Brooke’s 7 Surprising Insights Part 2
- INSIGHT #4 – Do accessorize for safety
When you are in the market for a cargo bike, the accessories you add on may be almost as important as the bike itself. You’re not just buying a bicycle; you’re getting a two-wheeled powerhouse that can transport everything you need, with the right add-ons.
Since my main motivation for buying a cargo bike was to ride with my kids, safety was my first concern. With the Hooptie installed, I don’t have to look over my shoulder all the time; the twins hold onto the side bars and I know their fingers are protected and they won’t tumble off. The bars are adjustable, so I can keep on keeping them safe as they get bigger.
I also added U-Tubes, so the twins can rest their feet, and a pair of CargoBay bags, to pick up groceries on the fly.
No matter why you want a cargo bike or what kind of cargo bike you end up with, don’t make the mistake of skimping on the accessories. Those extras don’t add much to the cost, but they will give a big boost to your enjoyment of the bike and your peace of mind.
- INSIGHT #5 – Don’t put your cargo bike on a diet
In the bike snob world I come from, the lighter the bike the more snob appeal it has. When it comes to cargo bikes, especially an ebike, it’s a mistake to get hung up on weight.
In fact, I chose to pack the pounds on my Edgerunner, by adding the accessories I needed. With electric assist, I can pull the extra weight with no sweat – literally.
If you want a lightweight bike, buy a carbon fiber road bike. If you want a cargo bike that will get you and your crew where you need to go, don’t worry about the weight.
- INSIGHT #6 – Do consider electric assist
I used to be a professional rider. When I want to ride for exercise, I’ll pull a racing bike off the wall and hit the hills. There’s nothing like the feeling of coming home, drenched in sweat, knowing I’ve pushed my body to the max.
But that’s not how I want to feel when I get to at work or meet friends at a restaurant. Electric assist allows me to arrive at any destination still feeling fresh.
Before I had kids, I couldn’t imagine that I would ever be too zonked to ride. That’s because I didn’t understand true fatigue. I realized that, if I wanted to power around town with two kids and three bags of groceries on the back, electric assist was a must-have.
If you’re a serious bike rider, you might feel that electric assist is cheating. I felt that way too, at first. But the extra boost gets me onto my bike on days when I otherwise might drive a car. I am still moving my body and that energizes me, but it’s not such an effort that I’m drained and cranky with the kids.
“The Edgerunner’s electric assist allows me to preserve my energy so I can be the kind of mother I want to be.”
The other advantage of an ebike is safety. I appreciate having the power to make a quick start, even when I’m fully loaded. With electric assist, I can even make it up the hill to the kids’ school.
What will you do with your cargo bike? Will you ride on the flats or take on hills? Will you carry two watermelons and three kids or a surfboard and one big Dalmatian? Will you go to across town or across a bridge?
A cargo bike with an electric motor is more expensive than one without, but I have found it makes my Edgerunner so indispensable that it’s totally worth it.
- INSIGHT #7 – Don’t skimp on power
Once I decided on electric assist, it was time to totally nerd out on all the ebike options. There are lots of different types of ebike motors and I test rode a bunch of different models.
The Bosch motor on the Edgerunner stood out from the crowd for its smooth ride. Plus, it’s a brand I trust to keep stocking parts, even after a motor is discontinued, so I know I’ll be able to keep my Edgerunner on the road for a long time.
I chose the Bosch mid-drive motor and I love the power it gives me to go up hill. If speed is more important to you, you might prefer the Bosch Performance speed motor.
The next thing I had to consider was range. It’s easy to make the mistake of going with the smallest battery pack, to save money and weight, but this is not the moment to cheap out.
Here’s the thing: all cargo bikes are heavy. Unless you’re going to ride your cargo bike in a road race (I wouldn’t recommend it), you won’t notice a couple of pounds more or less. Ask yourself how far you need to go between charges and buy enough battery power to make it there.
The motor you choose, and the size of your battery pack will affect the price. By this point in my research, though, I was all in. In the Edgerunner, I had found everything I wanted in a cargo bike: stable construction, smooth ride, safety, and accessories that make the whole package work. I wasn’t going to stop short of getting the right power and range to take me where I need to go. I’m glad I did.
“Riding a cargo bike with electric assist has changed my life.”
Are you ready to change yours?