- A three-wheeled electric assist + throttle on demand box bike designed to transport up to four children! It includes two removable bench seats that double as storage cubbies, full-length steel fenders, a steel chain guard, reflective tires, and integrated front and rear lights for safety.
- Powerful braking performance from three 160mm hydraulic disc brakes combined with smaller diameter wheels. The two front brakes operate using the same lever (on the left) for smooth and even delivery... both brake levers offer adjustable reach and have parking brake switches to secure the bike. Puncture resistant tires minimize maintenance, as long as you keep them inflated above the minimum PSI to avoid pinch flats.
- Torque-sensing pedal assist responds much faster than cadence, but requires consistent ongoing pedal force. Throttle on demand makes starting and relaxing your legs possible, but the throttle power and speed are limited by 1-5 assist levels. Great display panel with big readouts and simple interactions, USB charging port built into the base of the button pad near the left grip for charging a phone, GPS, or bluetooth speaker.
- Costs $1k more than the non-electric version of the bike (but totally worth it imo). Only available in one frame size and color, but the glossy black is timeless, hides dirt, and Bunch Bikes adds a rust resistant coating inside the frame. Unique steering setup requires some reaching and leaning at times, limited turning radius, no bottle cage bosses or attachments on the box, very heavy build at 152lbs with limited 350lb cargo capacity (220lbs in the box).
This review was not sponsored by Bunch Bikes, it was provided free of charge using a customer’s bike who offered to share! My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Bunch Bikes products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Bunch Bikes forums.
- Box bikes are pretty special, and tend to be rare. They usually weigh more than other types of cargo bikes because the box requires more material. Three-wheeled box bikes, like this one, offer improved stability and can handle more weight. Box bikes with electric assist are a perfect combination in my opinion, because it helps riders to overcome the additional weight while still experiencing all of the benefits unique to the platform.
- Box bikes with a cargo bay up front tend to be highly sought after for transporting kids because they allow parents and other guardians to keep an eye on them. It also makes communicating between the captain and the passengers much easier than a trailer or rear seat setup. Bunch Bikes offers some great covers for their electric cargo bike, and they all seem to have been designed in a way that lets the captain see and speak to the passengers easily.
- Designed to be durable, Bunch Bikes used steel for the frame, fenders, chain cover, handlebar, and box frame! All of these parts are CNC painted for a beautiful and durable finish, they even added an electrophoretic deposition (ED) rust proof internal coating! The front box panels and benches are made from marine grade plywood and there are rubber strips along the top to prevent them from getting chewed up when loading and unloading.
- Safety is a big deal in general, but especially when you’ve got multiple riders, a lower sitting platform, and the possibility of distraction. This is why I’m so thankful that Bunch Bikes paid extra for name brand reflective tires (that are puncture resistant), added additional reflectors to the front of the box, bright white graphics to the sides, reflective striping on the optional rain cover, and two integrated lights! I wish the headlight was higher, but apparently it’s less likely to get bumped out of position where it’s at based on feedback from the company when I asked.
- Nice touch points all around, I love the large sturdy Wellgo platform pedals because they feel reliable and have inset reflectors… it’s nice that Bunch Bikes chose silver here too, because it adds visibility. The saddle felt great, the handlebar grip is soft and comfortable. Consider replacing the rigid seat post with a 28.6mm suspension post for added comfort. The one I liked does not bulge out and can therefore sit lower and achieve a fairly low minimum saddle height, just like the stock rigid post.
- Although the bike only comes in one frame size, the handlebar and seat post are fairly adjustable. Reach is always going to be somewhat limited, but you should be able to get some height for full leg extension. I felt very comfortable riding this bike and I’m 5’9″ (175cm) tall.
- Secure three-point seatbelts in the front box ensure that kids won’t be able get up while you’re riding… the button mechanism required some finger strength and they just felt solid to me. That said, the buckling step might be tricky for parents because it’s a three-strap interface where the two top straps end in a half-buckle that stack and then insert into the base, it can sometimes feel like a lot of straps floating around!
- Unique removable bench seat, wooden planks, double as cargo boxes with a metal latches that can be locked securely if you have a padlock (think of a gate latch with an open hole to receive a lock). If you want, you can remove all four of the wooden planks (front and top situated on both ends of the main cargo box area) to use this ebike for moving supplies instead of kids! The owner of this particular bike, who let me review it, said that her kids loved to sit across from one another vs. next to each other. Many competing box bikes don’t offer as many seats or as much space as this one. Note that removing the bench seats also removes the seat belts because they are permanently attached to the top plank of each bench/box.
- This is a tadpole trike, meaning it has two wheels up front and one in the rear. It’s stable at standstill and that means less distraction when loading kids. The fact that kids can climb in on their own is a unique feature here. Bunch Bikes also has a K9 model with a front door but no benches.
- Great accessories that were custom made to work perfectly here. Optional padded seats make riding more comfortable for kids, optional toddler seat for very young passengers, a sun and rain cover option that fit into four slots surrounding the main box, and a bike cover to keep the main frame clean and dry when not in use!
