E-cargo bikes: advantages for everyday life and bicycle tourism

While the classic electric bike is already common in Europe, e-cargo bikes are gaining more and more attention. Choosing a bike over a car – whether it’s a cargo bike, three-wheeled bike or longtail – is huge right now!

New cycle paths play just as big a role as financial support from the state and city councils to make cycling more accessible. Whether you are an avid athlete or more casual rider, electric assistance is a big advantage when transporting loads, regardless of their weight, but also when starting uphill!

You have been considering using a bike for your everyday commutes or your weekend trips for a little while now, but can’t find anything?
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about e-cargo bikes, including their advantages and drawbacks.

If you’d like to delve deeper into the topic, you are welcome to discover our other articles about adult tricycles or delivery bikes.

E-cargo bikes: Interesting facts about the bike and its uses!

A cargo bike, also called a backpacker, is a bicycle with two wheels that offers the possibility of transporting different loads. There are many different uses to suit everyone’s needs:
Carry your shopping with an e cargo bike
  • To transport children: there is usually a load platform on the front. It can be made of wood or textile materials or simply open and offers space for child seats.
  • To transport loads: these are usually for professionals but who knows, maybe you just want to carry your shopping! These bikes are even more flexible, they can have a transport box or storage space that can be at both the front and at the back.

Regardless of the type you choose, it is important to transport loads under the weight limit and that allows you to have a complete overview of the road and the traffic.

But what about e-cargo bikes? According to CycleIndustry, around 3 million e-bikes were sold in Europe in 2019 alone, which represents an increase of 20%. The increase of e-cargo bikes sales will most likely continue in the following years due to several factors. (such as the current trend of cycling in the city and COVID-19)

Number of e-bikes sold in Europe from 2009 to 2019 (in millions):

Statista: Number of e-bikes sold in Europe from 2009 to 2019

What are the advantages and the drawbacks of e-cargo bikes?

The advantages of using e-cargo bikes for everyday purposes

E-cargo bikes have many advantages when moving around daily!

  • The cargo bike itself is a bike you quickly get used to: 10 to 15 minutes is enough to feel safe. It is comfortable and allows you to get around easily and quickly, especially since cycle paths are usually no wider than the bike itself.
  • An additional electric motor makes it easier to ride with heavy loads, as well as up steep hills..
  • Financially, e-cargo bikes are of course a somewhat larger purchase than classic cargo bikes, but nevertheless remain cheaper than a car. Whether in the purchase itself or in everyday maintenance. Indeed, it requires less maintenance, no petrol and also the insurance is much cheaper. You can also save space when parking!

Whether with electric assistance or without, you have to pedal with both alternatives! So you are doing something good for your health and the environment at the same time.

And what are some of the main drawbacks of using e-cargo bikes?

As with any type of bicycle, there are of course some drawbacks that should be taken into account when buying:

  • The e-cargo bikes are powerful, heavy and also long: it can therefore be more difficult to store the bike at home and park it in the city if the infrastructures are not designed for that purpose.
  • Pay attention to the battery life and how far you want to ride each day. If you have to cover a long distance, the battery must be able to hold the entire distance if you can only recharge your bike in the evening. (unfortunately, charging stations are not available everywhere…) And if you ever break down, your e-cargo bike quickly becomes an additional burden…

U-Cargo: AddBike’s new fun e-cargo bikes for the whole family!

Our U-Cargo is a good example of e-cargo bikes! Perfectly suited for everyday family use, it was designed to offer safety and practicality.

U-Cargo: AddBike's new fun e cargo bike for the whole family

Safety features:

  • Children or loads are well protected on the rear part thanks to a cabin with a steel frame. A textile protects the children from the feet to the lower back.
  • The door cannot be opened from the inside for maximum safety!
  • The step allows the children to get in independently without the bike tipping over.

Practical features:

  • You can also easily convert the seat into an 80 kg/176 lbs or 100 L load storage space to carry shopping of luggage.
  • Electric assistance makes it easier to get around and offers a range of 65 km/40 miles.
  • A space for a second battery for longer journeys is also provided.
  • And more good news: the U-Cargo is not much longer than a classic bicycle (2m/7 ft.), which of course makes getting around town and parking much easier.

Would you like to learn more about it? Then this way: U-Cargo AddBike

Put an e-cargo bike and tourism together! It’s a perfect match!

Bicycle tourism is IN right now. Environmentally friendly, accessible to all and good for health, it is getting a lot of buzz lately!

But what is it? Bike tourisme implies visiting cities or different landscapes on a bike! This takes away the competitive or necessary side of cycling and lets you just enjoy your surroundings and discover new things. We even recommend using e-cargo bikes so that the “how are we going to carry our bags” problem disappears!
And not to mention the essential benefit for your own health: pedalling reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Exercise strengthens heart function, improves blood and oxygen circulation and keeps joints and bones fit. While also reducing fat and building muscle mass. And if that wasn’t enough, through physical activity, the body secretes endorphins that reduce the sensation of pain and stress and at the same time provide a sense of well-being!

Ride your e cargo bike to see the London Eye
London, an example of bicycle tourism:

 

In London, even though cycling infrastructure isn’t optimized and is quite patchy in quality, there are plenty of great leisure cycle routes that allow you to discover the city. Family-friendly, safe and smooth canal towpaths between Tower Bridge and Islington via Victoria Park, are some we recommend!

The Thames Path is cyclable almost all its way through London, from Teddington to Dartford. London is also full of parks, such as Hyde Park, many of them great for bikes.

Of course, for these cycle routes you can ride a normal bike but also a cargo bike! It allows you to take your children or any needed baggage and is a great way to discover the city!

Tip: Even though these kinds of routes exist, some areas aren’t too safe for bike riders so you need to plan where you want to go and how! We recommend you use Bike Maps such as the London Cycle travel map.

Amsterdam, another example :

Another example is Amsterdam. This city has great cycling infrastructure in comparison to London. It is actually considered the green capital of Europe.  With more than 400,000 bicycles on the streets! And because of that, many things are done using bikes, including discovering the city!

Indeed, Amsterdam Velo, an English-speaking guides association, has decided to offer guided tours of Amsterdam in English. This group of young people organises tours every day and on request, whether by bike, boat or simply to visit museums! Go check their website out!

Ride your e cargo bike to visit Amsterdam

 

But how do I charge e-cargo bikes during a bike ride?
Simple: with a solar panel! There are affordable models that you can simply attach to your bike!
And if you are lucky, you might be in a city that has charging stations, you just have to look it up before.