Toronto Glober – Globe Haul 1 Review

Several months back I received a Globe bicycle on loan. Cyclists around the world have been testing and blogging about these bikes. Here’s the Canadian “Globers” site:

I still have the bicycle for a few more months and plan to give it a good winter test now that we’re really experiencing frozen winds, slushy streets and salty roads.

The review below was also posted here:

Looking "SMART" in Kensington Market on my Globe Haul 1

Looking "SMART" in Kensington Market with my Globe Haul 1

I’ve been riding on the streets of Toronto on my Globe Haul 1 for several months now. I’ve gone on shopping expeditions to St. Lawrence Market and made quick trips around my neighbourhood. My Globe has delivered me safely home in the early hours of the morning and has always been ready for me when I get the need to ride late at night.

A bicycle is a bicycle. Simple, I know. Two wheels, handlebars, pedals, a frame and a seat. Of course, there’s more to a bicycle than just the sum of its parts. There’s the intent of the designers. There’s the materials used. And there’s the potential within to take you to new places.

The Globe Haul 1 aims to take you places where you’re going to want to take items home with you. It is designed to take you there when the streets are wet. It is ready to go when the sun has set. And it wants to you feel comfortable all along the way.

First, let’s look at how the Globe Haul 1 let’s you do just that; haul.

The Globe Haul 1 RackIntegrated into the frame, a large rear rack supports up to 90 lbs. In order to add a bit more functionality to the Elm wood deck, I added a fruit crate. With just a few bungee cords I’m able to carry groceries and other items easily. Adding weight to the rear of the bicycle is barely noticeable except on steeper hills. Cornering isn’t affected so long as you secure your load.

Rails are placed below the rack deck to allow for panniers. An integrated pannier hook also helps when mounting bags. Unfortunately, the rails were too wide for my Mountain Equipment Co-op panniers’ mounting clips. Replacement clips are available and other makes may have larger clips to work with these rails.

The Haul 1 comes equipped with an 8-speed Shimano rear derailleur and double front crank chainrings to give you enough gearing options for when your trips take you up hill or down.

For Toronto’s salty winters and sandy springs I’d prefer an internal hub gear setup to help against wear. The Haul 2 model does comes with this, but for those looking at the attractive price of the Haul 1, a little maintenance and elbow grease should keep you rolling year round.

The Globe Haul 1 also comes standard with full metal front and rear fenders. Installing fenders under the integrated rear rack could be a big pain if you are unexperienced and impatient. Quite frankly, I’m both, so I’m glad I didn’t have to worry about that. The metal fenders are also curved around the edges to keep even more water from spraying you. I’ve gone out after a few rainfalls and have never had to worry about the dreaded “skunk stripe” and other dirty marks from road water.

Another very appealing aspect of the Globe Haul 1 is the integrated front and rear lights:

Integrated Rear Light

Integrated Front Light

The rear light has three settings; constant, flashing and dazzling. The dazzling setting is somewhat similar to the back and forth sway of the front light on the Knight Rider KIT car. The LED lights are powered by two AAA batteries and the tucked away light should be safe from damage should the bicycle fall. The flash of the rear light is bright and is hard to miss. It is also larger than many other lights on the market, and since it’s mounted permanently to the frame there’s no need to worry about bulk. However, you may want to bring a spare red light with you if you plan on carrying a large load. My fruit crate often covers the light if I secure it further back on the rack.

The front light has two settings; constant and flashing and is a powerful white light. It too is integrated, this time into the stem and it seems as though it will stay put over time. My only issue with the light is that it points too high. I can often see my light flickering above store awnings, which means it isn’t shining on the road ahead of me. The light may not be powerful to illuminate a dark path, but it is bright enough to be noticed for safety. EDIT: Since writing this I learned that there’s a little screw hiding behind the light casing. Remove the light, loosen the screw and reposition the light, so simple, of course I missed it!

Swept Back HandlebarsComfort is a priority for many of the Globe bikes and the Haul is no exception. I find the swept-back handlebars to be easy to handle and comfortable to grip. While you’re not going to be flicking this bicycle around, I found the steering to still be quite nimble for maneuvering around the potholes on Toronto’s ever-crumbling roads.

The frame geometry provides an upright riding position. I found that keeping my head up wasn’t a problem on this bicycle and it actually allows me to take in a bit more of what is going on around me.

For day-to-day riding I find the Globe Haul to be an excellent bike. The integrated rack and lights as well as full fenders mean that this bicycle is ready to go right away with no add-ons (aside from a few bungee cords) needed.

