KP Cyclery is back again with an all-new steel Nighthawk cargo bike, made entirely in Europe. The Long John-style cargo bike offers plenty of options for carrying various heavy loads, with KP’s Nighthawk available in two standard bed lengths or a full-custom cargo bed, a Shimano STePS e-bike version, and the possibility for plenty more customization. And while long cargo bikes are almost never cheap, the Nighthawk offers surprising affordability that could make you think twice about the idea of One Less Car…
KP Cyclery Nighthawk customizable steel cargo bikes
We know KP Cyclery (formerly KP Cykler) first for their classic Trophy Bike Hanger, but then for interesting urban bikes like the 2-speed “Perfect” Urban Bike and great-looking, leaning Bicycle Sidecar. After being founded in Denmark, the company has shifted to KP-founder Kaspar Peek’s home city of Tallinn, Estonia where the company has since expanded and ramped up production with this new series of adaptable steel Long John cargo bikes.
The idea of building the new cargo bikes from lightweight steel tubing has been in the works for several years, mixing the benefits of a more supple ‘steel bike ride’ with easily attainable customization. Peek also says the smaller diameter look of the steel tubing creates a more classically shaped rear end with a traditional upright fit, combining nicely with the boxy, angular load platform front end. The result is said to “prove that cargo bikes do not have to be boring”.
Creating a more “sporty and aggressive” cargo bike, KP Cyclery hopes to convince more people to personalize their own form of alternative transportation. Peek hopes their cargo bike can help make its own mark, driving change towards a better world, “Bicycles, in general, make cities livable and lively through less pollution, noise, and more human interactions. Cargo bikes are at the forefront of this wave of change, and Nighthawk will make sure that this change will be enjoyable and fun.”
EU-made for adaptability & lower environmental footprint
The 4130 chromoly steel Nighthawk frames take advantage of automated, laser-cut manufacturing capabilities in Estonia, making production more efficient and helping keep costs low. Local manufacturing lends several more benefits beyond giving KP Cyclery more oversight & quality control over the manufacturing process, also allowing for more customization options for buyers, insulating production from overseas delays, even significantly limiting the environmental impacts of manufacturing & delivery.
KP Cyclery steel – Tech details
KP Cyclery says they’ve refined the Nighthawk geometry over the past several years starting when they were still in Copenhagen, to give the long-wheelbase cargo bike a more manageable city bike ride. Two frame sizes are available 53cm & 57cm which equates to seattube length of the rear end, meant to give a familiar upright fit without a giant stack of steerer tube spacers. They say the smaller frame fits anyone 165cm or taller, but the larger model is optimized for riders over 180cm with a higher, slightly stiffened riding position.
The long john-style cargo bike features a 20″ front wheel with a 47mm Schwalbe Road Cruiser tire and a 700c rear with a 37mm tire (max 42mm clearance). In between, a 68x40cm cargo bed will haul almost anything you could want to carry (44.5×39.5cm on the Mini.)
Overall, the steel frame is said to be more forgiving riding over small bumps, while also being less fatigue-prone like alloy cargo bikes.
KP Cyclery Nighthawk cargo bikes – Pricing, options & availability
Three basic versions of the KP Cyclery Nighthawk cargo bike are available. The most affordable is the short Nighthawk Mini with a simple Shimano Acera 1×9 derailleur drivetrain & MT-200 180mm hydraulic disc brake starting at 2040€, or the standard length Nighthawk with the same drivetrain for 2090€ (claimed 24.5kg complete) – all prices including free EU delivery. Upgrading either to an 8-speed Alfine internal gear hub adds 200€, but likely will cut down on maintenance.
The standard Nighthawk frameset (frame fork, load platform, center stand, headsets & steering linkage) is also available on its own for 1390€ to build up your own fully-custom cargo bike.
The last version is a Shimano STePS-powered e-bike version of the standard length Nighthawk. The Nighthawk cargo e-bike sells for 4390€ with a top-of-the-line premium EP8 mid-drive motor, 504Wh battery, Gates belt drive & Alfine 8-sp hub gearing (claimed weight 29.5kg).
All of those prices are for the core cargo bike itself, before you start tacking on add-ons like load bed side panels, boxes, kids’ seats, or windshields, which can easily bring the total cost much higher. And while none of those are exactly cheap price points, each option is a bit cheaper than similar alloy pedal-powered or e-cargo options we’ve covered manufactured in China, or Taiwan. Interestingly, only the made-in-Italy repurposed steel REcycle Bronte cargo conversions we’ve covered can compete on price.
Each of the three versions of the Nighthawk all come in a single standard gray paint job, but with production managed locally in Tallinn, KP can custom paint your cargo bike in any standard RAL color for just 100€ extra.
Plus, there’s always the option for custom side panel graphics for your business, too.
Custom sizing is also possible, either for different-sized riders or different-sized loads. KP Cyclery recently built a custom extra-long, Bafang-powered Nighthawk e-bike with a massive 50x100cm cargo bed for a French customer, that also gets additional side supports.
The KP Nighthawks are all available to order now and ready to transform your around-town errands & city commutes. There’s currently a 4-week lead time for standard bikes, and from 8 weeks for customized options. Ambassadors in Denmark & France can even coordinate test rides for riders who want to try, before they buy.