Best Cargo Bikes: Top 6 Electric Cargo Bikes For Your Family

May 8, 2020

Whether your goal is to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible, get your kids used to bike commuting, or save up on gas money, the solution is simple:

Get yourself the best electric cargo bike.

They're much more eco-friendly, they can be beneficial for your health, practical and relatively affordable – well, at least compared to a car – and they're family-friendly, too.

Pick up kids from school, haul groceries, or head out to the beach – there's not much that these bikes can't do.

We've rounded up the industry-leading options here, so read on – and take your pick!

In a hurry, after 36 hours of research we recommend:
Yuba Spicy Curry Electric Bike

Our Top Pick

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch Electric Bike

Yuba’s clearly on a mission to create the most versatile, family-friendly, long-tail cargo bike for the money – and Spicy Curry’s here to prove it. Of all the bikes we’ve tested, this one has the most potential to cut your two-car household down to one.

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

Our Budget Pick

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

The sturdy carbon steel frame offers all the comfort of a low-step, easy-to-mount design, but with the ability to handle 250 to 300 pounds total – you included.

Riese & Müller Load 60 – Upgrade Pick

Our Budget Pick

Riese & Müller Load 60

Groceries, kids, tools – it all fits in the Riese & Müller's front-loaded cargo box. What's more, you can get all sorts of different accessories for it, including the oh-so-convenient rain cover for two of your tiny passengers.

Quick Comparison Table 

Best for Off-Road
Riese & Müller Load 60
Riese & Müller Load 60 – Upgrade Pick

Amazing performance with 1000Wh DualBattery

  • 500Wh battery
  • Full suspension for excellent handling and stability
  • Spacious front-loaded cargo box with an optional rain cover
Budget Pick
NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle
NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

Budget pick, One of the best budget car-go bikes

  • High-strength carbon steel frame with a low-step design
  • Removable battery
  • Comes with a front-mounting basket

Top 5 Bikes for 2020

The popularity of e-cargo bikes has exploded over the last decade, meaning that the number of options on the market is at an all-time high. And for a first-time buyer, this can be a bit overwhelming.

That's why we're here:

We did some digging and put the best electric cargo bikes to the test – and we narrowed it down to these six options!


1. Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch Electric Bike

Yuba’s clearly on a mission to create the most versatile, family-friendly, long-tail cargo bike for the money – and Spicy Curry’s here to prove it. Of all the bikes we’ve tested, this one has the most potential to cut your two-car household down to one.

First off, it strikes the perfect balance of stability, cargo capacity, and natural, smooth-riding. Even when fully loaded, with two kids wiggling in the back, the bike feels incredibly stable, much like the Tern GSD.

Yuba Spicy Curry Electric Bike

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch Electric Bike

Yes, the aluminum frame is longer than that of a standard bike. However, with the 26-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear one, the center of gravity is low enough to help you retain that sense of balance and control at all times.

Besides the incredible stability, another thing that it has in common with the Tern GSD is the use of a Bosch motor – the Bosch Performance CX 250-watt motor, to be precise. Backed up by a 400Wh battery, this bike has enough power to carry cargo effortlessly, even when it’s pushed to its limits.

Editor's Choice, Best Overall Family Bike

Also, with 300-pound load capacity, there’s not a lot that you can’t throw onto the frame-integrated rack in the back. Two kids – three without the dedicated seats – a week’s worth of groceries, an adult passenger, you name it!

The best part, however, is that, with the right accessories – and you have plenty to choose from – you can custom-fit the bike to the needs of your day-to-day life!

PROS

  • Lower center of gravity for improved stability 
  • Wide range of available accessories
  • Bosch Performance CX 250-watt motor
  • A 300-pound load capacity

Cons

  • Somewhat pricey

Conclusion:

The Yuba is the ultimate family-friendly cargo bike. It’s perfectly capable of hauling kids, groceries, and gear, and with the right accessories – monkey bars, sideboards, baskets, cargo bags, and what not – has the potential to turn into a real two-wheel minivan! 

