Are Electric Bikes Dangerous Than Motorcycles?
It wasn’t so long ago that an electric bike was a rare sight, and a novel one at that. Fast forward to present day and just about every major manufacturer on the planet has thrown their hat in the electric bicycle ring. And we mean everyone.
Naturally, you can pick up an electric bike from big names in the cycling industry like Specialized, Cannondale, or Trek, but even luxury car brands like Porsche, Lamborghini, and Mercedes Benz will now sell you their own special take on the electric two-wheeler (for a premium, of course).
Electric bikes are convenient and fun to ride, but recent studies have shown they’re much more dangerous than traditional bicycles. So much so, in fact, that many feel eBikes are more dangerous than motorcycles themselves. In the article below, we’ll take a look at a few of the factors that could make electric bikes more dangerous than motorcycles, and what eBike riders can do to increase their own bike safety.
Cars Are Even Less Likely To See You
Motorcyclists and bicyclists have long shared a common problem: Visibility in traffic.
As you may have read in our previous article, the odds are against us when we hit public roads on two wheels. Between distracted driving (especially cell phone use), LBFTS (Look But Fail To See) accidents, and the huge knowledge gap on general cycling etiquette, the deck is stacked high against bike safety.
Combine those already long odds with the extra speed and power of modern pedal assist systems, and you’ll start to see what we mean: Drivers have much more time to notice and react to a bicycle entering an intersection at 10mph than they do to an eBike zooming along at 20mph.
An Electric Bike Can’t Match The Flow Of Fast Traffic
While electric bikes average higher speeds and much faster acceleration than traditional motorcycles, most state laws implement a “three-tier” system that regulates how fast an eBike travels. Most electric bicycles fall into either the “Class 1” or “Class 2” designation, both of which require the bike’s electric motor to stop providing assistance once it reaches 20mph.
20mph is more than enough for your typical city traffic, especially during heavy commuting hours, but outside of rush hour speeds often double that number. That’s not a problem for motorcyclists, who have no issue matching the speed of traffic (or far exceeding it) at just about any pace.
EBikes, on the other hand, often find themselves in dangerous situations when impatient drivers go to pass them at high rates of speed. Dedicated bike lanes help alleviate this problem, but there aren’t nearly enough of them, which brings us to our next point.
Bike Safety Infrastructure Isn’t Up To Speed
Some cities are packed end-to-end with generous bike lanes, often completely separated from the flow of automobile traffic. Indeed places like Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco can seem like an electric bicycle commuter’s paradise with their miles upon miles of bike lanes, many of which are completely shielded by protective concrete barriers. Other cities, however, don’t fare so well.
That’s why many electric bikes are faced with a decision motorcyclists don’t have to worry about: Should they hug the curb to stay out of the way of traffic, take up the entire lane to keep dangerous passes to a minimum, or try their luck on the sidewalk?
Without a dedicated bike lane (and the heightened awareness of drivers that comes along with it), many electric bike riders find themselves at risk every time they commute to and from work. The power, speed, and efficiency of electric bikes grow every year, while the costly and time-consuming project of developing bike safety infrastructure takes decades to implement.
Typical Bicycle Gear Is Less Protective
Compare the average urban commute on a motorcycle to one on an electric bike: Both machines spend a fair amount of time sitting at stoplights or crawling between them at relatively low speeds. Some days taking your bicycle to work actually gets you there faster than the latest 200-horsepower superbike, especially if your town has the kind of bike-friendly streets described above.
Now, compare the average safety gear you see on a cyclist wears with your typical motorcyclist.
99% of the bicyclists we see out on the road wear little to nothing in terms of safety gear. Even the most cautious cyclists typically wear little more than an open-face helmet and some reflective clothing, and sadly many don’t even do that.
Motorcyclists on the other hand? Although they’re traveling at essentially the same speeds on the same roads, they’re much better protected. At minimum your average motorcycle rider has a full-face helmet that’s undergone rigorous safety testing as well as highly-protective footwear.
Most even go a step further and incorporate a riding jacket (which includes elbow, shoulder, and back protection) as well as highly abrasion-resistant clothing made from materials like leather, Kevlar, and Cordura. Which would you rather be wearing in an accident?
How To Improve Bike Safety On Your Electric Bike
When it comes to eBike safety, we’ve got a few recommendations. Knowing what to wear and how to ride in traffic are your bare minimum requirements here, but there’s actually another step electric bike owners should take that we’ll share below as well.
Electric Bike Safety Best Practices
Start with the basics: Never ride your electric bike without a helmet and clothing that is both highly visible (fluorescent colors are your friend) and highly reflective (especially important at night). If you do ride at night, you should have lights and reflectors mounted to both the front and rear of your bicycle.
Once you’ve got basic safety gear checked off your list, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of the road. In terms of right of way, eBikes should follow the exact same guidelines as standard bicycles. That means you need to yield to both pedestrians and all other vehicles on the road. There are no exceptions here, so don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re at the top of the pecking order because you’re not in a vehicle. Always ride in the same direction as traffic, and make an effort to match the flow of traffic as closely as possible.
Of course that doesn’t mean you should be pedaling full blast everywhere you go if it’s not safe to do so. Knowing your limits and keeping your bike under control at all times plays a huge role in bike safety. Keep one finger on the brakes at all times, and leave yourself as much room as possible front and rear for emergency stops.
Know How To Interact With Drivers
Make it a point to make intentional eye contact with drivers on the road, especially at intersections. It’s your job to make sure you’re seen before pulling out into traffic, even when you have the right of way.
The idea is to ride as predictably as possible. Again, cyclists are already at a disadvantage due to visibility and the tendency of drivers to fail to perceive us out on the road. Don’t make any sudden moves in traffic like erratic lane changes or abrupt stops. When you do need to change lanes or make a turn, make sure to use hand signals early and often.
If you’re not familiar with cycling hand signals, good news: There are only three you really need to know (left turn, right turn, and slow/stop), and you do them all with your left hand.
To signal a left hand turn or left hand lane change, simply extend your left arm fully out to your left side. You’ll want to signal your turns early, so it’s recommended to begin signaling at least 100 feet before making a turn or lane change.
For right hand turns or right hand lane changes, extend your left arm to your left, but bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle as if you were waving to someone directly in front of you. Some states also allow a fully extended right arm as a signal, but we recommend sticking with left hand signals whenever possible as they’re the most common and most likely to be recognized.
To signal a stop/slowing, you’ll once again extend your left arm with a 90-degree bend, but this time your open hand should be pointing down to the ground, essentially a mirror image of a right turn hand signal.
