Like a minister of a small but charismatic religion, Xtracycle has been preaching the gospel of cargo bikes ince 1998. And while it may have been hard going early
on, now it seems that the biggest problem they face is trying
to meet the ever-growing demand as more people see how
relevant a cargo bike can be in replacing their cars. One of
Xtracycle’s signature features has been the frame designed
around mismatched wheels. In the rear they use a small,
20-inch rear wheel to help keep the weight of cargo and
passengers low, but match it with a 26-inch front wheel to
allow the bike to better roll over rough pavement.
Though the company made their name producing non-assist cargo bikes, now with a family of four models ranging
in price of $1999–$3299, there is no doubt that the addition
of electric assist has opened the market to a bigger slice
of potential consumers. New for 2015 are a pair of Bosch-powered Edgerunners that bring much appreciated assist
to the task of carrying groceries, kids, dogs and basically
anything else that will fit!
The 10E is priced at $5749, and the limited-edition
Edgerunner 9E is $5999. Both bikes start with chromoly steel
frames and forks, and in the place of the bottom bracket
there is a mount for the Bosch Gen 2 Performance Line drive
unit. As much sense as e-bikes make in every walk of life,
having the extra power of electric assist makes especially
good sense for the workaholic-style, long-tail cargo bikes.
The 85-inch-long bikes are a bit on the heavy side to begin
with, and they are designed with the idea of hauling people
and cargo, so who wouldn’t want more assist?
In addition to the bike and integrated drive system,
Xtracycle fits the Bosch electric models with a frame-mount-ed front rack; reflective-silver, all-weather CarryAll bags;
and the KickBack heavy-duty, double-legged kickstand.
Accessories personalize the bike for carrying passengers or
cargo. The bike is rated for 400 pounds (including the rider),
but Xtracycle sells a fold-up sidecar that adds more room and
150 pounds of carrying capacity. Production models are available in two sizes to suit riders between 5 feet and 6-foot-2.
A longtail pioneer goes hi-tech
Xtracycle believes that long-tail bikes are made for work and play, so we didn’t
see any standard bikes at Sea Otter. This one was personalized as a coffee cart.
This Edgerunner was originally outfitted
with Bosch power tools and cases, but it
was doing double duty as a wine bar.