Electric Cargo Bike Comparison

Compare our Cargoroo against the Top Longtail E-Cargo Bike Competition

Electric cargo bikes are a quickly growing market, with more and more people looking to get out of their cars for all sorts of reasons. To save money on gas and parking. To save time sitting in traffic. For the environment and for health benefits too. Regardless of your motivation and electric bike is a great way to achieve it, and an electric cargo bike is especially great for families. Whether it’s taking the kids to school, daycare and other activities; making a big grocery run; or everyday errands the right e-cargo bike can help you do it with ease. But that begs the question, what is the right e-cargo bike? Which is why we put together this comparison of electric longtail cargo bikes, to help you figure out which best suites your needs and your lifestyle.

*Disclaimer* This is not a completely un-biased comparison, we’ve put a lot of work into designing our Cargoroo e-cargo bike and we think it’s pretty great, we’ve carefully considered every aspect of it and we feel it checks all the boxes. However, that being said we fully understand that it isn’t the perfect electric cargo bike for everyone, and if it isn’t for you that’s ok. We can only hope that this comparison will help get you a little closer to the e-cargo bike that is perfect for you and your needs.

This comparison will focus on longtail (cargo carried over the rear wheel) electric cargo bikes, with a specific focus on usability as a family transportation bike.

2020 Cargoroo electric cargo bike, dual battery all inclusive by Ride the Glide
The e-cargo bikes we’ll be comparing are:

The categories of comparison we’ll cover are:

Base price

Accessorized price

Warranty

Geometry

Motor

Assist Sensor

Brakes

Drivetrain

Conclusions

Base Price

Yuba Spicy Curry

RTG Cargoroo

$3,445

Less RTG 5% Green Rebate – $3,272.75

Includes:

Dual batteries

Footboards

Safety rail

Front basket

Wheel skirt

Wood deck

Seat cushions

Chain guard

RadPower RadWagon

$1,999

No Rebate

Includes:

Footboards

Wheel skirt

Wood deck

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

$6,499

No Rebate

Includes:

Wood deck

Wheel skirts

Chain guard

Tern GSD S10

$6,699

No Rebate

Includes:

Dual batteries

Chain guard

Conclusions:

For lowest base price the RadWagon is the clear winner, but depending on the intended use it does come with very few accessories for the price. However this is not unusual or uncommon, as demonstrated by the Yuba and Tern bike coming with even fewer accessories for a higher price tag.

So if you’re looking for the cheapest e-cargo bike and don’t need any accessories the RadWagon could be a good option for you.

Cargoroo: Because our Cargoroo is fully accessorized from the start it does have a slightly higher base price, if you need a bare bones cargo bike this may not be the one for you.

Accessorized Price

Tern GSD S10

RTG Cargoroo

$3,272.75

Cost to Accessorize: $0

Breakdown:

Dual batteries $0

Footboards $0

Safety rail $0

Front basket $0

Wheel skirt $0

Wood deck $0

Seat cushions $0

Chain guard $0

RadPower RadWagon

$3,271

Cost to Accessorize: $1,272

Breakdown:

Dual batteries $715 (not mounted)

Footboards $0

Safety rail $269

Front basket $220

Wheel skirt $0

Wood deck $0

Seat cushions $34 each

Chain guard – Not available

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

$8,818

Cost to Accessorize: $2,319

Breakdown:

Dual batteries $1,279 + 210 for mount

Footboards $190

Safety rail $200

Front basket $290

Wheel skirt $0

Wood deck $70

Seat cushions $80 each

Chain guard $0

Tern GSD S10

$7,299

 Cost to Accessorize: $680

Breakdown:

Dual batteries $0 ($1,000 upgrade)

Footboards $80

Safety rail $270

Front basket $215

Wheel skirt $40

Wood deck – Not available

Seat cushions $75 each

Chain guard $0

Conclusions:

It’s basically a tie in this round between the RadWagon and our Cargoroo with the accessorized prices being less than $1 apart. With the Yuba Spicy Curry being the most expensive to accessorize.

Cargoroo: It was very important for us when we designed the Cargoroo that it would come with all the necessary accessories that a family would need. So the price you see is actually the price you pay without any hidden costs.

