Recommendations for a cargo ebike

BonshanKhan

New member
Local time
2:00 AM
Joined
May 24, 2024
Messages
9
Location
USA, PA
Hello all, I came across this website while looking at ebikes to get to commute to work with, I'm thinking a cargo ebike as that way I can load up on some groceries and such as well.
Where I work is About 9.6miles one way (so almost 20 there and back) and going too work is at a slight incline almost the whole way except for a section near the end that is a bit extra hilly.
I don't know my inseam but I'm 5'11" if that helps and I weigh about 205 (been a week or two since I've weighed in haha)
So far two that I definitely have my eye on are the Aventon Abound and the Lectric Xpedition. But I'm open to recommendations for other bikes that I may not have come across yet.
I'm looking to spend at max about 2.1-2.2k USD but ideally around the same price as the two I'm looking at. Anything in that price range that you think will get me there and back would be a good shout. Also, I don't exactly need a cargo ebike, I mainly wanted it for the added utility; so any other ebikes within that price range can also work.

Added a picture of the incline i will be looking at going to work if this helps any, and unfortunately this is the safest and least hilly route for me to take getting there. As I said, it's all pretty much small incline changes until near the end where there is an extra hilly section
incline.png





If yall need any more info from me let me know.

Oh, I was told there shouldn't be a problem with me charging it at work as well, so that is also a consideration.

Also, cheaper ebikes that can definitely get me there and back are also good shouts.
 
just to give you something different to think about…
I recently got a Magicycle Deer fat tire 72v 20ah trailer combo. It’s sort of the best of both worlds as far as cargo goes.
With the trailer in I can pick up 60 lbs of dog food, a solid week or two of groceries, or two 5 gal bottles of water. Two $25 buzz grocery panniers give me more than enough cargo capacity.
Even loaded up with cargo when rolling I don’t even know the trailer is there.
I have done three ten mile cargo trips on a single charge and the battery still read over half charge.
They have the trailer bundle on sale right at your budget.
The downside is that it’s a heavy rig. You won’t be carting this up two floors to your apartment.
It is also a tall bike, but at 5’11” you should be good if you have any flexibility at all.
I am 6’ 250+ lbs and this gets me right up to 28mph.
IMG_1296.jpeg

IMG_1297.jpeg
 
Full disclosure - *AFTER* I made the above post I found out that Magicycle has an affiliate program where I can get perks for referral purchases.

Mods- if this is not within the rules of the board please remove the referral link.

If anyone does decide to purchase a Magicycle please use the link below to help my beer budget.
I am motivated now so if anyone has questions or would like me to take other pictures or measurements please ask, even if the link disappears.

 
Nice I'll take a look over those. Funnily enough after posting this I got a message that I'm getting a Fucare Gemini X as a a partial gift, which is nice. From what I've read about it, it should do just fine for now. I'll definitely have to give a bit of a review once I get it and ride it a bit but either way getting it as mostly a present (Just want me to pay them a little bit of the cost) is a good deal to me.

That Magicycle does look nice and looks like it would get me to work with no problems as well. I'll keep it in mind in case the one I have coming doesn't work out for some reason. Thanks for the suggestion, that bike or brand hasn't crossed my path and definitely looks sweet so I'm book marking that, thanks!
 
I’m surprised at how useful the cargo trailer with its second set of panniers is. I use it a lot more than I thought I would.
There are some cautions and caveats that come with the trailer, mostly about making sure the linkage is secure, but overall it’s been handy.
 
I’m surprised at how useful the cargo trailer with its second set of panniers is. I use it a lot more than I thought I would.
There are some cautions and caveats that come with the trailer, mostly about making sure the linkage is secure, but overall it’s been handy.
I'd probably get some use out of the trailer myself, just in case I gotta make a trip up to walmart or the supermarket and load up. Both of which are a lot closer than my work and a lot less hilly.
 
Nice I'll take a look over those. Funnily enough after posting this I got a message that I'm getting a Fucare Gemini X as a a partial gift, which is nice. From what I've read about it, it should do just fine for now. I'll definitely have to give a bit of a review once I get it and ride it a bit but either way getting it as mostly a present (Just want me to pay them a little bit of the cost) is a good deal to me.

