty words of clean, safe, and silent cities, the 8rad proves that cities can look different. It proves that a lot of transport can easily be done by bike and that there’s an alternative to cars. If a bike of that size can drive and load (up to 500kg), then it should be obvious that regular cargo bikes can easily replace a lot of car transportation.

8rad bike with stuff on

Have there been any problems using the 8rad?

There have been technical problems. For example, cheap chains crash too many times because I haven’t got money for good chains.

But people are always happy when they see a bike. I have not met a single angry car driver being upset that I block the street. I think if you want to change things, you better give a positive suggestion. It’s always possible to do something radical without people noticing it and without getting upset because they like it too much.

8rad bike on a street

You call yourself a traffic activist. What does that mean?

I think there has been written and discussed a lot when it comes to city development. Almost everyone is an expert or at least has an opinion when it comes to gentrification.

I always liked the spaces in between things and so the streets are that kind of space for me. I think there should be more protests about traffic/transportation and air pollution in cities. There are more good solutions when it comes to architecture, but very few when it comes to traffic (except in the Netherlands…).

I want to shift focus so that’s why I use that term.

8rad bike at a traffic event

A common objection to carfree cities is cargo transportion. How would you solve that?

Well, mostly there’s very little cargo in cars. People are always surprised what a cargo bike can carry (or a bicycle trailer – I don’t know why they are not more popular).

Bicycles take way less space and traffic would be much faster than if the deliveries were done by car. Parcels could be delivered faster and just think of how cheap bicycles are compared to cars (both when buying the product AND when doing mantainance).

Technically speaking, there exist very good solutions for cargo bikes on 2, 3 or even 4 wheels. Cargo bikes with load capacities from 80 to 300 kg.

It’s a political question, not a technical one. People are beginning to see the advantages of bicycles and there are more and more cargo bikes around. There are also more cargo bike producers and especially in Germany do I notice a very active atmosphere.

But I don’t think that there’ll be carfree cities. I’m not very fond of absolute positions, but understand that some protest forms need them to underline their demands. I like diversity and think there need to be taken closer looks at what can be done and how it can be done.

I think a really good and well planned public transport system, e.g. fast-lanes for bicycles and seperate car/bike-traffic like in Copenhagen, would improve things a lot.

In berlin the fastest way to get around, even on a 14 km distance, is by bike.

People are also buying less stuff in the shops because they order things on the net, so the need to carry things decreases and the need for improved business-to-consumer delivery increases (there are interesting solutions for that, e.g. in Paris where they bring goods via boat to the center of the city and then cargo bikes pick up parcels from the boat).

From time to time I work as a craftsman, and you can’t imagine the advantages of being able to get tools to the inner city without having to find a parking space and without having to pay for parking.

8rad bike in the night

What will the future bring for you and the 8rad?

I’m converting the 8rad into a mobile studio. I’m an artist and I’m drawing/reflecting on things in my notebooks. I have planned some projects in a direction where I equip the 8rad with electronics and sensors so that it can create images of the sites where I am.

Also the 8rad got some pillars that can be driven out, so it can stand with the wheels off the ground – a bit more of a mobile space which can be moved and less of a big cargo bike.

Right now it also functions as a solar-powerplant for an off-grid coworking workshop, as it has a powerful solar system.

Also Read: 15 Best Bikes For Heavy Riders (Updated 2023)

Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Tue Lindblad by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Tue Lindblad

Tue Lindblad

Tue Lindblad, a seasoned writer and cycling enthusiast. With a passion for all things biking, Tue has been riding and racing for years, and has developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise on the subject. He has worked as a writer and editor for a range of publications, covering topics ranging from cycling gear and technology to training and nutrition.


11 thoughts on “The Biggest Cargo Bike in the World Is the Size of a Car”

    • Checked with Nico. He recommends that you check – they have open source plans available online + they sell bikes based on their plans.

      The 8rad is not as simple as the ones from XYZ Cargo, but it still uses the alu tubes from them.

      • The open source XYZ plans that the 8Rad is based on are very, very basic. Those who have followed the plans to build the base trike have reported that it leaves out details and some components (apparently bits and bobs from a Ikea). XYZCargo is a German company that builds full assembled bikes based on the N55 plans.

        To quote their site –
        “The XYZ CARGO TRIKE, the XYZ CARGO BIKE and the XYZ TWOSEATER are based on the innovative Open Source system XYZ SPACEFRAMES VEHICLES by N55 in collaboration with Till Wolfer . The XYZ SPACEFRAME VEHICLES project was initiated by N55. Users are free to use available designs, as long as it is for non-commercial purposes and any use of the work includes the proper credits to “N55 and Till Wolfer” as well as a link to and ). The XYZ CARGOs are released under this Creative Commons license: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

        The XYZ CARGO TRIKE, the XYZ CARGO TWOSEATER and the XYZ CARGO BIKE has been developed as products for sale and no construction drawings are available.”

        The original N55 XYZ Spaceframe Vehicles link

        It’s essentially an adult sized erector set.

    • hi marc albrecht here

      I really like it. All vehicle should be like that. You look happy, unlike internal combustion engineist. Keep peddling.!!!!

  1. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different
    page and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to finding out
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  2. I congratulate you. this is a very nice design. I also want to visit the country and the world in the near future. I liked this bike very much. I will try to design a caravan with a similar chassis. (I use google translate and I apologize for spelling mistakes). Have good time. ^^


  4. Can you post a link to the wheels/tires? I started building a project and started with the wheels first too. The casters/wheels I used were rated at about 250 lbs each. I wanted to compare costs / weight rating for your wheels.


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