Astonishingly, more than 500,000 cargo bikes were sold across Europe in 2022, with the vast majority being electric cargo bikes (also referred to as e-cargo bikes, cargo e-bikes or cargo bike electric), according to the European Cargo Bike Industry Survey.
Not only are cargo bikes ideal for everyday urban mobility, such as commuting by bike, getting kids across the city to school, the playground or a friend’s house, taking pets to the park, or picking up bulky parcels, they’re increasingly being used by small and medium-sized businesses as a cost-effective alternative to using expensive-to-run cars and vans in urban centres.
As a cargo bike rider, you can zip past traffic jams and down narrow streets, find parking easier and deliver goods quicker – and as cargo bikes produce no emissions while in use compared with vehicles, they help create a cleaner, greener urban environment. Plus they get your legs moving, so they’re pretty healthy for you too!
Demand for cargo bikes and e-cargo bikes, particularly in urban locations, is rising – and public awareness of cargo bike models has had a huge rise from 38% in 2017 to 63% in 2021. Whether for short periods of time – perhaps you need a speedy and easy way of getting your kids around while on a short city break – or for longer-term holiday rentals, it seems we can’t get enough of using cargo bikes.
If you want avoid using a car and instead use a bike to transport kids or goods, you may have considered a bike trailer cargo. It has the advantage of being cheaper than a cargo bike, and more flexible as you can simply attach it to a regular bike. However, it’s far less manoeuvrable in the city and also less visible to cars. That’s why more and more people are opting for cargo bikes. But yes, they are expensive. That’s why you could consider buying a second-hand cargo bike. Whether you buy it new or used, it’s definitely a good idea to take a test ride beforehand.
When you rent a cargo bike on ListNRide, you can rent it not only for one hour, but for one or more days. This gives you the opportunity to test the cargo bike in practice. For example, you can see if it fits in your garage or on the luggage rack of your car. If you are going on holiday, you may be thinking about how to transport a cargo bike. But most cargo bikes are not accepted on trains and do not fit on a luggage rack. Therefore, a good solution is to rent a cargo bike directly at your holiday destination.
For example, across Berlin alone, you can already choose from more than 80 cargo bikes and e-cargo bikes available to rent via ListNRide.
Costing upwards of €3,000 for e-cargo bikes, they can be rather pricey to buy outright. However, when it comes to filling our towns and cities with cargo bikes – the more, the merrier, we say, because as ownership of cargo bikes rise, it means there are even more options to rent them on bike sharing platforms like ListNRide.
So, what is a cargo bike? Although cargo bikes have been around for a long time, some of today’s best cargo bikes have sophisticated designs. They are sleeker, sturdier and – especially those with pedal-assisted electric power – more powerful than ever before.
Cargo bikes are generally divided into four categories:
Where the cargo compartment is in front of the handle bars, like a front extended bicycle. Front-box e-cargo bikes are increasingly popular among parents transporting young kids around. Slimmer, longer versions are commonly known as ‘Long John’ cargo bikes.
Popular brands: Babboe, Urban Arrow, Riese & Müller
These front-box cargo bikes have two wheels at the front, on either side of the cargo box, and are more stable than two-wheel cargo bikes – giving an added feeling of safety for parents riding with kids – but they are slower to manoeuvre.
Popular brands: Christiania, Babboe, Nihola
3. Short tail and long tail
Where the cargo compartment is behind the rider, positioned above the back wheel, and which manoeuvres more like a regular bicycle. Short tail cargo bikes and long tail cargo bikes can get you around faster than front-box bikes, but at the expense of less storage.
Popular brands: Tern, Riese & Müller, Simply.Lift
Short, agile, flexible and sometimes with a foldable cargo basket on the front, these cargo bikes are lightweight and handle much more like a normal bike, making them ideal for getting around quickly, or even for taking them on a train.
Popular brands: Omnium, Yoonit, Muli
If you’re on a short city break with young kids, a cargo bike can make a perfect companion – you can get around almost anywhere cheaply and easily, all the while bypassing the notorious parking problems of using a car.
Of course, some cities are definitely friendlier to host a cargo bike than others. For example, going around with a cargo bike in Copenhagen is not the same experience as riding a cargo bike in London.
Julius Brink, who uses a cargo bike at home in Cologne, fancied trying a different type of cargo bike to his own during his family weekend trip to Paris. Finding a Tern long tail cargo bike to rent on ListNRide, Julius had a great time discovering the city with his kids.
When Crystal had a problem with her tyres on her cargo bike in Munich, the ListNRide support team were immediately on hand to help.
For your peace of mind, ListNRide not only has a trustworthy and secure booking system, but also all cargo bikes rented out in the European Economic Area are insured by Laka, which covers your cargo bike rental for any damage or theft, should the worst happen.