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The CargoDrive Kit Turns Your Regular Bike Into a Cargo e-Bike

Not everyone wants to own and drive a car, but everyone needs something to haul stuff—at least weekly, when doing the grocery run. With the rise in popularity of e-bikes, electric cargo bicycles have already been embraced as a good alternative to the personal vehicle in this respect.
The CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bike 9 photos
Photo: IndieGoGo/Nicholas Wolff
The CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bikeThe CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bikeThe CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bikeThe CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bikeThe CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bikeThe CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bikeThe CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bikeThe CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bike
Cargo bikes are versatile in that they can be used both for hauling stuff and the kids drop-off and for the daily commute if they’re motor-assisted. Used as part of delivery fleets, they’re faster and cheaper to maintain and run than cars. Whichever the purpose of a cargo e-bike, they all have in common the rather prohibitive pricing. Affordable alternatives do exist, like the RadWagon 4 from Rad Power Bikes we tested and reviewed. Still, even they can be over budget if you’re not exactly looking to invest money in a new e-bike.

The CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bike
Photo: IndieGoGo / Nicholas Wolff
That leaves you with the option of a conversion kit. Conversion e-bike kits are not new, but this is probably the first of this kind: it turns your regular pedal bicycle into a cargo e-bike. The idea is incredibly smart: because you need both a motor (and controller, battery, and all that other assorted stuff) and a rack, this team of Danish designers suggests replacing your front wheel.

The CargoDrive kit, now crowdfunding on IndieGoGo, is actually a new wheel, with an integrated motor, cargo rack, mechanical disc brake, lights, and double kickstand, for your regular bicycle. Once you set it all up, and connect the wiring and add the display and throttle, your bicycle becomes a cargo e-bike that is perfect for daily runs.

Power for this e-bike comes from the 250 W hub motor in the wheel, and the entire kit is compatible with 26-inch upright bikes. The wheel is smaller, of just 20 inches, so you have a lower center of gravity and, more importantly, so you can haul more stuff without having to compromise on visibility. There’s no sense in getting yourself a new cargo bike if you can’t actually carry as much stuff as you need on it, is there?

The CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bike
Photo: IndieGoGo / Nicholas Wolff
The wheel comes with an integrated aluminum rack and a 36-volt/10.4-Ah lithium battery attached to it, further enhancing balance. The removable battery is good for up to 60 km (37 miles) on a single charge, can be topped up in three hours of charging, and is rated for a 1,000-charge cycle.

The motor is by EU standards, as you probably guessed; this means that you get motor assist up to 25 kph (15.5 mph), after which you’re on your own. There’s also the option of reaching 32 kph (20 mph) on throttle, which means this is perfect in city traffic to get you a quick start in intersections.

As for the rack, the designers say that it can comfortably carry up to 30 kg (66 pounds), which is more than enough for the weekly grocery run or whatever tools and equipment you wish to carry on a bicycle. There’s the implication that it would hold more, but you would no longer have smooth handling of the bike. Since you get assistance from the motor, whatever weight you add to the bike in cargo and the additional 13 kg (29 pounds) of the wheel-rack-motor-battery combo won’t leave you gasping for breath and drenched in sweat, with trembling knees.

The CargoDrive kit turns a regular bicycle in an electric cargo bike
Photo: IndieGoGo / Nicholas Wolff
The CargoDrive kit's price is 7,500 Danish Kroner (DKK) for EU residents, which is roughly $1,200 at today’s rate exchange, and 4,760 DKK for backers outside of the European Union, which equates to a much more convenient $762. Deliveries to both areas are scheduled for October 2021, and a range of accessories, mostly including all manners of straps and clips to secure cargo, are available.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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