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  • Flywheel: Benchmarking Cargo Bike OEMs | Vehicles from Tern, Bosch, Murf, Dōst, & Yuba

Flywheel: Benchmarking Cargo Bike OEMs | Vehicles from Tern, Bosch, Murf, Dōst, & Yuba

Benchmarking Cargo Bike OEMs & featuring the top 5 vehicles of the week


Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of owned and used micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight an observation of trends emerging in the industry and feature five of the most interesting vehicles/hardware in micromobility.

Today’s edition is the 100th newsletter from Flywheel! It’s been an incredibly exciting journey diving into the world of owned micromobility, and I sincerely appreciate the support from all of you.

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The observation of the week benchmarks the top cargo bike OEMs in the secondary market. This week’s featured vehicles are three varieties of cargo bikes, an e-mtb mid-drive motor, and a commuter.

Observation of the Week

Benchmarking Cargo Bike OEMs

Given the growing popularity of cargo bikes and the launch of a new hauling ebike from one of the leading cargo bike brands, this week’s observation benchmarks the top performing cargo bike OEMs in the secondary market.

  • Number of Cargo Bike Listings by OEM

As we’ve seen in the ebike segment as a whole, Rad Power also leads the pack as the most popular cargo bike OEM in the secondary market. Yuba is in second and Tern comes in at third. These two OEMs are dealer-network brands that offer well reputed, highly-reliable vehicles that are incredibly popular despite their higher price tags.

  • Average Cargo Bike Mileage by OEM

As a form-factor designed for utility, cargo bikes see far higher mileages than other types of ebikes. As reported in 2023’s Flywheel Wrapped, cargo bikes have an average mileage of 945.67mi. This is almost three times higher than the average mileage of the ebike segment overall (327.73mi).

The top 3 most ridden cargo bike OEMs are Surly (2004mi), Xtracycle (1363.18mi), and Cube (1300mi). Surly and Cube are primarily dealer-network brands, while Xtracycle is a D2C brand that maintains high utilization and reliability despite a much smaller maintenance network.

  • Average Resale Price of Cargo Bikes by OEM

Given that cargo bikes are bigger vehicles that need to be designed to carry higher payloads and go longer distances, they also tend to be more expensive. The average resale price of a cargo bike is $2,237.84, which is ~$500 higher than the overall average resale price of ebikes ($1,729.36).

The OEMs with the highest average cargo bike resale prices are Cube ($5,125), Tern ($3,606.07), and Pedego ($3,200).

  • Market Share of Cargo Bikes by Ebike Class

A majority of cargo bikes in the secondary market are class-2s (58.2%), or ebikes with throttles. I personally believe that throttles are an incredibly important feature for cargo bikes because they are a powerful tool to make cargo bikes easier and more practical to use for more trips.

  • Average Mileage of Cargo Bikes by Ebike Class

Class-1 ebikes currently have the highest average mileage despite not having a throttle, which I believe is due to the fact that most cargo bikes from premium, more established, and more reliable OEMs are class-1s. However, as more of these OEMs recognize the importance of a throttle and release more class-2 options (i.e. Specialized offering a throttle add-on for their Globe Hauls), I predict that the average mileage of class-2 cargo bikes will eventually overtake that of class-1s.

  • Number of Listings by Cargo Bike Model

Unsurprisingly, the RadWagon leads the way as the most popular cargo bike in the secondary market. Rad Power’s RadWagon has popularized the cargo bike form factor in the US, and it’s likely the first exposure that most people in the US have had to cargo bikes.

  • My Recommendations

My favorite cargo bikes that I would recommend to those looking for a cargo hauler are vehicles from the Tern GSD or HSD line, the recently launched Specialized Globe Haul line, or the new Trek Fetch line. Although they are pricey, they are highly reliable vehicles built for high-utilization. A more affordable option I would recommend that is still incredibly reliable is Lectric’s XPedition.

For more observations and resources on owned and used micromobility, check out rideflywheel.com/resources.

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On February 21, 2024, Tern launched the Orox, a new lineup of off-roading “adventure” cargo bikes. These new vehicles take the incredible quality and reliability of Tern’s urban cargo bikes and apply them to trail riding applications. There are two models within the Orox lineup, the S12 and R14. They are mostly the same vehicle, with the notable difference being that the S12 has a 12-speed Shimano Deore transmission with a chain drive while the R14 has a 14-speed Rohloff internally geared hub with a Gates carbon belt drive. The Orox powertrain features Bosch’s 85Nm Performance Line CX motor and a 800Wh Bosch battery pack, with the option for a DualBattery setup with a second 800Wh Bosch pack. Tern has long maintained a loyalty towards Bosch ebike systems due to their maintenance networks and UL certification, and it’s no surprise to see the OEM stick with their tried-and-trusted partner for their new line. The Orox also uses Bosch’s new Bosch ConnectModule software system, which includes several theft-prevention features like a bike alarm and location tracking. Moving on to the frame, the Orox has a payload capacity of 397lbs off-road and 462lbs on-road. This payload capacity was validated by EFBE Prüftechnik, which conducted structural testing on the Orox and ensured that the vehicles meet their Tri-Test standard. Tern has been a strong advocate for properly vetting OEMs’ claimed payload capacities, and it’s great to see them leading the way in this regard by rigorously testing their vehicles to the highest of standards. Given the wide variety of all-terrain riding Tern built the Orox for, the frame is designed to accommodate 26”x5”, 27.5”x4”, or 29”x3” tires that can easily be swapped out. Lastly, the frame also has 14 mounting points for various cargo accessories and even an integrated TowBar for riders that want to attach a trailer and carry even more cargo. The Orox is expected to become available in bike shops in April this year, and I anticipate that it will quickly become one of the best premium off-roaders on the market. Listing can be found here.

