If you’re itching to get back in the saddle post-kids (sorry, SoulCycle doesn’t count), but don’t know where to begin, we have a solution: cargo bikes. Bicycle manufacturers around the globe have come up with creative ways to transport your entire clan on two or three wheels, making your journey back onto the bike path as easy as well, riding a bicycle. We break down 11 of the best family cargo bikes out there with pros and cons of each. It’s time to ride!

What You Need to Know
While there are many ways to bike with kids, from bike seats to trailers to tandem bikes, in this article, we are focused on three styles of family cargo bikes: the Long John or Bakfiets, which has a cargo area in front; the Longtail, which has a room for kids in back of the driver; and a Front Load Trike or Tadpole trike, which has a front cargo and three wheels for stability. Many of the bikes listed below are electric-assist, which makes biking with heavy loads or uphill much more enjoyable, according to cargo bike enthusiasts.

photo: Cargo Bike Lane

Let’s Talk Cost
While the high prices for many models are not for the faint-of-heart, some families justify the expense by using cargo bikes as a car replacement for daily school and grocery runs. If cost is still an issue, consider exploring the robust second-hand market, where cargo bikes can be purchased for a fraction of the cost. There is a list of second-hand resources at end of the article. If you’re wondering if a cargo bike is right for your family, ask yourself these 14 questions.

Bonus insider tip: For the best options for transporting kids without a cargo bike, here’s what bike pro Kit Hodge has to say.

Long John Bikes (also called a Bakfiets)

1. The Load 75 by Riese & Müller, starting at $7, 629
This brand-new electric cargo bike from Riese & Müller comes 6% more outer length, but 50% more cargo space—with the same agility and maneuverability. You can customize the cargo space depending on your family’s needs—options include High Side Walls, Low Side Walls, Tarpaulin, Single or Double Child seat, Luggage Shelf, Child Rain Cover, Carrier and more.

Kids: up to 3.


Electric assist: Yes


  • This is a bike that both parents can use. There’s an angle- and height-adjustable stem and adjustable saddle height, so the seat position can be altered to accommodate body sizes from 1.50 m to 1.95 m and adapted to preferences from sporty to comfortable.


  • It’s pricier than other cargo bikes on the market.

What the owners say: “The passion for bikes and innovations, as well as our perfectionist approach, dominate our work. The products that result are E-Bikes, E-Cargo Bikes and folding bikes of the highest quality, perfected down to the tiniest detail, featuring state-of-the-art technology and pioneering design. Or in other words, true German engineering skill.”

Where to buy: r-m.de/en-us

2. Family Cargo Bike by Bunch Bikes, starting at $1,995 
Gather your tribe and get ready to explore your community in this three-wheeled cargo bike—electric motor optional! Easy-release levers make changing the seat and handlebar height a breeze, so adults of all sizes can hop on and pedal away (good luck with those hills).

Kids: 1-5. This cargo box comes equipped with two benches and four child seat belts, and a standard bike child seat can be installed on the rear rack to squeeze in one more passenger.

Electric Assist: Yes


  • Arrives at your doorstep fully assembled and ready to ride!
  • They work with Klarna to offer payment plans.


  • It’s heavy and that may add to shipping cost. 

What the owners say: “We at Bunch Bikes believe that cycling can be a part of every family’s daily life. As parents ourselves, we design cargo bikes with families in mind.” Read more. 

Where to buy: bunchbike.com

photo: Virtue Bike

3. The School Bus by Virtue Bike, starting at $1400
This made-in-San Diego cargo bike lets kids sit in a big cargo box and go for a ride. The Virtue Schoolbus put parents at ease with the front. It also allows them to have good quality time chatting without having to keep looking back.

Kids: 1-3 in box, + possible rear seat add-on

Electric Assist: Yes


  • Stability of three wheels
  • Being able to see the kids
  • Only an extra $600 to have the battery, motor, and control system added to the standard Schoolbus


  • Steering is different than many other cargo bikes
  • It’s heavy and that may add to shipping cost 

What owners say:  “There’s a lot to recommend about the Schoolbus.  I wanted to see the kids while I was riding. I can pull over if my toddler drops something, I never have to worry if a car is getting too close to the trailer – I know right where everyone is.” Read more

What the pros say: “Designed to be stable for loading his kids, positioning them out front where you could keep an eye on them and have conversations during rides. “ Read more

Where to buy: Virtue Bike Dealers

photo: Splendid Cycles

4. Bullitt Cargo Bikes by Larry vs Harry, Starting at $3300
The Bullitt is considered one of the “most flexible” cargo bikes on the market, designed to be used as a completely customizable system, from colors to components and accessories. Designed in Copenhagen, the Larry vs Harry team has decades of great bike building on their resume.

