Preview: RANS Hammertruck

So, just what was in that massive bike box the other day? Well, after wading through a cubic yard of packing material, things start to be revealed…


And, after a couple hours of hardcore wrenching, the RANS Hammertruck was assembled and ready to roll:


What IS that machine? Imagine an Electra cruiser ran off into the woods with a Surly Big Dummy…this could be the product of such a tryst. The RANS Hammertruck is a newish player on the cargobike market, with many visual and cargo-handling cues from the Xtracycle but also wildly different. Now you may know that we’re huge fans of the Xtracycle platform around here…so there will be inevitable comparisons between it and this Hammertruck. In any case, we’re very excited to be able to test the Hammertruck for a couple of months before sending it back to RANS.

The manufacturer specs list a quality component roster, and this bike is rated for a whopping 525 lbs. of rider and cargo. Suggested retail price is around $2000. We’ll provide more details in the coming weeks in our “first impressions” article.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on the cargo-handling portion of the Hammertruck. The side bags are shown in “rolled and stowed” mode, but rest assured: once they are deployed, they are HUGE. Also shown are the optional side runners for increased cargo capacity. This machine looks tailor-made for hauling a giant load of whatever you can stuff, strap, cram or wedge into or onto those hefty racks and bags:


Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.


  1. RL January 18, 2010 12:04 pm 

    I dig the dual kick stand and swept back geometry. Can’t wait to see how this does.

  2. Jim January 18, 2010 12:29 pm 

    I was suspecting some sort of longbike. The giant box looked suspiciously like the one my Big Dummy arrived in last fall. Enjoy the new ride! Can’t wait to read the reviews.

  3. Raiyn January 18, 2010 1:08 pm 

    525lbs? How do they account for the 125lb payload difference between the Hammertruck (great name) and the Big Dummy?

  4. Ghost Rider January 18, 2010 2:02 pm 

    @Raiyn — not sure. The frame has some extra triangulation, and the bolt-on rack is made out of some stout tubing with a couple of extra bridges and struts to keep everything rigid.

    @RL — I was an INSTANT fan of the double-leg kickstand. I wish there were an economical solution like this for the Xtra. I’ll tell you this: I’m getting kickstands like this for some of my other bikes!!!

  5. Raiyn January 18, 2010 4:30 pm 

    I presume you’ll give us some “nude” shots so that a proper comparison between the two frames might be made?

  6. Ghost Rider January 18, 2010 5:02 pm 

    I took some “nude” shots…but I’m not sure what to compare the Hammertruck’s frame to — I don’t have a Big Dummy on hand, merely a MTB with a FreeRadical frame bolted on. Rest assured, though, I’ll cover all the details in the first impressions/review articles.

  7. Graham January 19, 2010 10:07 am 

    I have been really intrigued by RANS CF bikes for a while now. I would love to hear about how the CF design works for hauling/commuting. We don’t have hills here in East NC, we have wind. If you could find a nice little headwind, I’d love to hear how that compares with a more normal riding position.

  8. Doug Jesseph January 20, 2010 7:13 am 

    Is that a stub of what would ordinarily be a seat tube, or is the bike just happy to see you? Seriously, though, I guess that’s the simplest way to handle a standard front derailleur in that frame geometry. But the seat tube angle makes me wonder how in the hell you can get the proper saddle height and maintain decent fore/aft saddle position.

  9. Raiyn January 20, 2010 2:21 pm 

    @ Ghost
    They have really good pictures on the Surly site of the bare Big Dummy frame. I’m suggesting that you use them in the review, but it could be used as a starting point for a visual comparison.

  10. Raiyn January 20, 2010 3:13 pm 

    err not suggesting you use them as I don’t want the lawyers to get involved

  11. Ghost Rider January 20, 2010 4:32 pm 

    @Doug – it’s just a more extreme version of the Electra’s “foot forward” design. Saddle height (or distance) to the pedal is just like a traditional bike. Fore/aft is a different story — since this is anything but a traditional bike, you have to dispense with the traditional positioning concerns. It’s like a recumbent in that respect.

    Bottom line is — you got to ride it to feel it. And you know where I live so swing on by and come check it out in person!

  12. randy schlitter January 23, 2010 10:35 pm 

    One caution, do not try to load the HT on the double kick stand, unless it is a very light load it will fall over to on side. The design intended loading method is to lean the bike on the runner on the side you want to load. Enjoy!

  13. Steve January 31, 2010 2:53 pm 

    Wow intriguing geometry. If you saw that in a shop it would sell you on a test ride then and there.

    I love the double kick stand on my cargo bike. It comes with a free side of childhood memories. But my experience mimics Randy’s. Loading 8 cans of beer into the bag Sat was fine, but a second set of set 8 made the bike teeter a bit. I needed to apply a little light stabilising pressure whilst I cinched up the bag straps. I have read that some people have replaced them with a double length single stand.

    Alternatively just get a Rans with its runner I guess L. Would you do the same thing with a Xtracycle? I had always assumed the side runners on bikes like this just folded out like a seat leg. I don’t know you could lock it.

  14. Ghost Rider January 31, 2010 6:13 pm 

    You could do the same with an Xtra and its runners (at extra cost, of course)…but the Xtra also has at least one or two center-mount double loading legs available — including one from our friend Val K. called “the rolling jackass”:

    Those legs (Val’s and the Xtracycle’s own version…available separately) are stable enough to run a Bike Blender or do some heavy loading, whereas the Pletscher double-leg stand on this RANS is purely for parking the bike or very light loading.

  15. S L Baird February 22, 2010 6:12 pm 

    I am looking forward to the review of the hammertruck, I so want a cargo bike. I have read tons of information regarding the big dummy but none for the hammertruck. I guess I’ll have to go to calhoun cycles to get a look at them both in person.

  16. Big Clint March 18, 2010 12:34 pm 

    I am as my name implies a big guy (wdith not height). I am around 365lbs. I am looking for a bike and its hard to find one that is able to haul me around. The rest of the Rans bikes are rated at 275# and this one is much higher @ 525#. What further intribues me about this is that the hammertrucks naked weight is only about 3lbs heavier than its other CF bikes.

    What are the rider weight limitations? The cargo is stored right over the wheel which should be removing a lot of stress from the frame, whereas the rider is on top of the frame between the wheels. In my mind I would think that rider weight is more than cargo weight.

    Any ideas? Is this the bike for a gentleman of my carriage?

  17. Ghost Rider March 18, 2010 2:25 pm 

    @Big Clint — I’ll pose these questions (and others) to the folks at RANS. I’m a little bit behind in my review, but I hope to have the “first impressions” article up sometime next week. Please stay tuned!

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