That Magicycle does look nice and looks like it would get me to work with no problems as well. I'll keep it in mind in case the one I have coming doesn't work out for some reason. Thanks for the suggestion, that bike or brand hasn't crossed my path and definitely looks sweet so I'm book marking that, thanks!
I am in a similar situation. I actually just posted asking for help in purchasing a new one like 20 minutes ago.. I had the lectric expedition and I’ll tell you that bike is NOT comfortable. I immediately upgraded to the giant seat and even still, not nice. And with my son on the rear pads he was still getting jostled around pretty severe going over any bump or small curb like when it transitions from sidewalk to road.. not comfortable.
I was actually considering the fucare Gemini, I mentioned that in my post too. Please let me know your thoughts on the bike once you get a chance to get around on it. Thank you
 
Riding an empty cargo bike is very different than a loaded one.
If you're planning to carry lots of weight frequently, the stiff frame & fork may be necessary to maintain the handling character of the bike (with extra weight). Also a step-thru frame would be helpful for the rider to mount the bike when heavy weight is loaded on the bike.
Pulling a trailer really changes how the bike is handled; extra care in occupied space and braking.
If you travel among car traffic, pulling a trailer may not be as convenient as a regular or compact cargo bike.
I've had long/cargo bike in the past, the concern has mostly the occupied space in traffic.
I used to carry heavy & large volume of items in NYC traffic, about 6-8 miles one-way, 15-20 miles round trip.
ymclAFH.jpg


I've also had a TERN compact cargo ebike, it was capable, but not throttle and the cost of purchase and compact size attract thieves in NYC.
I don't like to worry about an expensive bike get stolen when unattended.
MNUNEHS.jpg


I found some balance between compactness & lower cost and been happy since.
Fiido was under $1500, compact sized, step-thru frame, cast wheels (no more trueing wheels), large battery (20Ah) capacity, lockout fork, etc..
It's not a fancy bike, it's not sexy looking, but it gets the job done, it's a work horse and I don't worry about it if it gets stolen.
Manufacture had a frame recall and sent me a replacement bike for free, I got two bikes for the price of one (just don't have an extra battery).
I have the replacement bike (with shorter seat tube to allow lower seat height) set up for my wife to ride.
il2YCe5.jpg

l6vSco5.jpg


I think the Lectric cargo bike is a great value and very good cargo bike, I just prefer cast wheels for the durability.
YMMV, I'm lucky to be able to try/own different ebikes to determine what suits my needs.
Hopefully the input can allow others to have easier time to determine their needs for an ebike.
 
I am in a similar situation. I actually just posted asking for help in purchasing a new one like 20 minutes ago.. I had the lectric expedition and I’ll tell you that bike is NOT comfortable. I immediately upgraded to the giant seat and even still, not nice. And with my son on the rear pads he was still getting jostled around pretty severe going over any bump or small curb like when it transitions from sidewalk to road.. not comfortable.
I was actually considering the fucare Gemini, I mentioned that in my post too. Please let me know your thoughts on the bike once you get a chance to get around on it. Thank you
Rough ride wouldn't have mattered to me, getting to and from work matters more to me haha. But yea I can understand not wanting that for sure, and yes I will probably post a review once I get some time riding on it.
Riding an empty cargo bike is very different than a loaded one.
If you're planning to carry lots of weight frequently, the stiff frame & fork may be necessary to maintain the handling character of the bike (with extra weight). Also a step-thru frame would be helpful for the rider to mount the bike when heavy weight is loaded on the bike.
Pulling a trailer really changes how the bike is handled; extra care in occupied space and braking.
If you travel among car traffic, pulling a trailer may not be as convenient as a regular or compact cargo bike.
I've had long/cargo bike in the past, the concern has mostly the occupied space in traffic.
I used to carry heavy & large volume of items in NYC traffic, about 6-8 miles one-way, 15-20 miles round trip.
ymclAFH.jpg


I've also had a TERN compact cargo ebike, it was capable, but not throttle and the cost of purchase and compact size attract thieves in NYC.
I don't like to worry about an expensive bike get stolen when unattended.
MNUNEHS.jpg


I found some balance between compactness & lower cost and been happy since.
Fiido was under $1500, compact sized, step-thru frame, cast wheels (no more trueing wheels), large battery (20Ah) capacity, lockout fork, etc..
It's not a fancy bike, it's not sexy looking, but it gets the job done, it's a work horse and I don't worry about it if it gets stolen.
Manufacture had a frame recall and sent me a replacement bike for free, I got two bikes for the price of one (just don't have an extra battery).
I have the replacement bike (with shorter seat tube to allow lower seat height) set up for my wife to ride.
il2YCe5.jpg

l6vSco5.jpg


YMMV, I'm lucky to be able to try/own different ebikes to determine what suits my needs.
Hopefully the input can allow others to have easier time to determine their needs for an ebike.
I was looking at some Fiido bikes as well glad to hear from someone who has one for sure, and thanks for your recommendation of them.
Yea I may be hauling some stuff back from work since I do shipping and receiving at a plant store/nursery, so I'll most likely be using it to take plants home with me some days. The main hauling I'll be doing with it though is grocery shopping, heaviest thing I'll probably be riding home with is a 40lb box/bag of cat litter or food. Buuut luckily the supermarket and walmart are a lot closer than my work.

