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Sartee Bikes: Custom e-Cargo Bikes Designed by an MIT-Educated Mechanical Engineer

Sartee Bikes, school pickup
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It only made sense for Jared Sartee to start designing cargo bikes. To start, Sartee is an avid mountain biker. He’s also a family man, lives in a small bike-friendly town, and is environmentally aware. Add to that his engineering expertise and you’ve got every reason to create a new brand of e-cargo bikes.

Sartee Bikes is an upstart e-cargo bike brand based in Pemberton, B.C.. The company is kicking things off with two different front-loading, two wheeled e-cargo bikes designed for business or family use. CEO Jared Sartee is an MIT-educated mechanical engineer with previous experience in engineering consulting and product design for various companies including Apple. Last fall he decided to pursue his own passion project with Sartee Bikes.

Sartee Bikes Frame Design Features:

Sartee Bikes, cable steering mechanism

Sartee designed the frames for his cargo bikes, including his own cable-driven steering mechanism. This mechanism uses an aircraft grade stainless steel cable and allows the front wheel 180° of steering range. This design maximizes the bike’s maneuverability both in the saddle and out. The mechanism is contained inside the frame and protected from the elements. 

The frames are designed to be highly modular, offering plenty of options for various cargo boxes, platforms, or other accessories to be mounted to the main rail. The rail takes inspiration from industrial-standard 80/20 T-slot profile. The T-slot fits many off-the-shelf accessory brackets, so buyers can customize their cargo areas easily. The rail design also gives the bike a very low step-through shape so it’s easy to mount when fully loaded up.

Sartee designed his first frame in October 2022, and started riding his first prototype bike in February of 2023. A second prototype came in April, and I got to ride the third version back in June.

Environmental Sustainability:

Sartee Bikes, three bikes

Sartee Bikes are designed to last for a lifetime, and encourage people to get out of their fuel burning cars. The company pledges to be transparent about their manufacturing and business practices. They aim to produce as little waste as possible, and contribute funds to environmental causes as a member of 1% for the Planet.

Sartee Bikes is staying local with production wherever possible. The GRIN Technologies motors and controllers they use are made in Vancouver. Their S80 CAB soft cargo/kid carrier is made in Squamish. The aluminum front frames are extruded in China, but the 4130 Chromoly rear ends are built in Montreal. The frame elements are then bolted together, so individual sections including the rear ends are replaceable. The frames are welded and powder coated in Montreal, Quebec, and (currently) the bikes are assembled in Pemberton, B.C.. Being a small startup company, Sartee says customers can easily get in touch if they have any questions or issues with the bikes.

Test Driving A Prototype:

Sartee Bikes, Prototype 3, right

I got a chance to test ride Sartee’s third prototype. This version was built on the longer S120 frame and had a sizeable cargo box attached. I have never ridden any kind of cargo bike before, so I struggled for the first few minutes to get comfortable with it. The bike was quite heavy, very long, and with the two wheel setup balancing the bike took a little getting used to.

Following Sartee’s advice I used the throttle to get the bike moving, then started pedalling. This was the key for me, and fairly quickly I was able to ride around without much trouble. I was hardly ripping around like Sartee himself, but I’d bet most riders could get comfortable with these cargo bikes within a few days of riding at most.

Sartee Bikes, prototype 3, left

I found Sartee’s steering mechanism worked well, offering no noticeable resistance or delay. While I rode the bike with no cargo the rear hub motor seemed to have plenty of power, whether from the throttle alone or with the five levels of pedal assist. The hydraulic disc brakes had ample power to stop the sizeable bike easily. Also, I was able to adjust the seat and handlebars to a comfortable position.

Sartee Bikes Model Lineup:

Sartee Bikes is starting out with two models; The S120 Pickup and the S80 Cargo Cab.

S120 Pickup:

Sartee Bikes, S120, side

The S120 Pickup’s 1200mm cargo area can carry a standard sized American or European pallet, and offers up to 720 liters of cargo volume. Sartee has designed a large aluminum Cargo Box for the S120, which offers tons of cargo space and includes struts to keep the lid open. He’s also drafted up a Flat Deck, which is a cargo platform featuring many cut-outs for attaching cargo straps, etc.

Sartee Bikes, S120, box open

With a single motor, the S120 Pickup has a whopping 205kg/452 lbs. max capacity including the rider and cargo. A single motor, rear wheel drive S120 Pickup weighs 90lbs before accessories are factored in.

The S120 also offers an AWD option, which adds another hub motor to the front wheel. The second motor doubles the bike’s power output and allows it to haul loads up steeper grades. There is also a no motor option, and a motor kit can be retrofitted to the bikes if the buyer’s needs or preferences change. 

Sartee Bikes, S120 geometry

S80 Cargo Cab:

Sartee Bikes, S80 CAB, side

The S80 Cargo Cab provides an 800mm cargo area on a shorter and more nimble frame. With family use in mind, Sartee has designed the S80 CAB kid/cargo carrier for this model. The carrier seats two small children and includes seat belts. When cargo space is needed, the child seat folds away. The carrier also folds inwards to keep the bike leaner for storage. A shortened version of the Flat Deck will also be available for the S80.