Step Up Your Bike Safety Gear
Yes, motorcyclists wear higher quality and more protective safety gear than cyclists, but there’s a reason for that: They don’t have to pedal their bikes to get from A to B. Cyclists, on the other hand, need to prioritize mobility and breathability (even pedaling an eBike can be sweaty work), and that’s where the Riderbag comes into play.
We designed the Riderbag with cyclists in mind as a one-stop-shop to improve every aspect of bike safety. The Riderbag is highly visible thanks to its bright color options, and also comes with plenty of highly reflective panels to dramatically increase your visibility at night.
The icing on the cake here though is that the Riderbag gives electric bike riders access to motorcycle-level protection without impacting their mobility. That’s because every Riderbag features built-in compatibility with a CE-level-2 spine protector that greatly reduces the force of impacts transmitted to your spine in the event of a crash.
Click here to order yours NOW! Sign up to our newsletter and save 10%.
Want to learn more about ebikes? Check out #TeamRiderbag on YouTube:
CleanTechnica Best E-Bikes You Can Buy In 2023
Together again, for the first time — CleanTechnica’s list of the best e-bikes and electric motorcycles you can buy in 2023!
We are well into 2023, and while the global bike market may be slowing down, the weather is warming up and e-bikes are still hot, hot, hot! What’s more, we’re here to help you find those diamonds in the rough with the help of a brand-new “best bikes” list that will help you find the right electrified two-wheeler for you!
Once again, I’ll be introducing you to my personal picks for the best e-bikes you can buy this year, based on nearly 30 years of riding, fixing, and building stuff that goes fast — as well as, you know, wild conjecture (since there’s one or two bikes on this list that I haven’t yet had a chance to ride — I’ll make that clear enough in the article, though). We’ll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on my picks — and learn more about your picks! — in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section at the bottom of the page.
Without further ado, then, here they are, in something that feels tantalizingly like a logical order: the best e-bikes you can buy in 2023!
Best Electric Bikes for Kids
Kawasaki Elektrode (little kids)
Marketed as electric balance bikes instead of beginner motorcycles, the new Kawasaki Elektrode takes on similarly-sized powered balance bikes with Harley-Davidson, KTM, or Husqvarna branding. They’re all great fun, but the novelty of the Kawi, combined with something closer to an e-bike than a cordless drill battery, makes it our 2023 choice for introducing little ones to the physics and fun of motorcycles.
Woom UP 5 (big kids)
The Woom UP 5 is an ultralight 24″ electric mountain bike with a suspension fork, Fazua drive, and disc brakes designed for children aged 7 years and up that uses the electric motor to “boost” the kids’ leg strength. The thinking is that your child will be able to keep up (UP! I get it!) with faster adult riders on uphills and trails, but still teach them the physics and muscle memory they’ll need to grow as riders.
The Woom UP 5’s features and aluminum frame, adjustable “AIRFORK” suspension, disc brakes, and a trigger-shifter operated SRAM NX transmission. Pricing starts 3,599 in the US, for riders age 7 and older.
Best Electric Bicycles / E-Bikes
FLX Babymaker II (entry gravel/road bike)
To my eyes, there’s nothing quite as sexy as a simple road bike. In the past, I’ve owned a Specialized Langster that remains a fond memory, twenty years on, but I secretly loved them all. Even so, the FLX Babymaker II, in the right light (above), is one of the best-looking pieces of rolling art I’ve ever seen. In person, they’re absolutely gorgeous, the electric motors and batteries are practically invisible, and … did I mention they’re gorgeous?
The best part is that those heart-stopping looks don’t carry a heart-stopping price tag. As I type this, the Babymaker II can be had for a mere 1499, which makes it one of the least expensive e-bikes I’ll recommend on this list.
Pivot E-Vault (high-end gravel bike)
Pivot E-Vault; courtesy Pivot.
The top-shelf Pivot E-Vault is one of those rare machines that gets better the longer you stare at it. It’s very nearly perfect — but, with a starting price of 9299 and only going up from there, it had better be!
For the price of a reliable new car, the Pivot Cycles E-Vault packs a 252Wh battery and 250W Fazua Evation drive pack that offers up to 55 Nm of electric power and top speed of 28 MPH. Pedal power is sent through a SRAM XPLR XG1271 10-44 cassette and ETAP AXS 12-speed derailleur and shifter, while a set of all-carbon 700c wheels from Reynolds keep this e-bike’s weight down to unelectrified levels.
Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL (road bike)
Image courtesy Specialized.
I’m a sucker for Specialized. The bikes’ clean frames, composite materials, and achingly beautiful finishes have always spoken to me, and even their most utilitarian bikes inspire sporty and aggressive riding. When you’re willing to push yourself, Specialized bikes tend to reward you for your efforts, and their Turbo line of e-bikes, marketed as “you, only faster,” do so double.
That said, where the comparatively pedestrian Specialized Turbo Vado I rode last summer is a supremely capable daily ride, a bike like the S-Works Turbo Creo SL (shown, above), is a Formula 1 car. And, like a Formula 1 car, no one has yet been daft enough to let me ride theirs. With a starting price of 21,400, I wouldn’t let me ride one, either. The Turbo Creo SL Comp E5 I have ridden, however, is a rocket ship at about a third the price. I can’t imagine a better machine, and yet: the S-Works Comp exists.
Aventon Sinch Step-Through (folding, fat-tire e-bike)
The Aventon Sinch Step-Through is thoroughly redesigned version of the brand’s Sinch folding fat-tired e-bike that’s priced at just 1,499. For that money, you get a 20 mph top speed, up to 40 miles of electrified riding range, and a backlit color display with app integration on a bike that’s ready to power you along just about any trail you find — as well as, of course, the beach!
When I rode the original Aventon Sinch for the first time, it really surprised me with its overall competence. The new, Step-through version, though, responds to my criticisms that the original Sinch felt too big when folded up, and the Step-through feels lighter on the move (it isn’t), thanks to the center of mass being more closely level with the center of the wheels. Last year, I summed up my take on the original Sinch with, “What more could you ask?”
It seems like Aventon took that as a challenge!
Gocycle G4 (lightweight folding e-bike)
GoCycle Fast Folding E-Bike; courtesy GoCycle.
At just 38 pounds, the Gocycle G4 is one of the lightest folding suspension e-bikes out there, and one of the most stylish, too! Our own Kyle Field tested the GX model in 2020 and raved about it — as he should! The Gocycle G4 leverages some impressive engineering feats to pack a ton of functionality into a high tech but easy to use package. What’s more, it’s incredibly adjustable, allowing for a full range of petite, small, medium, or extra-large riders to find a position that works for them, while the sturdy, Formula 1-inspired frame composite inspires confidence, too, as does the bike’s proprietary front hub motor gear drive with electronic traction control.
