Are you in the market for a new cargo bike? Our bike experts researched the market's top options before buying and testing 6 of the best available models. Jumping into the saddle, we run a multitude of tests and assessments across the key performance areas you actually care about. We use these bikes for weeks to judge their ride quality and feel. Range tests illuminate how far each model can go, and we measure power capabilities from a stop and uphill. We load up each bike to see how well they transport cargo and human passengers, and how heavy loads affect handling and stability. Cargo bikes offer the opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint while still being able to transport cargo, and this review helps identify the optimal model for your needs.
Battery size: 614 Wh | Max weight capacity: 400 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Stability and smooth
Dual-battery option adds massive range
Great ride quality and power
REASONS TO AVOID
Modest range on a single battery
The Blix Packa Genie provides a very well-rounded performance that we feel makes it a great option for the vast majority of people seeking an electric cargo bike. Riders will notice how smooth and stable it cruises across town, and a solid feature set only improves riding quality. The 400-pound weight capacity allows you to haul considerable loads, and you can purchase a variety of accessories to dial it in to your specific needs. The 750W motor is powerful, throttling or pedaling quickly to its max speed. One big advantage this bike has over others is the option to add a second battery to the frame, which doubles its range and makes it capable of covering some serious distances.
Without the second battery, the Packa Genie offers good range, but not top range. Other bikes can take you further on a single battery charge. Other than that, it's tough to find many qualms with this model. There are niche models that offer unique capabilities or niche performance in one or two areas, but this bike provides excellent service that should appeal to most people seeking a top-notch cargo bike at a moderate price point.
Battery size: 772 Wh | Max weight capacity: 419 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Fun to ride
Large gear capacity
REASONS TO AVOID
Smaller cargo rack
The Specialized Haul ST strikes a great balance in the cargo bike market. It's small enough to be nimble, quick enough to be sporty, yet hefty enough for hauling serious cargo. It isn't huge or eccentric and aims to fit easily into a role replacing car trips; its versatility is its standout feature.
The bike is well-designed, has a fun and confidence-inspiring ride quality, and can fit a wide range of people. The large 772Wh battery lets you go farther and with more gear than you ever imagined possible. Its 700W hub motor helps the Haul live up to its namesake, allowing it to carry up to 419 pounds. The Short Tail design makes the bike easy to move, park, and store but limits capacity. Assembling this bike was amongst the easiest we've ever experienced, riding away from the box 17 minutes after opening it! While we like many things about this bike, its accessories are costly and slightly less impressive.
Battery size: 840 Wh | Max weight capacity: 400 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Great price-to-performance ratio
Great range and power
May fit some bike racks
REASONS TO AVOID
A touch less stable than the competition
Smaller rear cargo rack
Limited accessory options offered by manufacturer
The KBO Ranger represents a good value purchase in this category. You pay hundreds less but still get a great cargo e-bike with plenty of power and excellent range. The Ranger comes with a powerful 750W that propels it to the test fleet's highest top speed (24 mph in our measurements). The massive 840WH battery provides enough juice for impressive range. With a more compact size and smaller wheels, it's more nimble than the competition, and it's one of the few cargo bikes that can fit onto some bike racks. It also has many included features, like fenders, lights, and wood-topped running boards.
Like the overall length, the rear rack on the Ranger is a tad shorter, slightly limiting its carrying ability compared to other bikes — though it can support up to 120 lbs. This bike is slightly less stable than the other models we tested that feature longer wheelbases and larger wheels. It is also important to mention that cargo bikes unlock their potential when you buy accessories to aid in transport, and KBO doesn't offer as robust a selection of extras as other manufacturers. Still, you get a strong-performing and quick bike for a lower price, and folks on a tighter budget will likely be fine with these tradeoffs.
Battery size: 500 Wh | Max weight capacity: 440 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Smooth power delivery
High max weight limit
Premium display and app
REASONS TO AVOID
The Yuba Spicy Curry is a premium cargo bike that has the potential to replace a vehicle. Its whopping 440 max weight capacity leads the pack, and the extra-long rear rack has ample space for lots of cargo. Beyond its carrying capacity, the mid-drive Bosch Cargo Line motor of this Class 1 bike is ultra-smooth in its power delivery with each pedal stroke. While range testing this model, we pedaled 44 miles before the battery gave out. Wowza. The quality components work very well, and the high-end display screen is unique in that it integrates with the Bosch app to provide unique capabilities. Plus, there are a plethora of stylish and very useful add-ons available for purchase from Yuba to outfit your bike to your precise needs.