**Keeping in mind that these are accessories specifically suited to biking with children, prices for other set ups will vary. Also that we are comparing all bikes with a second battery for an even comparison.

Warranty

RTG Cargoroo fully loaded e-cargo bike

RTG Cargoroo

2 Years

RadPower RadWagon

1 Year

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

2 Years

Tern GSD S10

2 Years

Conclusions:

Warranty length is often a major consideration when buying a big ticket item, especially if it’s electronic, and it should be when you’re buying an electric bike. How long a warranty is speaks to how confident the manufacturer is in their product, the longer it is the more they stand behind it. In the e-bike world currently the longest warranty available is 2 years, so you can be pretty confident in any e-bike that comes with a 2 year warranty. All of the bikes on this list, with the exception of the RadWagon, all come with a 2 year warranty.

Cargoroo: Just like the rest of our e-bikes we offer a 2 year warranty on our Cargoroo. Check out our warranty page for more information.

Geometry

RadPower RadWagon

RTG Cargoroo

26″ front wheel

20″ rear wheel

Low step through

RadPower RadWagon

26″ front wheel

26″ rear wheel

Semi step through

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

26″ front wheel

20″ rear wheel

Semi step through

Tern GSD S10

20″ front wheel

20″ rear wheel

Semi step through

Conclusions:

Geometry is an important consideration when looking for a longtail e-cargo bike, not all are created equal. Because the intention is to load the rear of the bike, sometimes with hundreds of pounds, and often with live cargo (your children) the geometry of the frame effects the center of gravity. The higher the rear end of the bike the more top heavy it is and the harder it is to handle, the lower the rear end of the bike the lower the center of gravity is and the easier it is to handle. Our Cargoroo and the Yuba Spicy Curry both have a smaller rear wheel which brings down the height of the rear frame and the center of gravity. The Tern GSD has 20″ wheels front and rear and is a smaller frame so the rider sits up higher which still means the cargo is lower and gives a lower center of gravity. RadWagon however uses 26″ wheels front and back which leaves the majority of riders at the same height as their cargo, not an ideal situation.

Another consideration is getting on and off of the bike. Ours is the only in this list that offers a true step through frame, making it easy to get on and off even when fully loaded.

Cargoroo: Low center of gravity for easy handling when fully loaded and easy to get on and off.

Motor

RTG Cargoroo electric cargo bike Victoria BC

RTG Cargoroo

500W Bafang geared hub motor

RadPower RadWagon

500W Shengyi direct drive hub motor

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

250W Bosch Performance CX mid drive motor

Tern GSD S10

250W Bosch Performance mid drive motor

Conclusions:

The motor is really the star of an e-bike, an e-bike just isn’t one without it. And different applications call for different types of motors, and different types of motors offer different feels while riding. Both the Tern and Yuba cargo bikes use a 250W Bosch mid drive, an increasingly popular motor type and brand. Mid drives are best at offering a very integrated feel, the most similar to riding a conventional bike. But they do require the rider to be more savvy at riding as well as put in more physical effort. It is up to the rider to pick and use the most appropriate gear while riding in order for the motor to work efficiently and be able to provide optimal power. This is ideal for very avid cyclists but not so great for non-cyclists looking to get into e-biking. Additionally these mid drive motors offer a lower amount of power then the others on this list, and while they do offer proportionately higher torque it still means you’re left having to put in more effort.

The RadWagon and our Cargoroo both utilize rear hub motors, but different kinds with their own strengths and weaknesses. The RadWagon uses a 500W direct drive motor by an obscure brand called Shengyi, providing ok quality and reliability. The main draw of a direct drive hub motor is it’s regenerative braking (motor braking) capability, it isn’t actually very effective at recouping energy but it is useful as additional braking power. Other pros of the direct drive hub include a generally higher top speed and low levels of noise but it has a fairly extensive list of cons to go along with that. Direct drive motors produce a lot of drag when not in use, making it even more difficult to pedal if you run out of power, they are also larger and heavier then geared hub drives. And,  at least in Victoria, the biggest draw back is that direct drive motors lack torque when climbing hills, which is of course when most people are really craving the assist a motor provides.

