Are you looking for a fun, convenient, and affordable way to get around? A cargo bike might be just what you need. Known for their practicality and being environmentally friendly, cargo bikes represent a unique mode of transportation that spans many different situations and needs. By creating an electric cargo bike, Himiway is paving the way for people to rethink mobility in the 21st century with models like the Himiway BIG DOG.
No longer do you need a car, truck, or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) to move about with supplies or belongings. Many cargo bikes are designed to carry additional loads using baskets, racks, and higher weight capacities than traditional bikes. And with the implementation of electric batteries and motors, cargo bikes can now go from being just another type of bike to an all-purpose utility machine meant to last all day.
But how do you which type of cargo e-bike is right for you? There are many factors to consider such as what you will be using the bike for, how much weight you plan to carry on the bike, and how far you need to travel on your average trip. Some bikes will excel at simply picking up groceries while others are meant to be used to deliver of heavy items all day long. To determine which bike is suitable for you, we’ve put together this short guide of the 4 most popular types of freight e-bikes.
Longtail cargo bikes can be identified by their longer than average length. As the name implies, additional space has been built into the frame of the e-bike extending the rear wheel a bit further than a traditional bike. They literally appear to have a “long tail” to accommodate additional racks, storage space, or even seats for small children.
The wheels on many longtails are smaller than traditional tires to accommodate more storage capacity.
Some advantages of longtails include their unique style and the option to add additional accessories such as baskets to the front of the bike, thereby increasing storage space. Another advantage is that because the rear is extended, large or bulky loads may be placed on a rear mounted rack without interfering with the rider’s range of motion. Many riders use longtails to go for a cruise with their kids in a rear seat, so the final advantage may be that of family fun to be had.
A natural disadvantage to this type of bike is the length. The increased length may make it difficult to transport, stow, park, or handle the bike. Consideration should be given to the tradeoff of size and utility that you will need to make.
Prices for longtail cargo bikes will vary depending on the configuration, quality of parts, and brand.
Riders of midtails appreciate the shorter length which makes this compact bike easier to maneuver as well as carry or stow. This type of bike represents the best of both worlds; good carrying capacity combined with stylish aesthetics and convenience. A midtail e-bike is a good all-around choice for those new to the world of cargo bikes or those riders whom desire a balanced experience. Bikes like the Himiway BIG DOG fall into the category of midtail cargo bike and this model is very affordable compared to many competitors.
With a shorter length, midtail bikes naturally have just a bit less cargo space than longer models, and will have slightly reduced weight bearing capacity. For example, only one child may fit in the rear seat of a midtail, compared with two or three in a longtail. However, the 400-pound weight limit of the Himiway BIG DOG is likely more than enough capacity for any task.
Popular in Europe, our third bike is called a Long John, or sometimes known as bakfiets or box bikes. These front load cargo bikes are often larger in size than longtails and also differ in the location of the cargo storage. Long Johns, also known as “front loaders” generally come equipped with a large basket, bucket, or rack in the front of the bike near the ground.
A natural advantage of carrying cargo lower to the ground is the increased stability it provides. Another benefit of this bike style is the ability to load and unload cargo very quickly. One can simply toss items into the basket or bucket and may not even need to strap anything down. In the event of rainy weather, a tarp or cover can be tied around the basket, providing safe transport to whatever items you wish to move.
A drawback to Long Johns is the size, which makes them almost impossible to load onto traditional racks for cars and buses. They may also be difficult to manually pedal due to the size and shape of the bike. An electric version of this bike is a must-have for those using them for work to avoid becoming overly tired while pedaling, especially up steep inclines.
Long John Tricycle
Our final style to discuss is actually not a bicycle at all but a tricycle. Long John tricycles, also referred to as cargo tricycles or cargo trikes can be identified by their third wheel. Oftentimes you will find the cargo container situated between two of the three wheel, typically in the front.
An advantage to this setup is the ability to balance without needing to step off the tricycle. Stopping at intersections or for loading and unloading is a breeze when you do not need to get off the machine. Children or pets can safely sit in the cargo hold and observe the world as you ride. Long John tricycles have the most stability of all bikes we’ve covered today. They are becoming popular for personal use due to the ability to transport goods such as groceries or gear easily.
With pros come cons and we see some cons of the tricycle style in the maneuverability of the trike in small spaces. Flat, open ground is the most suitable terrain with this type of bike. It’s bulky design might make it difficult to pedal too much manually. The price of these tricycles may also be on the higher end compared to some other models.
Now you know the different types of cargo cycles in motion today. Longtails will excel in their rear storage but lack a convenient size, while Midtails balance the need for storage with the need for versatility and compatibility. Long Johns are typically found in Europe and can be identified by their large basket or bucket, while Long John Tricycles combine this feature with a third wheel for more stability but less maneuverability.