As a Class 1 e-bike, the Spicy Curry is limited to a top, assisted speed of 20 mph and does not have a throttle. The rider must pedal to initiate the motor assistance, which may be a deal-breaker for some. Its high price is another potential deal-breaker. And while it is smooth and comfortable for scores of miles on end, its long wheelbase makes it less maneuverable than some. If these drawbacks do not phase you, and your priorities lie in having a luxurious and effective cargo hauler, this is your bike.
Battery size: 652.8 Wh | Max weight capacity: 350 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Huge front box with space for kids, pets, etc
Ability to carry large items
Sturdy and well-made
Delivered fully assembled
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy and large
And now for something completely different, Bunch The Original. This front-box model has a family-oriented design that offers a unique take on cargo hauling for transporting loved ones, pets, or other items. With a total weight capacity of 350 pounds and the front box maxing out at 220 pounds, you can certainly haul a lot with this bike. Bunch bills it as "the family bike," and that is evidenced in features like the two removable benches and four seatbelts that come in the cargo box. The 500W motor provides ample power using the throttle or pedal assist, and the 652.8-watt-hour battery slides cleanly into the rear rack. The entire unit is well-made and durable on its steel frame. The controls and display are some of our favorites, too.
The Bunch Original comes with some obvious downsides. For starters, it's a bit of a niche bike that may not be suitable for everyone. The three-wheeled design equates to a massive turning radius and handling that is wildly different from two-wheeled models. Riding takes some getting used to, and extra care is necessary when turning or riding uneven surfaces. We found it rides best on generally flatter terrain and smooth pavement, as the lack of suspension can be jarring to the rider and cargo. At 152 pounds, it is sizable and takes up a significant amount of space in a garage. Also, it is far from easy to transport. However, those searching for a fun way to casually cruise around town with kids, pets, and more, will find that the Bunch Original is a compelling option.
Since we began testing electric bikes in 2019, we have hands-on assessed 53 unique models across a variety of e-bike categories. For our cargo bike review, we started by spending several days researching top technology aspects and products, comparing specifications and designs as well as consumer feedback to narrow down our list. We then buy the most promising models and have our team of experienced cycling specialists go to work. Our testing process involves identifying the most important areas of performance riders expect from their cargo bike and creating a test plan designed to push each bike to its limit. We spend weeks in the saddle, trialing each model. We also take each model home and deploy them in our daily lives to gain perspective on what it means and how it feels to own and rely on each bike for transportation. Upon test completion, we compile and compare notes and results before scoring them in each performance metric and totaling cumulative scores.
Our analysis of cargo bikes is split into six rating metrics:
Ride Quality (25% of overall score weighting)
Range (25% weighting)
Power (20% weighting)
Cargo Carrying (15% weighting)
Interface (10% weighting)
Assembly (5% weighting)
Jeremy Benson leads our team of bike testers as our Senior Bike Review Editor at GearLab. If you're ever looking for Jeremy, it would be best to start your search on the bike paths and trail of South Lake Tahoe, CA. Averaging 20+ hours per week in a bike saddle for work, training, and fun, Jeremy knows his way around two wheels. Pro-class gravel and mountain bike racer, mountain bike guidebook author, and bike commuter are all accurate descriptors for Jeremy over the past 30 years. He's not sure how many hundreds of different bikes he has ridden, but he has professionally reviewed over 100 bikes (electric and not) over the past five years. We rely on his unique experience in building, fixing, and riding bikes which have developed a discerning eye and feel for critically assessing performance attributes between different bicycle models.
Our testing process involves a range test, handling tests, and acceleration tests, along with examing all the features, interface, and cargo-carrying capabilities of each model.
Analysis and Test Results
Our saddle-by-saddle testing methods expose the pros and cons of each bike in our review fleet. It also provides information necessary to score each product uniformly across performance metrics that combine to give an overall assessment of each bike's capabilities. These metrics are weighted according to their relevance for the average consumer. In the text below, we discuss these performance areas and highlight the models that proved to be stand-outs in each one so you can choose which model matches your specific needs.
