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Cargo bike : All about electric and traditional

The cargo bike is a growing success. These bikes, ultra practical, allow to transport important loads. These magnificent bicycles come in an infinite number of models, brands and sizes. Indeed, the offer of cargo bikes is flourishing. That’s why we wanted to introduce you to electric and traditional cargo bicycle.

Choosing a cargo e bike depends on many criteria. What are the advantages of this bike ? How do you find your way around to buy a cargo bicycle that is perfectly adapted to your needs ? Discover, through this article, our advice and tips!

What is a cargo bike ?

The cargo bicycle, also called “freight bike” or “cargo bike”, is a bicycle that you can use to get around, to carry your groceries and even your children.  

This bike appeals to all those who want to change their way of travelling. 

Cargo bikes appeared for the first time at the beginning of the 20th century. For a long time, they were used by merchants to transport goods. Today, there are more popular, more accessible and are even used for transporting people. 

There are several models of cargo bikes: electric cargo bike, classic cargo bicycle, two-wheeled cargo bike, three-wheeled cargo bike, cargo bike with transport bins at the back or front etc… 

How to choose a cargo bicycle ?

The choice depends on the needs and tastes of each person. You are a craftsman or a merchant and you want to transport your goods. You can choose between electric cargo bikes and non-electric cargo bikes.   

Would you like to buy a cargo bicycle to get around town, transport your children and do your shopping ? The three-wheelers (cargo bikes with 3 wheels) are perfect. These models allow you to carry loads of up to 100 kg. Equipped with an electric assistance, the three-wheelers are very stable on bicycle paths. 

Are you looking for a cargo bicycle, electric or not, close to the classic bike ? The two-wheeler offers an easy and fun ride. This type of cargo bicycle also allows you to carry important loads. It is a versatile model and perfect for all types of use, especially in the city. 

But that’s not all! Extended cargo bikes, also known as “longtail cargo bikes”, are the best for transporting children. Some models are even equipped with seats to ensure the comfort and safety of little ones. 

As you can see, the choice of a cargo bicycle depends on several criteria: the model, the brand, the needs, the type of route and the budget. 

Why invest in a cargo bike ?

That is the question millions of people are asking themselves today ! The advantages of these bikes are countless ! This is the reason why cargo bikes have succeeded in replacing motorcycles and cars.

Cost

Although the purchase price of some models is high, the cargo bicycle, whether electric or not, remains less expensive than a car. 

In addition, motorized and cargo e bike is much less expensive than a motorcycle. Unlike cars, you are not required to purchase insurance for your cargo bicycle. Repair and maintenance costs (tire changes, replacement of worn parts, etc.) are never more than a few hundred euros. 

Ease of use

The cargo bicycle does not require a license. This means of transportation allows you to do absolutely everything (business trips, shopping, transporting children …). 

Health and Wellness 

Using a cargo bike, with or without electric assistance, allows you to stay in great shape by engaging in physical activity. A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen and published, in 2017 in the “International Journal of Obesity” proved that the daily use of a bike to go to work is equivalent to 5 sports sessions of one hour each!

A gesture for the environment

The use of a cargo bike, combining the practical advantages of a classic bike with the transport capacities of a small car, helps fight against air pollution and global warming (responsible for a loss of life expectancy and one of the first causes of mortality).

How to choose your cargo bicycle ?

Only buy your cargo bikes from specialized dealers. The sales professionals can advise you on which model is best for you. 

If you want to use your cargo bicycle to transport your children, make sure that the model is well equipped (belt, seat…). Do you want to carry heavy loads? In this case, it is better to invest in a cargo e bike.

Cargo with two wheels or three wheels?

A cargo bike can be equipped with two wheels (two-wheeler) or three wheels (three-wheeler).

Regarding the two-wheels:

This type of cargo bicycle is as fast as a regular bike. Moreover, it offers an excellent storage and loading capacity. 

We advise you to buy a two-wheeler, with or without electric assistance, if you are looking for a simple and practical solution to transport goods on a route not exceeding 15 km. These bikes are also stable. You can use them to transport children under 8 years old.

Regarding the three wheels:

The cargo bike is heavier than a two-wheeler. This model is perfect for carrying heavy loads. Although the scooter is very stable, it is bulky and not very maneuverable. The big difference between a two-wheeler and a scooter is in the driving. Indeed, to drive a scooter, it is necessary to drive at low speed and to pay attention to the curves. 

To drive a two-wheeled cargo bicycle, you must look far ahead and be careful when driving at low speeds. 

