How to Choose the Right Electric Cargo Bike for You

electric cargo bike

Let’s face it – we sometimes need an extra help, like an electric cargo bike, in carrying a heavy load for work, for leisure or for home errands. When taking a cab or driving a bike proves to be too inconvenient for short travels, using our personal mobility rides becomes a better option. The truth is – having an electric cargo bike is a true boon for everyone who needs to bring something that weighs a bit. Another reason to get an electric cargo bike for your personal use is that you may , at one point, have to transport kids, cement, groceries, dog food, water, and walking or carrying them around would prove to be tedious.

Let us not discount the fact that a conventional bike can still be used in these cases. However, for uphill places or for non-flat terrain, it would be immensely helpful to use a motor-powered electric cargo bike instead. The influx of electric cargo bikes or utility bikes was observed during the time when getting a second car started to seem a  bit too impractical. The presence of reliable electric cargo bikes  has truly become a game changer especially for those who found it too expensive to gas up a car to do an errand that would only take a few meters of distance. An electric cargo bike is also suitable for those live in urbanized areas with cramped spaces as electric bikes with cargo does not take too much space and is easier to maintain than a regular car.

Although you may already be familiar with a couple of types of commonly electric cargo bikes, it is still essential to know that there is a wide range of utility bikes  when it comes to the overall design as well as the price range. Here are the most common types of electric cargo bike.

Three Main Styles of Electric Cargo Bikes

The Beavertail of the Long Tail

A style of electric cargo bikes that is common now is the beavertail type or the long tail type.  The design was actually derived from an African individual. However, a group of your individuals in San Francisco has made this type of electric cargo bike famous. The same group was also instrumental inc reading the Xtracycle as well as the German-inspired design called the Yuba Mundo. One of the distinct differences between the Long Tail and the Long Johns can be seen in the capacity of cargo that can be brought. Tere is a middle space for cargo in the Long Tail than in the Long Johns. The seat design of this electric cargo bike is also more versatile as it allows children or even adults to seat comfortably.  

The Long Johns or the Box Bikes

Cargo bikes – whether electric or conventional, are often presented in most photos in this particular style. The Long Johns has a front wheel which allows it move forward. It also comes with low-type slung box right in front of the user. Steering is made using the linkage or cables. This is one of the earliest types of cargo bikes and it originated in Denmark where it was first made back in the 1920s.  The Box bike-type of electric cargo bike is also used at present by those who need to drop by the supermarket shop. It can also be used to carry up to two children.

A box is placed at the rear and the two bikes spin using the tail. Although it is not exactly the top favorite of many, experts in personal mobility vehicles have pointed out that this is one of ideal electric cargo bikes as it enables the user to see what  is in the cargo. In short, it makes the children, pets, or important cargo highly visible.

Electric Cargo Tricycles

Cargo tricycles is also another option to have. These three-wheelers typically have two wheels at the front. This type of cargo vehicles has stayed popular for many years. Those that were manufactured in countries such as Holland or Denmark are considered the most popular among electric cargo bikes or electric cargo tricycle.  Aside from being used as a cargo loader, many countries have also employed the same system as a form of market stall. There are also those that also make use of this type as an ice cream stand.

DIY Cargo Bike

The fourth type of electric cargo bike generally depends on the type of bike you  have or the kind of cargo you need. Pannier racks, for example, can be manually installed  at either the front or the back to instantly transform your own scooter or bike to an electric cargo bike. While this is more of a do-it-yourself option, this is also highly recommended as it allows you to save money in the long run. There is no need to purchase a new electric cargo, especially if you are a handyman. Creating your own electric car bike also enables you to be more flexible and creative in creating the vehicle that would cater to your cargo needs. You may also check electric cargo bikes manufacturing companies such as Civil, Omnium,  and Soma for inspiration.

How to Choose the Right Electric Cargo Bike

Check the Drive System and the Batteries

If you are not comfortable about transforming your electric cargo bike on your own, you may also opt to buy one yourself. One of the most important factors to consider is  the Drive Systems of the electric cargo bike. Understanding how each type works will help you select the most appropriate electric cargo bike for you. The first type of motor is the front wheel installed hub motor. This type can be retrofitted easily to ay type of electric bike. They also power up any vehicle to an optimum level of speed. It is crucial to remember that this type is useful unless you intend to use it to pull weight that is more inclined in the rear part of the vehicle. The front wheel hub motor is not exactly ideal for  heavy weight at the rear and for pulling weight in an uphill terrain.

On the other hand, you may opt for a rear hub motor for your next choice of electric cargo bike.  This drive system works well with derailleur type of gear. As with the front wheel hub motor, this motor can be easily retrofitted. The disadvantage of using this type of motor is that you need to select a hub gear system that is compatible with it. The Shimano Alfine, for instance, cannot be used with ts type of hub motor. The crank drive-type of the mid motor drive system is also one of the options you have when choosing the electric cargo system. While this type is more expensive the first two types, it offers a smoother ride for users.

The motor of the electric cargo bike can have a massive impact on its performance, particularly on how powerful it can get when trying to pull a certain weight. However, it is also just as important to know what type of battery system is equipped with the choice of electric cargo bike you have. Most batteries that are pricey or more expensive than the rest typically offers greater range. In general, batteries used for electric bikes are typically between the range of 200 Wh to 600 Wh.

For an efficient electric cargo bike, you may want to purchase batteries that have a minimum power of 400Wh. This would guarantee at least 20-25 minutes of smooth ride even with an heavy load. If you intend to use for longer distance, then opt for  batteries with bigger capacities and those that only require minimal time to be recharged.  The batteries, the type of motor, the purpose of the ride, and the average load to be carried are your primary factors in choosing the best electric bike for your regular use.

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