At more than 3,499, this bike isn’t cheap, and you’ll want to budget for a few Gocycle accessories, too — but this isn’t a list of the cheapest e-bikes you can buy, is it?
Flyer FL885 (kid cargo bike)
Image by Kyle Field; CleanTechnica.
The Radio Flyer-built Flyer L885 is a comfortable, capable cargo bike that uses fat tires and clever frame geometry to feel a lot smaller than it is. I was impressed with the prototype I rode, and for its price, the production bike has continued to impress. That said, what makes the LWB Flyer the best cargo bike isn’t any part of the bike itself, per se. Instead, it’s the accessories — specifically, the 299 Kid Cargo Carrier (below).
Like many other long wheelbase cargo e-bikes, the L885 can be had with a rear basket, passenger grab rails, and running boards to make loading and unloading kids easy and fun, but the Kid Cargo Carrier goes a step further. It transforms from a kids’ seat to cargo basket in as long as it takes you to unzip and clip. It looks like it’s meant to be there, too, instead of the hasty add-on that so many other cargo bike accessories seem like. The tubes are the same diameter as those in the Flyer L885 frame, and they’re finished in the same durable, semi-crinkle powder coat.
The Flyer L885 offers 50 miles of electric range, 5 riding modes accessible through an LCD display, a standard center stand, and is available for order through the Radio Flyer website with a starting price of 1,999.
ONYX LZR PRO 900W (entry eMTB)
ONYX is best known in the e-bike community as a maker of 80s inspired, retro-themed, hi-fi styled electric mopeds like RCR and CTY2, Those high-powered machines blur the line between e-bikes and electric motorcycles, but their latest product — the Tim Seward-designed LZR PRO eMTB shown here — draws a bright white line and stands its ground with the e-bikes. To that end, the new ONYX arrived without a screen, without an app, and without any of the associated BS intended to make e-bikes “more accessible,” which is extra hilarious if you know that Tim wears a prosthetic leg.
Tim Seward and the ONYX LZR PRO 900W; photo by the author.
Instead of aiming for mass appeal, then, the new LZR was seen tearing up a motocross course with riders leaping into the air and engaging all sorts of high-impact hijinks. And, for its part, the new bike seems ultra-capable. “When we let pro-riders try the LZR for the first time they came back with a huge smile,” explains Seward. “We are going to change the way everyone views e-bikes!”
Pivot Shuttle (high-end eMTB)
Image courtesy Pivot Cycles.
With a starting price higher than I paid for my first car, the Pivot Shuttle is never going to be a mass-market choice. The Defender Green Team XTR build does its best to be worth the money, though — it carries a spec sheet that’s second to none, with a who’s-who list of top-shelf components from Fox, Shimano, and more, all complimented by a massive new 726Wh battery that’s fully integrated into the bike’s downtube, yet designed for easy “hot swaps” on the trail, for hours of hardcore riding.
The Pivot makes zero sense. No bike with an 11,699 price tag makes sense — but this isn’t a rational purpose. You don’t buy a Shuttle because you’re rational. You buy one because you demand — and can afford! — the very best eMTB experience the 2-wheeled universe has to offer.
NIU BQi-C3 Pro (utility e-bike)
Image courtesy NIU mobility.
Weighing in at 67.5 pounds and packing not one but two energy-dense li-ion battery packs, the high-tech and ultra-polished NIU BQi-C3 Pro e-bike is the slick, sleek, electrified car replacement for urban professionals too busy to constantly worry about their bikes’ state of charge.
Those two batteries add a bit of weight to the NIU BQi-C3, sure, but they’re neatly integrated into the bike’s frame in a highly contrasting red and white (mine is red and white, it also comes in red and black) color motif that it hardly matters. And, because it’s from NIU, the electrical controls, throttle response, and connected app are all first-rate. The build quality, too, is excellent, and the whole thing is put together with a level of fit and finish not commonly found at the NIU’s surprisingly low 2199 starting price.
Aventon Aventure Step-Through (fat-tire utility e-bike)
Image by Kyle Field; CleanTechnica.
Our own Kyle Field said the Aventon Aventure electric bicycle, “could be the ultimate fat tire utility e-bike.” recently, Derek Markham agreed, adding that, “it could also serve as an excellent mid-life crisis motorcycle,” and, “the Aventure has ended up being my favorite electric bike so far.”
It’s hard to argue with those endorsements — and the specs back them up. Kyle said that the Aventure is, “an absolute tank of a bike.” Sporting massive tires, 720 watt-hour battery, a an impressive electric motor with a 750 watt average output and peak power output of 1,130 watts. Available in 3 sizes, covering heights from 5’1″ to 6’6″, starting at 1,899.
Rayvolt Cruzer (chopper-style e-bike)
Image by Kyle Field; CleanTechnica.
E-bike reviewers like Kyle Field and Micah Toll have praised the Spanish Rayvolt bikes and their bespoke, proprietary, brushless 3 phase DC motors for years — and I’ve largely ignored them, decided very much on my own that these long, low chopper-style e-bikes were little more than pleather-wrapped lowriders. But it was not long after I first swung a leg over a Rayvolt in Miami last October that I realized how wrong I was: these bikes are incredible!
Despite looking like a vintage Indian motorcycle, Rayvolt’s bikes are decidedly high-tech, offering features like regenerative braking that engineers at other bike brands have assured me were impossible. What’s more, the frames, forks, seats, and wheels are expertly made., parts are powder coated and anodized when painting them might be enough, and the kickstand feels sturdier than anything you’ll find on a Harley Sportster weighing several times as much.
On the move, too, the bike sticks in my memory like few other bikes I’ve ridden before or since. Credit the unique motor, dual-sensor crankset, and wholly intuitive back-pedaling regen for that. At over 4800 the way I’d spec one out, the Rayvolt Cruze isn’t cheap — but nothing cheaper is better.
14 15. Super73 Z Miami Indian eFTR Hooligan (moped-style e-bike)
When it was announced on April 1st of last year, I greeted the official Z-Miami press release with a sneer. “It sucks that this is an April Fools’,” I wrote one of my PR buddies. “This would be an awesome little bike.” The joke was on me, however: the Super73 Z-Miami was very, very real.
The “Miami” version of the bike was the result of Super73’s product team taking their original Z1 e-bike and re-engineering it from the ground up with a powerful new motor, lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame, and a convenient removable battery. On the move, it’s a noticeable step up from the Z1 that doesn’t make the old bike feel obsolete — it just makes you happy you waited to buy the new one, you know?
That’s not to say the Z-Miami was an easy choice. I very nearly gave the win to another moped-styled e-bike — one with a robust dealer network behind it, a convincing legacy brand tie-in, and a raft of upgrades and features above what the Z-Miami offers available as standard equipment … but that, too, was born from the Super73 braintrust. As such, I’ve taken the coward’s way out and declared this one a tie.
