The Urban Arrow Family Cargo electric bike could replace your SUV or minivan

Amsterdam-based Urban Arrow has just updated its line of Family Cargo electric bikes, making these family-centric electric cargo bikes better than ever for replacing a car in your garage.

Cargo bikes are one of the coolest inventions on two wheels. They take the narrow, handy form factor of a bicycle and turn it into a heavy-duty hauling tool that can actually haul your family or bring home a week’s worth of groceries.

But if you thought pedaling a normal bike was difficult, imagine adding several kids and maybe a dog into the mix.

Fear not, because electric cargo bikes solve this problem wonderfully. They give you all the cargo space you need, but make pedaling much more manageable – and even fun!

The new 2022 Urban Arrow Family Cargo range features a front-loading cargo e-bike (the kind with the big bucket up front) that features a number of updates such as Bosch’s latest Kiox display and a new Gates belt drive. Carbon Drive included as standard equipment which is designed to replace the chain with a silent and maintenance free transmission.

The belt connects the Enviolo Heavy Duty continuously variable transmission to the Bosch Cargo Line Gen 4 motor. This motor produces 85Nm of torque, making it one of the most powerful European mid-drive motors (although it can’t hold a candle to Chinese motors which don’t have to adhere to the same limiting rules power) .

The motor is still listed as a “250W unit”, although the company winks at that figure so hard it might pull an eyebrow muscle. The actual horsepower is almost certainly higher.

Powering this motor is a 500Wh Bosch battery, which should offer decent range considering the bike is pedal-assist only.

Throttle enthusiasts will have to skip this one, though it’s the same for European e-bikes.

Other improvements to the new Urban Arrow Family line of e-bikes include a redesigned head tube to improve stability and control at high speeds with heavy loads in the front cargo box.

A set of four-piston Magura brakes will quickly bring those heavy loads to a halt and are among the most premium hydraulic disc brakes you can find on an e-bike these days.

Magura brakes include an e-bike ABS system that reduces the chance of rear wheel lift during rapid front braking, allowing riders to lean harder on the front brake. Just, uh… maybe don’t try that on the turn.

As General Manager of Gazelle North America and distributor of Urban Arrow North America, Ewoud van Leeuwen explained in a statement provided to Electrek:

Micromobility and other forms of personal transportation in the United States continue to gain momentum at an accelerating rate as gas prices soar and urban commuters search for a better way to get around in everyday life. Urban Arrow’s Family line of e-cargo bikes is an inspiring, forward-looking and award-winning alternative to automobiles for individuals and families looking for a unique and sophisticated solution, and these new updates make the choice even clearer.

The choice may be clear, but it does the price no favors. At $7,999, it won’t be the most affordable e-cargo electric bike on the block.

But again, it features high-end components from a European company and is built using a more complicated front-loading design than typical low-cost long-tail electric cargo e-bikes.

Electrek’s Grasp

More people than ever are switching from cars to e-bikes, although we still often hear the tired argument that “families with kids need an SUV in the garage”. With bikes like the Urban Arrow Family Cargo line, these high-capacity, high-quality family-oriented cargo e-bikes can actually replace household vehicles used to haul multiple riders or a lot of cargo. If the Europeans can do it, maybe the Americans can one day too.

Of course, it takes more than an efficient e-bike to make this a possibility. Proper cycling infrastructure, like safe bike lanes, is sorely lacking in many (most?) US communities. And there will always be that person “but what about my 30 mile drive on a freeway at 84 mph at a 37% grade with a hail the size of a cantaloupe” who says that the idea even e-bikes as car replacements is cockamamie. But the fact is that about 80% of the US population lives in areas classified as urban, while only 20% of the population lives in rural areas.

City dwellers are the best candidates for real car replacement e-bikes like these, or at least second car replacements to turn a family into a household with a car and an e-bike. Whether it’s an Urban Arrow or a much, much more affordable model, there are plenty of great cargo e-bikes out there that can get kids to school without using a 5,000-pound death machine to do it.

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