Ever get the urge to test the cargo capacity of a regular bike? How about a cheapo Walmart bike? This was a lot of groceries to pack home, about 5 miles. Most of the time, I shop frequently and bring home less in one trip. This was a very heavy load and the bike handled much differently being this weighed down. I made the trip without kids, because I was not going to be able to pull the Piccolo, and really wanted to be able to concentrate on just getting myself back home.
It took a lot of leg muscle to move, especially going up the bridge for this overpass where I stopped to take these photos. I was concerned about my frame and wheels, but it turns out that my drivetrain is also completely insufficient to bear this kind of weight. My frame was making a lot of creaking noise, which isn’t normal for this bike. Going downhill, there was a lot more shimmy than usual. It was kind of scary and I was relieved when my brakes were able to keep the speed under control. The one thing that did hold up to the task was my rear rack for the Burley Piccolo.
In the end, it turned out to be too much weight for the bike. I broke four spokes. But they waited to break until I was in my driveway! How lucky is that? Imagine if it happened five miles from home? I couldn’t even push the bike, the wheel was so badly misshapen, so I would have been stuck. When the guy in the bike shop was fixing the spokes, three more broke. I need to get some beefy wheels with double walled rims and a million spokes.