Xtracycle Electric Cargo Bikes

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
#1
I was surprised to see that there wasn't a thread related to this bike so I figured I would create one to share some of my personal experience.

I used the 9E for my personal bike for about a year and a half until I ultimately sold it off to a friend in Brooklyn. I was really attracted to it for a variety of reason. First it uses the Bosch motor which if you haven't heard already, I'm kind of obsessed about. It just works and when you use a bike for transportation there is no room for issues.

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Second it's built based on the Xtracycle Edgerunner platform which has been in use for several years and has undergone several improvements over the years. Not to forget that there are Xtracycle accessories and 3rd party accessories up the wazoo allowing the bike to do almost anything. Well it can't fly, but that's okay.

Using a bike to replace a car, there are many situations you might encounter that seem impossible, but there has been little I was able to do with my car that I couldn't do with the Xtracycle. Some of the many trips to Home Depot or carrying a bunch of tools and a repair stand to do some off site maintenance. Then there were the times just going out and having fun like date nights when I put my fiancé on the back and we had a blast enjoying conversations as we ride. I'm not trying to sell anyone on the bike I just wanted to share some of my experience so others can see what's possible by bike.

I hope to post some more of my experiences with these bikes. For now I'll start with this and share some pics below.

Here is my fiance Marisa and her friend Victoria
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A random lockup at Home Depot
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JayVee

Well-Known Member
#2
Nice pics and good story. I've always been curious about one thing with Cargo bikes. What do people put on the front rack? A sleeping bag seems like an obvious answer, but what else could you realistically put on there that wouldn't throw you off balance too much.

I liked the concept of some of the R&M's cargo bikes and was actually pretty tempted. Big tires, plenty of room to carry stuff, etc. But in the end I thought it might be slight overkill for my usage, and the price was a little "steep". I've entered that phase of life where you start thinking about retirement and what it means moneywise. So I ordered a Haibike Sduro Trekking SRX in the end, which should be fine for my little 2-3 mile shopping trips to the mall.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
#3
The Xtracycle front rack is perfect for a pizza, a bag of laundry or really all sorts of stuff. When it's mounted to the frame is stays pretty stable. I've even ridden with an adult sitting on the rack even though it says it's rated for only 75 lbs I think.

It really depends on what your use scenario. I use cargo bikes a lot to avoid using a car as much as possible. I recently sold my car back to VW and I have been without a car for the past several weeks. I am really excited to fully embrace the car-less lifestyle. Living in a place like Brooklyn it's really the only way to go IMO.

You can do quite a bit to carry cargo on any bike though. Racks, bags and trailers are up to most everyday tasks. I hope you're enjoying your Trekking.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
#4
I live without a car too. But I occasionally cheat and "order a ride" on my smartphone. Whether you really need a car or not depends on your lifestyle and where you live.

The longer front loading Cargo bikes (such as the R&M Load) are starting to pick up over here, but mostly for professional use. I see quite a lot of them. One rider explained to me that the reason he chose the longer front loading platform is because trailers are allowed (here in Switzerland), but the law limits their physical size and dimensions depending on the tractor vehicle. So a front loading cargo bike has more carrying capacity than a regular e-bike and a trailer.

I'm curious to know what percentage of cargo bikes you sell, including those that qualify as a 'light' cargo bike (R&M charger type).

P.S. Can't say whether I enjoy the Trekking or not as I'm still waiting for it. :)
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
#5
Really interesting. I must admit that I also order a ride on occasion or use the extensive public transportation system. This was not as viable of an option where I used to live due to lack of bike infastructure and reliable public transportation. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before the biking for transportation trend can carry over into these fringe areas. As sad as it is to say, I think it needs to become cool first and as much as people hate on the younger generation I'm hopeful that they might carry that torch.

Cargo bikes, even light duty ones are primarily popular with families and businesses here in NYC. Electric assist appeals to more in this category as well since many are used to riding single speed or some old bike all over the city for commuting, but once you add kids and other family stuff electric becomes a necessity for many. We've only recently had been able to offer a full suite of electric cargo bike offerings and this category is certainly the smallest in our business but I see huge growth potential here. One of our first orders since we moved to Brooklyn was an online grocery store which purchased 20 electric Xtracycle's from us. We've been investing heavily into this segment and I'm very excited to see what happens here. I think electric assist cargo bikes can be an excellent solution for many families and businesses in inner cities and even outside the cities if the right conditions exsist.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
#7
One of the draws for me is the outrigger. It may be a better future option rather than a trike. I just learned about them today.
Recumbents are definitely fun to ride! I've built up a couple over the years and it had always been an interesting segment for me. It's just concerning for a safety factor since you're often below a cars field of view. In a place like NY they can be pretty dangerous. Some companies like Terratrike have more upright designs that put you higher up, but the Outrigger is a whole different animal.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
#8
Recumbents are definitely fun to ride! I've built up a couple over the years and it had always been an interesting segment for me. It's just concerning for a safety factor since you're often below a cars field of view. In a place like NY they can be pretty dangerous. Some companies like Terratrike have more upright designs that put you higher up, but the Outrigger is a whole different animal.
I'm riding crank forward, slightly recumbent. Think Electra townie about 12 " further forward than a typical bike. I gave up on ANY bike that sits me below a drivers line of sight. I agree. When I say trike I'm thinking delta, disappointingly unstable much over 10MPH.