Author Topic: Electric Cargo Bikes  (Read 2779 times)

fidgiegirl

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Electric Cargo Bikes
« on: August 03, 2019, 08:01:20 PM »
Test rode some bikes.

Loved the Yuba Spicy Curry. ($4500 base price, another $200-$400 for accessories)
Loved the Tern GSD. ($4000 base/$4700 with all my desired accessories)
However - Having a small heart attack re: cost of those two beautiful bicycles.

Wondering if I should try a Radwagon as an entry level electric cargo bike, or pony up for either of these others.  I'd be for about $1700 with all needed accessories to haul kids on the Rad.

Main use would be within a - please don't laugh - one mile radius with two kids (2 and 5) on the back.  Occasional excursions within a 3 mile radius and even more occasionally within 10.  Hilly town, growing kids.  I already have a muscle-only powered kid trailer and cruiser bike setup that I dread using so it's not a question of electric or not, just which electric bike at this point.  Feedback/ideas?

erutio

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 08:17:38 PM »
We have an xtracycle and it is amazing.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 08:25:34 PM »
I liked that one too.

What success stories do people have with Radwagons?  I have heard nothing but love for the GSDs and Spicy Currys, but mixed reviews on the Radwagons.  Don't know if I want to risk it - even at $1700 it's a lot of money.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2019, 09:37:23 AM »
Hi @lhamo !!!!

TomTX

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2019, 10:57:15 AM »
I've got over 600 miles on my RadWagon, much of it with a kid riding behind me. No fancy extras, he just holds onto the handle under the seat. Two kids would need some accessorizing. Got a couple of pannier type bags at IKEA - dayglo yellow

It's a heavy beast. Light offroad is fine, but it's certainly not a mountain bike.

justchecking

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2019, 11:28:32 AM »
We just bought the radwagon and put our one year old and three year old in Thule Maxxi Nexxt seat on the back.  We love it.  The bike is super zippy and is easy to handle.  I have taken it on a couple of longer rides now with the little ones and could not recommend it more.  Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.  Don't overspend on the fancy ones.  I think the radwagon is right where it should be in terms of price and functionality. 

fidgiegirl

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2019, 11:46:52 AM »
Thanks for the Radwagon feedback!  Reassuring!

chaskavitch

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2019, 01:03:02 PM »
We just bought the radwagon and put our one year old and three year old in Thule Maxxi Nexxt seat on the back.  We love it.  The bike is super zippy and is easy to handle.  I have taken it on a couple of longer rides now with the little ones and could not recommend it more.  Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.  Don't overspend on the fancy ones.  I think the radwagon is right where it should be in terms of price and functionality.

May I ask how old your kids are, and how long your "longer rides" are?  We're moving ~ 10 miles away from my work and our daycare, and I'd love to eventually be able to pick the kids up on a bike.  I'd really rather not drag our bike trailer behind my road bike to and from work, since I won't be doing drop off. 

justchecking

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2019, 05:06:27 PM »
Today we did about 4 miles with a one and a three year old.  Longer trips seem super doable and the kids really loved being out and about.

TomTX

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2019, 06:35:27 PM »
Thanks for the Radwagon feedback!  Reassuring!

Be aware that it has no suspension whatsoever. The only easy way to adjust cushioning is tire pressure - go a bit lower to absorb bumps a bit. I usually pump up to 40PSI - when the Local Bike Shop did a tuneup they put it at 60PSI, which was noticeably rougher until I bled the tires down.  I've heard others recommend a "Thudbuster" seatpost, but I haven't bothered.

TomTX

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2019, 06:37:25 PM »
We just bought the radwagon and put our one year old and three year old in Thule Maxxi Nexxt seat on the back.  We love it.  The bike is super zippy and is easy to handle.  I have taken it on a couple of longer rides now with the little ones and could not recommend it more.  Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.  Don't overspend on the fancy ones.  I think the radwagon is right where it should be in terms of price and functionality.

May I ask how old your kids are, and how long your "longer rides" are?  We're moving ~ 10 miles away from my work and our daycare, and I'd love to eventually be able to pick the kids up on a bike.  I'd really rather not drag our bike trailer behind my road bike to and from work, since I won't be doing drop off.

Currently 6, started riding with me at 3. We've done 10 miles in a day, but not in a single shot - more like "Ride to that playscape you like, play for awhile, ride somewhere else, play for awhile, ride home"

GreenEggs

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2019, 08:08:18 PM »
The price point of the Rad bikes seems reasonable.  I'll have to find a rental shop for a test ride.  We recently purchased a Sprinter for traveling & considering what kind of toys to pack.  Wish they went a bit faster than 20 mph, I'd assume pedaling makes them go faster?