Yuba Spicy Curry Electric Bike

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch Electric Bike


2. NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

Wait, an electric cargo bike that you can afford? Could it be? Well, this electric bike – a love child of a beach cruiser and a cargo bike – may prove that a decent cargo-hauling bicycle doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.

We get that this may be hard to believe given the price tag that falls way beneath the $1000 mark, but this NAKTO electric cargo bicycle is far from a sketchy, cheaply-made option.

The sturdy carbon steel frame offers all the comfort of a low-step, easy-to-mount design, but with the ability to handle 250 to 300 pounds total – you included.

That said, the cost-saving measures didn’t go entirely unnoticed. There are areas of its performance that will probably leave you wanting more.

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

Budget pick, One of the best budget car-go bikes

The 250-watt brushless gear motor, powered by a 36V/10Ah battery, allows you to use it in two modes – with pedal-assist or as an e-bike – and develop speeds of 18 to 25 mph. Depending on how you use it, you can get around 25 miles out of a single charge, which isn’t overly impressive.

Now, we’re not saying that the motor setup is terrible. But when you throw the extra cargo weight on it, the lack of power starts to rear its ugly face. 

PROS

  • The cheapest e-cargo bike on the market
  • E-bike and pedal-assisted modes
  • High-strength carbon steel frame with a low-step design
  • Removable battery
  • Comes with a front-mounting basket 

Cons

  • Weighs nearly 70 pounds
  • Confusing assembly instructions
  • Can feel underpowered when fully loaded 
NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle


3. Riese & Müller Load 60 – Upgrade Pick

If you don’t want to fall in love with a cargo e-bike that costs almost as much as a used car, then look away now. What we have here is pretty much the BMW of cargo bikes – and it doesn't come cheap.

Still, it's a glorious thing to ride, both with and without load, and could become your daily driver, thanks to the top-of-the-range components and premium construction.

For starters, it's one of the very few cargo bikes to feature full suspension. That means exceptional control and handling, stability, and ground contact at all times. Add the low center of gravity, and you get a cargo-hauling bike that feels both sporty and safe. 

Groceries, kids, tools – it all fits in the Riese & Müller's front-loaded cargo box. What's more, you can get all sorts of different accessories for it, including the oh-so-convenient rain cover for two of your tiny passengers.

Riese & Müller Load 60 – Upgrade Pick

Riese & Müller Load 60 – Upgrade Pick

Amazing performance with 1000Wh DualBattery

Much like our top pick, this one employs a Bosch motor, only this time it's the fourth generation of the renowned Cargo Line Cruise motor. Besides being perfectly optimized for e-cargo bikes, it's powered by a 500Wh battery.

Also, if you want to double up on power, you can get the 1000Wh DualBattery – technology that was also adopted by Tern GSD – for twice the range! 

PROS

  • Full suspension for excellent handling and stability
  • Powerful Bosch motor and 500Wh battery
  • Spacious front-loaded cargo box with an optional rain cover

Cons

  • The starting price is $8000

Conclusion:

Think of it as an overly priced cargo bike or as a much cheaper alternative to a car; that's entirely up to you. But one thing's certain – this is more than your standard two-wheeler, and there's nothing average about it. If you want a freakishly powerful and flexible daily driver, it doesn't get much better than the Riese & Müller Load 60. 

Riese & Müller Load 60 – Upgrade Pick

Riese & Müller Load 60 – Upgrade Pick


4. Bunch Bikes The Original Family Cargo Bike

The Bunch Bikes cargo bike known as The Original is bound to turn some heads, much like the Butchers & Bicycles MK1-E. It’s as crowd-stopping and attention-grabbing as cargo tricycles go.

It could take some time to get comfortable with the design, but if you want a “trike” that can, quite literally, haul your entire family around town, this is it!

With a 220-pound load capacity, there’s not a lot that this front-loading, marine plywood cargo box can’t handle. It comes equipped with two removable benches – that also serve as locking storage boxes for your valuables – and a set of four three-point seat belts for maximum safety.

Also, you can squeeze in one more child seat on the rear rack, which, alone, supports up to 66 pounds. 