Image courtesy Indian Motorcycle.
Whether you go for Super73’s spartan Z-Miami or their loaded-up, dealer-only Indian eFTR Hooligan 1.2, you can’t really make a wrong choice. Let us know which one you picked in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев.
ONYX RCR 72V (blurring the lines)
If the Super73 bikes begin to blur the line between e-bikes and mopeds, the ultra-fast and gonzo powerful ONYX RCR blasts right over it at more than 30 MPH.
Despite a riding position and overall feel that’s similar to the Super73 and other moped-style e-bikes, the ONYX has a unique, almost handcrafted style that will make anyone who has vivid memories of VHS tapes and Atari joysticks feel right at home. Thoughtful details abound throughout the RCR, as well, with carefully managed cables, a bright, “Daymaker” style LED headlight, and ONYX logos placed subtly — but throughout the bike’s high-end components, this is one of those bikes that, if it speaks to you, it will speak to you like nothing else. The ONYX RCR 72V comes in at 5942 the way you want it, equipped with dirt kit, turn signals, pannier rack, fork covers, and knobby tires (you’ll want to ditch the plastic fender).
That’s a Wrap!
So, there it is. In what used to be a bit of an annual tradition at the old Gas2 that’s made its way back home to CleanTechnica — my list of the best electric bikes you’ll be able to buy this year. I’d love to hear what you think of it, what I may have missed, and what you would have put on the list in my place, so head on down to the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section at the bottom of the page, and make your voice heard.
Original content from CleanTechnica.
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Tesla isn’t dominating the electric bike market, but here are the players that might
The Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle doesn’t have big sales yet, but CEO Jochen Zeitz recently remarked during an earnings call, It’s also attracting new riders, new customers to the brand that might not have considered Harley-Davidson before.
Tesla reached a 500 billion market valuation this week, a sign of its dominance in the electric vehicle market. But Elon Musk has shown no real interest in one growing EV segment: battery-powered scooters and motorcycles. An accident he suffered as a youth on a motorbike — nearly fatal, Musk has said — turned him off two-wheelers, for now. But the manufacturing of battery powered bikes is growing and consolidating, which means it’s likely to produce one or more dominant players in the years to come.
The electric motorcycle and scooter market reached 30 billion in 2019, according to a June 2020 report by Preeti Wadhwani and Prasenjit Saha from the research company Global Market Insights (GMI). They estimated that the market — which includes everything from large motorcycles meant for interstate cruising to tiny stand-up scooters as used by Lime and Bird — will grow more than 4% annually for the next few years and hit 40 billion in 2026.
Concerns over vehicular emissions, increasing consumer awareness about air pollution, and increasing investments by government authorities in the development of EV charging infrastructure are all expected to keep the market growing. Another factor boosting electric bike prospects is the continued improvement in batteries.
E-bikes, scooters and motorcycles
Electric motorcycles and scooters are still relatively pricey, and none yet matches the range of the best gas bikes, but that’s slowly changing. Lithium ion battery costs are down 85% in the last decade, said Garrett Nelson, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research. Within another 10 years, electric motorcycles can achieve price parity with gas bikes, he predicts.
The playing field is wide open, says Nelson. He noted that Honda, Yamaha and Harley-Davidson together control about two-thirds of the global motorcycle market, and are each developing electric motorbikes. So too are other big established players, such as the Indian-multinationals Hero Motors and Bajaj Auto, and some smaller electric-only startups, including Zero Motorcycles and Energetica.
Electric mobility is leading to a manufacturing boom for vehicles sized between small foldable scooters and full-on motorcycles, said Sam Korus, an analyst at ARK Invest, which is known for its big bet on Tesla. Uber led a round of investment in Lime earlier this year, while Bird is reportedly considering a public offering through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Troy Siahaan, a road test editor at Motorcycle.com, races a lightweight custom-built electric bike, giving him insight into the similarities and differences between gas and electric two-wheelers.
The riding experience of an electric bike is similar to gas-powered motorcycles in that you twist the throttle and go, he said, but you don’t get sound, vibration or engine heat with electric bikes. By and large, they also don’t require shifting, so they’re easier for new riders than most gas bikes.
Siahaan also likes the torque output — a measure of the acceleration — of electric bikes, since it is all available at the outset.
Nelson noted that most growth right now is in the small- to mid-sized section of the electric motorcycle and scooter market. These are popular in China and Southeast Asia, where two-wheelers are more common as a mode of transportation, and pollution and noise reduction are socially and environmentally appealing.
Post-Covid-19 demand in urban mobility
Korus said Chinese scooter manufacturer NIU is among the promising players operating in the space between small folding scooters and large motorcycles. The company, which went public in 2018, sells its app-supported Smart scooters in 38 countries across Asia, Europe and North and South America. Its stock has risen sharply. The stylish sit-on scooters offer up to 87 miles of range (140 km), multi-color dynamic gauge displays and GPS-based anti-theft systems.
NIU’s primary competition are low-cost manufacturers in China, which make scooters that are less Smart than its offerings, as well as the higher-end players out of Asia and Europe, which tend to be priced higher. A NIU model may sell for roughly 3,100, while a comparable Honda is over 5,000, a Vespa over 7,000, and a BMW anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000, according to Vincent Yu, a Needham Co. analyst.
NIU Technologies’ stock price has risen sharply, and it is profitable, though questions remain about how large the two-wheeled electric scooter market will be.
Korus noted that NIU’s software actively collects data that can be used to support fleet management, and allows the company to add value on top of just selling products. Fleet management could also be an important part of Tesla’s business model, in its case with autonomous vehicles, which ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood has pointed to in her bullish thesis on Musk’s company. Yu said today there is high value in the Smart features focused on theft prevention and vehicle maintenance, for example, knowing when parts need replacement. Its lightweight lithium-ion batteries are also an advantage over heavier, older electric scooters as consumers look for more portable batteries that are easier to swap in and out.
A big question for NIU is just how big the market can get and whether it can grow both manufacturing capacity and a retail store network along with it, Yu said. Asia is still heavily reliant on petroleum-based scooters, especially Southeast Asia, but that is changing. And, as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic, Yu is betting more travelers will shy away from mass transit and opt for scooters. In countries like China, they are much easier to obtain than cars thanks to lower costs and less regulation and permitting requirements, especially in larger cities.
NIU commands over 26% of the Chinese e-scooter sales market, and has risen in Europe to No. 3 over the past two years. Yu added that NIU is building a new factory, targeting major Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, and adding more stores around the world to capitalize on the demand. In Q3, the company opened 182 stores and now has another 100 under construction.