The market for electric cargo bikes offers an incredible range of price points. The more you pay in this category, you typically are rewarded with greater carrying capacity, higher-end components, smoother ride quality, and a bigger battery and motor for more range and power. Premium prices often lead to niche products that are luxurious in their specific appeal. They also often come with the possibility of excellent add-ons to max out comfort and cargo-carrying capabilities.
The KBO Ranger is priced comparatively low but delivers impressive performance to propel it to a high-value product. Despite its low price, it has a very impressive range, and its top speed of 24 mph is best-in-class. It sacrifices some carrying power on account of its smaller size, but that same small size gives it some advantages in nimble maneuvers and the ability to transport it on some bike rack trays. Overall, you don't miss out on too much by selecting the Ranger, and you save considerable money in doing so.
The Ride metric focuses on the feel and comfort each bike offers its rider. Handling, maneuverability, and stability underway are important factors, as are bike design, seat adjustability and posture, and features that make regular use of the bike convenient and easy. Cargo bikes typically have longer wheelbases to support their cargo, which creates a different feel from standard-sized bikes. How the manufacturer tries to balance this change in ride feel is an important engineering challenge, and each bike design in our review takes a different approach. It should be noted that in most cases, adding significant cargo weight to a bike does have an impact on its overall handling characteristics.
Standing at the front of the pack is the Specialized Globe Haul ST for its unparalleled usability. The ride is smooth, stable and still sporty. The frame is stiff and it's relatively unfazed by added cargo weight. The seatpost and stem offer a huge range of adjustment to fit riders from 4'5" to 6'4", and our testers had no problem getting the bike dialed in for different fits. The 20-inch wheels have wide, high-volume tires that provide damping over bumps in the road and hydraulic disc brakes function reliably and provide good speed control. The features that come standard issue assist in convenience and safety, such as front and rear fenders and front and rear lights that are powered by the onboard battery. There's even a USB port to charge your mobile phone while riding.
The Rad Power RadWagon 4 shares a lot of similarities to the Haul ST in design and ride quality, earning our near-equal admiration in this metric. It is impressively stable and smooth, with a large range of fit adjustments to suit varying rider heights. Both manufacturers sell abundant accessories to kit out your ride. The Haul's shorter wheelbase make parking, storing, and transporting this bike easier than most.
Another bike with great ride quality is the Yuba Spicy Curry, but for different reasons. Its wheelbase is over three inches longer than that of the Packa Genie and RadWagon, which does mean it is less nimble and requires a larger turning radius. Still, its stability and super-smooth ride feel are quite appreciated. The components of the Spicy Curry are top-shelf, meaning that shifting, braking, and rolling on the tires provide an elevated feel. We once rode this bike over 40 miles, and our tester remained comfortable the entire time.
While generally similar in design to the bikes mentioned above, the KBO Ranger is a bit shorter in overall length and it has smaller 20-inch wheels. For the most part, it's a smooth operator, but comparatively speaking, its steeper head tube angle leaves it a bit twitchier than the Radwagon 4 or short tail Haul ST.
The Bunch Original sets itself apart with its front-box style and European flare. The nature of the three-wheeled design results in a bike that handles much differently than your regular two-wheeled models, and there's a bit of a learning curve. It doesn't take long to figure out, but this bike requires a cautious rider, slowing way down for turns and uneven surfaces, and generally riding much more conservatively than you might on a normal bike. That said, caution and control are positive attributes to have if you're intending to cart the family around in this unique model. We found it works best on flat terrain and smooth surfaces at slower speeds with a safety-first approach. It is worth noting that the Bunch is one bike where its stability and handling improve with additional weight in the cargo box.
An electric bike's utility is limited by its range, and we test this metric with extra rigor. You should purchase a cargo bike with enough range to handle your distance needs on a single charge without worrying you might run out of power before reaching your destination. To test this metric, we have a standard circuit that we ride continuously until the once-full battery runs empty, only using the throttle (for models that have one) to eliminate variability in pedaling effort. This provides a fair baseline for scoring each product, but it is important to realize that by pedaling, you will be able to increase your bike's range. Also, note that rider and cargo weight, pedal assist level, temperature, and elevation gain, will influence the range you get.