Bunch Bikes Family Cargo Bike

Bunch Bikes The Original Family Cargo Bike

Best Family Cargo Bike

Since this is a three-wheeler, it handles differently than a regular bike – and may feel unstable at higher speeds and turns. Bunch Bikes addressed this with the anti-tip smart frame technology and gas-spring steering damper, but we recommend sticking to the factory-set 15 mph limit, nonetheless.

As for the driving force behind it, The Original comes with a 500-watt brushless hub motor, powered by a 48V/13.6Ah Li-ion battery. The built-in torque sensor detects the pressure changes on the bike’s pedals and adjusts the electric assist levels accordingly.

You can get a good 25 to 35 miles out of it, and have it fully recharged in four to six hours, too!

PROS

  • Front-loading cargo box with benches and seat belts
  • Easy to assembly and adjust when needed 
  • Recharges in four to six hours 

Cons

  • Somewhat unstable at higher speeds

Conclusion:

If you need something family-friendly that can haul enough weight to replace your car as you cruise around and enjoy the sights – and be a super fun experience for the kids, too – you may like this front-loading three-wheeler!

Bunch Bikes Family Cargo Bike

Bunch Bikes The Original Family Cargo Bike


5. Bunch Bikes The Original Family Cargo Bike

The electric-assist version of the Boda Boda bike is too good of an option for urban commuters not to include it in our round-up. It’s also the most “mom thing” you’ll see today:

There’s a definite beach cruiser vibe to it, but with the exceptional ability to haul up to 220 pounds of kids and cargo, which is shocking considering that the bike doesn’t look that beefy.

The step-over aluminum frame doesn’t appear too stretched out or hefty, despite having an extended cargo rack sitting in the back. Plus, the weight is kept at a reasonable 60 pounds.

Yuba Electric Boda Boda Step-Over Bike

Yuba Electric Boda Boda Step - Over Bike

Step over CarGo Bike

What’s even more mind-blowing, though, is the combination of brains and brawn behind the bike: 

The Shimano STEPS E6000 250-watt mid-drive motor, powered by a 36V/418Wh Li-ion battery, serves as the intelligent – and weatherproof – driving force behind it. With three levels of electric assist, complete with the unique walk mode for when you’re pushing the bike, riding the Boda Boda is as effortless as it can be.

Since the electric assist downshifts automatically and provides power only when it’s needed, you can get a staggering 93 miles out of it, which is insane! Also, to sweeten up the deal even further, it charges in about four hours or so.

You can be up and running – or, should we say, riding – in no time!

PROS

  • Compact-style aluminum frame with a rear rack
  • Cargo-carrying 220-pound capacity
  • Four-hour recharge time and range of up to 93 miles
  • Shimano STEPS E6000 with three pedal-assist levels and walk mode

Cons

  • Accessory costs add up quickly

Conclusion:

Do you want to be that mom that casually waves to the dedicated bike commuters as she rides past them effortlessly, even though she has kids and groceries sitting in the back? A bike like the Yuba Electric Boda Boda can make that happen!

Yuba Electric Boda Boda Step-Over Bike

Yuba Electric Boda Boda Step - Over Bike


6. Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 3

Okay, let’s finish strong and wrap this round-up of electric cargo bikes up with another easy-on-the-budget option, this time from Rad Power Bikes. Now, we’re no strangers to Rad Power Bikes’ electric bicycles, but every time we get a chance to test one out, we’re somehow left wondering:

How do they manage to make such an amazing, feature-rich e-cargo bike at such an affordable price?

So, let’s get to the bottom of this price-to-value wonder together, shall we?

First, we'd like to talk about the sturdy and slightly oversized, aluminum structure of the RadWagon. A step-through design of the frame that follows the one-size-fits-all approach looks relatively modern, practical, and, dare we say, rad – but it won’t win any beauty contests. 

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 3

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 3

Step over CarGo Bike

It’s designed with practicality and utility in mind. Put its integrated rear rack to work, and you can comfortably haul 120 pounds of cargo in the back.

