How to Choose Cargo Electric Bikes

How to Choose Cargo Electric Bikes

If you're interested in trading in the family car for a bike, but find it impossible to run errands or transport kids to school on your regular commuter bike, consider investing in a cargo e-bike.

Not only can you pedal along up to 20mph with an electric bike, but they can do so while carrying groceries, a golden retriever, two small kids, or a date! For many of the Bikerumor editors, e-cargo bikes have replaced their family van or second car.

In this article, we hovsco team will look at these wheel cargo bikes and discuss things you should consider before purchasing one

Before purchasing a bike, we recommend you try out a range of different models and makes since each one will ride differently, regardless of how many wheels it has.

Types of Cargo E-Bikes

There are four types of electric cargo bikes: Long Tail, Mid Tail, Long John, and Long John Tricycle. Each type is designed for specific purposes:

1. Longtail

 The name implies that longtail cargo bikes have a longer back to accommodate additional racks, child seats, and storage spaces. As a result, longtails usually have smaller wheels. Longtail cargo bikes have the advantage of allowing you to carry heavy loads without compromising your range of motion.

2. Midtail

The midtail bike looks the same as traditional bikes (although a bit longer) and can easily be used in urban areas. Because of their compact size, they are easier to store and transport than other utility bikes. One drawback of the mid-tail is that it cannot handle heavy cargo or carry more than one child.

3. Long John

Cargo box bikes and bakfiets, Long Johns have a larger storage area than longtail cargo e-bikes. Having the storage location lowers the e-bike's center of gravity, which increases its stability. In addition to being easy to load and unload, this electric bike is a great option for transporting heavy goods.

4. Long John Tricycle

 It is the third wheel of the Long John Tricycle or cargo tricycle that distinguishes it from the rest. Some vehicles have the cargo area at the front while others have it at the back. E-trikes with third wheels are also more stable, and you don't have to stop with your feet when stopping. Some may even allow you to carry three children!

Cargo E-Bike Buyer’s Guide

MSRP:  It is expensive to add an e-bike to your garage, and it is even more expensive to add an e-cargo bike. For a cargo e-bike that will last for a long time, you can expect to spend anywhere between $2500 and $5500.

Battery life: If you want to know more about battery specifications, click here, but a higher Wh (Watt Hour) rating means more capacity and generally longer run time. Also, the battery should be able to charge over 900 times.

Weight: The majority of cargo e-bikes are over 70 pounds, so don't expect to find many models under that weight. These are generally in the range of 60 to 80 pounds since the motors are heavy and the frames need to be heftier to accommodate the higher speeds and demands. Fortunately, with an e-assist, weight doesn't pose a problem, and they don't ride "heavy".

Components: Mid-range components tend to be the best choice despite not needing the most expensive ones. When possible, stay away from no-name components, especially when dealing with drivetrains and brakes. Some pieces, such as tires, saddles, or bar grips, are easy to replace, but a full drive train upgrade can easily cost much. It is better to spend now rather than wait. 

Gearing:  Make sure the gears are low enough so you can maintain a good 80-90 cadence on steep hills, since even though there is a motor, it can struggle if you're grinding through a really hard gear at a really low cadence.

Do you have anything with you? Rather than a bike with one big cargo area, a bike with kid-friendly seating options could be ideal if you're primarily focusing on carrying kids to and from school.

Extras: Look for features such as locks for the e-bike and the battery, built-in lights, pre-attached racks, and full fenders. If your bike comes with any of these, factor that into the cost of the bike. They shouldn't be a deciding factor but are nice accessories that can add hundreds to your bike shop bill after the fact. 

How to Ride a Cargo Bike 

You won't have to learn to ride a bike from scratch if you want to get a cargo bike. It's a pretty simple concept: sit on the bike, ride off, and you'll quickly see how much fun it is! There are different types of cargo bikes, of course. Two-wheeled long johns require a different riding technique than baker's bikes. It won't take you long to ride one of these if you can ride a normal bike.

Alternatively, the only three-wheeled cargo bike takes a little longer to get used to. You should familiarize yourself with the new concept in an empty, large parking lot before hitting the road. Learn how to shift your weight to steer by getting your head around the tilt system.

So How Do You Decide?

The second problem is harder to solve once you decide an e-bike is worth the investment: taking a test ride.

Why should you take a test ride? Test rides provide a sense of the motor's feel in addition to handling and fit. While specs tell you a lot about a motor, it's important to note that figures like power output, torque, and battery size are all moderated to some extent by the motor maker's software. Software often adjusts the motor's speed so it feels smoother on startup, or increases the number of rotations per minute according to your pedaling cadence so the battery lasts longer.

Other posts you may like:

How to Maintain an E-bike

Is It Safe To Take a Kid On Ebike


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