The best electric cargo bikes in 2022

Replace your second car with the best cargo bikes

cargobike with children

by Myles Warwood |

As the demand to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the number of miles we do by car increases, as does the rise in bicycle purchases. We're seeing more and more people ditch the car and take the bike to work instead. It makes sense in cities and towns which have adequate cycle infrastructure and there are more and more courier businesses turning to bikes.

But this can be difficult for families who have children to escort around or businesses which have bulkier items to move - if you are looking for a company that can prove that cargo bikes are the future of deliveries around the capital, Pedal Me will be your personal taxi service and even help you move home all by pedal power.

Pedal Me is just one example of how an eCargo Bike can change the world we live in and the business, of selling cargo bikes, just like the eBike, is becoming more popular than ever.

eCargo or cargo?

For the purpose of this article, while nearly all cargo bikes have an electric assist motor, we're not going to refer to them as eCargo Bikes, but just cargo bikes. Hopefully, this will save confusion in thinking that they're in a class of their own.

What would I use a cargo bike for?

Sometimes, with a cargo bike, it's easier to not think of them as a bike but your second car - they're so incredibly practical that they turn the school run, a nip to the shop or town into an enjoyable and easy affair. The different styles offer different capacity options and it's important to look at all options to suit your needs better.

At What's The Best we love taking the kids to nursery and school in an eCargo bike - the kids enjoy it and it starts to open their minds to a new way of travel, that isn't just the back seat of the car.

If you are thinking about the purchase of a second car to help with kids clubs at a weekend or nursery runs, it might be time to start considering an eCargo bike. You'll likely find you will start using it more than you would a second car.

Related: The Best Road Cycle Helmets {#h-related-the-best-road-cycle-helmets}

What are the different styles of cargo bikes?

There are many different types of cargo bike out there but the most common are Long John, Long Tail and Front Loader.

Long John

happy young pair rides long john bike with a dog. Guy is carring a happy girl in lastenfahrrad bicycle. Backfiets cycle. Flat vector illustration

Not the pirate but cargo bike, these have the load section behind the front wheel which is stretched out further than what would be seen on a regular bike. This doesn't affect stability but does mean a larger turning circle due to the longer wheelbase

Long Tail

Man courier on a electric cargo bike with solar panel on a cart. Use green solar energy. Bicycle delivery man carrying package. Ecological city transport. Flat vector illustration

Where the Long John has the load in front of the rider, the long tail has it behind, and this time the rear wheel is stretched out further than would be expected.

Some people prefer this as it's a little bit more stable but the downsides are that when turning you must take into account the rear of the bike, much like towing a trailer. Again a larger turning circle on these style of bikes due to the length of the wheelbase.

Front loader

Elderly man riding cargo bike with children. Grandfather carries his grandchildren in bakfiets bicycle. Flat vector illustration

Sometimes referred to as a tadpole due to its shape, this style of cargo bike tends to have two wheels up front on either side of the loading bay and one at the rear. These are incredibly stable and offer the larger end of the loading bay.

The turning circle is decreased and if you lift the rear wheel up, you can turn them at their own length making them much easier to manoeuvre when stationary. Their downside is turning at 'speed' - while we don't think you'll be charging around on these bikes you should note that they have a tendency to topple if you turn too sharply due to their high centre of gravity. Some bike companies are overcoming this by making the front wheels act more bike-like and lean with turning.

What do I need to look out for?

First off - it's important you ride what you feel comfortable with and within your limits, and you should make sure that you chose a bike which is going to suit your needs. If you're going to use it to transport your children, is there adequate space for them and their stuff? On the school run for example, can it hold them and their school bags? Or, if you're going to use it for shopping will it have enough capacity to hold a week's worth of shopping?

Other things to make sure you're comfortable with are the electric assist motor, battery life and range which you will get.

Will the motor be powerful enough? Generally speaking, the Bosch motors that most cargo bikes use are incredibly powerful and able to deliver not only enough watts but enough torque to be able to help you set off, climb any hills and ride around all fully laden with cargo.

Does the cargo bike have one or two batteries, or space for a second if you require it? Not only will this dramatically increase your range but it will bring you peace of mind that you'll get to where you need to be. It may also mean you won't have to charge your cargo bike as often.

Related: The best electric bikes under £1,000 {#h-related-the-best-electric-bikes-under-1-000}

So, what are the best eCargo bikes to buy in 2022?