As stated I do have a Fucare Gemini X on the way however, but Fiido is now definitely a consideration if for some reason I don't like the Gemini X. Looks don't matter to me at all, as long as it can do the nearly 20mile round trip to and from work and not die en route and get me up some of the hills near the end of the ride.
 
Something related that you can look into. I built all of these frame-up and, at one time or another, used them all for daily drivers over and above cargo bike rides.


Some quick takes: Riding it loaded is where the real test lies for a cargo bike. You'll find that putting loads high up is generally regarded as the worst-case. Best case is low, forward and centered, where the load is unnoticeable except if you hit the brakes and inertia makes itself known. But the buy-in to get a frontloader is steep.

If you are riding in hills that are more than low rolling, a mid drive is hands-down the better choice to power you up the hill without your having to grunt it out yourself. You still can get a workout. But the motor is in its element, so to speak, since it can take advantage of the gears, where a hub drive is single-speed - like a fixie - by its nature.

Of the three bikes I built and wrote up above, the Envoy is the one I would choose if I were on a budget. Add to that the low-cost 78L-each bags I wrote up in a separate article, and add in the optional front panniers... you have a bike that reach 400 lbs of load, comfortably and can climb hills with that load without your needing to pop a blood vessel trying to do most of the work yourself.

Lastly, here's the location of probably the most experienced cargo bike riding group on the internet: Cargo Bike Republic. You'll only find a few riders here since this is something of a niche. If you want answers in volume from many experienced daily riders, this is a good place to add to your list.
 
Something related that you can look into. I built all of these frame-up and, at one time or another, used them all for daily drivers over and above cargo bike rides.


Some quick takes: Riding it loaded is where the real test lies for a cargo bike. You'll find that putting loads high up is generally regarded as the worst-case. Best case is low, forward and centered, where the load is unnoticeable except if you hit the brakes and inertia makes itself known. But the buy-in to get a frontloader is steep.

If you are riding in hills that are more than low rolling, a mid drive is hands-down the better choice to power you up the hill without your having to grunt it out yourself. You still can get a workout. But the motor is in its element, so to speak, since it can take advantage of the gears, where a hub drive is single-speed - like a fixie - by its nature.

Of the three bikes I built and wrote up above, the Envoy is the one I would choose if I were on a budget. Add to that the low-cost 78L-each bags I wrote up in a separate article, and add in the optional front panniers... you have a bike that reach 400 lbs of load, comfortably and can climb hills with that load without your needing to pop a blood vessel trying to do most of the work yourself.

Lastly, here's the location of probably the most experienced cargo bike riding group on the internet: Cargo Bike Republic. You'll only find a few riders here since this is something of a niche. If you want answers in volume from many experienced daily riders, this is a good place to add to your list.
Nice, I'll give your link a look over; always happy to learn more about ebikes of all types! Unfortunately I don't have a fb account, nor do I intend to make one, so that group is a no go; will probably help others though I'm sure.
The only real hilly spots I'll be riding on will most likely only ever just be me and my stuff for work (my work boots and lunch) so I shouldn't have a problem getting up that hilly spot even under my own power on a heavier bike if it came down to it. The places I shop at that are pretty much a flat route and a lot closer than my work so I don't have to worry about it climbing any hills if I loaded it up that much with groceries and such.

Edit: Looked over that article, found it informative. With everything you went over a midtail is perfect for my needs. Thanks for that!
 
Edit: Looked over that article, found it informative. With everything you went over a midtail is perfect for my needs. Thanks for that!
Glad it could be of help!

It sounds like you can go with a hub drive solution based on your ride description. I have to admit I didn't really follow the chart you gave. I did understand the raw numbers but it doesn't really speak to the individual grades within the ride. Just not my usual tool for such things so I glossed over it and keyed on the words.

For a hub-motor-d bike, because it is single-speed assist you want to give yourself every advantage. So best-case, you get something with a 20" rear wheel which will provide a bit of a torque advantage due simply to its smaller size. That can include a mullet where there's a 20 in back and a 26 or even a 24 up front. A 20 in back also helps put the load down as low as possible which is a big deal. The moms who have kids and ride them around daily often speak of bigger wheels in back as a big disadvantage given how they can't strap the kids down on the sides :).

