Memento Cycles Cargo: Crafting Canada's Cargo Future
Dig into the story of Memento Cycles and how they created one of Canada's first cargo bikes. Their journey from bikepackers and messengers to innovative urban mobility highlights a commitment to bespoke cycling solutions and sustainable adventure.
A few weeks ago, as I scrolled through my feed, an intriguing image caught my eye—a half-built cargo bike, a creation of Memento Cycles from Montreal. At that moment, I admit, my knowledge about the company was limited. I assumed, perhaps naively, that this bike was among the first cargo bikes ever crafted in Canada. Aside from a recent masterpiece by Danielle Schön in Squamish, this was only the second Canadian cargo bike that had crossed my path. However, there's a good chance I'm mistaken on this, and if so, I welcome corrections from those more informed.
Compelled by this discovery, I reached out to the team at Memento Cycles, eager to feature their creation and learn more about their journey. What I uncovered was a story of passion, diversity, and a commitment to reimagining transport. In the vibrant heart of Montreal, Memento Cycles stands to become a new classic in the Canadian cycling scene. Established just two years ago by Ronny and Éliane, seasoned bikepackers and messengers, this bespoke framebuilding company has quickly become a beacon of creativity and sustainability in urban mobility.
As proud advocates of the LGBTQ community, with Éliane's leadership as a trans woman, Memento Cycles isn't just about bikes—it's a movement for inclusivity and representation in an industry longing for change.
The launch of one of Canada's first hand-made cargo bikes is a landmark achievement for Memento Cycles. Not just a showcase of their craftsmanship but a celebration of Canadian ingenuity in bicycle design.
Who is Memento Cycles?
Memento Cycles is a custom hand-made framebuilding company founded by two long time friend (Ronny and Éliane), bikepackers and bike messengers. We make everything from frames to forks, cargo forks, racks and other bikepacking accessories. Our experience in bikepacking and messenger work shapes how we design and build our products. Products designed by many years on the road. We thrive on making custom and local work more affordable and accessible, while providing amazing customer service.
We are also proud to be a LGBTQ company. It's important that the cycling industry shows more colors and inclusivity. Éliane, a proud trans woman, works hard to give good representation for the trans community.
What inspired this cargo build?
Building a cargo bike was always our main goal. The company was founded with the intention of building one right away, but it was a little bit ambitious to start. So we started with front racks before moving to frames, and now we are finally where we wanted to be. The interest in cargo bikes comes from Éliane's work at Chasseurs Courrier. After riding many different cargo bikes there, it made her want one for herself, but the options available were pretty expensive, so the idea to create our very own started there. On top of that, there is also the wish to help people move away from the car culture. So many things can be done by bike when you are well equipped like carrying children, doing the groceries for the week, moving furniture, etc. City life would be greatly improved for everyone with more people using bikes instead of cars.
...life would be greatly improved for everyone with more people using bikes instead of cars.
Cargo is just in our nature as bike messengers. We always loved being able to carry a lot of stuff on bikes, that's why we started by creating a great front rack and then started to build cargo forks. Cargo bike is just the natural thing to move on to.
Does the bike have a name?
It doesn't. Since we build everything custom, each of our creations are unique, and we let the client choose a name. Maybe if we start making production cargo frames, we'll think about a name. A bit like our Mimosa frame that we did for C&L Cycles, a great bike shop in Montreal for whom we made a series of 6 ATB frames earlier this year.
How does it stand out from other cargo bikes?
By working at Chasseurs Courrier, Éliane got the chance to ride the two main names in the cargo world—the Omnium and the Bullit—who have two completely different styles. The style of the Omnium was the one she fell in love with, being lighter and more agile. However, there was still an annoying problem with how the Omnium was made—big loads would always end up resting on the headtube and being in the way of the handlebars when turning. This could be solved by squishing a cargo bag between the headtube and the load to give more space. That is why, when building our bike, we decided to solve this issue. By fixing the back of the platform on the crossbar instead of the headtube, and by adding a stopper to it, we were able to create the much needed space to allow for care-free steering. If that wasn't enough, the standout feature vs the other companies is that we build custom for your needs. Being able to choose all the specs of your frame, allows you to make it truly unique.
How does it feel to have built one of the first Canadian cargo bikes?
We are proud to create and build bikes locally in Montreal. So, being one of the first hand-made Canadian-built cargo bikes means that we can participate in making the local economy stronger and that we can show people how their bikes are made.
Can I get a Memento cargo bike?
Of course! If this is something that you are interested in, send us an email or a message on instagram to get started on the process! Our custom cargo framesets start at 2800$ CAD.
Your cargo forks also look pretty awesome.
A cargo fork is for anyone who needs more load capacity but doesn't need or have the space for a full cargo bike. They allow you to transform your regular bike into a cargo bike by simply swapping the fork. The platform is built in with the fork and it runs on a 20'' wheel, giving you great load capacity and stability. To make one, we adapt the specs to the axle-to-crown and the headtube angle of the frame, so that the geometry stays the same and the platform is parallel to the ground. They start at 550$ CAD.
Any other interesting projects in the Memento pipeline?
We are always working hard to add more options to our product line. We just started making custom handlebars and we are also working on making custom e-cargos a thing in the near future. As always, for all of your custom projects, we are the one to reach out to.