The Bosch Performance Line CX is Bosch’s powerhouse electric mountain biking mid-drive motor and arguably the best and most popular e-mtb motor on the market. It’s tied with the Performance Line CX Race Limited Edition motor as the highest torque and highest power system that Bosch offers. The motor has a torque of 85Nm, and is rated for a max speed of 20mph, a continuous power output of 250W, and a peak power output of 600W. This listing is for the Gen 4 motor, which is compatible with Bosch’s ebike system 2 as opposed to their latest smart system. This means that it still has an ebike lock, walk assist, and several riding modes, but no custom/auto riding modes or hill hold. What sets the Performance Line CX motor apart is its e-mtb mode that was developed by Bosch exclusively for this motor. It’s one of the best motor controls schemes in the e-mtb sector, and offers a smooth yet consistent power output despite the incosnsistent pedaling forces characteristic of e-mtb riding. Some of the most popular ebikes that feature a Performance Line CX mid-drive are the Trek Powerfly 5, several Riese & Müller Mutichargers and Mutitinkers, the Benno Boost, and the new Tern Orox line. This listing came off a Trek Powerfly and is being sold because the seller upgraded their ebike with a faster class-3 mid-drive motor. The seller also includes a diagnostic report from Bosh in this listing, which is a great feature that others selling/buying ebikes with Bosch systems can take advantage of. These types of diagnostic reports add a tremendous amount of credibility to a used vehicle listing. Diagnostics for Bosch ebike systems can be generated by any bike shop that is certified to service Bosch powertrains. The only other brands I’m aware of that offer(ed) this type of diagnostic reporting are VanMoof and Bafang. This listing’s diagnostic report includes the odometer (303.35mi), total operating time (93h), total active operating time (17h), and average energy consumption (6.7Wh/km), but the full diagnostic includes even more information. Listing can be found here.

The Murf Alpha Cargo is a class-2 fat-tire cargo bike that combines the beach cruiser and fat-tire form factors to give riders an ultra comfortable and highly approachable ride. Its powertrain features a 750W (~85Nm) geared rear hub motor and a 1040Wh battery pack made of Samsung cells. This ebike system is UL certified as per UL’s Product iQ database, but the Murf website surprisingly doesn’t make mention of it. The Alpha Cargo has impressive handling and acceleration/deceleration due to its 7-speed Shimano transmission and hydraulic disc brakes. Its payload capacity is claimed to be 400lbs, and the frame comes with an integrated cargo platform (rear rack and wood boards) that can easily be customized to hold a second passenger or additional cargo via Murf’s large ecosystem of custom hauling accessories. Rounding out the Alpha Cargo are 26”x4” Kenda Juggernaut fat-tires that excellently cushion the vehicle and bright integrated lighting. One consideration is that the Alpha Cargo weighs a heavy 75lbs, which can make it difficult to store if you don’t have a garage. This listing has a mileage of 252mi and has been unlocked to class-3 speeds. Listing can be found here.

MSRP: $3,499 | Flywheel Price Comparison: $668 less than avg resale price | Flywheel Vehicle Value: $3,499

The Dōst Drop is a class-2/3 step-thru commuter that was ranked as 2024’s best value commuter by EBR. Its powertrain features a high-performance 120Nm Bafang BBS02 mid-drive motor and a 672Wh battery pack, with the option for a second 500Wh battery. Although this powertrain is not as responsive as other mid-drive powertrains because it is only controlled by a cadence sensor (vs. a cadence and torque sensor), it utilizes a physical shift detection sensor that protects the 9-speed transmission. In fact, the Drop is one of the few class-3 ebikes that has both a throttle and a shift detection sensor. Given the high-torque motor, the Drop climbs inclines with incredible ease and is perfect for hilly cities like SF. Similarly, the Drop is also great for heavier riders due to the powertrain and higher than average (compared to other commuters) 300lbs payload capacity. Lastly, the Drop features a hydraulic suspension fork, hydraulic brakes, integrated lights, and a built-in rear rack. This listing is a 2022-2023 make with 0mi on its odometer, and is sold by Sausalito bike shop New Old School E-Bikes. The bike shop is clearing out its 2022-2023 inventory, and, as such, has discounted this listing by $1500 off MSRP. Listing can be found here.

MSRP: $3,800 | Flywheel Price Comparison: $538 more than avg resale price | Flywheel Vehicle Value: $2,790

Inspired by Afridan boda boda motorcycle taxis, the Yuba Boda Boda is a class-1 compact longtail cargo bike. Its powertrain features a 60Nm Shimano STEPS E6100 mid-drive motor and a 418Wh battery pack. The motor has excellent software functionality, including an automatic downshift feature during lower speed riding and a walk mode that makes manually pushing the bike much easier. The Boda Boda's standout feature is its frame design, which accommodates riders of various sizes while still offering significant cargo capacity and maneuverability. The step-through frame and short wheelbase – roughly the same length as that of a standard commuter – make it approachable and agile, particularly for smaller riders. Its integrated rear rack supports up to 220lbs of payload and has several mounting points for Yuba’s wide cargo accessory ecosystem. Though the Boda Boda has been phased out by Yuba in favor of the newer Spicy Curry model, it remains a dependable choice for family cargo needs. This listing is in excellent condition with a Flywheel estimated mileage of 562mi. It was bought less than a year ago and comes with ~$700 in accessories. Listing can be found here.

That’s it for this edition. Thanks again for joining, see you next week!

- Puneeth Meruva

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