The Specialized Globe Haul ST has gained a pretty big following. Its more money, but more quality as well, given that the Far-East (i.e. mainland Chinese) bikes tend to be bottom-of-the-line in terms of cycling components. For example, since a hub-motor'd bike does not use the drivetrain (in fact you can ride the bike via pedal assist just fine after removing the chain), manufacturers tend to put on what can charitably be called junk components in the drivetrain. They can get away with it. But if you plan on being a cyclist with assist rather than a throttler, you will run face first into that cut corner after pedaling for a few thousand miles (I did 4000 on my first hub bike in a year and the cranks and rear freewheel had to be replaced). So, if you plan on actually depending on your bike for commute and shopping - i.e. the bike has a job and is not a pleasure cruiser - then either expect to do some upgrades yourself to ensure that long term reliability, or don't cheap out and get a better bike; paying attention to the component groups. .

You can see though, my own choice for that Envoy, since it was a great frame (at the time it was the only budget entry worth a damn which is no longer the case) was to just buy the whole bike, strip off the crap parts (which was everything but the headset) and keep only the frame. Going this route means you can upgrade the bike a piece at a time which is more budget friendly.

There are a lot of cargo bikes out there now. One thing I would run in the opposite direction of is ANY bike with a sexy, but proprietary, in-frame battery. There are plenty of examples of great bikes where either the manufacturer has decided not to sell replacement batteries, or are supply-constrained so warranty replacements are like pulling teeth, or the model is no longer available, or the vendor flat goes out of business. But buy a bike with a battery you can replace yourself and you are proofed against that potential for early forced retirement.
 
Okay so I got the Fucare Gemini X and I have almost 150miles on it so far and I'm absolutely loving it! From the way it looks, which I've gotten a few compliments on it so far; and definitely lots of people checking it out, to the fact the bike rides really nicely with power and is surprisingly easy to pedal around for its nearly 90lb weight without electric. I expected it to be a lot harder but I quickly max out its speed on 7th gear really easily just using leg power haha. So when it comes to speed, I've really gotta use the pedal assist or throttle. It will get to 20 pretty quick then 28mph at max pedal assist not quite as quickly.

So far the battery is right in line with what they claim 40-100miles. Last saturday(6/8/2024) when I tested it I had added 42-45 miles(can't remember exactly) and was left with one bar of battery power left when I got home. This was going up and down some bigger hills and mainly using throttle and maximum pedal assist because sometimes you gotta go fast!

Oh, I also found a better route to work that has less hills and is actually slightly safer to ride on. Only one really big hill by the end of the route, which my original route shared. The bike can throttle up it, but not that fast so I put in some leg power and get up it at 19mph which is good enough as I don't even have to muscle it that hard. Edit: Forgot to throw in here that my original route I plotted out to work drained two bars of battery power going there and back whereas my new route I only lost one bar when I was nearly home.


I would recommend this ebike for someone looking for a good commuter option, especially if you live in a flatter area as you'll really get some good distance out of the batteries from my experience. Although I'm 5'11'' and 205lbs, so ymmv.

I did end up crashing the first day I got it because I was trying to show off lol; my fault, but Here are some pics of the bike. Note I haven't attached the pannier bags or cargo baskets yet. I think I'm gonna go with just the back cargo basket so I can strap a bookbag in there to hold my stuff I need for work + supplies for the bike.


Oh I almost forgot to mention that I'm really happy I got some tire patches before I rode on the bike; A broken drill bit tried to kill my back tire. But the patch is holding like a champ.

Edit2: I didn't mention its cargo hauling capabilities as I haven't had a chance or need to really test that out yet haha. At some point I may give it a big load to carry just to see how it handles it. So I can't really tell you how well it handles being loaded down right yet.
 

Attachments

  • 20240605_090030.jpg
    20240605_090030.jpg
    314 KB · Views: 11
  • 20240605_090019.jpg
    20240605_090019.jpg
    296.3 KB · Views: 12
Thats a good-looking frame. I like the fact its using a well-protected (which is very unusual) Hailong aka 'Shark' pack. That means you can replace it without the world ending, and you can use a variety of quality sources for replacement, and due to the frame design, you can increase the battery size.

EDIT: Ha I didn't even notice initially that its a dual battery. Good deal,

A Jumbo Shark is taller by a bit but Bicycle Motor Works sells one that is 52v AND will hold 25ah (52V is typically cross-compatible with 48v controllers). EM3EV sells quality versions with a little less capacity but also smaller and cheaper with reinforced tabs that address the issue of Hailong packs breaking free of their mounts and becoming UFOs.