Harley-Davidson and the electric future
In the U.S., smaller motorcycles suitable for urban transportation and only occasional highway use are not as popular as in Asia and Europe. Nelson said U.S. buyers tend to be older and favor larger bikes with traditional looks and the signature sounds of a combustion engine.
Harley-Davidson, the largest and oldest U.S. motorcycle manufacturer, has addressed these buyers with its LiveWire, an electric motorcycle with traditional cruiser styling and an impressive 105 horsepower that lets it accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a quick 3.1 seconds. The LiveWire is 7-feet long and nearly 550 pounds, giving it the size and weight to fit in with the company’s mainstream gas-powered offerings, but, at 30,000, it’s just too expensive for many potential customers.
With the traditional American motorcycle buyer aging, Harley sales are down almost 40% since their peak in 2006. Demographics will be a problem for them, Nelson said.
Harley is committed to electric under a relatively new management team, led by CEO Jochen Zeitz, who earned high marks for his FOCUS on sustainability as CEO of Puma. We believe electric needs to play an important role in the future of Harley-Davidson, he recently told Wall Street analysts. He said sales volumes are low relative to traditional bikes, but added, It must be an important segment in the long term future of the company and it’s also attracting new riders, new customers to the brand that might not have considered Harley-Davidson before.
Craig Kennison, who covers Harley for RW Baird, said the priority for Zeitz and his team is to shore up Harley’s finances and FOCUS its business on the key markets where it can generate the most profits from core consumers today, and it will continue to generate the vast majority of its business from its V-twin internal combustion engine cycles (sales for LiveWire are not disclosed but the assumption is they remain very minor). It’s not a big number, Kennison said.
Similar to the path chosen by Tesla to first FOCUS on the luxury consumer, Harley needs to perfect the electric motorcycle technology and given the price points today — it cannot alone control the cost curve in key areas like battery technology — only over time will it become more affordable to a larger consumer market. But if Harley makes the right decisions on current profitability centers, it will support the investment in electric vehicles over the decades to come, he said. Right now Harley has a huge market and needs to make as much money as they can, and servicing the core customer, which is still highly profitable, is the FOCUS.
Harley is headed into the pedal bicycle market as well. It recently announced that it will spin off its electric bicycle effort, which has been in research and development for a few years, retaining a minority stake in the new firm, Serial 1 Company, a reference to its first-ever machine.
Targeting the e-bicycle market, with pricing below 5,000, is a Smart move by Harley’s new management, as it makes the brand affordable for the masses in a growing segment, said Brandon Rolle, Northcoast Research analyst. And similar to NIU’s target scooter market, riders may not need a driver’s license to operate these vehicles, which will help in Harley-Davidson’s appeal to urban commuters and casual recreational cyclists.
High-end bicycle makers like Specialized have an early lead in this market — e-bikes which generate power that is multiplied by the human pedaling activity — and it does have the potential for widespread appeal in the future, according to Kennison. It lets ‘the everyman’ get on the road … especially during the pandemic people want to get outside and bicycling is a great way to do it, but depending on your fitness level, having the added electrical power creates a totally different experience. You can go 20 to 50 miles and it changes the appeal he said.
Harley’s motorcycle competitors
In the near future, pent up demand for outdoor products caused by Covid-19 could benefit motorcycle makers, including Harley, which has had a rough last five years according to Wedbush Securities analyst James Hardiman. A lot of investors have looked at Harley-Davidson and the broader motorcycle one as not benefitting, from the new outdoors boom, the analyst said. But industry sales and used sales are both up, and those are precursors for a broader-based recovery in bike sales, Hardiman recently told CNBC. While the bear case about the aging demographics isn’t going away, it has been that way for a decade already, he said.
Among Harley’s competitors for the future full-size motorcycle buyer are not just traditional players like Honda and Yamaha, but Zero and Energetica, which have some of the most advanced electric bike technology currently available, Siahaan said.
Zero, founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 2006, isn’t a household name, but it’s one of the most established players in the field. It began selling electric motorcycles in 2009, making it one of the very first production two-wheelers (the earliest production electric motorcycles and scooters appeared in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively, but enjoyed limited success).
Zero’s current all-electric line-up includes everything from the FX, a small on- and off-road capable dual-sport motorcycle starting at 9,300, all the way up to the SR/S sportbike which starts at 20,000. The 110-horsepower SR/S can reach 124 miles per hour and is capable of more than 200 miles of range when equipped with an enhanced battery. The FR/S is so advanced Road and Track alluded to Zero getting close to the being the Tesla of two wheels in its review. Zero offers it with an app that lets users modify the bikes maximum speed, power, torque and regenerative braking parameters.
A Zero FX electric motorcycle just after purchase in June 2019 at a Chicago, Illinois, store. Built in California, Zero motorcycles have been the best-selling electric motorcycle brand on the market. Harley-Davidson’s CEO claims that since it introduced the LiveWire, its brand has selling well, but the Zero FX and a newer cheaper model, Zero FX/S, are as low as one-third the price of a LiveWire.
Zero reached a 10-year deal with Polaris, a recreational vehicle powerhouse, that should give it the resources to further expand manufacturing and distribution. It will bring Zero’s powertrain technology and software to Polaris’ lineup of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles.
The high-end brand Energica was formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of CRP Group, a motorsport and aviation manufacturer based in Modena, Italy. It offers a small lineup of attractively styled bikes starting at 17,600 for the general-purpose Eva EsseEsse9, and ending with the top-of-the-line Ego. The latter is a 145-horsepower sportbike with an eye-watering starting price of nearly 24,000, but a 150 mph top speed and up to 250 miles of range.
Saha of the Global Marketing Institute told CNBC that the company is investing highly in RD and owns several patents related to electric vehicle manufacturing in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Of course, as the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Honda Motorcycles of Japan, is not standing still. It recently filed patents for electric-powered versions of its CB125R and CB300R, these are small, easy to manage general purpose bikes with café racer styling.
Saha notes that Honda is also making large investments in the development of swappable battery technology for electric motorcycles to allow riders to quickly replace the batteries after use. These moves, and factors like its global dealer and distribution network will aid Honda, Saha said.
Tesla moving beyond cars
And then there is Tesla. Though Musk has said the company will not produce a road bike, he has announced plans to release an electric all-terrain vehicle, the Cyberquad, late in 2021, and has at least teased the possibility of one day making a two-wheeled electric bike. In the least, Tesla could easily pivot a portion of its battery business to supplying other manufacturers, says Nelson.