Sartee Bikes, S80 CAB interior

With a single motor, the S80 has the same 452lbs hauling capacity as the S120. The S80 also offers the option of adding a second hub motor, or can be purchased without a motor. The S80 CAB weighs 95lbs including the recycled Nylon kid’s seat. A geo chart for the S80 wasn’t available yet, but all dimensions are the same as the S120 except the frame’s cargo area, wheelbase and total length are 400mm shorter.

Common Features and Components:

Sartee Bikes, front wheel

Sartee designed his cargo bikes to be easy to maintain; they can be worked on with standard tools and use common bike components.  All components and specs listed below are the same for the S120 Pickup and S80 Cargo Cab.

Both models roll on a 24” rear wheel and a 20” front. The tires are puncture resistant, 2.35” wide Schwalbe Pick-Ups. The bikes use100x15mm front axles, and 148x12mm rears. For comfort and traction, up front you’ll find a Suntour Mobie A32 coil suspension fork with 50mm travel.

Sartee Bikes, brake levers

Braking is handled by Tektro’s Auriga 2-piston hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors. Sartee says his are the first cargo bikes to offer a fully functional throttle and regenerative braking, which kicks in when the brake lever is pulled. The motor then helps bring the bike to a smooth stop and sends power back to the battery. The levers also feature throttle cutoffs.

Both models get 1×9 gearing with an 11-46t cassette and a 38t narrow-wide front chainring. Sartee chose Microshift’s Advent derailleur, Trail Trigger shifter and cassette for the bikes. The bottom bracket is an MTB style press-fit PF92 with a 24mm Chromoly spindle.

Sartee Bikes, S80 CAB, rear angle

Seat posts are 400mm long and 31.6mm diameter, and the quick-release clamp is 34.9mm. Sartee cleverly includes a Velo saddle with a built-in carry handle that will help with moving the bike around. While there is plenty of adjustment for handlebar and seat height, there is no integrated reach adjustment (however the stock 40mm stem could easily be swapped). Sartee says the bikes are designed to fit riders from 5’0” to 6’6”. Other components and accessories include integrated front and rear lights, front and rear fenders, and a unique two-legged kickstand.

Drive System:

Sartee Bikes, gears/motor

Sartee bikes use GRIN TECH hub motors, which were specifically designed for high torque applications. The motors produce 1300w of power and 92Nm of torque. A RWD S120 Pickup can handle up to 6% grades at 19mph when loaded to the full 450lb capacity but the AWD model it can handle 13.5% grades under similar conditions.

Sartee Bikes, controller

The motor is controlled by GRIN TECH’s Baserunner controller, which includes a thumb throttle and five levels of pedal assist. The display screen shows your power level, battery life, speed, odometer, plus resettable trip details like max speed, average speed and trip distance. One nice touch is how the bike’s power button is neatly integrated into the stem cap.

Sartee Bikes, batteries

Supplying power is GRIN TECH’s 48V 19Ah 912Wh battery, which charges to 85% in four hours. Both bike models offer single or double battery options. With two batteries the bikes will go 70 miles/113km at full speed and fully loaded. With a single battery the range is 40 miles/64km.

Customization/Accessories:

Sartee Bikes, bike w kegs
Photo: Shane Roy

Sartee aims to be flexible and adaptable for customer’s needs, so custom frame lengths can be built to order, and custom accessories for the cargo bay are also an option – just get in touch to discuss such projects.

There are several optional accessories that can be ordered online now: A rear pannier rack, Pallet Rack, Tonneau cover (which fits over the pallet rack), and a Steering Extender for taller riders are all currently available.

Sartee Bikes’ S120 Pickup or S80 Cargo Cab bikes can be ordered now, but buyers should expect a 12 week lead time as the bikes are made-to-order. Those interested can also subscribe through Sartee Bikes’ website to receive information and updates about the bikes and accessories. 

Sartee Bikes, off loading
Photo (and title photo): Shane Roy

Both the S120 and S80 bikes start at $7795 USD (including a single hub motor/drive system). No pricing is available for other build options or accessories yet. Currently Sartee Bikes is offering an $800 discount on their S80 model if you place a deposit.

sarteebikes.com

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Tandemsteven@gmail.com
Tandemsteven@gmail.com
7 months ago

Nice job keep up thec
Good work
Reno

Steven
Steven
7 months ago

The F350 of E bikes!

James McMillian
James McMillian
7 months ago

Oh wow MIT.

Collin S
7 months ago

I bet you he will tell you that he went to MIT when he introduces himself. Everyone knows that MIT uses a completely different set of equations for engineering, thus all products from a “MIT-Educated” engineer are far superior. Isaac Newton wasn’t MIT educated thus his word is crap.

Marc Smith
Marc Smith
7 months ago

That power button is gonna get so much crap from rain and sleet… very bad spot.

Nick
Nick
7 months ago

Logo looks suspiciously similar to that of Sturdy Bags…these look pretty nice, everything considered, although I would have preferred a different brake be used.

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