Xtracycle FreeRadical frame extension and base (un-motorized) bike; about $900
The Xtracycle FreeRadical is not by itself a cargo bike; it is a bolt-on frame extension that can turn an ordinary bike into a longtail cargo bike. By attaching the FreeRadical to a mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes and quality components, the FreeRadical can give you a very high quality longtail for a very low price.
Yuba Mundo 21 Speed Lux base bike: $1,499
The Yuba Mundo is the family van of the longtail cargo bikes: large, solid, and reliable. It embraces extra strength and affordability with thick dropouts and axles, double kickstand, and super large bags. With it’s upright riding posture it’s perfect for city streets.
Xtracycle EdgeRunner 24D base bike with “Freight” accessories: $1,899
The EdgeRunner is the luxury car of the longtails. It shines as a well-crafted cargo- and kid-carrying machine. It has top-notch components—the 27D model even has Deore hydraulic disc brakes. The EdgeRunner has a chromoly frame with an interesting twist: the rear wheel is smaller than the front. This has several advantages: a smaller wheel is stronger; it gives the bike lower gearing; and it improves the handling.
Surly Big Dummy base bike: $1,999
The Big Dummy is the sports car of the longtails. Surprisingly light and nimble, it handles like a regular mountain bike even for off-road rambling. It has a quality chromoly frame by a quality manufacturer with quality components; it’s a bike lover’s dream bike. Works well with all Xtracycle accessories.
Join the Cargo Bike Revolution
Cargo bikes are fast becoming a popular mode of transportation, as celebrated in Liz Canning’s upcoming movie Less Car More Go. Boxy Bikes’ Laurence Clarkberg has been a part of the revolution from the beginning, as chronicled in his and Mark Stosberg’s blog Bikes as Transportation.
Longtails Are the Best Kind of Cargo Bike for Ithaca’s Hills
There are several types of cargo bikes. Bakfiets have a box in front. Longjohns have a flatbed in front. Work bikes have an over-sized front basket, often with a smaller front wheel. Some cargo “bikes” are tricycles. These styles of cargo bike don’t work well in Ithaca because they are meant to corner slowly, which can be difficult when negotiating Ithaca’s long steep descents. The best type of cargo bike for Ithaca is the longtail cargo bike, which has a platform on the back for a passenger and largo bags for cargo. Longtails handle like a regular bike. We electrify the most popular brands of longtail, including the Yuba Mundo, Surly Big Dummy, and Xtracycle EdgeRunner.
Ithaca Strength Motor: the eZee
Cargo bikes require lots of power and low gearing. Buyer beware: electric motors that come with some cargo bikes (such as the 350 watt direct drive Bionx motors that come with the electric EdgeRunner and the elMundo) are not up to the task. Ithaca’s cargo bikes need a motor with the following characteristics:
- a “geared” hub motor, not a “direct drive” hub motor
- operates at at least 48v
- puts out at least 750 watts of power
- weighs at least 10 pounds for heat dissipation
One motor stands out among the rest: the Grin Technologies eZee. Internal planetary gears give it extra low gearing. It’s relatively large mass (for a geared motor) allows it to handle 1,000 watts of power or more. Its high efficiency prevents it from overheating even on long steep climbs. The eZee motor is the perfect balance of light weight, power, and hill-climbing torque. No other electric bike motor even comes close. Other motor options are available for special cargo bike applications.
Cargo bikes in Ithaca require powerful batteries. Power is given by amps times volts, so more of each is better. A cargo bike battery should be at least 48v and output at least 25 amps. Our cargo bikes use an eZee 48 volt 10 amp-hour Lithium battery capable of outputting 25 amps. These batteries have an attractive case, are relatively lightweight (8 pounds), have a 24 mile range, and can produce more than enough power to get a fully-loaded cargo bike uphill. Other battery options are available.
longtail cargo bike to use as a base (un-motorized) bike: $900 to $$2,000
Ezee motor: $1,000
Grin 48v10ah battery: $900
TOTAL: $2,800 to $3,900
Plan to ride at night or in the rain? Consider accessories such as lights, fenders, helmets, and locks.
Prices subject to change. Stop by our shop for an up-to-date estimate!