Bike weight: 110 pounds
Bike length: 108 inches
Average range: 31 miles
Max assist speed: 20mph
Total maximum weight capacity: 551 pounds
Max rider weight: 275 pounds
Max number of passengers: 4
Battery: Bosch Powerpack 500
Motor: Bosch Cargo Line
Transmission: Enviolo Heavy Duty
Wheel size: 26-inch rear; 20-inch front
If you’re looking for an e-cargo bike to safely haul around your kids, you can’t do much better than the Urban Arrow Family Cargo. It offers a streamlined experience with a specific focus on safety and functionality for small passengers in the cargo area.
You will sacrifice some cargo space to the EPP foam that comprises the cargo box, and that same EPP foam can get damaged easily from hard objects and sharp corners you might be toting. If you’re in the market for a pure cargo bike instead of a kid hauler, you might look elsewhere. But if you’ll spend most of your time with your kids in the cargo area, the Family Cargo is tough to beat. It’s stable, comfortable, and packed with some key safety features for your kids. Read the rest of our Urban Arrow Family review to see if it’s one of the best electric bikes for you — and your children.
Urban Arrow Family Cargo review: Price and availability
At $7,000 as tested, the Urban Arrow Family Cargo bike is priced on a par with other bikes of similar build quality and function. The base model costs $6,000 before you start adding accessories.
It’s not cheap by any means, but it’s less expensive than some high-zoot competitors like Riese and Muller’s Load 75, which starts at more than $9,000. And it costs the same as one of its closest competitors in size and function, the Yuba SuperCargo, which also starts at $6,000.
You can buy the Urban Arrow Family Cargo at select bike shops. You can also configure your cargo bike on the Urban Arrow website. Once it’s all configured, Urban Arrow provides a dealer locator button so you can find the dealer nearest you.
Urban Arrow Family Cargo review: Design
A stout aluminum frame allows lots of carrying capacity — up to 551 total pounds, passengers included. You can stow up to 275 pounds in the cargo area.
The Family Cargo features all the adjustability you’d expect at the seatpost and cockpit; the former can be adjusted using a quick-release lever, and the latter adjusts by loosening some bolts.
The Family Cargo is obviously aimed at accommodating families, and as such, the cargo area is tailored toward hauling the kiddos. You can of course haul groceries and other items in there, but the expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam sides — meant to add protection for the kids — does cut down on cargo space a bit.
The cargo box interior dimensions measure 28 inches at bottom front to back. At the top, the box measures approximately 37 inches front to back. At the front, the box measures approximately 17 inches wide and 21 inches wide at the rear.
According to Urban Arrow, the seat within the cargo area positions your kiddos lower, which serves two purposes. First, it means more protection from the higher sides. And second, it lowers the center of gravity, which translates into more stability and better handling.
The EPP foam is susceptible to slight damage from dings and scratches. I contacted Urban Arrow to ask if there is a replacement in case the foam does get severely damaged. There is no retail option for this, but replacement units do exist. The one-piece EPP shell can be replaced and would most likely be a warranty issue. It isn’t a common occurrence, according to Urban Arrow representatives. The foam is quite thick and would therefore take a large impact to truly damage the foam to the point that replacement would be necessary.
The Bosch Cargo Line motor provides ample power with up to 85Nm of torque, even when the bike is loaded down with kids or cargo. Its assist tops out at 20 mph; after that, you’re on your own. This is more than enough assist for most riders.
Enviolo’s Heavy Duty transmission offers some seriously quiet operation. The shifter turns smoothly too, offering a quick resistance adjustment on the fly. It’s not an indexed shifter, so there are no clicks or set positions to contend with. Just turn the shifter until you find the right resistance for you.
When you park the Family Cargo bike, be sure to use the integrated wheel lock. It’s mounted underneath the seat stays. When it’s not in use, the key locks into place so you don’t lose it. When you want to park, just press the lever down, turn the key, pull it out, and stow it in your pocket. It’s a handy feature that makes it easy to leave the house without wrangling other external accessories.
If you’ll regularly be hauling cargo rather than kids, consider some of Urban Arrow’s other offerings, like the Cargo or Shorty Business. For massive loads, the three-wheeled Tender would do the trick.
