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alloo 12-26-20 06:22 AM

ECargo Bikes
Which of the three styles of Cargo Bikes have the most utility and why? Long Tail? Tricycle? Front Box? If you were to commute on one for four seasons which would you get? Why?

TheKoala 01-11-21 01:26 PM

Vote for long tail
Long tail. They handle like regular bikes and are easier to maneuver from the ground too. They are also easier to store than cargo bikes with a box.
they can also haul quite a lot of stuff with a bit of thought in the packing (as opposed to a box where you can just toss your stuff)

cabledawg 01-13-21 06:34 AM

I currently have a longtail and have been looking to switch to a bakfiets (front loader) style. My longtail is incredibly versatile with racks, bags, side frame extensions and even a sidecar but the Argo Cargo front loader attachment is looking pretty good as I can easily convert from cargo bike to standard bike in just a few minutes. Space is premium in my apartment and keeping two bikes in there is a hassle.

veganbikes 02-27-21 09:48 PM

I know it is a bit late in the thread but not so bad that it is a Zombie but I do like the front loaders more and more as I ride them. I have been riding the R+M Load and Packsters for quite a while and the Load is really fantastic. My boss has a daughter and she frequently is in the shop and we usually take a little ride after work and she loves the front loader as she can see everything I can see her and it is fun to ride. I have also taken one laden with cargo a bunch and it is nice to be able to throw stuff in and go plus the Load has a lockable box as an option so I can carry kids or cargo and if I need to make a stop but don't want to have to carry everything I can lock it in the box like a car trunk.

Certainly though a long or mid tail does ride more like a regular bike. If you are limited on space the Tern GSD or HSD is perfect and rides quite well and the new ones are so much improved to carry more cargo more efficiently and you can finally get one in Rohloff E-14 for the ultimate driving machine.

Once you ride E-14 it is tough to want to ride something else on an e-bike. Coming to a stop and it automatically shifting down for you is a revelation in urban mobility as most of the time we probably forget to do it in time and are left huffing and puffing instead of starting easy and if the gear we have it set to is not right we can shift it at any time including while pedaling. Plus it is built on the super robust Rohloff hub which will last and last and last.

I would not want a tricycle everyone I have ridden aside from maybe some of the recumbent stuff is just so clunky and hard to ride. Steering can be quite a nightmare on some of them and I have gotten them on two wheels more than enough times. Plus many of those that I have seen or ridden use pretty bad motors but I am sure in Europe someone is doing it with a Bosch motor but even still they aren't so much fun to ride except on maybe flat level ground.

andychrist 02-28-21 02:25 PM

Built up this LWB e-cumbent with underseat and rear rack; drilled out a Radical Design trailer hitch to fit over the 12mm axle. Dual Bafang 500W hub drives provide generous torque and traction.

Because the whole system is modular, can choose whatever panniers best suit any errand and even swap out trailers. Fits a 48Q cooler in the QuikPak; currently converting 48 and 24 gallon Rubbermaid Action Packers with a Wike DIY kit and the remains of a Burley Nomad. (And Burley offers kiddie trailers as well so nobody gets left out!)

Winter, transfer the batteries to a compact thermal chest in the trailer. So their mass is still kept low and theres room for even more crap in the blue underseat buckets.

Actually in the process now of throwing together another one of these, only based on the original model with 20 front wheel. Will get some old ER chopper bars, which are about half a foot narrower than the RANS 3-way adjustables on the current setup. Together, will allow mounting of a front fairing reaching from the grips down to the cranks. Should offer enough protection from the elements to allow riding in freezing conditions at least for short periods. Yes I am a wuss.

samkl 03-04-21 10:39 AM

Nothing to add... just would love to hear people's thoughts on this. We're looking at getting an e-cargo or regular cargo bike for potentially carrying a kid, and it'd be interesting to see what people's experiences are.

LeeG 03-04-21 04:34 PM

Originally Posted by samkl (Post 21951902)
Nothing to add... just would love to hear people's thoughts on this. We're looking at getting an e-cargo or regular cargo bike for potentially carrying a kid, and it'd be interesting to see what people's experiences are.

Im now a granddad but when my girls were little the bikes with dedicated child seats were Schwinn Varsity converted to upright bars and I stayed off the roads. Awful handling all around. Fast forward twenty years I had a Kona Ute long tail and I did not like how it handled. Dont know if it is typical of long tails or unique but Id rather ride a touring bike with trailer than it. Then I test road a front loader Larry vs Harry Bullitt and was blown away by its stability. It takes some getting used to and the 20 front wheel isnt something Id want for rough dirt roads but for a heavy load carrying e cargo bike on paved roads Id go that. Pricey as hell esp with mid drive motor so review what 80% of your use is and go for that. Lots of general use bikes with long chainstays can satisfy utility bike needs.

Bug Shield 10-12-21 10:29 PM

Originally Posted by yisaubery (Post 22267712)
I think I will prefer tricycle. I don't have to worry about anything at the back like long tail. the front box bike too is not save enough and it use to affect the control of the bike

I rode a bakfiets with a passenger in the bucket when I visited Amsterdam and was very impressed by how well the loaded bike handled.

cat0020 11-22-21 09:18 AM

I bought a Chinese cargo ebike through Alibaba little over a year ago.
It was right at the beginning of the shipment delays from China.
During this year, I put about 2k miles on it, all within Brooklyn transporting bulk food items between schools & homeless shelters.
I usually carry 50-70 lb. of items with milk crates, the ride is about 10 mi. one way, takes approx. 20-25 min.
I feel the fat tires are really overkill for pavement usage, when I wear out the stock fat tires, I will switch to something more pavement oriented.

Leisesturm 11-29-21 11:20 PM

Originally Posted by alloo (Post 21848842)
If you were to commute on one for four seasons which would you get? Why?

Long Tail! Period. End of story. If you had said any number of possible utility bike assignments then possibly (but maybe not) the answer would be different, but commuting ... errands ... the long-tail is the hands down winner for versatility. This bike is one of the best cargo bike values going. I've put a TSDZ2 mid-drive on it and a big square battery that fits nicely in that opening just behind the seattube. I've had to re-route the rear brake/gear cables because the motor hugs the bottom bracket so closely. Then Covid hit and we bought a house and the project stalled. But it's on again. Just got 8' of brake and gear cable housing.

cat0020 11-30-21 08:03 AM

I got lucky with my Alibaba cargo ebike purchase, under $1300 including shipping from China to my driveway.

That was just prior to the supply chain fiasco & the international container shipping price hike.

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