The Pick-Up Artist (Complete Bicycle) [RETIRED]

[The Pick Up Artist has retired. This page is up for informational purposes only.] WIRE Magazine called it "the best-named cargo bike ever", but there is much more going for the Pick-Up Artist than its name.
This is a great option to consider if you are looking for a little more hauling capacity than the Tradesman and you don't want to piece together parts for a frame. The PUA is a complete bike.

- The longer wheelbase and linkage steering makes for a milder steering beast (better than carrying heavy loads). It's longer front platform also takes bulkier loads.
- The platform rack is fixed to the frame - not the fork - so the front load does not affect the steering as much as with a fork mounted pannier or bar mounted basket.
- Super low standover height makes disembarking easier even if you have something on top of the rear rack.


Frame: Steel w/alloy fold-down stem, one size
Handlebars: Ahearne-MAP
Brakes: Avid BB-7 160/180mm
Brake Levers: Avid FR-5
Crank Set: SRAM S200 42-32-22T, 170mm
Cassette: SRAM PG-730 7-speed, 12-32T
Derailleurs: SRAM X.3
Grips: Velo ergonomic
Pedals: Aluminum platform w/boron axle
Saddle: Velo VL-3061
Wheels: 20" front (keeps load at a lower center of gravity), 26" rear (alloy disc hubs and rims, 36h)
Tires: Kenda Kwest 20/26" x 1.75"
Front Platform: Steel, 44x30mm
Extras: Rear rack, fenders and steel double kickstand included

Effective Top Tube: 565mm
Steering column height (to the ground): 1000mm
Saddle to Pedal distance: 780 - 940mm
Wheelbase: 1350mm


The Pick-Up Artist (Complete Bicycle) [RETIRED]

  • Can I sit on the bike while the kickstand is down?

    This is not really an frequently asked query, but it is important to address. The answer is "NO". The kickstand is plenty tough, but the chainstay is thinwall tubing and will deform if you sit on your bike while the kickstand is engaged. This will happen too if you 80+ lb. loads in the rear, while the kickstand is engaged and if the rear tire is not touching the ground.

The Pick-Up Artist (Complete Bicycle) [RETIRED]

  • Pick-Up Artist goes to college

    “ I manage the Grounds for St. Olaf College in Northfield, Mn, a residential college with approximately 3000 full time students. I have over 350 acres of groomed campus (1200 acres of managed property) with 11 miles of sidewalks, 6 miles of roads, 2200 parking places, and 11 miles of natural lands trails. Except when absolutely necessary I have used a bicycle for my day to day work, year round, averaging 12 miles a day with over 800 feet of elevation gain.

    Two weeks ago the College purchased a Pick Up Artist from Calhoun Cycle in Minneapolis allowing me to take my Surly Troll home. After 100 miles this is my initial review:

    The bike does exactly what I expected. It is well thought out, carries loads well and handles well. Of course I have not had an opportunity to try it during the winter yet, but the geometry feels as though it will handle well especially with the Schwalbe Marathon Studs hanging on my office wall.

    Gearing is fine, I was surprised that even getting out of the saddle and climbing hills everything is stable. The 180 front disk is very nice to have defending under load.

    I have yet to settle on exact utility setup but have carried far more than I ever did on the Troll. As a big Dummy owner I am well aware of how much one can carry, the PUA is a perfect “in-between” fit.
    I had tried competitors bicycle trucks and had found that carrying the load forward of the wheel created some stability issues. The PUA linkage to a forward mount wheel was ingenious! The oversized top tube carries the load nicely. I even learned that the fold down steer tube is useful when on the morning of purchase I loaded it into my Subaru Forester without a glitch. Issues? Of course. I own more bicycles than fingers and was fully prepared. My sits bones are British and, well I ride Brooks. The shifters, well I am a bar end fan coupled with Paul thumbs. I will be replacing the rear rack with a Surly rack. I understand the sportiness factor but I like something closer to a 2” tire size. Stock tires are a bit rough on turf and walking trails and. Finally I need to find something to protect the top tube. I love the stand over but because I wear cleats I have noticed I am scratching things up.

    All in all the PUA is everything I expected so far. It is very classy and very utilitarian. It is one of those bicycles one has to think about filling that “only one bicycle” option. One could quite easily live car-less with this unit.

    I will try and keep you updated as the years go on. I will get some photos sometime soon.
    I really appreciate the work and thought that went into the development of the PUA. It is beyond just a cool bike and is in fact a fully functioning SUV. ”

    Jim Fisher, Northfield, MN

The Pick-Up Artist (Complete Bicycle) [RETIRED]

  • Bicycle Times Goes Out With the Pick-Up Artist

    The Pick-Up Artist is a great decal at $1,500. The list of compromises for the price is not long. Less expensive steel makes a heavier overall bike, but what's a few more pounds when you are carrying 50? ... It's a solid design that has the added benefit of being easy to step over. The bike absolutely did ot wiggle side to side, even with a lot of weight up front. The [front rack's] slimness is often an asset as the bike can squeeze between cars and other obstacles easily. Read the complete review in Bicycle Times Issue 29 or click here (Oct. 2013)