The Very Best Electric Cargo Bike of 2021
If you’re thinking of ditching your car for an electric bike to commute to work, do your daily errands or otherwise zip through daily life, you may have one big hesitation—the trunk… or lack thereof when it comes e-bikes.
While many people are excited about all the benefits and ways e-bikes can change your daily life, they often wonder about all things they need and want to maneuver their days. How are you going to haul your groceries? Where will you pack your gym gear? How about when you want to take your tackle box out to the lake?
The good news is that with the right electric bike, you can put those concerns aside. All of our Charge bikes are equipped with an integrated rear rack that provides plenty of room for carrying your goods and gear. It’s not a trunk, but it provides all the storage capacity most people want and more, and frankly, we’re pretty sure you’ll find it even better than a trunk.
How Much Cargo Can You Haul?
Can you take everything with you when you ride? No, but there are ways to maximize the amount of cargo you can haul. The key is knowing what you’re likely to be hauling most frequently and how much of it you’ll be hauling. There are a variety of accessories on the market to help accommodate your specific needs.
For example, you can always strap baskets, bags or other items right onto the integrated bike rack. If you find yourself frequently wanting to haul heavier loads, like lots of groceries, you may want to buy a quality set of panniers. Akin to saddlebags, they fit over our rear rack and let you haul more stuff securely. They transform the potential of the rear rack into serious cargo capacity, so you can safely transport even larger items on your bike. For lighter loads and shorter distances, a backpack or hip pack may be a good option.
Want to haul your kids along too? If they’re not yet riding, you’ve got options to take them along with you on your Charge e-bike. If they weigh less than 40 pounds, you can put traditional, rear-mounted child seats on your Charge e-bike. The only downside is the extra weight, which, when positioned up high like that, can affect your bike’s handling.
Another option is a pull-behind trailer or tag-along bike, which also works for kids who weigh more than 40 pounds. Pull-behind trailers typically have two wheels and can carry one or two children in an enclosed cargo area. Tag-along bikes have one wheel, and typically carry one child in a riding position, with their own handlebar, cranks and drivetrain.
Whatever your choice, there are some great options available to take your children with you on your e-bike, waving to the minivans while you go. Your kids will benefit from the fresh air and sights and sounds around them that they wouldn’t normally experience in a car. And the odds are that everyone will probably be a whole lot happier when you arrive at your destination via e-bike than in a traditional, stuffy car.
Getting Your Gear Where You Want it to Go
Your ability to haul things goes far beyond the rear rack. While, of course, you need the space for your stuff, you also need a bike that has the power and agility to get it all where you want to take it. Our Charge bikes are up for the job.
All three of our bikes—City, Comfort and XC—are among the lightest, most well-equipped, best designed e-bikes in the business. They can haul everything from your farmer’s market finds to all the items you didn’t know you needed from Target. Our bikes are designed to help you haul what you need (and want!) easily.
All our bikes’ batteries, which are both removable and lockable, are built to last for up to 50 miles. While how much you haul and other factors, like the weather and how much power you use, will affect the exact mileage, but in general you’ve got 50 miles to shop, deliver, explore and more. That means if you want to head out to the lake to fish, you can take along that tackle box. If you want to hit the neighborhood garage sales, you can bring home your treasures. You may not have a trunk, but you don’t have to let that limit you. Our bikes are designed to go the distance with what you need in tow.
You don’t have to break a sweat hauling your gear around either (though you totally can if you want the exercise). That’s the beauty of electric bikes. Both our Comfort and City bikes feature five pedal-assist modes. That means when you want a little (or a lot) of help pedaling, you can select the mode that’s best for the job. If you want to totally let the bikes do the work for you, that’s an option too, as they both are equipped with throttles.
Our Charge XC is our more rugged mountain bike, with grippy, fat wheels. It features three pedal-assist modes to help you tackle tough terrain, like sand, gravel and dirt.
Will your ice cream melt on the way home from the grocery store? We can’t make any promises, but our bikes definitely have the power you need to get places quickly. Each of them is designed with pedal assist up to 20 mph. That’s about 3-minute miles. You can cover some pretty serious ground at that speed. You can push our e-bikes faster than that if your legs are up to the job, but you’re on your own once you reach 20 mph as the pedal assist only works up to that speed.
The weight of our bikes also helps your hauling ability. Charge e-bikes are some of the lightest models on the market, so they’re more nimble and easier to ride than some heavier, bulkier bikes. Our City e-bike weighs just 45 pounds. The Comfort weighs in at just 51 pounds and the Charge XC at 55 pounds. All of those weights include the weight of the battery as well. Considering some e-bikes clock in at 70 pounds or more, ours are lightweights… in the best possible way.
What about hauling your bike itself around? Super easy. Not only are Charge e-bikes lightweight, but they’re equipped with folding handlebars and pedals that can open and close in seconds. Doing so transforms your bike into one flat, streamlined machine that’s simple to take along, store and more.
A Word of Caution
While you can haul a lot on our Charge e-bikes, be careful you don’t try to haul too much. Our bikes have a maximum rider/gear weight of 300 pounds. Exceeding that weight limit is unsafe and can lead to accelerated wear and/or failure of the frame, fork, wheels and drivetrain.
The racks on our bikes each also have weight limits. The City rack can handle up to 36 pounds, the Comfort up to 44 pounds and the XC up to 50 pounds. That’s a lot of groceries!
Each of our bikes is equipped with incredible extras like integrated front and rear lights to improve your visibility in darker conditions. They have ergonomically designed saddles for comfort, and front and rear fenders to keep you dry when there are puddles and other wet conditions on the ground.
Beyond that, there are the priceless benefits of riding an e-bike. You get to soak up the sun, feel the wind on your face and breathe in all the benefits of fresh air. While you can coast when you want to, overall, e-bikes are a great way to build exercise into your daily routine, and experts say riding them can boost your mood. Research has also found cycling can also help improve your memory, reasoning and planning.
And, of course, there’s also the cool factor, which is extremely high with Charge electric bikes. Minivans have been proven to suck all signs of cool right out of you. Kidding. We’re kidding… sort of.
So, if you’re still trying to imagine life without a trunk, imagine instead all the incredible ways an e-bike can transform your daily life. You can haul more than you’ll probably ever need and do it more easily and efficiently while having more fun along the way. We’re pretty sure you won’t ever think twice about that trunk either.
Ready to change the way you ride through life? You can take one of our bikes for a test ride before making a purchase or chat with a representative at any time to get answers to any questions you have about hauling gear or any other aspect of our bikes.
Meet Catherine Parenteau: Professional pickleball player and Charge e-bike rider
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Meet Shasta: Professional golfer and Charge e-bike rider
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