What is a Cargo Ebike and Who Should Buy One? – Review Geek

A cargo ebike can hold the kids or groceries.

Cargo ebike in front of a shipping container
Thomas Quack/Shutterstock.com

It’s important to remember that a cargo ebike isn’t your typical bike. They’re big, long, heavy, yet perfect for families and businesses.

Electric bikes come in all shapes and sizes, and an increasingly popular style is the cargo ebike or an e-cargo bike. We see them often with delivery drivers or small businesses, but the benefits of this power-assisted bike aren’t apparent to everyone.

These bikes typically have a longer wheelbase and are designed to carry heavier loads or multiple passengers, meaning they’re great for several different uses. Here’s what you need to know.

Electric Cargo Bike Designs

Man loading cargo ebike with surf board.
Rad Power Bikes

Just like a bike or car, you can get a cargo ebike in one of several different designs to fit your needs. Some brands focus on models for business users with a higher carrying capacity, while others have family-friendly options to take to the park or beach.

With a cargo ebike, you can get something like the affordable Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 for under $2,000 or spend $5,999 (or more) for a high-end delivery machine for urban areas.

As we said earlier, the overall shape makes a cargo ebike different from regular electric bikes. These typically have a more robust and elongated design to handle extra weight, passengers, or accessories like a surfboard, which means the bike itself weighs more too. They also utilize a low center of gravity, ensuring a comfortable, stable, and safe riding experience.

Cargo electric bikes almost all have extra frame support, not to mention additional framing in front (or behind) the driver to mount cargo racks, passenger seats, saddlebags, storage bins, turn signal blinkers, and more. Many family-friendly cargo ebikes even have additional passenger footrests, like the Aventon Abound.

As you can see, this type of electric bike is available in a wide variety of designs to fit multiple needs, whether personal or business.

Cargo Ebike Weight Capacities

Urban Arrow business cargo ebike
Urban Arrow

If you’re considering an electric cargo bike, the weight or payload capacity is an important factor in your purchase decision. That’s because while they’re certainly designed for carrying extra stuff or passengers, that doesn’t necessarily mean two adults can comfortably ride one.

For example, the popular RadWagon 4 has a total capacity of 350 lbs. That’s perfect for an adult and a kid or two, but start adding too much gear, and you’ll quickly reach its limit, which affects range and safety. Depending on your weight and pedal assist level, the Wagon can go up to 45+ miles per charge.

Aventon’s new Abound cargo ebike can haul 440 lbs total, with over 300 lbs on the bike and another 143 lbs on the rack system. The RadTrike can hold a little over 415 lbs. But if you’re a business user in the city, you can go with something like the Urban Arrow cargo hauler with a max payload of over 550 lbs (250kg).

Cargo ebikes are wildly popular in some regions, like Europe, while they’re only just starting to gain popularity in the United States. As a result, you’ll want to look for a model that matches your needs. Stateside, it’s a growing segment of families looking to take a ride through the park, so bikes with extra seats over storage are likely your best route.

What Is a Cargo Ebike Used For?

Aventon Abound cargo ebike with kids on the back.

At this point, you should have a pretty good understanding of what a cargo ebike is suitable for. With all the added storage or load capacity, powerful motors, and long-range battery packs, they’re a popular option with last-mile delivery.

Those same features make a cargo ebike excellent for a family, too. And if you don’t have kids, you can load up your dog or other furry family members, get groceries, ride around a campsite, or even haul a surfboard down the boardwalk. It’s a machine perfect for business or pleasure.

A cargo ebike can haul more than most bikes, and thanks to an electric motor and several pedal-assist motors, you’ll be able to ride it easier and tackle hills. Basically, you get the benefits of a bike, or a cargo bike, only with electric bits to improve everything.

Should You Buy One?

cargo ebike hauling a family.
Urban Arrow

So, who is a cargo ebike for, and should you buy one? While that depends on you and your budget, they’re an excellent option for anyone that wants more from a bike.

If you plan on doing last-mile delivery services in your area, want to ditch your gas-powered car for quick grocery or convenience store runs, or have kids you want to haul to school, you’ll want a cargo ebike. It’s a great option for outdoor enthusiasts, families, or businesses.

Those wanting a fun fat tire ebike, an eMTB, or one that goes really fast will want to consider something like a Super 73-RX. If you want a workhorse or a casual family cruiser, cargo bikes are ideal.

This style of bike can easily cost more than a regular electric bike, but that’s due to the extra benefits. Being able to carry more than one passenger or load up cargo on the front or the back makes them an excellent option for a wide array of users.

Combining the easy-to-ride design and low center of gravity ensures riders of all skill levels can quickly learn to ride one and feel confident. If you want an ebike cargo hauler, buy one, then hit the road. Here are a few we recommend.

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