The Yuba Spicy Curry produced outstanding range results in our test. As a Class 1 e-bike, it does not have the luxury (or crutch, depending on your position) of a throttle paddle. Therefore, we had to pedal to test the range. With moderate pedaling effort in its highest pedal-assist mode, we reached a category-leading 44 miles before running out of battery, achieving over 2,000 feet of elevation gain along the way. Impressive. We think it's possible to improve on this distance using the lower pedal-assist modes, as this is less demanding on the battery. The caveat here is that you have to pedal this bike, so, other models may be able to produce similar results using pedal-assist, as opposed to our standard throttle-only test.
One of the most impressive performances regarding range came from the Haul ST. While it doesn't have the biggest battery, the less thirsty motor gave it a huge range, traveling 32.4 miles in our range test with over 1,500 feet of elevation gain, averaging 16.2 mph. The Specialized battery holds 772Wh of juice but relies on a 700W motor instead of the more popular 750W motor. The Rad Power RadWagon 4 was no slouch either, traveling 26.4 miles under throttle power thanks to its sizeable 672-watt-hour battery.
Worth mentioning here is the Blix Packa Genie model. While its 614-watt-hour battery propelled us 23.6 miles in our throttle-only range test, it has the option to add a second battery onboard for an additional cost. If you need to travel longer distances, this is a fantastic option that will double the battery capacity and distance you can go in the saddle with a single charge of the Packa Genie.
The power of an e-bike affects its acceleration and top speed. Power can be especially helpful in traffic, helping you evade obstacles and jump out in front of other vehicles and bikes when the light turns green. Furthermore, the heavier the cargo load you're carrying, the more you will notice the power capability of your e-bike. Large motors generally mean more power, but bike weight and design also play a role. We also assess the quality and smoothness of the pedal-assist modes each model offers in this metric.
Surprisingly, with its smaller motor, the Haul STdelivered more torque than its competitors. While the 750-watt KBO Ranger makes it to 20 mph in 9.7 seconds, the Haul ST does it in just 7.9 to take the lead in our power assessments. The Class 3KBO Ranger stands out with a top, tested throttle speed of 24 mph, the fastest in the test fleet. Most other bikes have a throttle-produced top speed of 20mph per their class rating. The 750W geared hub motor of the Class 2Blix Packa Genie tops out at 20 mph but accelerates quickly, and its power is adequate for its max capacity load of 400 pounds, still offering some pep when loaded with cargo.
Likewise, the Rad Power RadWagon 4 features a 750W geared hub motor, which, in theory, should provide more torque and less motor drag, leading to more efficiency and better results heading uphill. The RadWagon moved uphill quickly; it had no problem reaching its top speed of 20 mph in the flats using the throttle or pedal assist. The Packa Genie is unique in its throttle implementation; moving up PAS modes changes the amount of throttle power. On most models tested, the throttle is always the same and does not increase with the pedal assist setting. The rider can modulate the throttle's power, though, by how far they twist or push it.
The Bunch Original falls behind the higher-powered competition with its slightly smaller 500W motor. It's a Class 2 model with a top throttle and pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph. The heavier weight of the Bunch is a factor that makes it a bit more sluggish than the competition, but realistically, it's plenty fast for its three-wheel design. We preferred riding it at lower speeds, given its unique handling.
Being a Class 1 model with a mid-drive motor, the Yuba Spicy Curry does not have a throttle. Instead, the 250W Bosch Cargo Line motor provides 4 levels of pedal assistance to support speeds up to 20 mph. It is impressively smooth in its power delivery, using a more advanced torque sensor system that delivers power proportionally to the rider's effort. You won't get a free ride on this bike, but there's still plenty of power available as long as you're willing to put in a little work.
If you're shopping for a cargo bike, you're probably looking for a way to transport yourself and other cargo on your bike. Five of the models we tested have similar designs with large rear racks that can support quite a bit of weight, although total weight limits vary among the bikes. Furthermore, bike design, cargo space, and accessory add-ons available play a role in maxing out your carrying capacity.
Riding any bicycle can be dangerous, and adding significant amounts of weight/cargo to a bike has the potential to make it even riskier. Cargo weight has the potential to impact a bike's handling characteristics, and typically not for the better. Cargo bikes appeal to many people for their ability to transport the most precious cargo of all, children, and many brands include this use in their marketing to consumers. We recommend anyone considering a cargo bike for transporting children do a little research and look into safety considerations associated with doing so. When riding with children, we recommend always taking proper safety precautions such as wearing helmets at all times, using the appropriate size seat for your child, wearing safety belts when applicable, and riding cautiously and in control while following the rules of the road. Ultimately, it is up to the rider to use good judgment to keep their own children safe.
