Cargo or utility bike suitable for (light) off road

dxdydz

New Member
Region
Canada
I am on the hunt for an ebike that fits the following set of criteria as best as possible:
  • Decent weight capacity, long or mid tail cargo a possibility, but a sturdy utility bike would work too. (Kid hauling, groceries, other things)
  • Double leg kickstand (ideally stock) for stability when loading unloading kids
  • On the lower cost side. Ideally under $3k CAD.
  • Available in Canada
  • Upright riding position
  • Torque sensing preferred
  • Capable of riding on gravel/dirt forestry roads and paths (not looking for a mountain bike per se, just transportation)
  • Step through frame preferred

I've looked through a ton of bikes at this point and haven't found much that ticks every box. I'd love any suggestions I might have missed. Below are some of the more promising options, as well as drawbacks I envision -- happy for input on these, too.
  • RadWagon -- hits most of the items on the list, but I'm worried it's off road performance might be dicey, especially with the newer version's small 22" tires.
  • RadRunner / RadRunner Plus -- looks great except the teeny tiny tires suggest that this would not be great off road
  • RadCity Step Through -- this looks like a pretty decent compromise. Not as much weight capacity as I would like ideally, and not a double leg kickstand. Decent sized tires, though.
  • Surface 604 Werk -- Ticks most of the same boxes as the RadCity, but adds torque sensing. Pricier than the Rad bikes.
  • Surly Big Easy -- looks like an awesome do-anything mobile, but $$$$$$.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
You really don't need round wheels, do you? check out rad's "known problems" in the brand forum. Plus numerous other complaints about spokes under introductions and parts forum complaint about cracked rim that didn't make that list.
Putting cargo on the rear of a conventional bike lifts the front wheel and makes it tend to skid sideways. Ask me how I know. If you have the money, get stretch frame IMHO. It puts your weight on the front wheel. Or put weight in a basket on the front, which on anything but yuba & radwagon you have to steer with your hands.
I haven't had a stability problem in 3 1/3 years and 6500 miles on this yuba bodaboda. I dumped of on my chin 6 times on cruisers & mtb's. I load the bodaboda up to 350 lb with groceries or ag supplies + complete tool set (less cranks & electricity) as I go off the cell phone grid. The only quality problem, I broke the front fender with my foot. I hated the OEM seat, but then I'm not female.
Surly big easy is steel frame, really heavy. Really sturdy. Somewhere in the middle are kona ute (the original), xtracycle, blix packa, yubabike, magnum, m2s, pedego (expensive) reiss & mueller (expensive). Ride the glide https://www.ridetheglide.ca/products/electric-bikes/city-e-bikes/cargoroo-cargo-e-bike/ is canadian, has 26" front 20" rear. Very heavy. 20" wheel bikes which don't do potholes well are tern hsd & gsd, euronau. All above have tires & tubes you can buy somewhere besides the bike manufacturer (radwagon). Check known problems on each, magnum for example is not zero. Neither was surface. Butchers&bakers has a 20" front wheel and comes with a huge front basket.
If you can assemble a power wheel & hang a battery, envoy mongoose is under $1000. Dual leg stand is very important for loading cargo or children, but you can buy them aftermarket. The stand I bought came with my yuba, but accessory dual leg stands mount the same way. Don't know which ones have canada support. Important for carrying children is sheilding the wheel from pinch between spokes & frame. My yuba came with a plastic guard. Yubas racks are designed to fit certain child car seats, see the facebook page. I bought yuba mainly because I'm short and the drop frame model was special for that. Also at age 70 I can't lift a leg over the seat anymore.
With a cheap bolt on power wheel, you just throw things away until it works. I trashed 2 batteries (with one refund from amazon) before I paid luna's price for one that worked. In canada you have grin tech which is reputable for hub motor kits & batteries. No customs problems with them as I could have.
2" tires are fine for most trails or gravel, but wouldn't be much good rock climbing as the mountain bikers do. You wouldn't carry cargo or a kid there anyway. 2" tire is not for ice or powder snow. Fat tires don't come on cargo bikes, but you can get spiked ones for ice. Here in indiana if there is ice on the ground I ride the bus instead of the bike. Happened 3 days last winter, I just stayed home.
Geared hub motors are fine on hills shorter than 1000' rise in an hour or 90 minutes. Extreme rises like that overheat them, so with that profile you would be stuck with a mid drive that eats chains, probably drags when the battery runs down, costs a bunch. Radwagon magnum & blix are geared hub motors, the others I'm not so sure. Check the court reviews. PAS is jerky, not as cool as torque sensing, I mostly use a throttle for assistance when required myself. (I ride unpowered 80% of the time). When I wore out a $221 geared hub power wheel @ 4500 miles, I threw it away and had another installed in 2 afternoons. No begging to a bike shop for warrenty service or waiting for the 800 number to call you back. I had the new mac12 power wheel in the garage just waiting for the day when the plastic gear wore out. I was able to pedal home with no drag with the worn out hubmotor, try that trick on a mid-drive.
Happy shopping & later riding.
 