Our Cargoroo utilizes a 500W Bafang geared hub motor, which is a widely used brand (Rad uses then on several of their models) with good quality and reliability. Like direct drive motors, geared hub motors also have their disadvantages, they tend to be noisier because of the internal gearing as well as not being as good at delivering high speed (but more then enough to meet e-bike speed restrictions). And for a cargo bike they have a number of pros. Due to the internal gearing they are particularly torquey at lower speeds, such as accelerating from a stop and climbing hills. Geared hubs also produce very little drag, which is good if you want to use it as a regular bike, they are also smaller and lighter then their direct drive counterparts. The bottom line here is that one type of motor isn’t necessarily better then another, it all depends on the application as to which is the most suitable for you.

Cargoroo: For Victoria and Vancouver Island riding our Cargoroo has a lot to offer when it comes to motor power, the geared hub motor was specifically chosen for it’s quality and reliability as well as it’s high torque on hills. And because it’s a hub drive it is very user friendly and easy for anyone of any skill level to ride, no need to be a super cyclist.

Assist Sensor

Tern GSD S10

RTG Cargoroo

Torque sensor PAS & thumb throttle

RadPower RadWagon

Cadence sensor PAS & twist throttle

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

Torque sensor PAS

Tern GSD S10

Torque sensor PAS

Conclusions:

Determining which method(s) of obtaining the electric assist is better is quite personal, everyone has different needs and preferences. There are two ways to tell a motor to engage, with pedal assist (PAS) or a throttle. PAS has two main types, either cadence or torque. A cadence type PAS sensor, found here on the RadWagon, is often found on cheaper e-bikes as it is a more rudimentary type and less complex to produce. Cadence pedal assist sensors sense that the pedals are rotating and relay that to the controller, which supplies power based on the level of assistance selected, usually to a certain speed. This type of sensor has a delayed response when starting up and shutting down as it relies on magnets to sense if the pedals are moving. Torque sensors, used by our Cargoroo and Bosch motors, are a more sophisticated technology that sense how hard the rider is pedaling and supplying power based on that. The harder you pedal the more power the motor puts out, torque sensors are also very quick to respond to any change in pressure, giving a smooth, high-end and intuitive application of power. A mid drive motor and hub drive motor both using a torque sensor have a very similar riding feel. Throttles are very straightforward and work exactly as you would anticipate, only available on our Cargoroo and the RadWagon. Our Cargoroo offers a left hand thumb throttle (due to the shifter positioning) and the RadWagon has a right hand twist throttle, while neither the Yuba or Tern bikes offer one because of the mid drive motors. Throttles are very handy for supplying a boost of power when you need it, particularly from a stop and going up hill, however while it is possible to strictly use only the throttle it is not recommended, especially on a fully loaded cargo bike, because it puts a lot more strain on the motor and will reduce it’s longevity.

Cargoroo: Offers both a torque sensor and throttle option, making for a smooth, intuitive ride with an extra boost when you need it.

Brakes

RadPower RadWagon

RTG Cargoroo

Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes

203mm front, 180mm rear

RadPower RadWagon

Tektro Cable Disc Brakes

180mm front & rear

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes

180mm front & rear

Tern GSD S10

Magura Hydraulic Disc Brakes

180mm front & rear

Conclusions:

Good brakes are a very important safety feature of any bike, but especially a heavy electric cargo bike carrying your kids. The hydraulic brakes are the clear winners in this round, providing more stopping power to less hand power. Hydraulic brakes are also self adjusting which means they require significantly less maintenance then their mechanical counter parts. The Yuba and Tern get brownie points for using higher end brand names like Shimano and Magura (which should be expected with the price tag) but in terms of day to day use and longevity there is little difference between them and Tektro other then a higher price tag if they need repair. All of the competitors here are using 180mm rotors front and rear for their brake set up, but we’ve taken it a step further with our Cargoroo and used 203mm rotors on the front for even better braking power.

Cargoroo: Will offer great stopping power with the large rotors, with easy thanks to the hydraulic brakes. Tektro is a quality brand even if not an extremely well known name.

