(MOST ONLINE CARGO BIKE SHOPPERS MAKE)
- 1. Assembling the bike by myself shouldn’t be too hard. The Surprising Truth
Professional Assembly is expensive for a reason: specialized tools and talent.
- 2. Customer Support will be there if I need help. The Surprising Truth
Getting the bike is just the beginning – lasting lifestyle change is best nurtured by a long term relationship.
- 3. That price tag must be for fancy parts that I don’t really need. The Surprising Truth
When talking about a quality cargo bike (as opposed to a fancy race bike) a lower price equates directly to compromises in safety or durability.
- 4. The photos and videos on their site look good. I can picture it working similarly well for me. The Surprising Truth
Marketing photos and videos tend to hide design defects.
- 5. I’m pretty handy. How hard can it be to put a bike together? The Surprising Truth
Professional cargo bike assembly is a highly specialized skill. We find that even bike shop mechanics need to read the instructions!
- 6. The components on the cheap one and the expensive one look the same to me. The Surprising Truth
Cheap parts often look good and work ok for the first few weeks of use. It’s tempting to save a few bucks when we don’t have direct experience with the cost/benefit of durable components. What’s scary is how low cost parts can fail catastrophically. What’s more, who feels good about creating that much landfill?
- 7. We’re only going to use if for a few years, it will surely last that long. The Surprising Truth
Over the years we’ve observed a curious trend: people surprise themselves by using their cargo bikes for more than they ever imagined. Also, lower quality bikes are often so poorly made that they can’t be made to operate safely at all.
20 YEARS OF DATA REVEALED
As global cargo bike pioneers, we’ve spent the last 20 years engineering, championing and helping people find the perfect bike for their unique lifestyle.
We’ve learned to only partner with great shops. And since specialty Cargo/Family/Electric bike shops are lacking in most parts of the US, we were compelled to develop the Big Box of Happiness. It wasn’t easy, but we’re now convinced that the Big Box is one of our most unexpected and exciting innovations to date because it removes one more critical obstacle for people who would otherwise love to ride our bikes.
Now the only questions are whether or not a cargo bike is right for you.
Luckily for us, Brooke Miller, smarty-pants Ph.D., former pro bike racer (national champ!), mama of twins, was kind enough and generous enough to keep track of all of the questions and answers people asked her about her first cargo bike purchase, and she offered to share them here. Read on, courageous ones!
Brooke's 7 surprising insights she learned after buying her first cargo bike
I’m super stoked about the Edgerunner, but I had a few questions to answer before I made my choice. What I learned made me realize that there are some common mistakes and misconceptions people have when they shop for a cargo bike.
- INSIGHT #1
- INSIGHT #2
- INSIGHT #3
Make safety your first priority
Riding with two young kids in tow, my biggest concern is safety. To be safe, I need a bike that’s stable, even when the twins get the wiggles. I need to be able to make a quick start when I’m carrying a lot of extra weight. And I need to be able to stop quickly.
Some manufacturers use low-quality parts to lower the price, especially on electric bikes. I was blown away by how safe the Edgerunner felt from my first test ride – even with three kids on the back.
“When it comes to safety, and especially when my kids are on the back, good construction and quality parts are the price of safety.”
Fun geek fact: the Edgerunner has a smaller wheel in back, giving it a lower center of gravity for extra stability and balance.
The Edgerunner’s high quality brakes give me confidence I can make quick stops even when I’m riding down a steep hill.
Don’t assume you can’t get there by bike.
Many people, myself included, make the mistake of assuming the grocery store, parks, kids’ school, and other locations we drive to are too far for a bike trip. A cargo bike wouldn’t do me any good if I couldn’t get to where I needed to go.
So, I mapped out the most common destinations that I typically travelled to by car, often with the kids along. Shockeroo: most of these places fell within a six-mile radius of my home — easy biking distance, especially on an ebike.
“I realized I could easily do 90 percent of my daily errands on bike.”
Running errands by bike usually takes extra time; the electric assist changes that dynamic drastically. Better yet, I could get there without getting all sweaty, thanks to (bike nerd alert!) the Bosch electric drive system with four different assist levels. I can ride 18-20 miles on full turbo mode; if I am worried about range, I dial back the assist to get 40-50 miles.
“I rarely ride more than 20 miles in one trip, so I usually opt for full turbo. Why? Because it is fun (uh, really fun).”
How far do you want to go by bike? The Department of Transportation reports that 63% of our daily trips are five miles or less. You might be surprised, like I was, at how easily you can get there by bike.
Don’t freak out over the price
A cargo bike is built to carry a lot of weight and that requires some fancy parts, like high-end brakes so you can stop quickly and safely, even when you’re carrying a big load. If you want electric assist, a good motor can be pricey too.
f you’re considering a cargo bike like the Xtracycle Edgerunner, it’s a commitment, financially. When you add electric assist, the price tag can go north of $6,000.
Some of my racing bikes cost more than that, but it was hard for me to spend that much on a cargo bike.
So, I wrote a list of other things I could buy for about $6,000:
- One Bitcoin
- A used Honda with 200,000 miles on it
- 300 My Little Pony Rainbow Shimmer Princess Luna Pony figurines
- Three and a half tickets to see the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs
Or a well-built cargo bike with electric assist that will last me for thousands of miles of riding over many years. Hmmmm.
Here’s the breakdown: If I ride my Edgerunner for 10 years (a conservative estimate — these bikes are built to last), that’s $600 per year or $50 per month. I save more than that each month on gas and wear and tear on my car. If your family can give up a car because of my cargo bike, you can save even more.
“Bottom line: If I love it and I ride it, my cargo bike pays for itself.”
If you want a bike that has electric assist, don’t let the price tag scare you. If an ebike is not expensive, I get nervous about where they are cutting costs — especially if it is a bike that I am going to ride with my children.
“Getting an Edgerunner has changed my life.” - Brooke Miller, SuperMama