Globe Haul 1


  1. Really nice review, Duncan. The lights built right into the frame are pretty cool.

  2. My Yuba has a capacity of over 400lbs on the rear rack – check it out at ……….way cool

  3. Thanks for including your link, Rod. Very cool. I’m trying to think of how I could even get 400 lbs of stuff to carry on a bike. Maybe 3 of my friends?

    The ability to put 2 child’s seats on the rear rack is certainly a plus for parents.

  4. The Yuba reminds me of Xtracycles:

  5. Great Review. Makes me want a Knight Rider Bike.
    Thanks, Duncan!

  6. Great review Duncan. Who would think that so many people are cycling daily year round and that bikes are being created for our harsh winters.

  7. Thanks for your review, and your girlfriend’s. I’d love to buy a Globe Live – do you know any place in Toronto that sells them?

  8. Hello Kathy,

    Urbane Cyclist on John Street just north of Queen Street in downtown Toronto carries several of the Globe Live models. Here’s their web site for more info:

  9. I just gave up looking to resurrect some old Schwinn vintage classic and opted for the Globe Haul 1.
    It looks great, rides great, and will not be forgotten as this is a real head-turner. Lots of classic styling with modern upgrades. I have been riding it all over since I got it and love that it can do so much.
    The ride was a bit harsh at first, so I reduced some of the tires’ air pressure and it is now great. This rides better than a fat-tire cruiser, is faster than a mountain bike, and is more versitile than a road bike.
    I’m now trying to figure a wood box to mount on back for cargo (like the one seen in this article). Great bike…highly recommend and so different!

  10. Hello Ned, thank you for commenting. I have yet to come up with a secure solution for mounting a crate or box to the rear rack. In the photos above I have several bungee cords holding it down. This allows the crate to be removed quickly and yet it is also pretty secure even with heavy loads. The crate does bounce around a lot, which at times is annoying. There may be a way of using the screws that hold down the wooden plank part of the rear rack to attach a box, possibly replacing these with longer screws.

  11. Thanks for the info and review Duncan. I am still enjoying this bike that allows me to tour the concrete jungle and shares the storage room with my all mountain Enduro carbon (which doesn’t do downtown too well).
    I have been searching for old wine crates or may have a local wood craftsman build one for me. I, too, have thought using the four pre-existing holes would be a great idea. If I come up with something cool, I’ll send a photo.

  12. I have the Haul 2 and I was also pretty disturbed by the headlight pointing upwards. I actually found that the light was shining into my eyes which was pretty distracting to the point of being a dangerous design flaw, in my opinion. So, I called up Globe to give them some feedback and spoke with “Don,” who shocked me by saying that he had never heard this before and therefore the problem must be unique to me! Basically, he recommended that I buy a different light. So yeah, possibly the worst customer-service ethic I have ever encountered.
    He evidently didn’t know about the secret adjustment screw… so thanks a lot for helping me out with resolving a serious bummer with an otherwise fun bike.
    (Actually, one other issue I’ve had is that the chain rattles against the chain guard a bit more than I would like… even after the shop adjusted for this. Anyone else had this issue?)

  13. Richard: Glad you got the light issue resolved. It’s a great feature but how to adjust the light position certainly isn’t clear.

    I don’t have a chain guard on my model, but my girlfriend’s Live 1 does and I’ve noticed the chain slap noise from hers as well. I haven’t tried anything yet, but possibly adding spacers and longer screws to the contact points will allow you to move the chain guard away from the chain without rendering it useless. I think the reason you get this slap is that the chain “stretches” over time with use. Replacing the chain isn’t necessary, but that could solve the issue as well.

    Thanks for commenting and keep on riding!

  14. Still loving the new Haul 1 and riding it everywhere. I’ve gotten tons of compliments on this bike and enjoy the unique quality of the bike.
    I just read Richard’s comments and agree that forward light is goofy in set-up. I found that the face plate on the stem needs to be fully tightened on the bottom two bolts first (this helps lower the angle of the light). Then drop the light bracket as low as you can and tighten . This should help the light be more useable.
    I will also say that this light is great “to be seen”, but is not one to light up the street or unlit road/path. I have added a bar-mounted rechargable light (much brighter) for the time being.
    Regarding the chain slap that Richard was referring to, I believe that to be chain tension. Being a fixed chainline, there is no spring to keep it taut. Probably some tensioning due or like Duncan said…possible a new chain. Enjoy!

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