Keep us posted if you get one.  :)





TomTX

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2019, 08:15:58 PM »
The price point of the Rad bikes seems reasonable.  I'll have to find a rental shop for a test ride.  We recently purchased a Sprinter for traveling & considering what kind of toys to pack.  Wish they went a bit faster than 20 mph, I'd assume pedaling makes them go faster?

When I got the RadWagon, the assist was software locked to 20MPH, at which point it goes into full regen mode (which sucks). Directions can be found online for adjusting the limits. Alternately, just turn off the electric and pedal fast ;)

If you have a load, staying under 20MPH is the prudent choice anyway in most cases. Yes, it has disc brakes - but it's already a lot of mass to stop if you need to stop quickly - and it's not exactly the most agile bike for dodging things. Basic cargo bike tradeoffs.

Speaking of brakes, I did get them adjusted at my LBS after getting some miles on the bike as part of a general tuneup.

SisterX

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 10:26:31 AM »
I found an Xtracycle on Craigslist for #3100. Then one of the drops holding the rear wheel on broke. BUT, Xtracycle went the extra mile and did a warranty frame replacement.

Mine has a hub motor, and it's been recommended to me that I replace it (eventually) with a mid-drive because the hub motors are so hard on the frame.

I think the most miles we've done in a day was around 17? It's doable and comfortable, even for longer distances. We took the bikes out to one of the islands for a Family Adventure Day! (that's what my older one called it) and rode around. That was a lot of fun, and we definitely would not have been able to consider it without an ebike.

Other than that, it's replaced almost all of our car driving in our area of Seattle. Our very hilly area.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2019, 09:25:02 PM »
@katscratch , what shop do you use?  I'm local to the Twin Cities as well.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback!

I've decided that the reason I was wanting a Radwagon wasn't because I WANTED a Radwagon, it was because I was being un-confident about my future frequency of riding.  I identified a few thoughts that weren't serving me, including that if I didn't ride the bike EVERY DAY (in Minnesota . . . ) that I would be a failure and would have wasted our money [in buying the more expensive bike I really want], so I could "justify" getting a Rad because I wouldn't be wasting as much money when I failed.  Really good frame of mind to be entering into this venture with.  LOL . So I decided I'd instead adopt the thought that when I get the bike I really want (GSD or Spicy Curry, maybe an Xtracycle Swoop), every ride will be so awesome!  This thought makes me excited to spend my money instead of scared (I have the money needed for any of the bikes).  It's made me stop and take a breath, and not need to get one THIS WEEK BECAUSE SCHOOL IS GOING TO START AND WE'RE GOING TO WASTE THE WHOLE FALL OF RIDING!!!! if I don't get one.

I didn't like the kickstand on the GSD that I tried.  Like, really didn't like it.  But I think the sales guy was showing us how to use it wrong, and it was the first electric cargo bike EVER that we were test riding.  So I'm going to give it another shot.

So, open to hearing all your love for all cargo bikes.  <3

fidgiegirl

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2019, 09:28:22 PM »
Also @katscratch , do you ever see ANYONE using ANY kind of e-bike?  I've been on the lookout and have not seen a one.  Maybe it's just that fewer people are biking in St. Paul compared to Minneapolis.  But we're near Summit Ave and the river . . . we see a fair number of bikes.

katscratch

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2019, 08:22:01 AM »
Commuting I see ebikes every day. I see a lot more integrated frames on commuters than I used to - where the battery is part of the frame - so maybe they aren't as noticeable. I do see a lot more in Minneapolis but there are also more shops carrying a wider range of ebikes on that side of the metro.

I just checked the bike cage at my workplace in St Paul - 23 bikes; 9 are ebikes :)

My shop is in S Minneapolis and carries Xtracycle and Surly (Big Easy) - the owners are close friends so once I was 50/50 split between the Spicy Curry and Edgerunner I went with them.

For general e-assist cargo bike knowledge and a bigger selection, however, I think Perennial Cycle in uptown has the best service and experience - Luke has ridden every imaginable bike and they have tons of family events year-round, so they get a lot of feedback from customers. I actually did all my test rides on their bikes and was super close to getting the Yuba there. Most of the shops that sell family bikes are very supportive of each other, so Luke can likely recommend a shop closer to you for maintenance, etc, as well.

https://www.perennialcycle.com/

If you want to borrow my bike for a day or two, let me know. I found it really difficult to get a true idea of what it would be like actually using it day in day out and read every blog post I could find, but it's not the same as using it for a typical day rather than just riding around the block!

theskyisblue

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2019, 11:25:21 PM »
I'm considering the new RadRunner.  Anyone here use it?  Pro/con?