Urban Arrow Family Cargo review: Performance
Two things became immediately clear as I started riding. First, the Family Cargo bike is easy to get started from a dead stop. The Bosch Cargo Line motor has a lot to do with that; it engages almost immediately upon pedaling input. Short, sharp inclines were easy to tackle too. And the bike itself is one of the more stable e-cargo bikes I’ve tested, bested perhaps only by the Yuba SuperCargo.
Second, the handlebars sweep far too dramatically back toward the rider. They put your wrists in an awkward position, and consequently your upper body. This of course comes down to personal preference; if it were my bike, I would swap out the bars. For you, these bars might be just the thing. Give them a test ride before buying if you can.
That said, everything else about the Family Cargo feels well-refined. Riding it is a pleasure, and despite its nearly 9-foot length and stout 100-pound weight, it feels fairly lithe for a cargo bike. Even with my 7-year-old daughter riding up front, the ride quality and ease of use didn’t seem to change much from an unloaded configuration.
The Family Cargo bike tends to offer a lot more compliance in the rear than other cargo bikes I’ve tested. When you hit larger bumps, the rear of the bike feels almost spring-loaded. While at times it felt too bouncy, I prefer this over an overly jarring ride quality.
The center stand is excellent and is rivaled in stability and usability only by the stand on Yuba’s SuperCargo.
It’s easy to engage with your foot, though you’ll need to take some care when disengaging it before riding to make sure it’s tucked entirely up near the cargo area. Otherwise, the stand can drag when you ride around sharp corners.
Urban Arrow Family Cargo review: Battery life
The Bosch Performance 500 battery mounts in front of the rider. It is removable. Just use the same key that’s used for the rear wheel lock to disengage the battery. You can of course also charge the battery while it’s mounted on the bike.
My first ride from Good Turn Cycles in Denver to my home in Arvada was 9 miles long and I used the second-to-highest assist setting the entire way. After 9 miles I had used one bar of battery life out of five.
After approximately 15 miles of riding on this setting, I lost another bar. So it seems reasonable that Urban Arrow’s claim of approximately 31 miles per charge makes sense. Yuba’s SuperCargo, by comparison, advertises up to 60 miles on a single charge. At a lower setting, it seems entirely plausible to get far more miles out of a single charge.
Urban Arrow Family Cargo review: Accessories
The Family Cargo can be configured on Urban Arrow’s website, which offers a host of accessories. Most of them are, unsurprisingly, oriented toward family riding. There are rain covers, baby seat adapters, extra benches to accommodate more kid passengers, a rear rack, and more. Prices for accessories range from around $10 up to $470, with most key accessories falling into the $230 range.
You can use the online configurator to choose the accessories best suited for your use. If you’re hauling kids frequently, consider the rain and sun covers, or the very cool Urban Arrow Poncho ($170) that covers both the rider and the passengers during inclement weather.
Urban Arrow Family Cargo review: The competition
The Urban Arrow rises to the top of this list when it comes to handling and stability. The Yuba SuperCargo is also stable and handles well, and both of these bikes are similarly priced.
The Load 75 from Riese and Muller offers suspension for a comfortable ride, but it costs significantly more than the Urban Arrow.
Both Triobike options are less adept at stability and handling than the Urban Arrow and the Yuba SuperCargo.
The Family Cargo bike’s price is also competitive, starting at $6,000. This puts it most closely in competition with the also-excellent Yuba SuperCargo.
Urban Arrow Family Cargo review: Verdict
The Urban Arrow Family Cargo bike rises to the top of the crop in the e-cargo bike category. It’s easy to use, and the motor offers plenty of assist to get you going from a dead stop, even when loaded heavy. It’s generally easy to handle and fun to ride.
It’s clear that the Family Cargo is designed specifically for hauling kids rather than cargo. That’s not to say you can’t carry just cargo in here, but if you’ll routinely be hauling cargo rather than kids, consider a different option. The EPP foam can get dinged up easily from hard or odd-shaped cargo, and the EPP foam shell also does cut down on usable space within the cargo box.
That said, the Family Cargo offers a comfortable, safe cargo space for hauling your kids, and the bike is stable and fun to ride. It’s a top choice for parents in need of a transportation solution for the kids.