Originally, bicycles could merely manage to carry a single person. Now with cargo bike, you are able to turn them into your own bipedal minivan, complete with folding seats, you also have a place to put your children. These cargo bikes are quickly gaining in popularity domestically, as the Canadian catches up with the more refined parts of the world where they can be seen pedaled by the most sophisticated citizens.
How many types of cargo bikes are there?
There are three types of cargo bikes:
- Long-Tail Cargo Bike: The longest variant carries most cargo on a spacious rear deck.
- Mid-Tail: Shortened long-tails, mid-tails sacrifice cargo space to improve maneuverability.
- Bakfiets: Dutch for “box bike,” this design puts the cargo ahead of the rider.
Due to your needs, you can choose the most suitable type of bike.
1.Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch
The Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch is a utilitarian electric cargo bike. Customize it with the Yuba-offered monkey bars, sideboards, cargo bags, and basket and you’ll end up with a two-wheeled minivan. “I’ll ride the bike with my son to drop him off at school,” says Bicycling Designer Jimmy Cavalieri. “The Bosch motor helps me climb the 600-foot hill between my home and work, and I’ll load it up after my grocery stop on the way home.” The low-rider rear cargo rack lowers your cargo’s center of gravity to improve handling. Outfitted with the right gear, the Spicy Curry Bosch can take a two-car household down to one.
2.Rad Power Rad Bikes Radwagon
This is a fully loaded e-cargo bike seemed too good to be true, so we borrowed the RadWagon from Rad Power Bikes to see if it could stand up to competitors that cost thousands more. In short, it does. This direct-drive hub motor provides powerful pedal assist at a much quieter hum than the mid-drive motors used on most e-cargo bikes; its only disadvantage is there’s not quite as much torque, but you’ll only notice on steep hills. A throttle lets you ride the bike like a scooter, and we had no problems with the 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain or the Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Lights, fenders, and a kickstand are standard. Despite its length, the RadWagon isn’t difficult to use.
3.Riese & Müller Multicharger GX Touring HS
Riese and Müller builds some of our favorite utilitarian e-bikes. There’s the Editors’ Choice-winning Load, and now the Multicharger, a mid-tail wünderbike. It can haul a lot—132 pounds on the back, 10 pounds in the front—and with the optional dual battery, it has a maximum range of about 100 miles, making it camping- and touring-friendly. It has a purposefully elegant frame and a suspension fork and suspension seat post, and it comes with a lock, a bright headlight, a brake light, a horn, Ergon grips, and the sturdiest kickstand known to mankind. The GX Touring HS model is the class-3 (assist cuts off at 28mph) version with knobby tires. Despite its top speed, the 70-pound bike is heavy enough that it doesn’t feel particularly zippy (especially with a load), though it does trundle up to speed eventually.
4.Xtracycle RFA Utility
The Xtracycle RFA Utility is designed to evolve around your changing needs. Its adjustable dropouts allow you to shorten and lengthen the wheelbase by 5.5 inches. The shorter layout, dubbed the RFA Sport, comes with a shorter rear deck. We’d have the RFA Utility with its longer rack (might as well have a longer rack, right?), but you can always change the wheelbase length in about an hour. The bike feels sturdy and stiff, and the component spec is similarly customizable, with options for motors, batteries, and accessories.
The fat 24-inch tires dampen road vibration and make you feel like you can run over almost anything, an admirable trait on a bike designed to carry hundreds of pounds of cargo. Our test bike had the Bosch Performance Line Speed motor, which takes you up to 28mph rather quickly. We found minor sticking points in the inconveniently long kickstand legs, lack of stock fenders, and minimal clearance between your heels and the seat stays. Otherwise, it’s a quality platform for customization and years of use.
5.Surly Big Easy
The Surly Big Easy is the company’s brand new e-cargo bike. It’s a massive longtail with a chromoly steel frame, 26×2.5-inch tires, and a highly customizable rear rack. The Bosch Performance Line CX motor boasts impressive torque, which enables you to load the bike up to its 400-pound weight limit and blast up hills. The SRAM GX 11-speed drivetrain shifts crisply and the Tektro four-piston hydraulic brakes help bring the 67-pound rig to a controlled stop. The Big Easy feels stable at speed, and despite its 7-foot length, it’s manageable in traffic, too. The bike doesn’t come with lights or fenders, but it does come with a pair of Surly’s expansive Dummy bags to get you started.
6.Tern GSD S00
The Tern GSD S10 won Bicycling’s Gear of the Year award in 2018 for its car-replacing versatility and range. The GSD S00 builds upon the original GSD’s success with a Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which provides more torque and features walk-assist for easier off-the-bike maneuvering. There’s also an Enviolo internally geared hub (compared to the S10’s Shimano Deore groupset), which allows riders to shift gears while sitting at a stoplight. Like its predecessor, the GSD S00 holds two Bosch battery packs—buying both extends the range to a 155-mile maximum but adds $800 to the price.
The Cero One e-cargo bike is built to carry plenty of stuff through a crowd: Its 20-inch front wheel lowers the front rack’s load and produces nimble handling. The Shimano STEPS motor tops out at 20 mph, and the battery provides 93 miles of e-assist; an 80 percent charge takes just 2.5 hours (5 hours for a full charge). The rear rack fits a basket or a Yepp child seat, and the front rack works with a basket or a platform for bigger packages. After her Subaru went to automotive heaven, our tester fit a week’s worth of groceries in both baskets.
8.Riese & Müller Load 60 touring HS
A high-capacity electric cargo bike with full suspension, so your supplies or child passengers will be protected and comfortable, two drivetrain choices, optional second battery for long range. Available in two colors (black or white), integrated lights, reflective tires, and extra stick-on reflectors keep you visible and safe, durable plastic fenders, an alloy chainring guard, and puncture resistant tires keep you clean. Large hydraulic disc brakes 203mm back and 180mm front help you stop easily, even with a heavy load, the adjustable seat and stem (which can lay down flat for storage) provide a good fit for people of different heights, approachable mid-step frame feels stable when stopped, heavy-duty kickstand makes it easy to load. Heavier, longer, and pricier than most electric bikes, second battery interface must be chosen at time of purchase, Riese & Müller products are made to order and include a wait time of 1-3 months in North America, can’t see the front wheel steering if you opt for the large child seat and back rest
9.Benno Boost E
The Benno Boost E won Bicycling’s Editor’s Choice award in 2017 for its simplicity and ease of use—we think it’s one of the best-looking cargo bikes around, too. Take a ride on the Benno Boost E 10D with the Bosch performance mid-drive system and you’ll understand why “too hilly”, “too far”, “I don’t want to get sweaty” and “I can’t carry enough” are no longer good reasons to leave your bike at home. The Boost E 10D will have you looking for excuses to go on additional errands.
This compact and extremely sturdy e-utility bike makes transportation fun and easy. It’s designed to carry heavy loads and has an interchangeable rack system that you can choose from to fit your needs. The strong frame and big tires are the perfect pairings for the powerful Bosch motor.
Finding the right best cargo bike takes more than choosing the style you prefer. There are many other factors to keep in mind to ensure you have quality, durability, and efficiency. One crucial element that should be the leading pointer is the material quality for the frame. As far as comfort is concerned, the bike should provide an excellent grip on the handlebars.
As always, be sure to visit bikingtoronto.com to have reviews for all your best cargo bikes reviews for your new purchase and some cycling magazine recommendations!