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UK cargo bikes: a life-changing asset for transporting bulky loads
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to walk in major urban landscapes without spotting a load bike. Cargo bikes are everywhere, both families & pros are benefitting from its usage. How come? The reason is simple: these bikes are a real alternative to cars and trucks.
While they can often transport as much, they’re also proven to be more profitable, especially for professional usage. In this article, we will focus on the cargo bike use specifically in the UK – and stick around for some useful tips to make your rides more efficient and safer!
Cargo bikes UK: an overview on the main regulations in England
Before choosing a cargo bike, it’s important to know the main laws in your country.
In the UK, cargo bikes are completely legal on British roads- even self-made ones. While you don’t need a driving license to ride a cargo bike, it’s essential to know and apply the road code correctly. This ensures that you and people around you are always safe.
Cargo bikes also don’t require vehicle registration and as today, helmets are not mandatory, even for children.
Furthermore, electric cargo bikes have specific limits and requirements in England. Let’s have a quick look…
What is an EAPC?
According to gov.uk, an EAPC is an electrically assisted pedal cycle (with two or more wheels, that can also be a cargo bike) and it must follow these requirements:
- Have pedals that can propel the bike
- Show the power output or manufacturer on the motor
- Displays the battery’s voltage or maximum speed of the bike
- Use a motor with a maximum power of 250 watts
- The power assistance should cease when the bike travels at more than 15.5 mph
UK cargo bikes: the main bicycle models on the British streets
While the market for cargo bikes used to be quite a niche, today you’ll be able to find a great selection of bicycle models designed for every purpose. To get a 360° view of cargo bikes models, you should give a look to our cargo bicycles beginner’s guide here.
Let’s have a glance at the main models:
Box-bikes(or bakfiets) are known for their sturdy front box, set low to the ground to provide a steady feel. A box-bike is great for light to medium freight transportation & allows you to have your goods always on sight. This option can come with two or three wheels.
is just like a regular bike, but with a longer rear rack. This part is extended in order to allow greater charging space without compromising the riding experience. Lots of accessories can be added to longtails to offer great versatility and improve their space. They’re easy to drive and to store, perfect for city-dwellers with limited space.
The U-Cargo is a great example of a longtail. There are four different versions of the U-Cargo to answer particular needs.
👶 The U-Cargo Family is the perfect longtail for busy parents that need a trustable ally. Fully equipped with a rear protective textile cabin, the kids are completely safe from shock and bad weather at all times.
🧰The U-Cargo Pro is still the same bike but coupled with two sturdy boxes that allow you to transport large freights with small effort. This bike is specially designed for professionals of deliveries and artisans. Stay tuned, we’ll give a better look shortly!
come with a pair of front or rear wheels, allowing a better support of charges and often an overall better stability. The kickstand is not needed in this model as the structure is fully stable by itself, this bike won’t ever tip over- which is great especially when transporting goods!
Check out our B-Back Box, a stable tricycle that can carry up to 35 kg/ 77Ibs on a daily basis. A huge asset for beginners and people with balance impairments that still want to profit from the cycling lifestyle!
Cargo bike accessories
can vary in shape and form, but the main idea is that they can transform any bike into a cargo bike. This way you can give a second life to your current bicycle, as well as saving money and extra space. They’re often very affordable and reversible, so that you can have both worlds in one. A great example is the Box Kit, a smart cargo bike kit that transforms any bike into a dynamic three-wheeler!
Handy and very spacious, it can safely transport up to 35 kg/ 77 Ibs max of loads. You can fit a medium/large amount of parcels, tools and goods. Thanks to its patented tilting wheel system, the wheels will tilt during turns (allowing great agility) while the charges stay in place at all times.
The textile is waterproof and contains reflective strips, to be visible even in the English foggy weather.
🎉 Our tips: the textile contains a large white space, so that you can add your custom designs/logo to help be more recognisable on the road. Free advertising!
UK cargo bikes tips: how to find the right one for your business
Now that you have the basics in mind, let’s understand how to choose which model fits you best. First things first, you need to consider your riding aptitude. Not every cargo bike model is easy to ride right away, so it’s important to choose accordingly. Generally speaking, box bikes require great riding skills as the bike is heavy, bulky and quite long. Smaller riders and beginners might struggle considerably with this model. Three-wheelers also take more adaptation time as the riding experience changes considerably.
As mentioned above, longtails are the easiest to drive as they’re the closest to classic bicycles. For inexperienced cyclists, tricycles should be your go to! The greater stability will help you feel extra safe and confident.
Secondly, you should think about what type of charges you require to transport. For example, for parcel transportation you should look more into a sturdy and stable bike. For food delivery it’s essential to choose a bike with an insulated & fully closed box that can be found on a longtail or at the front on a box-bike.
☔ Our tips: don’t forget to choose a water resistant textile, when looking for a cargo bike! Especially in England, it’s critical to be properly equipped for the rainy weather. This will ensure that your goods and tools will stay dry and protected all day long.
And lastly, you should keep in mind the environment you’ll ride in. Will you have to drive in narrow and busy streets? In this case you’ll have to choose a compact model like the longtail.
The U-Cargo Pro: a perfect cargo bike designed for professionalsThe U-Cargo Pro is a longtail adapted to professional use, beginners included! Equipped with two storage boxes, one of 60 L at the front and one of 210 L at the back, you will be able to transport everything you need in complete safety. The boxes are easily accessible thanks to a strap system and include interior compartments for optimal organisation of your belongings. In addition, the rear box is equipped with a key lock for maximum security. The fabric is waterproof and has reflective strips for increased visibility. It is also possible to personalise them with your brand’s colours/logo! In addition to its large loading capacity, the U-Cargo Pro is easy to handle and therefore suitable for all users, even novices. Here are some of its features:
- Compact and therefore easy to park;
- Central stand for stability when stationary;
- Powerful 80Nm pedal motor;
- Range of 110km (with a battery of 622Wh);
- Low frame for easy climbing;
- 20 inch wheels for better handling;
- Easy-Start system: no need to pedal to start!
We hope that this article has helped you learn more about using UK cargo bikes. If you’d like to test out our products, don’t hesitate to contact us or one of our British dealers!