Cargo Explosion Delivers a Wealth of Innovations

Frankfurt, Germany

The exploding cargo bike market was an unmistakeable feature of Eurobike 2022, with a growing array of global players occupying much of one exhibition hall.

A vast spectrum of designs whizzed around the test tracks and many industry folk and members of the public took the opportunity to try the multitude of cargo solutions emerging in a fledgling but rapidly maturing market segment.

Exhibitors at Eurobike 2022 generally approached the challenges of heavy e-cargo bikes from three distinct starting points: utilising the essence of bicycles, delivery vans or motorcycles for their origins.

Mubea Converts 100-Years of Automotive Wisdom

As Eurobike wrapped up for another year, longstanding German automotive parts manufacturer Mubea was preparing to begin production of its first cargo bike.

It’s four-wheel ‘U-mobility’ vehicle was in high demand on the test track at this year’s Eurobike, in several of its load configurations.

With production scheduled to begin in August or September – and with a price tag of around €15,000 (A$21,696) – nearly 50 vehicles have already been sold in pre-production.

Mubea is a family-owned, global automotive supplier that has been in business for a century, with a focus on innovative lightweight parts.

Head of marketing Jacub Fujacz said the company saw an opening for cargo bike to supply the parcel delivery industry and turned its experience and knowledge to create a suitably robust vehicle.

“We saw other cargo bikes on the market and we saw a problem that a lot of other companies are using bike components. But if you look at the parcel industry, it needs a more robust chassis,” Jacub said.

“We used our automotive DNA and looked at the components we already have in place, such as our suspension system and stabilisers.

“Try doing 10,000km a year, at around 40 to 50km a day, with a load of 1,600 to 2,000 litres.”

Mubea’s vehicle is capable of carrying up to 500kg and, at 99cm wide, has been carefully designed to maximise load capacity while still fitting within German bollards that are spaced exactly one metre apart.

The vehicle won a 2022 German Design Award for its robustness, ergonomics, riding safety and payload.

Jacub said a foam panel across the front of the vehicle kept its weight down, while providing impact reduction and rider safety during a front-on collision.

It has specially designed wheels and is powered by BMZ motors, combined with the Roeloff Speedhub gears.

He said Mubea will initially focus on the German market – with companies such as Deutsche Post and luxury goods brand Hermes looking at utilising the vehicles – before it looks further afield.

Rytle’s third-generation heavy cargo delivery bike
Rytle’s third-generation heavy cargo delivery bike, the MovR3, is looking more like a motorcycle hybrid in the quest for greater capacity and easier delivery.

Rytle Cargo Bike

Rytle’s MovR3, launched this year, draws on the characteristics of motorcycles and e-bikes to meet the needs of a heavy cargo bike.

Launched four years ago, the Mov’s third version bears a greater resemblance to a motorcycle at its heart, while receiving an update to its fibreglass body. Version three also brings a shift from a manual lifter to a powered system to lift and lower the interchangeable cargo boxes, which have a capacity of 1.6m3 and can be delivered to a last-mile depot by a patented delivery van.

The MovR3 has a maximum load weight of 180kg.

Gleam cargo bike
Austrian company Gleam has been tweaking the FLEX.Base system that helped kick off tilting cargo bike technology.

Having a Tilt at Greater Stability

Several exhibitors presented their solutions for tilting cargo bikes, including a dual front wheel design by SBLOCS and Gleam’s updated version of its FLEX.base system, which it debuted at Eurobike 2019 as a pioneer in the tilting technology.

Company founder and CEO Mario Eibl the FLEX.Base was borne from customer requests for greater load capacity, which existing cargo bikes could not accommodate.

SBLOCS compact cargo bike
Small Berlin operator SBLOCS employs a dual-wheel system at the front to tilt its compact cargo bikes.

The 90kg Escape has a 200kg load capacity and, without complicated hydraulics, adhered to Gleam’s objective to create a heavy cargo bike that still felt like a bicycle to ride.

Gleam, based in Austria, announced at Eurobike its Escape electric cargo bike would incorporate Enviolo’s new EXTREME hub and gearbox from August.

Joker retrofit fork
French company Joker has devised a retrofit fork, complete with its own central stand, to convert a variety of bikes into a cargo bike.

Cargo Conversion

French company Joker displayed its Joker Mini forks to convert any bike into a compact cargo bike.

The forks come complete with their own central kickstand, as well as several option accessories for different cargo loads.

ZF drink delivery bike
ZF, a global supplier of commercial vehicles, had some fun creating a cool solution for delivering drinks.

Leave a Comment