Fishindude

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2019, 08:22:25 AM »
Just ordered a RadRover, supposed to show up this week.

zeruel

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2019, 09:26:09 AM »
Since this thread was started, they have updated the kick stand on the Tern GSD (both the S00 and the S10); if you buy one, make sure it has the newer kick stand. I just got my own Tern GSD S10 and I love it :)

If you have an older GSD, it is relatively easy to replace the kick stand.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 09:39:25 AM by zeruel »

TomTX

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2019, 06:16:07 AM »
My wife's Pedego is much nicer than my RadWagon, though noticeably less cargo capacity and single rider only. Better gears, motor, pack, brakes... and since we got it used off Craigslist it was less than half as much.

Goldielocks

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2019, 05:02:43 PM »
Did no one suggest just adding a motor to your current bike + Trailer?  Maybe getting a trail a bike if you swap between kids?  The bike + Trailer is great for groceries without kids, or just one kid.   The problem is your hills.

The biggest kid will be able to keep up on their bike with you soon, or you can put them on a push scooter while you slowly ride your 1 mile to (school? Daycare?).

Anyway, that is what I would do / did do and I loved my bike again after that.  Hills suck with kids and muscle power only.

Mrsweisass

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2019, 09:06:51 PM »
Did no one suggest just adding a motor to your current bike + Trailer?  Maybe getting a trail a bike if you swap between kids?  The bike + Trailer is great for groceries without kids, or just one kid.   The problem is your hills.

The biggest kid will be able to keep up on their bike with you soon, or you can put them on a push scooter while you slowly ride your 1 mile to (school? Daycare?).

Anyway, that is what I would do / did do and I loved my bike again after that.  Hills suck with kids and muscle power only.

I wouldn’t recommend this , personally. I think it might risk fishtailing or worse, and the ride along a and trailers are not necessarily made to travel at ebike speeds.

I have a e-assist madsen and have nearly replaced all local (under 2mi) trips. Friends of mine are happy on their tern gsd, radwagons, and spicy currys. I think nothing beats taking these bikes for a test ride, though! And it takes time to adjust to the feel of it. As for riding in winter- invest in good winter gear and it won’t be a problem!

Goldielocks

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2019, 01:27:51 AM »
You are assuming wrongly..  Ebikes max out at 35 kph.  22 mph.
That is the same speed you can get to (on flat) with muscle power and is entirely safe for bike trailers.

Fishindude

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2019, 12:36:16 PM »
Have had my Rad Rover a couple weeks ago and am pretty impressed with it.   I bought it to access remote hunting spots off road and that little machine does the job.   
Hauls my heavy 225lb butt around while carrying a rifle, packa nd wearing heavy hunting gear no problem.   I'm in Midwestern rather flat terrain and it climbs the little hills around here great.

FINate

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2019, 02:43:06 PM »
Approaching 4000 miles on our electric Yuba Mundo. Love the bike, very sturdy and well made. Have taken DW and both kids on it at the same time, though usually either just the kids or a date with DW while the kids are at school.

I went with the Mundo because I'm tall (6'6") and the fit was better. Otherwise I may have gone for the cheaper RadWagon. Though I do like that the Yuba bikes are mid-drive instead of the hub drive Rad bikes.

When I first started biking the kids to school (~2.5 years ago) it was a bit of a novelty and people would stop to ask about it. Now there's a sizable contingent of parents consistently cargo biking their kids around. The folks with Rad Wagons are all very happy with their bikes. That said, the fit and finish and overall build isn't as nice as the Yuba.

nickinak

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Re: Electric Cargo Bikes
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2019, 07:18:38 PM »
I have a Specialized Como 3 and like the bike.  The range is great and it is very comfortable.  However, I can only haul about 30 pounds in  a basket in the back or it gets noticeably challenging to steer.  So that might be something to suggest the Rad type might be better for hauling kids on the back.  That being said, I have no doubt the Como would haul two kids in a trailer very well. I regularly ride 15-20 miles, often half way with a load of groceries or whatever.  Although the terrain is fairly flat, I rarely use more than 20% of the battery on a trip.