Gear For Venture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more. »

How to Choose An Electric Cargo Bike

How to Choose An Electric Cargo Bike

How to Choose An Electric Cargo Bike- Introduction

 Guest Contribution by Victor Nicholson

Electric cargo bikes are an increasingly utilized tool by people who need to transport goods from point A to point B. However, there are several misconceptions about their use, which seem to limit their reach. As an example, cargo bikes are helpful in cases that surpass industrial transportation. Thanks to their load limits, many people use them to carry other personal things comfortably and fast.

With more and more people deciding to buy a cargo bike to perform their daily tasks, it seems some are confused about what exactly they are used for. Why are electric cargo bikes trending nowadays, and what makes them attractive when choosing different means of load transportation? Keep on reading to learn more!

What Is An Electric Cargo Bike?

Many people hear about cargo bikes and still do not know what a cargo bike is while considering buying one. Thus, it is imperative to know the difference between a bike and a cargo bike and how you can benefit from getting one.

Cargo bikes are specially designed bikes that can carry loads of up to 250 kg (550 lb). Loads are strategically distributed to be as seamless as possible while riding cargo bikes and avoiding accidents or discomfort. There are numerous variants of cargo bikes that you can choose to best fit your needs and goals.

By adding a small battery system that activates through pedaling, bikes (of any kind) become what is commonly known as electric bikes. This is a helpful addition for cargo bikes because it aids in lowering efforts, making the transportation of goods a seamless process. There are also different types of electric bikes you can choose from.

How to Choose An Electric Cargo Bike

Electric Cargo Bikes vs. Cargo Trucks

After going through the definition of what an electric cargo bike is, you may be wondering what makes them better than a cargo truck. Fortunately, we will also discuss this topic as we describe the advantages of getting an electric cargo bike to transport your goods.

While it is true that both cargo bikes and trucks seem to fulfill the same goals, using an electric bike can lead to numerous advantages. Here are some of the benefits of choosing an electric cargo bike over a cargo truck.

  • The first thing we should mention is cost. An electric cargo bike is much cheaper than a truck. However, we are not only discussing about the purchase price. Maintenance and ongoing costs also need to be factored in, and electric cargo bikes are more cost-effective in this area.
  • Secondly, we can also discuss the matter of space. Nowadays, parking in urban cities has become rather tedious, as it is challenging to find a suitable spot. Cargo trucks need a parking spot on the street. Otherwise, you will need to pay for private parking while performing your tasks.
  • The third item on this list is environmental awareness. Electric cargo bikes help lower carbon emissions, especially if they are charged using renewable energy. Cargo trucks typically emit pollutants, and are thus more damaging to the environment.

Different Types of Cargo Bikes

Cargo bikes come in numerous variants. All of them are useful for transporting goods or commuting to work or school while taking your family. However, some electric cargo bikes will make the job much easier. Here are some examples of different cargo bikes for you to choose from.

Boxbikes are ideal for taking your kids to school and come in two-wheel and three-wheel versions. With a sandbox-like place to store your goods, boxbikes resemble a wheelbarrow you can drive by pedaling. These cargo bikes ensure well-balanced rides while keeping an eye on your cargo, should you need to. These cargo bikes are ubiquitous in portable businesses, such as ice-cream vendors.

As their name describes, longtail cargo bikes are very similar to regular bikes but with a long tail. The rear space to carry goods can vary in size, with the biggest ones being able to fit a grown-up person. Due to their length, longtail cargo bikes may become challenging to handle at first. The key is to distribute weight well and keep a fast pace. However, practice makes an expert, and anyone will learn how to handle a longtail in no time.

Our last cargo bike on this list is pedicabs. Pedicabs are primarily used for transporting people and are very popular in Asian countries. Taking a ride on a pedicab is an exciting experience, and balance is not a problem at all due to their front two wheels. However, their use has increased worldwide, and you can see pedicabs in different countries today.

How To Choose an Electric Cargo Bike

If you are considering buying an electric cargo bike, there are some things you should consider before doing so. The main factors that should help you choose your electric cargo bike are your needs, goals, and the type of terrain you are planning to ride on. Here are some tips that may help you decide when choosing an electric cargo bike.

First of all, we’ll discuss needs. If you need an electric cargo bike because you do not own a car, do not limit your choice to your current needs, such as taking the kids to school. Try to broaden your choice to future needs, such as transporting big or heavy objects over a long distance.

Secondly, you should take into account your goals. Are you planning to ride your electric cargo bike for a long time? Consider buying one with a well-built battery that will not die in the middle of the road. For shorter rides in the city, you can go for a lighter battery that may need more regular charging.

Finally, think about the type of terrain. While riding, bumpy roads may make your goods jump out of their compartment. In this case, go for a sturdier bike, such as a closed boxbike. Otherwise, if you are riding on flat, level terrain, you can go for a longtail, which is designed for riding at higher speeds.

Images: Unsplash/ Galen Crout and Asya Vee

Author Bio

Victor Nicholson is an outdoor enthusiast, camper, fisherman, and hunter. With 20 years of experience exploring great Australian landscapes and nature, he has honed his ability to evaluate and recommend the right equipment for various outdoor activities.