Speaking of that UFO issue, I see your frame will allow you to put on a couple of velcro cinch straps (around the pack but under the top bars). I highly recommend you spend the US$10 or so to add this. Its not just for emtb's doing drops. Potholes at speed that you forgot to zig away from are the real enemy. In the pic below you see kind of an extreme as I used two 3" straps and one 2" strap - and your frame won't let you go so far - but I think two 1.5" straps top and bottom-ish would add an enormous safety margin and would be easy to remove.

20240331_161227.jpg
 
Thats a good-looking frame. I like the fact its using a well-protected (which is very unusual) Hailong aka 'Shark' pack. That means you can replace it without the world ending, and you can use a variety of quality sources for replacement, and due to the frame design, you can increase the battery size.

EDIT: Ha I didn't even notice initially that its a dual battery. Good deal,

A Jumbo Shark is taller by a bit but Bicycle Motor Works sells one that is 52v AND will hold 25ah (52V is typically cross-compatible with 48v controllers). EM3EV sells quality versions with a little less capacity but also smaller and cheaper with reinforced tabs that address the issue of Hailong packs breaking free of their mounts and becoming UFOs.

Speaking of that UFO issue, I see your frame will allow you to put on a couple of velcro cinch straps (around the pack but under the top bars). I highly recommend you spend the US$10 or so to add this. Its not just for emtb's doing drops. Potholes at speed that you forgot to zig away from are the real enemy. In the pic below you see kind of an extreme as I used two 3" straps and one 2" strap - and your frame won't let you go so far - but I think two 1.5" straps top and bottom-ish would add an enormous safety margin and would be easy to remove.
Good shout on the straps, that's a wonderful idea so I'll be giving them a look. and yea from the bit of research I did getting replacement stuff shouldn't be too hard. I almost want to change the gearing mechanism out for something with some higher gears so I can get a little more speed just from pedaling without the electricity going; which I've been having fun doing too lol.

Been so long since I rode last that I forgot how much fun I used to have riding a regular bike lol, and the ebike part just adds in that much more fun imo especially when I want that extra oomph to get somewhere a bit faster. Even if I can theoretically get to my job quicker hopping a bus and doing a bit of walking, this ebike means I have no wait times which is what I wanted; plus I'm still getting some exercise when riding which is a great bonus as I did let myself slip a bit the last few years; I dunno if its mental or physical, but I've already been feeling like I've been getting into better shape since I started riding around on it... probably all the fresh air and sunlight.

Edit: Oh yea I'm probably gonna toss on the rear cargo basket soon since I got a new bookbag that will be able to fit the batteries and my work boots in addition to my bike supplies (i.e. toolkit, tire pump, patches etc). Whats real nice though is I can just leave my bike down where I work which is a secure location haha so I don't have to worry about it being swiped while there so I've just been using a single strap bookbag to take my boots to work. But I know very soon I'll have to make a trip to walmart and I'm gonna be taking the batteries inside with me for that. So yea, I'll probably post some pics of it with the cargo basket once I've installed it, and I think I may try to put the pannier bags in as well for that walmart trip.
Which reminds me that I may want some different pedals because my work boots just slide right off the current pedals and it would be nice to not have to switch my shoes out even if my feet do appreciate it lol.
 
So now I could actually use some recommendations on adding some turn signals to the bike, I do use hand signals but it'd be nice to have some on the bike as an option; especially for the occasions I may be forced to ride at night.
 
My experience with turn signals is drivers do not pay attention to them on a bicycle, or worse they see them and take your desire to merge in front of them as an imperative to accelerate and cut you off.

I do use front and rear lighting (as well as a helmet mount mirror) and have invested quite a lot there, but turn signals proved to be a failure.
 
My experience with turn signals is drivers do not pay attention to them on a bicycle, or worse they see them and take your desire to merge in front of them as an imperative to accelerate and cut you off.

I do use front and rear lighting (as well as a helmet mount mirror) and have invested quite a lot there, but turn signals proved to be a failure.
Yea I had a feeling that would be the case because people kinda suck, may still be something I look into but not as much as I was since I've seen quite a few people with the same sentiments.

Mirrors is definitely something I want to add so I don't have to turn my head as much while riding, didn't really think about a helmet mounted mirror so I'll look into those as I'm not sure where exactly I'd mount mirrors on the handlebars.
Edit: Oh forgot to say that my taillight is quite bright, and the headlight is good enough although I am looking at some replacements so I can see a bit further ahead of me at night but as it stands I can see far enough ahead to stop quickly if necessary. Did a night ride the other day to make sure everything was good, although I did discover I had to re-seat the headlight so I could angle it down more, to be sure I wasn't blinding people lol.
 
Back
Top