Drivetrain

Yuba Spicy Curry

RTG Cargoroo

Shimano Altus trigger shifter

52T front chainring

Shimano Tourney derailleur

Shimano 14-28T 7 speed freewheel

RadPower RadWagon

Shimano Tourney thumb shifter

42T front chainring

Shimano Altus derailleur

DNP 11-32T 7 speed freewheel

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch

Shimano Deore trigger shifter

20T front chainring

Shimano Deore derailleur

Shimano 11-32T 10 speed cassette

Tern GSD S10

Shimano Deore trigger shifter

20T front chainring

Shimano Deore Shadow + derailleur

Shimano 11-36T 10 speed Cassette

Conclusions:

What makes one drivetrain superior over another is fairly subjective, depending on what is important to you and what kind of terrain you ride over. Here we see that the Yuba and Tern bikes are geared very low to allow for more torque for hill climbing, paired to 10 speeds with a nice wide gear range. This gearing will not allow for riding at higher speeds on the flat but will be great for steeper and more prolonged hill climbing. The Yuba and Tern are also using higher end shifters and derailleurs, all of which are very important for these bikes because of the drive system they use. Because the motor drives the chain on the Yuba and Tern they are in the highest need of a higher end drivetrain, a mid drive motor is really only as good as the drivetrain it is paired with. Our Cargoroo and the RadWagon however are hub drives and a high end drivetrain is less necessary. You can see by the ratios that both are geared higher for higher pedaling speed versus hill climbing, which can be an issue if you run out of power, but with our Cargoroo and the dual batteries the likely-hood of that happening is quite slim. The lowest scorer here would have to be the RadWagon for the low end components used, for DNP being an obscure and low quality brand and for the awkward to use thumb shifter which makes shifting clunky and difficult.

Cargoroo: Geared well for higher speeds, not very low gearing because of the unlikely hood of running out of battery power, Shimano name brand parts and a trigger shifter for easy shifting.

Conclusion

RTG Cargoroo e-cargo bike, kid hauler

RTG Cargoroo:

We did a lot of research as we were developing our Cargoroo as well as drawing from our experience. And we think we did a pretty good job of designing a cargo bike that ticked all the boxes. As compared to the other cargo e-bikes on this list our Cargoroo offers a tremendous value for money, and it’s the first and only e-cargo bike available to come fully loaded with all the accessories you need, and the only one to come standard with two integrated batteries. We’ve considered all the important features a family e-cargo bike needs, lots of power especially on hills, reliable and strong braking, stability and ease of handling, easy to get on and off and of course a family friendly price tag. The Cargoroo isn’t the perfect e-cargo bike for everyone, is there really such a thing as one size fits all? But we feel that as it compares to the competition it’s a really solid choice for close to everyone, and we hope you’ll think so too.

RadPower RadWagon:

The RadWagons defining feature is it’s low price tag, especially if you aren’t in need of a secondary battery or accessories. Of course with a lower price tag some sacrifices are made and cheaper components are used. However it is still decently spec-ed for the price tag. Still the direct drive hub motor is not the best choice if considering for use in a hilly area like Victoria, as well as the less then optimal cable brakes. Another major downside to the RadWagon is it’s poor geometry, the large front and rear wheels means that your cargo will be high up and on nearly the same level as you. This raises the center of gravity which can be dangerous, as it makes the bike harder to steady and more prone to tipping, especially the heavier the load is. In our opinion this factor should be weighed heavily in your consideration as a family cargo bike.

Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch:

The Yuba Spicy Curry came in as the most expensive on the list, especially to install a secondary battery. It was also the only other one on the list to have a larger front wheel paired with a smaller rear wheel, which in our opinion is the best geometry, allowing for a regular full sized bike feel while keeping the center of gravity low. The Spicy Curry comes equipped with higher end components, which is to be expected with that high of a price tag. But is it a worthwhile option over the Tern GSD, which has a significantly lower price comparatively? That is really up to you and your needs, in terms of direct comparison of components they are nearly identical so most of the difference comes down to the style difference.

Tern GSD S10:

Tern’s GSD S10 is the most unique on this list. Having a smaller footprint then all the others and also a folding handlebar make the GSD a great option for those in need of a cargo bike with space restrictions. Like the Yuba, it offers high end parts and components which is to be expected for the price tag. It is also the only other bike on the list that be purchased standard with a secondary battery. The GSD is a good option for avid cyclists looking for something similar to a regular cycling experience and in need of higher torque for hill climbing, especially in a smaller package.