Last edited:

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Biktrix Juggernaut bike + Quietkat trailer if needed
This was my path only using a rebadged Frey AM 1000 which is pretty much the bike that Quietkat and Backou use. However if I was really really needing a cargo bike I'd go the route m@Robertson uses. Near or at bottom of page one:


Your budget may not suffice. Cheaper bikes will be problematical as to construction and power.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
You really don't need round wheels, do you? check out rad's "known problems" in the brand forum. Plus numerous other complaints about spokes under introductions and parts forum complaint about cracked rim that didn't make that list.
Putting cargo on the rear of a conventional bike lifts the front wheel and makes it tend to skid sideways. Ask me how I know. If you have the money, get stretch frame IMHO. It puts your weight on the front wheel. Or put weight in a basket on the front, which on anything but yuba & radwagon you have to steer with your hands.
I haven't had a stability problem in 3 1/3 years and 6500 miles on this yuba bodaboda. I dumped of on my chin 6 times on cruisers & mtb's. I load the bodaboda up to 350 lb with groceries or ag supplies + complete tool set (less cranks & electricity) as I go off the cell phone grid. The only quality problem, I broke the front fender with my foot. I hated the OEM seat, but then I'm not female.
Surly big easy is steel frame, really heavy. Really sturdy. Somewhere in the middle are kona ute (the original), xtracycle, blix packa, yubabike, magnum, m2s, pedego (expensive) reiss & mueller (expensive). Ride the glide https://www.ridetheglide.ca/products/electric-bikes/city-e-bikes/cargoroo-cargo-e-bike/ is canadian, has 26" front 20" rear. Very heavy. 20" wheel bikes which don't do potholes well are tern hsd & gsd, euronau. All above have tires & tubes you can buy somewhere besides the bike manufacturer (radwagon). Check known problems on each, magnum for example is not zero. Neither was surface. Butchers&bakers has a 20" front wheel and comes with a huge front basket.
If you can assemble a power wheel & hang a battery, envoy mongoose is under $1000. Dual leg stand is very important for loading cargo or children, but you can buy them aftermarket. The stand I bought came with my yuba, but accessory dual leg stands mount the same way. Don't know which ones have canada support. Important for carrying children is sheilding the wheel from pinch between spokes & frame. My yuba came with a plastic guard. Yubas racks are designed to fit certain child car seats, see the facebook page. I bought yuba mainly because I'm short and the drop frame model was special for that. Also at age 70 I can't lift a leg over the seat anymore.
With a cheap bolt on power wheel, you just throw things away until it works. I trashed 2 batteries (with one refund from amazon) before I paid luna's price for one that worked. In canada you have grin tech which is reputable for hub motor kits & batteries. No customs problems with them as I could have.
2" tires are fine for most trails or gravel, but wouldn't be much good rock climbing as the mountain bikers do. You wouldn't carry cargo or a kid there anyway. 2" tire is not for ice or powder snow. Fat tires don't come on cargo bikes, but you can get spiked ones for ice. Here in indiana if there is ice on the ground I ride the bus instead of the bike. Happened 3 days last winter, I just stayed home.
Geared hub motors are fine on hills shorter than 1000' rise in an hour or 90 minutes. Extreme rises like that overheat them, so with that profile you would be stuck with a mid drive that eats chains, probably drags when the battery runs down, costs a bunch. Radwagon magnum & blix are geared hub motors, the others I'm not so sure. Check the court reviews. PAS is jerky, not as cool as torque sensing, I mostly use a throttle for assistance when required myself. (I ride unpowered 80% of the time). When I wore out a $221 geared hub power wheel @ 4500 miles, I threw it away and had another installed in 2 afternoons. No begging to a bike shop for warrenty service or waiting for the 800 number to call you back. I had the new mac12 power wheel in the garage just waiting for the day when the plastic gear wore out. I was able to pedal home with no drag with the worn out hubmotor, try that trick on a mid-drive.
Happy shopping & later riding.
Yeah Ride the Glide Cargoroo would be one of them.
It's heavy but it has dual battery. (48V 28Ah total)

There's also VoltBike Kodiak

Biktrix Skycap