Generating revenue is a big concern for any start-up, but especially in the electric motorcycle space, where federal and state-level regulation abound and consumer expectations are high. Many of the companies that first entered the electric two-wheeler market place have failed or been absorbed by larger players. This includes Brammo, which launched in 2002 and sold bikes with six-speed transmissions like those in traditional gas bikes rather than the single-speed automatics most electric manufacturers use. It was first purchased by the recreational vehicle maker Polaris in 2015, then engine maker Cummins in 2017. Brammo-branded bikes are no longer sold, but its technology lives on with its purchasers.
A similar fate befell Alta Motors, a maker of technologically advanced off-road electric bikes. The company shuttered operations in 2018 and its assets were taken over by Bombardier’s Recreational Products business in 2019 for use across its product lineup, which includes Ski Doo snowmobiles and the Can-Am line of three-wheel motorcycles.
It’s always difficult to predict the future, Siahaan said. A lot of companies come out with big, bold announcements, but never even come to market.
It’s very early, so it is difficult to see how it all plays out, but that’s typical of a true growth market, added Kennison.
The Best Electric Cargo Bikes of 2022
Haul kids, dogs, gear, and groceries with our favorite electric cargo bikes. With options ranging from front-load trikes to smooth-riding longtails, we’ll have you ready to pedal in no time.
For more than a year, our neighborhood has been testing a multitude of amazing electric cargo bikes. We’ve hauled everything from babies, kids, dogs, wood, inflatable SUPs, and even huge Costco and farmer’s market hauls. If our destination is within 15 miles, we go on cargo bikes.
Below, we highlight, categorize, and review the best bikes we tested. They were all standouts in their own unique way. But before we dive in, check out the lingo below, which helps explain the different styles of electric cargo bikes on the market today.
Electric Cargo Bike Styles
Long-john bike: These have the cargo box up front with the front wheel stretched out in front of you. Some also have the capacity for another passenger to ride on the back. This style takes a bit of practice when you first get on, as it handles a little differently than a traditional bike.
Longtail bike: These ride more like traditional bikes and can fit up to three small passengers (kids) riding on the tail. Most can also fit a clip-on seat for younger kids (9 months and up).
Front-load trike: These have two wheels and the cargo box in front. This stable style can fit as many as four kids in the box and sometimes an extra kid or panniers on the back.
Scroll through to see all of our recommendations for the best electric cargo bikes or jump to the category you’re looking for. At the end of our list, be sure to check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide.
The Best Electric Cargo Bikes of 2022
Best Overall Family Bike: Yuba Spicy Curry
Yuba’s mission is to make bikes that can easily haul kids, gear, and groceries, all while putting a big smile on everyone’s face (bystanders included). Other than its awesome name, we love the Spicy Curry (5,199) for its sturdy, tank-like feel. Even when it’s loaded down and our son is waving side to side on the back, we barely notice.
For some extra money, you can choose different add-ons for the bike depending on your lifestyle. We wanted to make this bike our main one for taking our son to preschool, so we opted to get the adjustable Monkey Bars (200) as well as a Yepp Maxi Easy Fit kid seat (259).
Our son loves the combination of the seat and the Monkey Bars. He gets to ride up high so he can see Mom or Dad and can hold on whenever he feels like it. Later, we added the 2-Go Cargo Bags (199) and the Bread Basket (200). This more than doubled our carrying capacity.
The frame looked big at first sight. But after adjusting the cockpit and seat to my 5’1″ height, I was pleasantly surprised at how natural and comfortable it felt. It has easily been the neighborhood’s most widely used bike. It’s simple to adjust the size of the bike, and it fits a wide variety of heights.
The components consist of a Shimano Deore 10-speed adjuster and Shimano Disc Brakes. And although I was wary at first of the non-internal hub, I grew to really like how much it felt like all my other bikes. The large front wheel helps smooth out bumps; it’s smooth enough that my son regularly falls asleep on the way home from school.
The motor is a very powerful and smooth Bosch Performance CX mid-drive with a 36V 500Wh battery. It has four levels of assist: Eco, Tour, eMTB, and Turbo. All of these are easy to click through on the control panel, which also displays the mileage, range, and speed.
On a single charge, I can get up to 55 miles on Eco mode or about 25 on full Turbo mode. The eMTB setting switches between all the modes depending on how it senses I’m riding, and I average between 30 and 40 miles.
Again, this bike has been the most used in our neighborhood of four families. It is easy to adjust, feels most like a regular bike, and can haul up to 300 pounds. At 60 pounds and 6 feet in length, it’s not the easiest of the bunch to store. But for carrying capacity, length, and price, this is easily one of the best electric cargo bikes money can buy.
- Weight: 60 lbs. (without any of the add-ons)
- Length: 6′
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs.
- Range: 25-55 miles depending on mode and capacity
- Best for: Around town errands, kid pickups and dropoffs, dogs, big grocery or hardware store buys
Best Budget Cargo E-Bike: Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4
While this cargo e-bike (1,999) is still a major investment, it’s one of the most affordable options we’ve found. And although it may lack some of the capacity and extras of other higher-end bikes on this list, we’ve found it’s a solid contender and a great ride for most people.
The 750 W geared hub motor provides plenty of power, even when loaded up to the max 350-pound payload. It has five pedal assist levels, and we found it very easy to change between modes.
Weighing in at nearly 77 pounds, our smaller riders were worried it would feel unmanageable. For riders of all sizes, however, it rode smoothly and never felt overly heavy. The double-leg kickstand is sturdy and provided enough stability to load and unload wiggly children.
The 22X3 inch tires gave a very smooth ride while keeping the ride low and stable. It’s worth noting that these unusual tire sizes can be hard to find in local bike shops. It’s not a bad idea to have a spare on hand just in case.
Like other electric cargo bikes, the RadWagon 4 has integrated lights, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting your bike light at home.
The battery for this bike charged quickly, and we easily got 30-45 miles of travel, even when loaded down and traveling along hilly terrain.
All in all, this is a quality electric cargo bike at an unbeatable price.
- Weight: 76.7 lbs.
- Length: 6.5′
- Carrying capacity: 350 lbs.
- Range: 25-45 miles depending on mode and capacity
- Best for: Around town errands, kid pickups, and dropoffs
Best Compact, Daily Commuter: Tern GSD S00 Folding Bike
The Tern GSD (4,999-5,799) is simply a remarkable all-around bike. Many of the complaints about cargo bikes are that they are big, heavy, impossible to transport, and hard to store. All of that (except weight) gets turned upside down with the Tern GSD, which aptly stands for “Get Stuff Done.”
Tern Bikes is known for its ingenuity in creating folding bikes. So when the brand came out with a cargo bike that was the length of a regular commuter bike and could fold down to fit easily in most midsize SUVs or minivans, many bike commuters (including us) took notice.
The bike is even made to stand vertically on its back rack so that it takes up minimal space when stored inside. For the urban family who lives in an apartment building, people with limited garage space, or anyone who just doesn’t want to deal with a big classic cargo bike, the Tern is the answer.
