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Omnium Mini-Max review: Responsive handling meets absurd gearing

Cofidis' Spanish rider Ion Izaguirre Insausti cycles in a lone breakaway in the final ascent of the Col de la Croix Rosier during the 12th stage of the 110th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 169 km between Roanne and Belleville-en-Beaujolais, in central-eastern France, on July 13, 2023. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Before I was furnished with the Mini-Max from Danish brand Omnium I’d always kind of craved one. I’ve always hated owning a car: The tax, the upkeep, the expensive repairs that I’m unable to complete myself, the emissions, the cost of fuel. Could a cargo bike really replace a car? 

To find out, I sold my car. I don’t want to hear anyone saying I don’t go the extra mile from now on, OK?

If at this point you’re wondering what a cargo bike is, then you’re probably not alone. They do look a little unusual, regardless of what model you go for, but are a subset of what most people think of as commuter bikes. Omnium is a rather trendy outfit from Denmark, the spiritual home of trendy outfits as far as I can tell, and it specialises in cargo bikes, unlike brands like Trek or Specialized which makes them alongside other offerings. The Mini-Max is the second largest model in the brand’s line up, with a slightly shorter wheelbase and bed than the large Cargo model. Each model comes with the option of a SRAM drivetrain or a Shimano Alfine hub and Gates belt drive, with electric versions of each also possible. 

Omnium Mini-Max

A cargo bike really can, with a bit of effort, carry loads previously reserved for cars (Image credit: Will Jones)

I went for an unassisted belt drive setup, which I must admit was predominantly an ego decision. I’m a relatively strong rider; I can handle a cargo bike without a motor to help me out. Maybe I wanted to be like cargo bike Instagram extraordinaire TrueMarmalade? In any case, that’s what I started with, and it was very much the incorrect choice for somewhere as hilly as my hometown, Bristol.

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