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The Heavy Lifters: Cargo Bikes

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Cargo bikes are the beasts of the e-bike landscape, perfect for carrying heavy loads. This guide recommends the best cargo e-bikes available on the market.
robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr

As the name implies, cargo bikes are designed to haul cargo. Whether you need space to load your kids or groceries, these utilitarian-minded electric bikes act like a second car to help you schlep around everything you need.

With either a front- or rear-loading design, these e-bikes can be easily configured to carry whatever you need up to the maximum payload listed, which includes rider and cargo. Some offer multiple battery options, either the ability to choose a larger battery or add a second battery to improve range.

Exploring The World Of Cargo E-Bikes

If a cargo e-bike sounds like your ideal new vehicle, you have a wide range of options. This includes multiple models, from those with stretched-out back ends to attach seats, bags, and kids’ seats to those with a front bucket and two or three wheels. The two-wheeled models are easier to handle for a regular cyclist, as the three-wheeled bikes steer completely differently from a traditional two-wheeler. The trikes can be more stable for loading and unloading cargo, but most cargo bikes have a center stand rather than a kickstand.

Some cargo bikes use mid-drive motors, while others have hub motors. Mid-drives are better suited to riding in a hilly area, as hub motors can overheat and shut off on long, steep climbs. The prices listed reflect the base prices of the bikes, as they can be accessorized to push the price higher.

But with that in mind, here’s a selection of great cargo e-bikes available on the market:

Rad Power RadWagon 4

Rad Power's Radwagon 4

Rad Power is a direct-to-consumer brand with a good customer service history and provides great service to bike shops performing warranty service to their bikes. It’s a budget-priced brand that actually feels like a good-quality product with a nice fit and finish. It makes a variety of e-bikes, and the RadWagon is its long-tail cargo bike.

Price: $1,199
Frame: Aluminum
Motor: 750W Shengyi brushless rear hub motor
Battery: 672Wh
Display: Rad Power
Range: Up to 45 miles
Drivetrain: Shimano Altus, 7-speed
Wheel size: 22”
Max load: 350 lbs

Magnum Payload

Magnum Payload

Magnum offers several e-bike Class options for this model. It comes stock as either a Class 2 or Class 3, but the throttle on the Class 2 can be removed if preferred or required by law to be turned into a Class 1. There are also battery choices, either a 624 Wh or an 864 Wh. 

Price: $2,499-$2,899
Frame: Aluminum, step-through
Motor: Das-Kit rear hub motor, 500W
Battery: 48V, 624Wh or 864Wh
Display: Das-Kit C7, monochrome LCD
Range: 25-55 miles
Drivetrain: Shimano Acera 8-speed
Wheel size: 26”x1.75”
Max load: 350 lbs

Yuba Kombi E5

Yuba Kombi E5

The Yuba Kombi E5 is based on Yuba’s non-electric Kombi compact long-tail cargo bike, but the E5 gets its name from the Shimano STePS E5000 mid-drive motor. The E5000 is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than other Shimano Total Electric Power System motors.

Price: $3,299
Frame: 4130 Chromoly
Motor:  Shimano STEPS E5000 mid-drive
Battery: Shimano STEPS 418Wh
Display: Shimano STEPS
Range: 25-40 miles (claimed)
Drivetrain: Shimano Altus, 9-speed
Wheel size: 24×2.5”
Max load: 440 lbs

Benno Boost 10 D

Benno Boost 10 D

Benno Baenziger is a German skate- and snowboard pioneer who moved to California to live the American dream. He co-founded Electra Bicycles, then left in 2010, founding Benno Bikes in 2015. His design philosophy is to develop bikes that inspire people to ride more. Benno makes nothing but cargo bikes, the Boost being one of the most popular. It comes in one size, a variety of colors, and can be configured with several different Bosch mid-drives, from a Performance to Sport to CX to Speed (certain countries excluded from certain motors, all available in the U.S.). 

Price: $4,299
Frame: Aluminum
Motor: Bosch mid-drive, 4 choices
Battery: 400Wh or 500Wh Bosch PowerPack
Display: Bosch Purion
Range: 70 miles
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore
Wheel size: 24×2.6”
Max load: 440 lbs

Tern GSD S10 LX

Tern's GSD S10 LX

Tern has been selling the GSD compact cargo bike for several years now. GSD stands for “Get Stuff Done,” and this bike is all about that. It has some interesting new flavors and a host of built-in features, including the ability to stand upright on the rear rack for storage or elevators. It’s pre-designed to use two Bosch PowerPack batteries, but you can buy it with only one to save a few bucks.

