How much weight can I carry on my Xtracycle EdgeRunner cargo bike?
The weight capacity of the EdgeRunner is 400 pounds, rider plus cargo. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds you can carry 200 pounds of cargo for a combined weight of 400 pounds. We also specify weight limits for different parts of the bike - on top of the deck you can carry a maximum of 200 pounds in front of the axle (on the font 2/3rds of the deck) or 50 pounds behind the axle (rear 1/3rd of the deck). Other accessories carry their own limits.
What does that mean in terms of carrying actual stuff?
200 pounds of cargo is two ten-year-olds. Or two four-year-olds in Yepp seats, or one adult, or two pony kegs, or a whole lot of groceries, or three bags of cement, or any other number of things. People have carried all sorts of stuff by bike - see what folks are up to here (flickr, user uploaded images).
Where do your ratings come from?
We test our bikes extensively, using industry standard benchmarks to ensure reliability. So that's part of it, but what really drives the weight limits is stability.
Over years of riding cargo bikes we've learned that how you load them has an impact on how the bike handles - weight closer to the center of the bike will affect the handling less than weight farther away, and weight lower on the bike is more stable than weight higher up. That's why we rate forward of axle vs rear of axle.
So, why 400 pounds? Much more than that and you can't accelerate through an intersection or slow down very quickly. It's about the most that one person can reasonably haul on a regular basis, on two wheels. More than that and three wheels comes in handy (the SideCar adds stability and an extra 250 pounds of cargo capacity).
Xtracycle also strives to build a lighter, more agile bike that's fun to ride loaded or unloaded. The lighter a bike is, the more capacity you have for cargo - less energy is going to moving the bike! The lighter the bike is, the more often you'll choose it for your errands, and the more 'ready for anything' you'll be. Consider this: would you rather carry 40 pounds of groceries on a 40 pound bike or a 60 pound bike?
Our electric bikes are rated the same - but you'll enjoy the boost in acceleration that the added power gives you. This is particularly nice when carrying kids - getting up to speed faster gives you more control over the bike, making it safer.