Other specs that set the GSD apart are its carrying capacity of 440 pounds and the ability to fit two high-powered Bosch batteries on it. This gives it an impressive range of up to 155 miles. From the Green Guard non-puncture tires to the infinite-adjust internal geared hub, this bike is clearly made to last.
Like the other bikes, you can customize it however you like. We opted to try the Clubhouse basket (200), the Cargo Hold Panniers (175), and a Thule Yepp Maxi child’s seat (220). We were pleased to find out that the Cargo panniers were still usable with the Yepp Maxi seat over top of them. And with the batteries, panniers, and rack all sitting lower than your average bike, the handling and riding experience for both the driver and passenger is very smooth and comfortable.
Like all the other cargo bikes on this list, it fits a range of riders from 5′ to 6’5″. The unique handlebar, seatpost, and stem adjustment make it even quicker and easier to truly find a perfect cockpit for riders of various sizes. We used this bike exclusively for an entire week to see how quickly we would need to charge it. It lasted the entire week. We clocked 90 miles, using a mix of tour and eMTB mods, and it still showed two of five battery bars.
At 4,999 with a single battery and 5,799 with a dual battery, this one comes in at the middle of the pack price-wise. But it has our vote for being one of the most versatile, longest-lasting, and smoothest rides out of all of them.
- Weight: 70 lbs. (with one battery)
- Length: 6′
- Folded length: 71″ x 16″ x 33″
- Carrying capacity: 440 lbs.
- Range: Up to 200 km
- Best for: Ultimate one-size-fits-all family utility bike
- Stem/handlebars/seatpost can fold down in 5 seconds, allowing it to fit in many vehicles
- Can carry a ton of gear and people
- Compact for e-bikes
- Attention to total detail seems highest of all bikes
- Just an outstanding design overall
Best Kid-Hauler: Bunch Original Family Cargo Bike
This crowd-stopping, front-loading trike (4,285) gets high points for its lower price range (compared to other e-cargo bikes) and ease of assembly. It literally showed up at my house fully assembled via a semi-truck. All we had to do was take off the packaging, adjust the seat, and it was ready to go.
The big cargo box fits up to four kids and comes with comfortable cushions and easy-to-use shoulder straps. In the span of a few weeks, we took it out with all combinations of cargo: a dog and two kids, three kids and a cooler full of snacks, and even a week’s worth of groceries. Our 2-year-old loved it because he was up high and could chat with his friend across from him.
The bike has additional add-ons like a rain cover and a sunshade, which the kiddos and dog all appreciated when the elements became too much. Unlike other cargo bikes where it’s hard to secure your stuff, the cargo box has a lockable under-storage box that can easily fit a purse, computer, and other smaller valuables.
The components aren’t of the highest quality possible, but the combination of the Shimano Tourney SL-TX50 and the 500W 48V Dapu Hub motor created a smooth shifting and pedaling experience. And the easy-to-charge battery kept us motoring around town for almost 25 miles before we had to charge it up again.
The standover design and easy-to-adjust seat make it fit a wide range of sizes. I’m barely 5’1″, and I can ride it just as well as my 6′ stepdad. The control panel is also very intuitive, making it easy to turn on your headlight and see speed and battery life.
For the family who wants something to replace their car for short, local trips, this bike is the perfect ride. However, it’s not for the person who wants to get to where they’re going fast. While the motor will assist up to 20 mph, it comes with a factory set max of 15 mph (this is easily changed via the settings).
And because it’s a trike, the bike’s handling is a bit unstable at higher speeds, especially in corners where you can’t lean like a normal bike. So we’d recommend keeping that 15mph limit for a while until you learn the limitations. Think of this bike as more of a “take it easy and enjoy the sights” bike. It’s a super fun experience to share with your kids.
- Weight: 148 lbs.
- Length: 6′
- Carrying capacity: 220 lbs.; four kids, a mixture of one medium dog and one kid, or two kids and a big grocery buy
- Range: 20-30 miles depending on load and speed
- Best for: Taking multiple kids to the local park, dogs, and big grocery buys
- Comes fully assembled
- Has a secure lockbox
- Thick, durable, flat-proof tires
- Can fit up to five kids (with one on the back)
- Harder to back up and turn around than other more bike-like models
- Can take up a lot of space in the garage
Smoothest Ride for Big Loads: Yuba Electric Supermarché
For hauling a big grocery buy, transporting your SUP to the local surf wave, or taking your dog and kiddo to the river for a hike, this bike (5,999) is the ticket. With a Bosch Performance CX mid-drive motor and PowerPack 500 battery, the ride is fast and smooth.
For ease of use, there is a range of gears and four levels of pedal-based electric assist. Like all the others, it only can get up to only 20 mph, but it feels like you’re going much faster. And at stoplights, it was the easiest of the bikes to start due to the internal hub that allows you to switch gears while stopped.
It takes a bit to get used to the longer and heavier front end, but after a few practice runs, it felt very natural. The hard part is recalibrating your turns on your conventional bike!
The control panel is the fanciest of all of the interfaces. It lets the user see how much power they’re using, how long the trip is, total milage so far, and how many miles you have left on your charge. The Magura MT5 Next Hydraulic Disc brakes and the always-charged LED lights keep the parents happy and the kiddos safe.
The range on the Supermarché lasts anywhere between 20 and 40 miles. For our family, we used it three to four times a day with an average of 7-mile outings carrying 200 pounds. We drained the battery down to one bar almost daily. Luckily, it’s very easy to park it in the garage and charge for another round. The step-through frame and easy-to-adjust cockpit fit the entire neighborhood, with heights ranging from 4’9″ to 6’5″.
Although 5,999 sounds like a pretty high price, when we compared this to other premium-brand long-john bikes, it was actually one of the lowest prices. And if you know you’re going to use it daily (and save some money on gas), it may just be worth the cost. The Supermarché is also available in a non-electric option for 2,999.
- Weight: 78 lbs.
- Length: 8’5″
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs.
- Range: 20-55 miles depending on load and power-assist mode
- Best for: Big Costco buys, giving the kids a ride to school, food or paper deliveries
- The passenger can feel the bumps more than if they’re on the back of the bike, as it lacks shocks
- It’s long and on the heavy side
A Great Value: Radio Flyer L885
While the new L885 cargo e-bike (1,999) from Radio Flyer is still a big investment, it’s one of the more affordable options at the moment. Other bikes in this price range arrive without any carrying capacity included. Radio Flyer adds in the kid/cargo carrier which is a major bonus for many families. And although it does not have the higher range like some of the other bikes listed here, we’ve found it a very solid choice for many families out there.
