Cargo Hybrid eBike vs the Retro Racer / Scrambler eBike

Ken M

Well-Known Member
See attached images. I'm looking for opinions of which product is subjectively superior....I think both fit into an ebike "Lifestyle" catagory.

Retro Racers (red model picture) are selling well but they seem to have weaknesses...

- They have a horrible riding geometry so human power is not going to be effective or ergonomic
- Most come with knobby tires but they don't look good for off-road use and road handling will be very ??? at best
- There is no place for a cargo racks so the utility value is essentially limited to what you can put in your back pack
- While I tend to like retro designs these retro racers were build back in day because they were cheap to weld something together
- While low height you still have to swing your leg over to mount
- Spoke wheels will need service eventually and not cool like magnesium wheels

I noticed PIM Cycles / Bicycles has a Cargo Hybrid ebike (blue model picture) coming out that seems to improve on this lifestyle concept....

- Superior riding geometry so you can pedal effectively and more comfortably (important ebike consideration in my opinion)
- Wide street tires that are clearly going to handle far better for 99% of urban mobility / transportation riding
- Front and rear racks offer near cargo ebike-like utility
- Modern frame arguably is cosmetically more appealing and should provide equal handling
- Easy step thru design - can't be any more rider friendly than a step-thru
- Light and extremely strong magnesium wheels never need servicing unless damaged

The 20" wheels combined with a 60-80nm geared hub motor provides moped-like performance. This should make both configurations very fun to ride but which one would you choose to buy if side by side on the show room floor at the same price (assuming the rest of the components are equivalent). I see these 20" fat tire cargo bikes growing in popularity because they really are a good lifestyle fit for a lot of people in urban areas. Share your thought please....

Note: I realize other brands may have or soon will have cargo models like this but I know this model will be available soon and I really like it vs the retro racers that are so popular...
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Maybe just comment if you think these two products appeal to the same potential buyers. I think the 20" fat tires appeal to potential buyers of mopeds but maybe I'm way off on that.
 

Pragmatic

Member
Ken M Being hopelessly pragmatic (pun), the Cargo Hybrid ebike (blue model picture) seems more practical/useful to us. The other Retro Racers (red model picture) is functionally like a 1960's minibike and can only carry a rider (or two cozy ones).

We went with e-FTBs for the any-surface condition utility, but we really like the extreme utility of a fully racked-out 26" e-cargo bike.

The length, weight and narrower tires of these Cargo e-Bikes place them in a very useful, but different category than e-FTBs, however hunters do e-FTB tow 300 pound capacity game trailers.
36537

We bought a Rambo Bikes sourced multi-use (fishing, camping) cargo trailer to carry stuff that won't fit on a rack. A bonus --- removing the trailer's wheels via QR axles, allows it to convert it to a vehicle front or rear 2" receiver-mounted cargo box. Of course then --- the question follows --- Where do you plug in your receiver-mounted bike rack?
36536


...Ride On!
 
Last edited:

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ken M Being hopelessly pragmatic (pun), the Cargo Hybrid ebike (blue model picture) seems more practical/useful to us. The other Retro Racers (red model picture) is functionally like a 1960's minibike and can only carry a rider (or two cozy ones).

We went with e-FTBs for the any-surface condition utility, but we really like the extreme utility of a fully racked-out 26" e-cargo bike.

The length, weight and narrower tires of these Cargo e-Bikes place them in a very useful, but different category than e-FTBs, however hunters do e-FTB tow 300 pound capacity game trailers.
View attachment 36537

We bought a Rambo Bikes sourced multi-use (fishing, camping) cargo trailer to carry stuff that won't fit on a rack. A bonus --- removing the trailer's wheels vis QR pins, allows it to convert it to a vehicle front or rear 2" receiver-mounted cargo box. Of course then --- the question follows --- Where do you plug in your receiver-mounted bike rack? ...Ride On!
View attachment 36536


...Ride On!
That's kind of down my line of reasoning. The cargo-hybrid should perform very much like the retro racer given the equivalent wheel diameters and gear hub motor power ratings but the cargo-hybrid clearly has more utility value.

That said I think the "lifestyle" crowd that loves these retro racers may not even have "practicality" on their list of desired features.
 

Pragmatic

Member
That's kind of down my line of reasoning. The cargo-hybrid should perform very much like the retro racer given the equivalent wheel diameters and gear hub motor power ratings but the cargo-hybrid clearly has more utility value.

That said I think the "lifestyle" crowd that loves these retro racers may not even have "practicality" on their list of desired features.
Ken - you're absolutely right. Minibikes in their day were fun and impractical - they still are fun. Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) mini-bikes are still sold at ridiculously low prices. Would almost consider buying one just for the heck of it - but as a gear-head, have too many crankcases to do oil change on already. Yeah I know - the e-Retro Racers don't have crankcases, but I don't need to have any more rechargeable batteries to care for... batteries the new crankcase? ;-)
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ken - you're absolutely right. Minibikes in their day were fun and impractical - they still are fun. Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) mini-bikes are still sold at ridiculously low prices. Would almost consider buying one just for the heck of it - but as a gear-head, have too many crankcases to do oil change on already. Yeah I know - the e-Retro Racers don't have crankcases, but I don't need to have any more rechargeable batteries to care for... batteries the new crankcase? ;-)

Given the popularity of the Minibikes / retro-racers I thought more EBRers would comment on this thread. I just think these 20" fat tire hybrid bikes are similar but overall seem like better products but I don't think that shows in the sales numbers. I noticed a review on Electrek of a low cost 20" fat tire folding bike in which they mention this same comparison.
 

MarkF

Active Member
From what I remember of my 3 hp Briggs & Strattan mini bike was it was fun but not very safe. My neighbor got a taco with a 5 hp motor and what a rocket and death trap at the same time. I think those old style mini bikes wouldn't even compare to these new style mini bikes which I'm sure ride a lot better than the ones we rode 50 years ago.
 

Pragmatic

Member
From what I remember of my 3 hp Briggs & Strattan mini bike was it was fun but not very safe. My neighbor got a taco with a 5 hp motor and what a rocket and death trap at the same time. I think those old style mini bikes wouldn't even compare to these new style mini bikes which I'm sure ride a lot better than the ones we rode 50 years ago.
@MarkF I havent heard anyone mention Tacos outside a Mexican Restaurant in nearly half a decade LoL...

I remember both the more common ~3HP B&S mini bikes and the fewer, more desirable 5-HP Tacos - they were fun little (dangerous) ground rockets!
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
....So does everyone prefer the retro mini bikes over something like the cargo-hybrid if the performance was equivalent?

I just thought the more contemporary styling would be preferred but maybe I'm just wrong and retro has just too much appeal.
 

MarkF

Active Member
I like the mini bike if I were to take it, just for fun, camping or something like that. The blue one looks good if you have hauling stuff in mind. I like the looks of the blue one better but I don't want the racks.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The blue cargo hybrid is designed to have a lot of utility value but still have the performance of the mini retro bikes in mind. Obviously racks are removable if not desired but I would think most riders would take advantage of them every so often....like a run to the grocery store.