Price: $5,799 (single battery, 500Wh), $6,499 (dual battery, 1000Wh)
Frame: 6061 aluminum
Motor: Bosch Cargo Line
Battery: Bosch PowerPack, 500Wh
Display: Bosch Purion
Range: 32-62 miles 
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore, 10-speed
Wheel size: 20”
Max load: 440 lbs

Urban Arrow Family

The Urban Arrow family cargo e-bike

The Urban Arrow Family e-bike is a good example of a front bucket-style cargo bike with two wheels. The bucket can carry two kids, and since it’s in the front, some clever engineering uses linkages under the bucket to transfer rider inputs from the handlebar to the front wheel. This e-bike also features an Enviolo continuously variable transmission (CVT) drivetrain for step-less gear changes throughout the range.

Price: $5,995
Frame: Aluminum
Motor: Bosch Performance Line Cruise mid-drive
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 400Wh
Display: Bosch Intuvia
Range: 31 miles
Drivetrain: Enviolo CVT
Wheel size: 20×2.15” front, 26×2.15” rear
Max load: 550 lbs

Bunch Bikes Coup

The Bunch Bikes Coup

The Coupe is a three-wheeler (two in front) engineered with some really useful features. First, the bucket has a front door that folds down so kids or dogs can get in easily, or you can easily load groceries. It also features two three-point seat belts for the kids, the fenders have finger protection so little ones don’t get hurt, and it’s engineered to fit through a standard door. It also has an Enviolo automatic CVT drivetrain that provides step-less shifts when desired.

Price: $6,999
Frame: Aluminum
Motor: Bafang M400 mid-drive
Battery: 720 Wh
Display: Bafang 
Range: Up to 75 miles
Drivetrain: Enviolo Automatic CVT
Wheel size: 24×2” front, 26×2.15” rear
Max load: 350 lbs

Blix Packa Genie

Blix Packa Genie

The Blix Packa is another budget-minded e-cargo bike. It has a 750-watt motor with 90 N/m of torque to move up to 450 pounds of rider, plus cargo (250-pound rider limit, 150-pound rear rack limit, 50-pound front rack limit), effortlessly through the streets. There’s a dual-battery option for $300 extra that we’d highly recommend opting for. 

Price: $1,999 (single battery), $2,299 (dual battery)
Frame: Steel
Motor: Shengyi 750W rear hub drive
Battery: 614 Wh (single battery), 1228 Wh (dual battery)
Display: 6061 aluminum
Range: Up to 80 miles 
Drivetrain: Shimano Acera, 7-speed
Wheel size: 24×2.4
Max load: 450 lbs

Surly Big Easy

The Surly Big Easy

Surly makes some cool cargo bikes on both the traditional and e-bike side. The Big Easy has a really long tail made to carry lots of stuff. Surly boasts it can carry up to 300 cans of beer! It comes with one battery but has the required wiring and harness to add a second battery.

Price: $5,249
Frame: 4130 Chromoly
Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX
Battery: Bosch Powerpack 500Wh 
Display: Bosch Purion
Range: 50 miles
Drivetrain: SRAM NX 11-speed
Wheel size: 26×2.5”
Max load: 400 lbs

Pedego Stretch

Dive into our comprehensive look at cargo e-bikes and meet the workhorses of the electric bike realm.

Pedego introduced the Stretch several years ago, but it remains virtually unchanged. That’s part of Pedego’s philosophy; they keep bikes using similar, standard parts to make them easier to maintain and replace. The Stretch is one size fits most. There are four frame colors to choose from and two-wheel styles (spokes or mags). The backrest comes with the bike and can be removed, as can the footrests.

Price: $4,295
Frame: 6061 aluminum
Motor: Dapu 500W hub drive
Battery: Samsung 624Wh (816Wh option)
Display: Backlit LCD
Range: 50 miles 
Drivetrain: Shimano Acera, 7-speed
Wheel size: 24×2.4”
Max load: 400 lbs

Looking for a little more inspiration for your perfect electric bike? Check out our guides to the best e-bikes of 2023 and the most comfortable e-bikes.

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About Our Editorial Team

robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr
Robb is a massive cycling enthusiast who has more than 20 years of non-motorized cycling experience. He started to lower the barrier of entry to cycling and reduce the intimidation people can experience when getting into the cycling world.

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