Photo by Dominique Labrosse
Price $3,499 USD/ from $3,300-3,900 CAD
Find it at xtracycle.com
Available in US bike stores, distributed by ebikes.ca in Canada as of Sept 2012
The EdgeRunner Electric is a purpose-built longtail cargo bike with a 26-inch front wheel and 20-inch rear-wheel. The frame is based on the design of NAHBS award-winning frame-builder Sam Whittingham of Naked Bicycles. The model tested was a pre-production prototype with disc brakes, a 24-speed Shimano drivetrain and a powerful eZee hub motor. It has a maximum hauling capacity of 400 pounds (181 kilograms. Notable standard accessories include a throttle, FreeLoader bags, basic lights and Kickback kickstand. All of the tail-end frame geometry is designed to the Xtracycle Longtail Standard, which provides a wide array of snap-in accessories for carrying children and specialized cargo, including the Hooptie seen in the photo.
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Hills are no longer an issue! Ride anywhere with as much as you want or need to carry. The Kickback kickstand is extremely stable even when parked with a load of kids or cargo.
While you can’t feel the weight of the hub motor when you’re riding, it can feel pretty heavy if you’ve got to lift it over a few steps or a curb. I wish that building developers and city engineers would start to take into account cargo bike accessibility.
The EdgeRunner Electric suits families looking for a greener and more cost effective transportation alternative to motor vehicles. Access to ground floor bike parking is recommended. The swooping frame design makes it a good fit for both short and tall riders.
The EdgeRunner Electric carries a rider, kids and cargo real distances and up hills quickly with an amount of effort that can only be described as comfortable. The combination of a capable electric assist on a solid, well-designed, purpose-built long tail cargo bike makes this bike incredibly useful. And the range of available accessories from Xtracycle make the EdgeRunner’s intended uses flexible and varied.
I used the EdgeRunner to haul my children up a large hill to swimming lessons and to school over a couple of weeks. Usually leaving me gasping for air, this monster hill now posed no significant increase in effort thanks to the electric assist – even while carrying children. What a game changer! This system also shaved a combined 30 minutes off my weekly 26 mile (42 kilometer) round trip across the City of Vancouver and back. Best of all, when I arrived where I was going I smelled fresh as the effort required was that of a leisurely ride despite my traveling at an average 19 mph (30 km/h).
With a comfortable upright seating position, this bike is a real pleasure to ride. After a quick adjustment to the added weight of the battery and rear hub motor, the EdgeRunner feels surprisingly like a normal bike despite its approximately 7 feet (213 centimeters) of length. As such one must have a dedicated storage arrangement for this bike as it does not fit in vertical bike racks and is considerably wider and longer than a normal bike. Apartment dwellers may find this bike a challenge to store, especially those who need to carry their bikes up stairs. Those lucky enough to own a garage will have to carve out a space for it.