“Argo” Cargo box bike conversion kit

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#1
https://argobikes.com/products/argocargokit

The cost of the Argo kit is 1/3 the price of most complete cargo bikes, it’s a cargo bike that breaks in two for ease of transportation/storage. You will need a compatible donor bicycle or ebike, for example a Class 2 ebike with a rear hub motor like the Prodecotech Stride, or convert a pedal bike with a Class 3 rear hub kit motor like the Copenhagen Wheel or Falco eDrive the Argo is not suitable for mid-drive motors as there is an attachment bracket piece you put on your bike’s bottom bracket and there can’t be anything under it. If you don’t have these already the cost of acquiring them plus the Argo kit would bring the price closer to the cheapest complete bakfiets style cargo bike with electric assist the upcoming Bunch Bike 2-wheeler. But the advantage of the Argo is it could offer a useful choice between your regular front wheel for commuting during the week, then switch to the box for carting kids/groceries at the weekend.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
#2
This actually did make it into production and is now available from https://argobikes.com/ There is a Facebook page for the company https://www.facebook.com/ArgoCargoBikes/ and an owners group https://www.facebook.com/groups/657167884617949/

The Argo kit won't work with Class 1 or 2 e-bikes that use a mid-drive motor unless you can rotate the motor to be inside the triangle for which you need a cruiser frame like an Electra or Micargi, the Argo bottom bracket attachment piece that stays fitted on the bike (see photo at bottom of this post) won't work with a motor, battery, or sensor, assembly that projects out under the bottom bracket shell or that widens the shell beyond the standard 68mm or 73mm width, however it probably would work with Class 1 or 2 e-bikes using a rear wheel hub motor and derailleur gearing, it probably won't work with an e-bike with Internal Gear Hub gearing that uses a mid-drive unless you are using an Electra or Micargi Cruiser with a Bafang BBS motor rotated to be positioned inside the triangle. Also the donor bike would need to have either a rigid fork or a suspension fork that locks. Regarding a PAS sensor, the Argo attachment piece might work with a simple cadence sensor magnet disk that clips on the spindle, or a bottom bracket torque sensor might work provided the Argo attachment piece, which acts like a spacer, didn't take up too much of the shell screw threading, the photo below shows there is sufficient clearance for a torque sensor wire that typically comes out underneath the bottom bracket shell.

An interesting candidate motor is the TDCM IGH sold in N America by Grin. It's a direct drive hub motor built around a 5-speed internal gear hub, this would be a good option for a step through city bike or for converting a single speed bicycle or if you just like having the ability to shift gear when stationary at stop lights. Choose your motor controller current + battery voltage combination carefully as anything rated higher than a 20A controller + 36v battery (720w peak power) would make it a Class 3 ebike.

To use the Argo on a bike with a Bafang BBS mid-drive motor you would need either an Electra or Micargi Cruiser bike and rotate the motor inside the triangle as on this conversion.

To use the Argo with a Class 2 throttle only set up, a candidate rear hub motor might be the Golden Motor Smart Pie V5 available from Golden Motor Canada or Luna Cycle. A relatively inexpensive throttle kit motor with features that should work with the Argo kit and most donor bicycles including:
  1. no pedal assist so no need to add a bottom bracket PAS sensor;
  2. a built in controller so one less box to strap to the bike;
  3. the controller current limit is 20A which if used with a 24V or 36V battery would keep peak power under the Class 2 750w power limit;
  4. programmable controller so the owner can set speed and power limits compliant with Class 2 or local ebike regulations for riding slowly with the box attached and legally on sidewalks or trails where permitted;
  5. fits rear drop-out widths of 130-135mm;
  6. the freewheel axle can accommodate basic screw on 7-speed freewheels, though caution should be taken when installing the motor wheel to use the supplied axle spacers/washers in the correct order to prevent jamming, and to fit a torque arm to prevent the motor spinning out of the drop outs.

Below is a picture of the attachment piece clamped against either side of the bottom bracket shell (photo reposted here with permission)
 
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