The variety of models for different needs has (greatly) increased significantly in the past years. Cargo bikes are even available in attractive designs nowadays. They range from fast e-cargo bikes with a mileage of up to 15.000 km per year up to transporters for loads up to 300 kg in sizes of euro-pallets.
Basically the geometry differs in 2 types: cargo bikes with 2 wheels, so-called single-track cargo bikes and cargo bikes with 3 or more wheels, so-called multi-track bikes.
Single-track or models with two wheels are similar in their handling to regular bicycles: They are maneuverable and not too wide, so that they could fit through narrower gaps in traffic. Single-track models are ideal for smaller transports and also for longer distances. But they are difficult to balance when fully loaded. There are two different types of single-track models which differ in handling and application possibilities: Enhanced regular bicycles are built like regular bicycles and they are either equipped with a high loader on the bicycle rack or on the handlebar. Due to the high center of gravity, these additional freight bearers have a load limit so they cannot fall over. Therefore, the handling of this type of cargo bicycle is maneuverable and uncomplicated. An example of this type is the so-called “backpacker” model with a particularly stable bicycle rack. Models with an extended wheelbase in the front and lower load space can even carry loads up to 150 kg, without being unstable. Therefore the turning circle is greater at a longer wheelbase and the steering needs getting used to. The classical model “Long John” has the characteristic long wheelbase in the front and a large load space in front of the cyclist.
Two- or multi-track models are very stable due to the weight distribution on three or four wheels. Therefore, even with a fully loaded cargo bike – like with several children or heavy loads – you cannot fall over and it is especially suitable for large and heavy transports. Large multi-track models can convey up to 300 kg in sizes of euro-pallets, the smaller models can convey up to 100 kg. Due to the great stability they move safely and calmly, but can only be ridden in low and average speed. They are less maneuverable than single-track models and it is more difficult to maneuver them through traffic. Additionally, you need to get used to the steering. Multi-track cargo bikes can again be subdivided in the sub-types three-wheeled front-loader, bigger three-wheeled rear loader and four-wheeled rear loader. The model “tricycle” is a typical cargo tricycle which allows you to ride slowly and stop without losing the balance.
We have listed a couple of brands that currently manufacture e-cargo bikes. You can find all the details about the individual models in our e-bike comparison.