Cargo e-bikes are an amazing transportation tool, and they’ve always had a presence at Eurobike (and in our own test fleet). But this year, we saw a big jump in the use cases and designs. From industrial and commercial applications (like hauling real cargo on pallets) to moving you and your kin or groceries through town faster and safer, here are six brands that showcased the future of pedal-driven cargo bikes and transportation…
Sblocs Calderas One
What sets this e-trike apart from other front-cargo bikes is its tilting design. Turn the bike, and it follows your natural lean to keep it feeling and handling more like a traditional bike.
And it’s not just you that leans, the front wheels lean with you, helping to keep your cargo planted with proper centrifugal force application. Think, opposite of a car where your stuff slides left when you turn right, this one leans as though its center of gravity is well below the pavement.
The tricky bit is that the tilt (or lean) is not tied to the steering, it’s up to you to lean the bike. We talked to the woman riding it in the pic above (who kindly modeled a sweeping turn for us) and she said it’s a bit weird at first, but quickly feels natural.
There are elastomer O-rings that create progressive resistance to the lean, which basically keep it from flopping over to the side. They also keep it upright when it’s parked.
The bikes come in non-electric versions from €5,295, but if you’ve ever pedaled a kid without a motor, trust us, it’s worth the upgrade to the €6,295 models with a motor.
Available in standard and “mixed” versions (the latter shown at the top of this post with mountain bike wheels), they use a Brose motor and Rohloff internally geared hubs. Check them out at Sblocs.de.
Anywhere.Berlin’s AWD cargo bike
This cargo bike from Anywhere.Berlin uses a bakfiets-style frame that puts the cargo between the rider and the front wheel. What makes it unique is the all-wheel-drive design using hub motors front and rear. With a massive battery pack underneath the cargo sled, it looks like it could haul just about anything, just about anywhere.
They make medical versions, and off-road versions, too, but their website is a little odd. Worth a look if you want to see it in action.
Gleam Escape cargo bike
Taking a different approach to both cargo placement and wheel lean, the Gleam Escape uses a full suspension design that works in parallel with their Dynamic Tilt Technology to keep your cargo level over bumps, and steady in the turns.
The two 20″ rear wheels sit on independent arms that move in opposite directions as you turn, creating a natural lean just like you’d feel on a standard bike.They’re both suspended, too, so they can further move with bumps whether leaning into a turn or cruising straight.
The cargo platform uses slats to provide lash points to secure your cargo, and they offer custom cargo containers that click into them and make the most of the usable space. Total payload capacity is 200kg (including rider), but it can also pull a trailer if you need to more move stuff.
It’s a Class 1 e-bike, powered by a Bosch Performance CX 250W motor leading to an Enviolo Cargo Automatic internally geared hub. Indiividual belts then drive each rear wheel. The front wheel is 27.5″ with a suspension fork and near-full fender coverage. Base price is €6,995 plus tax, with various cargo and other upgrades available, including a dual battery system that uses two 500Wh Bosch batteries. Check then out at gleam-bikes.com.
SUM X full carbon, full suspension 4-wheel cargo bike
The SUM X is a modular four-wheel cargo e-bike that weighs in at just 46kg (101 lbs) thanks to a nearly all-carbon fiber construction…including the rear leaf springs!
The front control arms and rear leaf spring are full carbon, as is pretty much anything else that didn’t need to be metal.
Even the cargo bed is full carbon fiber, and it comes in three lengths to provide short, medium, and long wheelbase options.
The main frame is a carbon monocoque design, which houses the motor and drive system that powers the front wheels. Average range is estimated at 60km (37 miles) on a full charge.
Front and rear lights are standard, including a rear brake light. It has alloy wheels with four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, which is good because max payload capacity is 300kg (661 pounds)! Check them out at SUMsolutions.it.
FlexiModal BicyLift pallet bike trailer
The BicyLift uses a nifty two-stage attachment method to position the wheels so they create an easy pivot for lifting a lot of weight. The system is designed to slide supports under a standard pallet, then click into place on the arms.
Once that’s done, just attach it to your bike. Or use the arms as a handle to pull the loaded pallet wherever you need it. An integrated braking system helps slow down heavy loads without throwing off your bike’s handling .
They also make one called the Runner that has a standard flatbed and is narrower to fit on bike paths. They’re light enough to be pulled by a Class 1 e-bike, even those European ones limited to 250W motors. Check it out at FlexiModal.fr.
Baumeister hub motor powered pallet wagon
Ff you really need to haul a heavy (and important) load, Baumeister’s cargo trailer uses four hub motors, one at each wheel, to assist you…and not burn out your bike’s drivetrain.
This new model even uses an electric lift, with side-mounted supports that slide into place once you’ve parked the wagon around the pallet, then they lift it up so you can pull away, cargo on board.
Making it all even easier, the front wheels turn as you turn the bike, keeping it following you all the way to the party.
Baumeister also makes a wide range of powered trailers for everything from cargo to kids, as well as miniature powered wheels and sleds that you can mount to just about any platform you want to be made mobile. Check them out at Baumeister.eu.