Kids: 1-3 in box + possible rear seat add-on

Electric Assist: Yes


  • Narrow enough for city streets and bike lanes
  • Light enough to ride without electric assist
  • Modern interpretation of an older and tested bike design originating in Denmark


  • Steering can feel wobbly at first (the faster you go, the steadier is gets)

What owners say: “If the Urban Arrow is a Dutch ride, upright, stable a luxury car of bikes, the Bullitt is a fast sports car. The bike is a whip though; fast and light when using it. I actually turned off the assist because it felt too fast for my test ride.”  Read more

What the Pros Say: “It’s agile but light (but sturdy), and just a ton of fun to ride. It’s first and foremost a bike. I have nothing but joy taking this bike at speed up and down hills and around corners.” Read more.

Where to buy:  Larry vs Harry dealers

 photo: Urban Arrow

5. Family Bike, by Urban Arrow, $5,950
This Dutch company makes high-quality cargo bikes that use the newest technology and state of the art materials to move people and freight through town in the fastest possible way. Their goal? Reduce the use of scooters and cars.

Kids: 1-3 in box, + possible rear seat add-on

Electric Assist: Yes


  • Narrow design perfect for navigating city streets
  • New technology like Nuvinci hub gear and Bosch pedal assist
  • Lots of customization options available


  • It is a really big bike, both width, and length and we’ve heard turning is difficult

What owners say: “The Urban Arrow’s child-hauling and commuting setup is unbelievably swank. Considering all the features packed into it, the Urban Arrow feels shockingly light.” Read more

What the pros say: “With Dutch smarts, this electric motor assisted cargo bike delivers the goods for a household. This is a bike with enormous potential to take the place of a car.” Read more

Where to buy: Urban Arrow Dealers

photo: Yuba Bikes

6. Yuba Bike’s Electric Supermarché, $5999

New in 2018 to Yuba Bikes, the Electric Supermarché is arguably the mother of all cargo bikes. It’s an electric pedal assist front-loading cargo bike that holds up to 220lbs in the front cargo space and also has a mini rear tail where you can put a Yepp seat and/or 80 lbs.

Kids: 1-3 in box, + possible rear seat add-on

Electric Assist: Yes


  • Holds the whole crew + cargo too, including the family pet!
  • Has rider-friendly cable steering design for smooth and easy turning


  • One of the priciest bikes on the market

What owners say: “We bought our first house and a new Supermarche this spring and are so happy with both of them! We love riding with our two small children in the front with plenty of room for cargo on trips to the beach, pool, store, market, parade, or just about anywhere around Chicago we want to go.”

Where to buy: Yuba Bike dealers

Long Tail Bikes


1. Big Fat Dummy, by Surly Bikes, starting at $2,099.
This popular cargo bike allows passengers to be carried on the back with the use of the Dummy Rail Collars or the Thule Yepp Maxi Seat. It’s got fat tires for a sturdier ride, which is key when you’re hauling precious cargo!

Kids: 1-2

Electrical Assist: No


  • The extra wide tires mean you might be able to do some trail riding with the kids in tow.


  • There are added costs (extra gear) if you want to tow passengers.

What owners say:  “Surly has done something special with the Big Dummy. It rides much like a mountain bike and often I find myself forgetting that I was riding a long tail cargo bike. I was jumping over curbs and tearing across fields with cargo and didn’t think anything of it. The Big Dummy is stout, stable and perfectly designed to be the everyday do anything bike.”  – John Eaton, read full review

Where to buy: surlybikes.com

2. Radwagon, by Rad Power Bikes, starting at $1799
The Seattle-based start-up is looking to disrupt the electric bike industry with a direct-to-consumer model that is more cost-efficient than competitors. They use Velofix (like a Geek Squad for bicycles) to build, tune and deliver bikes.

Kids: 1-2 on back

Electric assist: yes


  • One of the most affordable e-bikes on the market
  • Lots of customization options


  • Cheaper components, not having a dealer to rely on (though Velofix seems to have taken some of the pain out of assembly)

What owners say: “Overall, this bike is an amazing deal for the price.” Read more

What the pros say: “Affordable, feature-rich cargo style electric bike with a stiffer and lighter frame because it’s not quite as long as some others.”  Read more

Where to buy: RadPowerBikes.com

Photo: Pedago Facebook page

3. Stretch, by Pedego, starting at $3,595
Founded in 2008, Pedego is one of the largest electric bike brands in America. They have their own dealers, as well as distribution through many bike shops and on Amazon. This makes it easy to purchase and service the bike. The Stretch has many cool features, like the powered USB port for your phone and audio.