The 500W brushless hub motor coupled with the five-level pedal assist and a half-twist throttle provide plenty of power to ride up any hill or pick up speed at the start of an intersection. We found that even when loaded down at its full capacity of 400 pounds, we could get a full 40 to 45 miles out of it before charging it again. And if more battery power is needed, there is an option to buy another battery for 499. For our daily use, however, we have yet to feel like we need this.
The bike weighs in at 73 pounds but feels surprisingly light and nimble, especially when compared to the Tern GSD. The 26-inch front wheel and the 20-inch back wheel are both standard tire sizes, which is nice for changing out the tubes and tires if needed. So far, after about 200 miles of riding — some on dirt and sharp rocks as well as over some glass (on accident) — I have yet to have a flat thanks to their 3” puncture-resistant liner.
The L885, like many electric bikes these days, has integrated lights, which adds to its carefree nature. The dual leg kickstand is also great for stabilizing the bike while unloading wiggly kids.
The battery charges on par with the other bikes listed here. As long as I remembered to plug it in at night every two to three days, we were good to go for another couple of days of riding.
All in all, this is an amazing electric cargo bike at a very affordable price.
- Weight: 73 lbs.
- Length: 83.78″
- Carrying Capacity: 400 lbs.
- Range: 45-50 miles
- Best for: errands around town, picking up and dropping kids off, nearby adventures
- Front basket and rear basket are a little small for carrying large amounts of groceries.
- One bike does not fit all sizes
Lightest Weight Ecargo Bike: Tern HSD P9
The new Tern P9 HSD (3,699) is the younger sibling to the older dual-battery GSD model. Where the GSD is longer and heavier, the HSD is more compact, much lighter, and has less carrying capacity. The P9 HSD can fit into many different categories.
With one wheel in the commuting realm and one in the cargo category, this bike can wear many hats, depending on the user. For our purposes, we turned it into the ultimate kid, gear, and grocery hauler. However, Tern has many different configuration options on its site for carrying cargo. With a 115 cm wheelbase, 170 cm in length, and coming in at just under 57 pounds in weight, this bike is the lightest and most compact e-cargo bike we have tested yet.
Tern is known for their unique bikes that can be easily stored and have the ability to fit many different riders on one single frame. The HSD can fit me, at 5′ 1″, and my stepfather, who is 6′ 1″, thanks to an easy-to-adjust cockpit and seat.
Unlike other cargo bikes, this bike was amazingly nimble and easy to maneuver. With a custom Suntour suspension fork, it made the bumpy roads a bit more enjoyable for both me and my passenger. The battery, a Bosch Powerpack 400, and the motor, a Bosch active line, both helped power myself, my five-year-old son, and a ton of farmer’s market goodies around town with no problem thanks to its 375-pound carrying capacity. With a range of 69 miles, I have yet to worry about running out of battery even after a full day of back and forth commuting.
The HSD features integrated lights and a double-sided kickstand for easy on and off for cargo and passengers.
Overall, this little bike packs a powerful punch. It’s easy to store (as with all Terns, it can be stored vertically), can haul everything from gear to dogs to one kid, and is surprisingly very light when compared to other e-cargo bikes. It’s also fun to ride!
While it is not the most expensive bike, it does still dent the wallet. For those looking for more bells and whistles, the HSD comes in 5 different models with the P9 being the most affordable of them all.
- Weight: 57 lbs.
- Length: 170 cm
- Carrying Capacity: 375 lbs.
- Range: 69 miles
- Best for: Daily commuting, grocery trips, single kid drop off and pick up, and can fit every adult in the family
- Very light
- Can still carry a large load even though it is so small
- Can fold and fit into small areas
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose an Electric Cargo Bike
What Kind of Family/Rider Are You?
Before starting your search, first ask yourself what you will be using the bike for most. Grocery shopping? Kid pickups and dropoffs? Delivering pizzas? Taking your dog to the dog park? Hauling the boards to the local surf wave? All of the above? When you narrow your search down in this way before you start looking at the options, it makes it less overwhelming.
What Is Your Budget?
New electric cargo bikes can range from as low as 1,800 to as high as 8,000. Cargo boxes, panniers, front boxes, kickstands, and kid seats all cost extra and can add up quickly. However, after doing a quick search on my local Craigslist and online market groups, I have seen some pretty good options out there that are much cheaper than buying them brand new.
How Long Is Your Average Commute?
Identifying how long your longest average commute is will give you a good idea of what kind of range you’re looking for. There are a lot of options as far as battery and motor power are concerned. And more and more bikes are coming out with the option of attaching another battery to the frame.
How Much Space Do You Have to Store It?
Making sure you have enough space to store it is very important. Other than the GSD, many take up a substantial amount of space in your garage. Some, like the Bunch Bikes, have an outdoor cover that protects them if you are storing them outside.
What About Bad Weather?
Cyclists and commuters know that the weather makes no guarantees. What starts as a dry ride can quickly turn into a downpour. Aside from packing a good rain jacket, there are a couple of accessories we’ve found particularly useful.
For the colder months and mornings, Yuba bikes came out with the only rain cover to fit over a long tail bike. We have been using ours for the past couple of months and our kids love to be cocooned up in it. While it doesn’t cover their legs, it does keep the cold wind and rain off their faces and upper body.
The setup is super easy. It attaches to the monkey bars and can either be left on or taken on and off. We have kept ours on all winter long. On warm days we can roll up the sides for more airflow and on super cold days, we just zip it all up.
And if you’re looking for a cargo basket cover, check out Argo’s rain canopy. It takes a few minutes to set up for the first time, but after everything is installed, it takes just two minutes to put up or take down or stow away. Our boys absolutely love the cover. They call the Argo their “spaceship” and love being all cozy underneath their “magic” cover.
What is an electric cargo bike?
An electric cargo bike, or cargo e-bike, combines the best of both two-wheeled worlds. It’s a larger, gear-hauling bike with a motor. So, you can load it up with kids or groceries, and still be able to pedal uphill on the way home.
Cargo bikes are very popular in bike-friendly countries like Denmark, but their popularity is growing rapidly in the United States.
What is a pedal assist bike?
Pedal-assist is a common mode or design for many electric bikes. As opposed to running the motor with a throttle, the power is integrated with the pedaling.
Generally, you can choose from assist levels ranging from Eco to Turbo. The higher the level, the more assist you’ll get (and the faster you’ll drain the battery).
What is the best electric bike for the price?
This varies widely depending on your use and needs. For the ultimate family and gear hauler, the Yuba Spicy Curry is hard to beat.
If you’re looking to get a budget-friendly cargo e-bike, the RadWagon 4 is reliable, durable, and among the lowest-priced electric cargo bikes around.
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