- I love that they chose a battery pack that is easy to reach and remove, you don’t have to bend way down to plug it in for charging and sliding it out and carrying it inside (to avoid rain, extreme heat, and extreme cold) is simple. The battery pack locks, has a hidden on/off toggle switch in the lower right corner to prevent tampering with the main display, and has a nice 2-led integrated rear light for safety when riding.
- Notice the bar that surrounds the two front wheels? That protects your walls and doorways from getting gouged by the axle that would otherwise protrude. It’s a nice design that also doubles as a step for kids climbing up into the box.
- Bunch Bikes designed the the steering to be extra smooth and stable by adding a gas spring damper (like on the trunk of a car) so you don’t get speed wobble or have as much risk of making an abrupt hard turn that could tip the bike. They also designed the main portion of frame to lean into the turn, but it also means you lean away from the handlebar a bit and it feels unique compared to other bikes.
- I looked at a very similar box bike in 2015 called the Virtue Cycles Schoolbus that just wasn’t as refined and didn’t have nearly as much power (250 watt motor vs. 500+ watt here and 36 volt battery vs. 48 volt here). I love what Bunch Bikes has done by refining the bike and adding things like the side step, box top strip, and hydraulic disc brakes. I also really liked the torque sensing assist, more than I thought I would to be honest :)
- Very nice 8-speed drivetrain here with upgraded Shimano Acera derailleur and shifter. You get an 11 to 32 tooth spread on the cassette, and it appears to be Nickel plated to reduce corrosion. Having a 32 tooth sprocket allows for easier starts and climbs with a heavier ebike like this.
- I love the cable management here, most of them are wrapped securely in plastic shields and partially internally routed through the frame to reduce snags and look nice. Note that the front cable bundle can rub on the back of the box and kind of scuff the paint (as seen in the video review at 17:57).
- I love the lights, but I wish the headlight was higher… maybe they could add an LED light strip to the front and sides of the bikes (or you could, using the USB charging port in the base of the button pad). I’d also love to have a bell or horn come stock.
- It’s great that the two front wheels are smaller, because that lowers the box for easier loading and stability. The downside is that you now have two different wheel sizes (24″ in the rear, 20″ up front) so you need different sized inner tubes and replacement tires. I’m not suggesting that they change the design, because the 24″ wheel in the rear adds comfort for the captain, but the configuration just adds some complexity that customers should be aware of.
- The way the rear rack and battery are setup, close to the seat post and saddle, you cannot use the entire top are of the rack. Look at the stock photo, the saddle hangs over the rear rack… I was told that you can lower the rack a bit closer to the fender to get a ~32.5″ minimum saddle height at best. It’s not a huge deal since the bike is always stable (being a three-wheeler) but it does limit the size of trunk bag that could be used.
- No bottle cage bosses or mounting points on this ebike. For me, that’s too bad because it means you’ll need to put them in the box (where they could tip, get kicked, or have to store in the seat benches). I feel that there was room to add some mounts on the back side of the box or framing like Riese & Müller have done for some of their models like the Packster and Load
- The power level and top speed of the trigger throttle is capped by the chosen level of assist. To me, this is a poor design choice because the trigger throttle already offers variable speed and power output based on how far you press it. In short, riders have to click + several times to get access to full power, which could be distracting if you need that power quickly to catch up to a friend, climb a hill, or zip across a street.
- This electric bike, and most box bikes, is very heavy at 152lbs (69kg). That means performing service could be difficult, transporting it might require a truck, and if the battery runs dry, you might have to walk and push it home. The bike is also long and wide, meaning that it can be difficult to store unless you have a garage or wider doors. It’s 33.25″ wide at the front, so check your doors or get a nice lock and their optional rain cover!
- Given the three-wheel design and sturdy steel frame, I was surprised that the company rates maximum cargo load at 350lbs vs. 400+, perhaps they are just playing it safe. Note that the long main tube hangs fairly low compared to traditional bicycle bottom brackets and may scrape curbs and rocks or get high centered. This is due in part to the smaller diameter of the wheels too.
- Even with the nice paint job and rust proof internal coating, steel can rust if scratched. I feel like the front wheel surrounds, fenders, and child step platforms are prime candidates for scratches… so consider keeping a jar of high quality black fingernail paint handy to touch them up… or get some car touch-up paints from a local auto dealer ;)
- Steering is a bit wonky, because the entire bar swings left and right vs. just turning (almost like if you were pushing a lawn mower). You might have to walk your hands across to get a full turn, or lean a bit. Note that the bike can get up onto two wheels if you turn hard while going fast. That said, the turning radius is about the width of a full two-lane neighborhood street (as shown in the video review above) and I think it would be fairly stable with a loaded front box area.
- Since the rear rack has a slide-in 8.4lb battery already installed, it cannot support as much actual cargo weight and it might not work with all of the clip-on panniers because the metal tubes are so tight against the battery pack itself. Consider trunk bags or the double sided hanging pannier bags like these from Basil.