Kids: 1-3


  • Pedego has a great reputation and many shops are familiar with the brand for service and repair
  • The Stretch has can be accessorized with products from the Pedego line


  • We’ve been told the frame is stiff, so may not be as comfortable as other rides 

What owners say: “It is a powerful, beautiful, cruiser style and is not only fun to ride but I get to choose how much I exert myself.” Read more

What the pros say: “ Pedego hit the price point well and make a bike that is as smooth as silk.   The way E-bike control systems work is a big deal for me and I am happy to report this one is spot on.” Read more 

Where to buy: Amazon, or a dealer near you.

photo: Yuba Bikes

4. Spicy Curry by Yuba starting, $4499
This Northern California-based company has upgraded its popular e-bike with a Bosch CX Performance motor for hills and traction. A lightweight and stylish cargo bike that lets kids sit on the back of the bike while Mom or Dad pedals.The rear cargo seat can fit two kids in Yepp seats or up to three kids sans seats.

Kids:  1-3 on back

Electric assist: yes


  • Lightweight (about 60 lbs)
  • a low rear deck over a 20” wheel for greater stability 


  • The side-loaders (where kids place their feet) can scrape up against curbs and other objects. 

What owners say: “The Spicy Curry was built from the ground up as an assisted cargo bike for hills. It is very different from their other models, from my perspective in a good way.” Read more

What the pros say: “The Spicy Curry is a mid-drive powered electric cargo bike from Yuba! The primary benefit is efficiency and power because the drive system leverages the same eight-speed drivetrain that you do as a rider!” Read more

Where to buy: Yuba Bike dealers

photo: Yuba Bikes

5. The Electric Boda Boda Compact Cargo by Yuba, $3599

New this year from Yuba bikes is the Electric Boda Boda Compact Cargo. It features a way more compact style frame and has a Shimano STEPS motor for smooth electric-motor assist. It comfortably fits two kids or an (extra) adult, to a max weight of 244 lbs. 

Kids: 1-2

Electric assist: Yes


  • Lightweight (about 55 lbs)
  •  Low rear deck over a 20” wheel for greater stability 
  • Easy to read Integrated Cycling Computer with speed, distance, trip time, clock, gear, estimated range, battery indication.
  • Choose from a Step-Thru or Step-Over frame
  • Always-charged front and rear LED lights

Cons: Only hauls one or two kids with less space for cargo.

What the experts say: 

“This nimble, compact electric cargo bike is your complete car replacement” – Wired Magazine

This Kid-Hauling Cycle Changed My Mind About Electric Bikes” – Fatherly

Where to buy: Yuba Bike dealers

Front Load Trike (also called a Tadpole)


photo: Yoyo-mom.com

1. Family, by Nihola, starting at $3,999
For 18-years, this Danish company has developed, produced, sold these proprietary tricycles for families, as well as for rehab/handicap-, institutional- and commercial use. There are over 10,000 Nihola bikes in Copenhagen alone, so this bike is tried-and-tested.

Kids: 1-3 in box, + possible rear seat add-on

Electric assist: yes


  • The solid frame design built to withstand impact
  • Front door opens for easily onboarding kids and pets
  • The Nihola Flex version can transport a wheelchair


  • Few US distributors may increase the delivery cost

What owners say: “Nihola Electric Family Cargo Bike is an excellent bike for leisurely strolls around town when you are not in a rush. It’s very handy for transporting heavy goods and also more than one child on the bike.” Read more

What the Pros Say: “The Nihola is a better value and lower cost, it’s really the best three-wheel solution available.” Read more

Where to buy: Nihola dealers

photo: Vie Bikes

2. Butchers & Bicycles MK-1E, Starting at $4,995
If Apple designed an electric bicycle, it would be the MK-1E. From beautiful design to performance and state-of-the-art utility (a tricycle the leans), the MK-1E has taken the biking world by storm since it launched in 2015.

Kids: 1-3 in box, + possible rear seat add-on

Electric assist: yes


  • Tilt steering makes it really fun to ride
  • Beautiful design attracts attention
  • Attention to details, like a lockable glove box


  • One of the most expensive e cargo bikes on the market
  • It’s wide, so can be difficult to maneuver on narrow city streets

What owners say: “When I saw the Butcher, I was blown away. It was fast. It was sexy. It hauled a ton of cargo. It handled like a two-wheeler. It was the coolest cargo bike I had ever seen.” Read more

What the pros say: “This is such a well-made bike. Butchers & Bicycles has truly thought of every little detail to maximize the quality of the experience for both the rider and the child passengers. We see both first-time riders and everyday riders fall in love with the way this bike handles. We find that the customers who really love this bike tend to appreciate the fact that it’s a full package of awesome.” Read more

Where to buy: Butchers & Bicycles dealers

Where to Find Second Hand Cargo Bikes

From DC to Nashville, Chicago, and Portland, there Facebook Family Biking Groups that share local tips, trails as well as buy and sell used gear. Search for “Family Biking” on Facebook under “Groups.”

In bigger biking communities, like San Francisco and Seattle there are also “Family Bike Swap” Facebook Groups, focused exclusively on selling gear online and at swap events.

—Jacqui Boland


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