Buying cargo E-Bike, selling second car (an *off-topic*-topic)

Hey everyone,
Probably not the most typical topic for a training/ racing forum, but I know many people here own cargo bikes and might have some interesting tips and experience to share. Since the write up on the situation has gotten pretty extensive and not everyone will be interested in reading through all of that, just share your experience :sweat_smile:.

To my situation: my wife and I have a car each, which we got 5 years ago. Back then, my wife was commuting to and from work by car (we live in the countryside with bad public transport). I was traveling a lot for work and ultimately, I never even considered the possibility of not having a car each.
Fast forward to today, we still have the two cars + a camper van.
Three years of C19 (-> home office only for my wife) and an increasing perceived need for sustainability have made me more and more unhappy with the situation of having 3 cars, which are being driven far too little to really make sense.

So that’s when I started tracking our car behavior for a months, and we figured out, that we hardly ever use both cars at the same time. When we do, in most cases one of us only needs to travel within our village (groceries, other chores, and for me work). Within that months, there was just a single situation were a car and a cargo bike wouldn’t have sufficed, but that’s when we still have the camper van.
In hindsight, it feels stupid to have had another car sitting around all this time, but this idea hadn’t crossed my mind earlier.

Also, we do not have children, but own as midsized dog. I have hardly found any reviews that were not super focused on moving kids around.

So next months my car is gone, and I’ll be trying to do everything I can with the bike (Urban Arrow Shorty). Being a complete newbie, and with cargo bikes really being the absolute exception where I live (rural northern Germany), I feel like I can learn a thing or two in advance. Really looking forward to your input.


I’m back up to two cars but used to be one car and a cargo bike when it was viable for me.

I loved it. Around town it was usually quicker getting things done because I could just park at the doors of shops, grab my things, and go. Longer trips were a bit of a pain but I usually tried to avoid them and do as many as I could in one day with the car. You learn to be much more efficient this way which may in turn save you even more time. Long trips with a motor will be easier for you though. My cargo bike didn’t have a motor.

I don’t know how good your dog is but mine definitely wouldn’t sit in the basket like the Urban Arrow has. I had a Bullit with a longer bin and he sat pretty well in it and could lay down. He is about 50 lbs.


Thanks for the reply.
Yeah, my dog likely won’t love sitting up there either, and him being 55lbs, probably it’s not perfectly save either. I’ll just have him on the leash next to the bike.

I’ve got a bike on order…the new Specialized Global Haul ST. I have a hybrid bike that I use to commute but find too many excuses not to use it.

I workout in the morning so there are days I’m just too trashed to want to pedal more to work. Then there’s the weather. Current bike doesn’t have fenders and it’s SOOO hot here in Florida over the summer I think having some pedal assist could make me less of a dripping wet mass when I get to the office. The biggest thing I’m looking to change is needing to wear a backpack and/or being concerned about how much crap is coming back and forth with me.

The cargo bike has well over a 400 pound weight limit and I really like the hard sided panniers you can get with this kit. There are so many days I’d like to run by the store on the way home, but can’t because I don’t know where I’d put the groceries.

I’ve really started to close in my world. My dentist and doctor are all within 2 miles. Office is 4 miles. Grocery stores are 3 miles. Farmers Market is 6 miles. Good bike shop is 15 miles. (Good because it has a coffee shop connected to it, so there are muffins.) My wife drives a Tesla, so needing to keep track of charging and battery health isn’t new. I’ll still have my Honda with 160k miles on it, but when that goes, I’m hoping the cargo bike has taken over as the main mode of transport. Only time will tell, but for the price of this new Specialized model, I think it’s worth giving it a try.

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Almost 5 years ago we downsized to 1 car for 2 people. My wife has a work car, which is to be used for work only. That situation is going well, we save a lot of money and it is more sustainable for the planet.

For small grocery store items (milk and some fruit) I’ve got a cheap city bike - Giant Escape - with panniers, and the nearest store is a 2-3 minute bike ride. Farmers market on Saturday we mostly buy veggies and fruit that fits into the panniers, its about 15 minutes at slow pace with my wife.

However for larger grocery runs the panniers cannot hold enough. Costco is about 5 miles on protected roads, with a pedestrian bridge over the freeway. Have been thinking about something like this:

instead of the Urban Arrow style e-bike. That might be a little small, as it would need to hold a cooler for freezer items plus have space for other items. Curious if anyone has recommendations?


I’ve been looking at this, primarily for shuttling gear from the parking lot to tents and trails for NICA races, but also like that it works as a stand-alone hand cart. MULE - Earth+Kin

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Sounds pretty cool….gonna tag @angryasian and @dcrainmaker since they both have a ton of experience with cargo bikes.

I have an Urban Arrow family. I bought it after reading the glowing comments from Ray (DC rainmaker) and James (angry Asian).

They can offer a lot more detailed info than I can, I’ve had mine for just 1.5 years. I really like mine but most of what I can say has to do with carrying kids around. The bike handles really well (albeit it has a really large turn radius), even when loaded up really heavy. I’ve ridden multiple times with a toddler and adult in the bucket. It’s a really well thought out bike and has lots of cool accessories - granted this comes from the view of someone using it primarily for transport of children and secondarily to transporting things


I can’t say enough good things about my Urban Arrow.

I do use it a lot to shuttle my 9yo around, although it’s also my daily driver for general transportation and errands. It’s big and heavy and unwieldy for sure (at least when just trying to move it around), but it’s surprisingly pleasant while riding, and almost even more so with a heavy load since the weight is situated so low. I’ve done full Costco runs (US-style warehouse store where everything is sold in bulk), hauled home hundreds of pounds of dirt, taken (adult) friends home, and on and on.

It’s not perfect. The steering linkage is flexier than I’d prefer, it can handle a little funny sometimes when it’s empty since there’s so little weight up front (suspension would help), it could use more brake, and as already mentioned, the turning radius is massive. But it’s also amazing and I can’t imagine my life without it.


I’m using a Burley Encore kids trailer for shopping runs, and I can fit tons in there. The cargo compartment is very big, and I think the cargo weight limit is 45 kg — plenty. Burly makes dedicated cargo trailers with two wheels and a more compact one-wheeled variant, which have less carrying capacity. @WindWarrior posted one option.

PS Burley also makes pet trailers.


Thanks y‘all for the loads of helpful and positive feedback. Has me looking forward to getting my Cargo Bike, and getting rid of the shabby Tesla :grin:

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