The Best Electric Cargo Bikes for Families

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Move over minivans. Almost out of nowhere, cargo bikes have emerged as one of the most popular ways for families to quickly and conveniently zip around town.

With the capacity to carry multiple people at once, as well as sizable loads of groceries, packages, plants, pets, toys, and more, cargo bikes can do almost anything that a car, truck, or SUV can, but at a fraction of the cost. 

And thanks to the next generation of electrification, it’s gotten a lot easier for the family chauffeur to pilot an oversized bike up hills and over bridges. Like a regular ebike, a cargo ebike uses a battery-powered motor to assist the movement of the pedals, which makes riding around with hundreds of pounds of kids and bags in tow much less arduous.

In short, you can use an electric cargo bike to move pretty much anything anywhere. 

There are a multitude of electric cargo bikes on the market, and as we’ll see, an incredible variety of features and designs. This guide is intended to help you pick the one that is right for your everyday needs. 

Who Should Buy an Electric Cargo Bike?

Electric cargo bikes are ideal for anyone who would like to get around by cycling, but needs room to transport additional passengers or bulky items. 

Who Should Not Buy an Electric Cargo Bike?

Before springing for an electric cargo bike, there are some cheaper alternatives you might want to consider. Parents with infants or small children sometimes prefer to equip a rear seat or trailer to a regular ebike, and for office workers with limited gear to lug (notebooks, a laptop, etc.), a pannier or backpack may provide all the carrying capacity you need. 

What Are the Different Types of Electric Cargo Bikes?

The term “cargo ebike” can refer to many different kinds of bicycles, but most consumer versions fall into two categories.

The longtail, which is the most common design, looks and rides like a regular bike but with a longer rear deck that provides extra room for luggage. Mount a seat or two (or three) on the back and you’re ready to take the kids for a ride. 

Many riders gravitate toward longtails because, in terms of weight, size, and handling, they are on the sportier end of the spectrum. (Midtails, which are like longtails with shorter carriers, are even more agile.) The tradeoff with longtails is they have less cargo capacity than other form factors. 

A bakfiet (it means “box bike” in Dutch) is basically a bike SUV. Equipped with a big bin, usually behind the front wheel, these ultra-long, wheelbarrow-like vehicles are insanely efficient at moving large loads of kids and goods. Some versions can carry upwards of 400 lbs (181 kg). Additionally, parents tend to like the front-loaded design because it allows them to keep an eye on their most precious cargo while they ride.

But if you are searching for something lightweight and portable, a machine that can be easily maneuvered into an apartment building and up several flights of stairs at the end of a long day, you may want to look elsewhere. With an electric motor attached, a bakfiet can easily weigh over 100 lbs (45 kg). Not surprisingly, these hefty haulers can also be punishing to ride uphill, even when using throttle assist.

Side note: An increasingly popular sub-variety of bakfiet are three-wheelers, or electric cargo trikes. While these builds enjoy the ability to stay up right on their own, they are known to be less nimble, especially when turning.

So which electric cargo bike is the best for you? We have some recommendations. 

Keep Reading to Discover 10 Top-Notch Electric Cargo Bikes

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