Don’t read on if you’re feeling sad about living in the UK, because this is probably not going to help. Decathlon has launched an electric cargo bike for just €2,700 – but it’s not going to be available in the UK any time soon. But in the spirit of interest in all things bike, and perhaps a few more reasons to take a holiday en France, let’s take a closer look.
It’s a single frame, of longtail style, that will suit riders of heights between 1m 55cm and 1m 95cm. That’s 5ft1 to 6ft4 to British imperialists. You can carry up to 170kg – including the rider – with the luggage rack on the back supporting a maximum 80kg (or 12 stone 8lb). That’s enough capacity there to carry two good sized adults, or a couple of kids and a load of shopping.
To help you haul the load there’s a rear wheel hub motor offering up to 58Nm of assistance (for comparison: a Bosch CX Gen 4 offers 85Nm, Shimano Steps offers 70Nm). It takes 4h 40min to fully charge the 672Wh battery, and the suggested distances achievable for a person weighing 80 kg on a relatively flat route without loading are:
- 90 km maximum in Eco mode (1)
- 70 km maximum in Normal mode (2)
- 50 km maximum in Power mode (3)
Our experience on our very hilly locale of Calderdale suggests that it’s likely to struggle with our steeper climbs – but if you live somewhere with less alpine-esque valley sides, sub £3k for an alternative to a car is likely an attractive prospect. It is pedal assist and is restricted to 25kmph, so would be road legal in the UK if you could get one here. Hmm… ferry or train there, ride back via cafes for a recharge…? Sounds like an adventure!
I am very happy to be able to offer this longtail cargo bike. It will not only change the lives of our users but also the lives of our cities. Usually we say that when you use a longtail bike, it means one less car on the road. Meeting this challenge was very interesting but complex, due to the modularity of the bike on the rear part. The proposed accessorization allows the product to adapt to both individual needs and family use. Have fun with this bike and share unforgettable experiences.Benjamin, Product Manager
It’s a mullet bike set up, with 26-inch double-walled aluminum front wheel, and 20-inch double-walled aluminum rear wheel, both with 36 spokes for added strength. The smaller rear wheel allows for a lower load and therefore apparently more stability – though your perspective of that potential benefit might depend on the terrain you’re riding on.
The bike weighs 38kg and is equipped with an integrated luggage rack which is compatible with Decathlon’s Btwin accessories – so you’ll be picking those (and paying extra) yourself, though at €2,700 it’s a well priced foundation to build on.
So why won’t it be in the UK? The official word is: ‘unfortunately due to the UK Government customs Tax rate for certain products produced in East Asia, we are not able to supply this bike in the UK at the moment at a fair price. The Supply team is working on it but it’s very likely this bike won’t be in the UK in 2022’.
While it’s sad news that this Decathlon cargo bike won’t be here in the UK (yet), it’s great to see a big box company like Decathlon adding a car-replacement e-cargo bike to its line up. The more normalised and affordable cargo bikes are, the more we’ll see them on the roads – and more bikes on the roads means fewer cars, which is definitely a good thing.