With the exception of child seats, few of us here in Britain use bicycles as a way of carrying stuff of any size. By contrast, cyclists elsewhere in the world are dab hands at lashing all manner of cargo to bog-standard bikes.
Adding luggage racks makes things a whole lot easier – elevating the humble bicycle into a veritable workhorse. And E-bike technology has been transformative; 200kg+ loads are now a thing. In practical terms, it means bringing home a weekly grocery shop or carting three or four kids to school needn’t involve a car.
It’s the reason a widespread uptake of cargo e-bikes could have a transformative effect on city life. Imagine school run congestion, and its associated road danger, replaced with a procession of sturdy bikes – their cargo boxes brimming with kids. It’s a sight that’s commonplace in The Netherlands and one that’s undoubtedly inspiring pockets of cargo e-bike early adopters in UK towns and cities. If you’re one of these trailblazers, we applaud you.
The appeal of the cargo e-bike goes far beyond the school run. Surely there’s no better metaphor for the helplessness of heavily congested cities than the sight of broken-down cars being rescued by mechanics on cargo bicycles.
Following a successful trial in Berlin and Cologne, breakdown company ADAC found electric bicycles towing trailers equipped with 70KG of tools was quicker through dense traffic than its fleet of vans.
What’s the biggest or most unusual thing you’ve carried by bike?
Let us know below. There’ll be a mystery prize on the way to the best submission.
Insurance for e-bikes
We cover all road-legal electric bicycles cargo e-bikes as standard. If the output of your electric bicycle does not exceed 250 W/15.5 mph, we’ll cover it under our cycle insurance at no additional cost. in fact, we’ll give you 20% off.
We also include Cycle Rescue as standard. If your e-bike develops a mechanical fault, you can call on our breakdown team 24/7.
Every cycle insurance policy of ours includes the following as standard:
• Theft, accidental damage & vandalism
• E-bike battery theft cover
• Cycle Rescue (breakdown cover for your electric bicycle and you)
• No devaluation of your bike over time
• £2m third party PLUS £20,000 personal accident cover
• Shed and garage storage
• Low standard excess of 5% (£50 minimum)
Read a full list of everything we include as standard.
The ethical choice
The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.
The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.