The Tern GSD is a well know long-tail cargo bike which offers accessories which will help you make the Tern your own and tailor it to your needs. It features an ultra-durable and lightweight alloy frame with a secure and easy to use locking system that folds down in five seconds. Plus, it's armed with a Bosch Cargo Line electric motor drive, a Shimano 1x10-Speed drivetrain and Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes. It's fitted with lights, a carrier rack and mudguards.

With smaller wheels and all the weight kept down low, it's a very stable and capable cargo bike it'll feel much more like your regular bike than you might think.

Pros: Rides and feels like a normal bike, powerful Bosch motor, can carry up to two children.

Cons: Can be very heavy when fully loaded, getting a child seat at the rear can be tricky, if transporting kids, they're behind you and not in plain sight.

With a low centre of gravity but in a Long John layout, the Raleigh Stride 2 Electric Cargo Bike is a great option for those who want to ditch the car whenever possible. A practical, elegant choice, the Stride 2 has a big carrying load - up to 80kg - and is well suited to shopping, kids and pets.

The electrical assistance means riding won't become a slog. A Bosch 500Wh battery provides a range of up to 40 miles before a recharge is necessary, and it's paired with a Bosch Performance CX Cargo Line motor. The Purion display allows you to monitor your journey, and the bike has a number of accessories, including integrated front and rear lights, mudguards, a rear carrier, a stand and a lock so you'll be well prepared for all conditions and rides.

The Stepless shifting is perfect for a loaded-up cargo bike and allows you to maintain a consistent cadence no matter if you're going up or down. Hub gears are low maintenance to provide a fuss-free experience. The robust wheel and tyre combination is up to the challenge of everyday heavy loads, and disc brakes ensure safe stopping is possible in all conditions.

Pros: Easy to ride, comfortable, up to 40 miles from one battery

Cons: Can feel slightly unstable at speed

Built on the same chassis as the Stride except for this time there's no room for kids - this is a cargo bike for businesses. The Raleigh Pro Bike Mid Motor electric cargo bike is easy to manoeuvre in heavy traffic, even with a loaded box. Featuring a robust, beautifully rounded, composite box with a 350-litre capacity offering the ultimate ease of use.

Pros: Large load capacity, powerful motor, great for businesses

Cons: Longer length can make it difficult for nipping around town.

The electric Babboe Curve Mountain cargo bike is an elegant three-wheel cargo bike with standards of the highest quality. The Babboe Curve Mountain is powered by a very powerful Yamaha mid-drive motor with a power sensor and has a step-less shifting system. This combination provides a smooth cycling experience making sure you're always in the correct place. You can fit up to four kids in this cargo bike - which will be welcome news for those with families bigger than four.

Pros: Very stable because of three wheels, large load capacity, strong powerful motor and large battery

Cons: Cornering at speed can upset the balance of the cargo bike and in some cases can result in toppling over.

Accessories

It's true that once you purchase the bike you'll need to buy other such things as well, for instance - you don't want your litties getting wet through and blasted by cold winds come the winter months. It's no surprise that cargo bike manufacturers sell these as extras.

Tern have many products which will make your travel options easier - but to build many of them, you'll likely need the Storm Box first.

When combined with the Clubhouse+™ and Sidekick™ Wide Decks, the Storm Box transforms the rear of the GSD into a massive, weather-protected bucket. Two weather-resistant lids let you easily switch between carrying kids and hauling cargo. The water-resistant and lockable Cargo Lid protects your stuff from rain and prying eyes, while the Kid Lid cinches tight to keep little ones warm and cozy, even on bad-weather days.

Pros: Great all-weather protection for kids, waterproof and durable

Cons: Can take a while to install but once it's on, it's on, pricey.

The Storm Shield is a weather-resistant canopy that keeps the elements out and everyone on the inside dry and happy. Combine with the Clubhouse+™ or Clubhouse™ to protect passengers from rain, snow, and wind. It gives little ones a cosy place to sit (or sleep) when bad weather hits and can also be used for sun protection on high UV days.

Pros: Great all-weather protection for children, protection from wind as well as the elements.

Cons: Pricey, can take a while to install, it is additional and not included.

If you wanted to add a little bit of extra luggage space to you own bike or your cargo bike, maybe this might be something for you to consider.

A modern trailer and drybag combo, perfect for a ride to the market or a trip across a continent. Features an elegant lightweight yet rugged twin spare frame and handles any touring load with predictable and stable road manners.

Pros: Extra storage at minimal cost, flag makes it more visible to pedestrians and other road users, great waterproof design

Cons: take care of extra length when cornering.

Myles is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, Parkers and CAR. His areas of expertise include cycling, fitness tech and hot hatches.

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