Cycling has so many benefits - for the environment, your physical health, your mental health, and even your wallet. However, many people think of cycling as a solo activity, and not a particularly family-friendly transport method. Enter - electric cargo bikes.
E-cargo bikes are designed for cyclists who need to carry precious cargo... whether it's for deliveries, the week's food shopping, or the most precious cargo of all - your family! Whether you're tackling city traffic on the school run or taking the kids to football practice, a cargo bike with electric pedal assist can help carry your gear and passengers all at once. Cut out the hassles of city traffic and ride on with all your shopping, bags, kids and more all strapped into your bike.
The benefits of electric cargo bikes for families
So, why should you go for an e-cargo bike if you're looking for a family bike? What makes these models an attractive option compared to other cargo bikes, adding bike storage to a regular electric bike, or going for individual adult and kids' bikes? Here are some of the reasons we think electric cargo bikes are brilliant for families...
More storage space
While e-cargo bikes work great for couriers, delivery drivers and shopaholics, the cargo box and additional seats can make for brilliant family bikes.
Get additional seating and storage space without having to worry about getting stuck in traffic, road tax or any of the other worries that come from having kids in the car. You'll have enough space for the school run, a day out, or carrying two kids and a bursting kitbag to football practice.
Rather than having to lug all the school gear and various family accessories in a precariously-balanced bike bag, you'll be able to ride in style with your cargo bike storage space easily carrying the load while you cycle.
Electric bike pedal boost
Another benefit of an electric cargo bike is that you get all the power benefits of an electric bike. You'll get the power of the electric battery and pedal boost, which can help you navigate tricky inclines and traffic lights with ease.
The electrical assistance means climbing that irritating hill on the school run just got a little bit easier. A decent weight allowance means you can fit your kids and a bag or two of groceries in the back, and the battery pedal boost means you won't even have to sacrifice riding efficiency or ease.
More freedom with a family cargo bike
Say goodbye to the transportation woes of having to find unaffordable parking spaces in an impossibly busy car park. No more worrying about paying the congestion charge, or getting stuck in gridlocked city traffic on your way to swimming or football.
With a family cargo electric bike, you get the storage benefits of a small vehicle, with the added bonus of none of the road traffic hassle. Use cycle lanes and scoot past traffic stuck at the lights - secure your e-cargo bike with a trusty bike lock at any bike rack and get on with your day.
Health benefits of electric cargo bikes for families
As well as potentially allowing you access to more exciting adventures for your family, riding an e-bike is also much healthier than using a motor vehicle, both for you and the environment. There are more CO2 emissions breathed inside a car than outside of it, so being out cycling in the fresh air is already an improvement on keeping your passengers cooped up in the back seat.
Plus, extra riding and cycling around is obviously good exercise, and is great for the mind as well as the body. If you swap your car for an electric cargo bike you'll be helping with traffic congestion, CO2 emissions and your own family's health. What's not to love?
How to choose the best electric cargo bike for your family
Obviously, the purchase of any new mode of transport - whether it's a family cargo bicycle or a second car - requires a good deal of thought. You'll need to think about what an affordable price for you is, the ideal weight of the bike, how many riders there will be, where you'll be travelling, how much hauling or loading you'll be doing, and more.
Of course, if you're simply looking for an eco-friendly way to transport the children, their various accessories and the odd bag of groceries around town - any good quality electric cargo bike is likely to be a great option. However, you may need to think about looking for a model that's compatible with a range of e-cargo accessories if you're likely to be using it for multiple different uses. Or, you might need one with more storage, more wheels... the options are almost endless!
We recommend trying to test drive or scope out as many options as you can - perhaps visit your nearest bike store to get some tips from the experts.
Our recommended family electric cargo bike
The Raleigh Stride 2 is a good all-round option when it comes to family electric cargo bikes. It's got two wheels, which means even though it's got ample cargo box space, it's still easy to manoeuvre around town even when there's traffic building up at rush hour. It's also much easier to find a bike parking space when you need to drop the children off at swimming or nip in to buy that forgotten pint of milk.
The Stride 2 has a battery range of up to 40 miles, giving you plenty of distance to get your errands done with little riders in tow. The front basket cargo area is ideal for packing the shopping and your children in for riding along, and the 500Wh Bosch battery and CX Cargo Line motor make pedalling a breeze.
Mudguards and lights are built-in, so you can make it safely to rugby in the rain or dancing in the dark - whatever's on the family agenda. Even the great British weather won't put a dampener on your journey.
Family electric cargo bike accessories
There is a range of accessories available to make cycling with kids that little bit easier with electric cargo bikes.
If you've got particularly little ones, the Stride Toddler Seat is ideal - it's designed for kids aged between 8 and 18 months, and you can fit two next to each other on the forward-facing bench in the cargo section of the bike. You can also fit a Toddler Seat and a Stride Baby Seat next to each other, for customisable seating for two kids.
Another option for taking a cycle ride with the kids in tow is the Maxi Cosi Car Seat Bracket. The bracket will be mounted in the cargo box so that your little one can see you as you ride. It's suitable for infants over 3 months old and is compatible with a range of Maxi Cosi carriers and several other brands.
For those rainy day commutes when you're carrying bagged-up groceries and perhaps even hauling a couple of kids, why not invest in a Stride 2 Rain Tent for e-cargo bikes, turning your bicycle into a (nearly) luxury vehicle? If you've got a load of precious cargo - perhaps the fresh veg for the week's shop, or a new clothing haul - you can get a Stride 2 Box Cover to keep things dry, safe and secure as you ride your bike.