Cannondale Joins the Cargo E-Bike Trend With Their Wonderwagen Neo: Is It Worth the Cash?

If you have any doubts about whether or not e-bikes will continue to be a thing, even replace the car for some activities, let's consider that Cannondale is joining the e-cargo bike movement with their very own machine.
Wonderwagen Neo 9 photos
Photo: Cannondale
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Folks, whenever we see a big-name brand jumping on a particular bandwagon, we can clearly take it as a hint as to where the industry is headed. This seems to be the case with Cannondale and one of the newest additions to their growing e-family, the Wonderwagen Neo.

Now, Cannondale has been around for decades, sometimes even setting the pace of the cycling industry, so whenever they crank something out, it's good to pay attention to their work. For example, the Wonderwagen is, as you can see, a cargo bike; yes, this trend is very hot and spreading like wildfire all over the world, and with good reason.

For example, cargo bikes unlock a particular ability for bicycles, that of carrying goods and even people. Sure, we've thrown gear onto our bikes in the past, too, but the real ticket these days is the fact that cargo bikes are engineered and designed to be what they are.

Wonderwagen Neo
Photo: Cannondale
In short, you won't just be throwing a bag onto a cargo rack; there's a massive bay that you can use however you like. Be it carrying your kids to school, grabbing groceries on the way home, and nowadays, even carrying TVs, home improvement goods, and countless other uses.

I mentioned that all this is possible because of that cargo bay at the front, but this isn't the first cargo bike we see, and that means that Cannondale has had time to scope out the competition and craft a bike that can seize new customers.

But, there may be a bit of a hurdle, this bugger's price. Overall, if you end up on the manufacturer's website, pricing isn't yet available, but sources show a cost of €7,000 ($7,300 at current exchange rates). Quite a bit for the average Joe, if you ask me. Why so much? Let's find out.

Overall, to craft the Wonderwagen, Cannondale followed a similar platform shape to brands like Trek, Urban Arrow, and even Bullitt. After all, it's been proven for years now and has countless benefits. One such benefit is safety.

Wonderwagen Neo 2
Photo: Cannondale
Because your cargo now sits low to the ground, your center of gravity is also dropped, thus leading to one hell of a stable experience. Furthermore, falling over with a cargo bike is also less damaging, especially to precious cargo, all 100 kg (220 lbs) of it. Hanging over the rear wheel, another 27 kg (60 lbs) of gear can be added.

Suppose you do happen to tip over with your kids in the cargo bay. In that case, their helmets are sure to protect what's important. Still, the composite and waterproof casing surrounding them is sure to reduce any scrapes, cuts, and bruises. The frame is also a step-through, so there is even less risk of tipping over.

Now, all that weight isn't going to be easy to push around, especially without some help. So, some of the money we're being asked to dish out is going to an e-drive setup from Bosch. a Cargo Line motor is what you'll be relying on for the push you need, all fueled by a PowerPack with 545 Wh.

Regarding speed, you'll be able to zip around town at speeds dictated by your local laws and regulations, and range, well, that's a difficult number to pinpoint. Since roads and ride conditions vary greatly from one outing to the next, this number hasn't yet been revealed by Cannondale. However, versions with larger batteries do exist, just in case you need more juice: the Wonderwagen Neo 1.

Wonderwagen Neo 2
Photo: Cannondale
Speaking of versions, it's important to note one major difference between the Wonderwagen Neo 1 and Neo 2. If you happen to opt for the Neo 1, you'll access a shifting experience granted by an Enviolo Pro CVT internal gearbox mounted to the rear hub. The Neo 2 ditches the Enviolo setup for a Shimano Deore tuned to ten speeds.

For safety and stopping power, Cannondale has called upon the powers of Magura and threw on a pair of four-piston hydraulic brakes with 180 mm (7.1 in) rotors at the front and 203 mm (8 in) at the rear. As for wheels, 20 in buggers are stock and rocking Schwalbe rubbers no matter the version. Integrated headlights and all that are also part of the package.

The real question now is whether or not the Wonderwagens can be your go-to vehicle for such needs. Well, to determine this, you can take a few minutes out of your day and picture your life with such a machine, or have a tad of patience and wait for one of these to pop up in some shop nearby.

At that point, pick up the phone, schedule a test ride, and go from there. Just be warned, if this is your first cargo e-bike experience, bring your checkbook because this style of EV is sure to start filling up city streets in the very near future. Heck, some towns like the one I live in are already seeing countless cargo bikes. Planning on joining the wave?

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery include both the Wonderwagen Neo 1 and Wonderwagen Neo 2 e-bikes.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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