The Bunch Original brings a unique design to hauling passengers, pets, and other cargo around town and presents itself as a family-friendly adventure wagon. The bike has a 350-pound total weight capacity, and the large front box can support up to 220 pounds itself, and it has 3-point safety belts for up to four child passengers spread over two benches that double as storage compartments. These benches are removable for additional cargo space. The cargo space available on the Bunch bike makes it easier to carry larger items that might be challenging to fit on the rear racks of other bikes, too, such as coolers. Bunch also offers a ton of accessories to kit out your ride. Unlike the other models we tested, the Original benefits from having weight in the front box from a stability and handling standpoint.
The 440-pound max weight capacity of the Yuba Spicy Curry leads the category, and it has an extra-long rear rack to accommodate large items. There is easily room to mount two child seats (sold separately) onto the back of the bike. The smaller rear wheel below the cargo rack means that when loaded, the bike's center of gravity is lower than other bikes, improving its handling and stability. Yuba offers a huge variety of slick accessories beyond just kid seats, too. Yuba is so confident in its ability to carry a load that they sell ski and surfboard racks that integrate smoothly onto the frame of the Spicy Curry.
The Haul ST also throws its hat into the cargo-carrying ring. Its rear rack is much shorter than the others, but it has plenty of options for transporting cargo, a kid, or a full-size passenger. It has a max weight capacity of 419 pounds. Specialized sells a range of accessories for the Haul that increase its versatility and hauling ability. The ever-popular Rad Power RadWagon 4 is another solid option for cargo. The 350-pound weight limit is slightly lower than other competitors, but Rad Power's well-developed selection of accessory options makes it easy to customize your bike to your specific needs.
The Interface metric pertains to the ergonomics of the control buttons and throttle paddles, as well as the quality and usefulness of the display screen. Convenient and intuitive controls and an easily readable display are key features we look for here. None of the bikes proved to be user-unfriendly, but two models stepped it up to be clearly superior in this field.
Hands down, the best user interface goes to the Yuba Spicy Curry. The five-button control unit is easily manipulated by the left thumb while riding, and there is no throttle on this bike, so the handlebar is less cluttered. The Kiox display is top-notch tech. It integrates with the Bosch mobile app to provide extra capabilities that other bikes do not offer, such as a fitness tracker and route planning. It feels sophisticated and modern without being complicated. Ideal.
The Haul ST has a functional interface but turns impressive if you download the Globe app and mount your phone to the handlebar. A phone mount is not included, but the display has a USB jack for keeping your phone charged while it serves as a dashboard.
The Rad Power, Blix, and KBO bikes all have relatively similar controls and displays. They all work well enough and are easy to use, they just don't really stand out like the models mentioned above.
Luckily, you'll likely only ever assemble your cargo bike once, so this metric probably is not your first priority. However, a frustrating setup after unboxing your new product is never welcome. There was not a great deal of variance in assembly among the models we tested, and each one was put together within an hour. These bikes are very heavy, though, so it is a good time to call in a favor from a friend when you're ready to unbox your bike.
The Bunch Original makes setup incredibly easy — there is essentially none. Shipping costs a little extra, but the bike arrived at our doors, assembled on a huge pallet. We had to remove the cardboard box surrounding it, cut five zip ties, and roll it off the pallet. The tires were even inflated, so we were off in under 10 minutes. The Haul ST was also incredibly easy to assemble, with easy-to-follow numbered instructions in the packaging. Assembly of this bike took 17 minutes, as you can see in the time-lapse below.
The Yuba Spicy Curry is a special case. We ordered it through a major outdoor retailer located near our office, and in doing so, assembly was included free of charge. If this service is available near you, we strongly recommend utilizing it. We looked at the assembly instructions, though, and imagine that if you were to assemble it yourself, it would take about 40 minutes, similar to most other cargo bikes we had to assemble ourselves.
Buying an electric cargo bike is a big purchase decision, and we want you to get the one that fits your needs. There are so many options on the market today that make the decision hard on your own. When looking over the options and our assessments, remember to focus on the performance aspects that speak to how you intend to use your bike. We hope this review helps you identify your ideal model to get you pedaling away happily.