Also, the 750-watt, direct-drive, rear-mounted brushless Shengyi hub motor allows you to choose between two modes – five pedal-assist levels and throttle. And depending on the assistance levels you may need, the 48V/672Wh battery can deliver 25 to 45 miles per charge.

It struggles on hilly terrain and doesn’t go over 20 mph, but then again, the speed feels appropriate for the bike’s 350-pound payload. 

PROS

  • The 350-pound payload capacity
  • Regenerative braking activates automatically
  • Affordable but feature-rich

Cons

  • Weighs 73 pounds
  • Lack of torque visible on hills 

Conclusion:

It may be large, bright orange, and hard to ignore, but it’s still an excellent example of utility and practicality that you can get while also saving a few thousand bucks in the process. If you want a pocket-friendly bike that can haul your weekly groceries or take the kids to school, this may be the one.

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 3

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 3


FAQ

What is the best cargo bike? 

We think we've made it pretty clear who gets our vote of confidence. If you want something that could, quite literally, replace your car – without costing a small fortune, that is – go with the Yuba Electric Bike. If, on the other hand, you want the best of the best – and you're not afraid to pay for it – the Riese & Müller Load 60 is an obvious choice.

Remember, though – the best bike is the one that fits your family's needs and daily habits!

How do I choose a cargo bike?

Our advice is to start by asking yourself how you plan on using your cargo bike. Will your bicycle mostly be in charge of hauling groceries, picking up kids from school, driving your dog to the park – or maybe all of the above?

Trust us; when you narrow your search down like this, choosing the best one becomes a lot easier!

Next, you should consider all those things that would matter even if you were buying a "regular" electric bike, like the average battery life and range, the motor, and the pedal-assist levels. Lastly, because we're talking about cargo bikes here, weight is a factor, too:

You need to think about the weight of the bike itself and, more importantly, the amount of weight that it can haul around – you and your cargo included.

Why are cargo bikes so expensive?

It's true that cargo bike prices, which can range from $1000 to $8000, aren't for the faint of heart. But the thing to keep in mind – especially if you haven't bought a bike in a while – is that most bikes cost more now than when we were kids. Plus, there's this little thing called supply and demand; cargo bikes are still a niche market.

Then, when you factor in the cost of building a much more robust frame and wheels to match, and the accessories – cargo bikes tend to have tons of those, including cargo boxes, racks, kid seats, panniers, and what not – the extra costs add up quickly.

And that’s without counting in the manufacturing costs of electric assists and battery packs!

You can choose to look at it as a costly bike – or as a pretty inexpensive means of transportation compared to fuel-guzzling SUVs. It's up to you.

What is an e-cargo bike?

An electric cargo bike is, in many ways, your standard electric bike, but with a redesigned frame and the ability to haul cargo when needed. Think of it as a hybrid, an e-bike in a league of its own – more durable and more robust than most, capable of handling heavy loads, with plenty of space for you, your kids, and the groceries, but maneuverable enough to feel comfortable and secure.


After All Is Said & Done, We Recommend:

Yuba Spicy Curry Electric Bike

Our Top Pick

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch Electric Bike

Why is it better? 

  • Bosch Performance Line motor powered by a 400Wh battery
  • Low center of gravity for comfort and stability
  • 300-pound load capacity
  • Enough space for up to three kids in the back
  • Tons of available accessories

  • Ultimately, it's about finding what works for you, and in that sense, any of these deserves the title of the best electric cargo bike.

    And yes, we give the Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch Electric Bike our seal of approval, but as we said already, this one's up to you. Your new bike should make your day-to-day commuting easier – so, your bike, your rules.

    If you're having second thoughts about getting a cargo bike, check out the best electric beach cruisers, instead!

    About the author

    Ruaan is an electrical engineer born in South Africa and currently working in Oslo, Norway. He loves tech and gadgets and owns an electric car (Tesla) as well a front-wheel-drive electric bike. He rides his bike all year, even through snow and ice covered roads in the cold winter.

    Want to learn more?

    Check out these articles below