The advantages of the electric cargo bike

The electric cargo bike is multifunctional. It is the best means of transportation for going to work, for delivery, for loading, for moving and for shopping. 

Economical, ecological and fun to ride, cargo e bike allow you to enjoy the benefits of the classic cargo bicycle without a lot of effort; 

These bikes are equipped with a battery-powered motorization that requires little electricity to recharge. 

The cargo e bike is perfect for riding on any trail. Indeed, the electric assistance always gives the impression of riding on a flat bike path, even with a higher speed than a classic cargo bicycle. 

Electric cargo bicyles give their users a real sense of ease of movement. You can use them to get around faster with less physical effort.  

Contrary to what one might think, the electric motor of these bikes assists the user and makes pedaling easier. The comfort that these cargo bikes provide is therefore not negligible.  

There are a thousand and one reasons to invest in an cargo e bike. Today, more than 70% of all journeys are limited to 50 km/h. Even in a car, you can’t exceed that speed. An cargo e bike allows you to cover these distances quickly, while saving money. Although the prices of these bikes are a bit high, your investment will quickly pay off.

How to choose an electric cargo bike ?

You want to buy an electric cargo bike. You can choose between electric three-wheelers and electric two-wheelers depending on your loading/transportation needs and the complexity of the terrain. 

Another very important criterion for your purchase decision: the autonomy! There is no need to buy a cargo e bike with a large battery. 

The choice depends mainly on the distances you travel daily and the load you need to carry. If you wish to benefit from a long autonomy, we advise you to buy a second battery rather than a single heavy and cumbersome battery.

Cargo bicycle, for whom ?

The cargo bicycle is a means of transportation in its own right. This type of bike can be used by all those who wish to move quickly and carry their children with them, whether in the city or in the countryside. 

The cargo bike is undoubtedly the best alternative to the car and to conventional means of transportation. It is a popular bike for families with young children as well as for companies.

Cargo bike, what is the budget ?

As an indication, the price of a cargo bicycle is between 500 euros and 5 000 euros. The electric cargo bikes are more expensive than the classic ones. If you opt for an cargo e bike with all options, the price can quickly go up. 

Always remember that this price is quickly amortized. Buying this type of bike is an excellent investment, especially when it is new. 

In addition, some local governments encourage citizens to use cargo bicycles by helping to fund the purchase. 

As far as the cargo bike manufacturers are concerned

There are many brands. Among them are: Urban Arrow, Bakfiest, Add-Bike, Babboe, Benno, Muli, Nihola, Oklö, Wike and Yuba. 

We advise you to buy a branded cargo bicycle that complies with both the ISO 4210 standard and the EN 15194 standard (electrically assisted bicycles).

Electric cargo bike version : yes or no ?

As we all know, one out of every two people has asked themselves the question of electric. So here are a few keys that can help you make the switch.

Electric cargo bike is fantastic !

Indeed, the cargo e bike is an essential ally! You will be able to enjoy your outings and especially with a cargo bike you can move around easily. The latter will not be less manageable on the contrary. Moreover, the cargo bike is very practical because it allows you to transport the equipment necessary for the realization of an activity. However, if the equipment you are carrying is heavy, you may have difficulty moving. In this case, the electric assistance can be a great friend! Indeed, it could relieve the load by facilitating the acceleration and the pedaling.

Tradition is good !

At the same time, it seems important to underline the practicality of these travel companions. If we put aside the heavy aspect of the materials to be transported of course. It is a means of locomotion that has been used for generations and has always been able to make a place for itself. Using an electrical product is a fantastic feature but not without consequences. You must know that in order to provide you with electric assistance, it must have a battery. This one will have to be charged and recharged. It will have a limited life and will have to be replaced at some point. This implies a certain cost that should be taken into consideration.

Then, we rarely talk about it. But to make a battery, you need a whole set of elements, sometimes dangerous, sometimes very polluting. In the end, don’t the energy used and the pollution released to make a battery for a bicycle replace all the benefits linked to the use of a “clean” means of locomotion ?

Conclusion

Cargo bikes, especially cargo e bike, are on the rise. Extremely popular in the Netherlands, these bikes are becoming more and more common in France. 

Everyone who has tried this new mode of transportation is satisfied. Affordable, safe and pleasant to use, cargo bicycles are gradually replacing cars in urban areas. There are many models to choose from and you will be spoilt for choice!

The OnMyBike team works daily to write articles about traditional and electric bikes

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