Bike test: Urban Arrow Family
The Urban Arrow Family is a front-loading e-cargo bike that can carry up to three children. It has a 26in rear wheel, a long frame that accommodates the box, and a 20in wheel at the front. It has an appealing design and options like rain canopies to make it more effective as a family vehicle.
When I first tried one I was amazed at how effortless it was to ride and turn corners, given its size (262cm long, 70cm wide), weight (51kg) and carrying capacity (up to 125kg in the front box). Admittedly, I was at Eurobike and had no child in the front. But having ridden it with my five-year-old daughter on board on busy London streets, courtesy of e-cargo bike specialists Fully Charged, I was still blown away by how easy it was to ride.
A very slack seat angle means there’s less of a stretch to get a foot down at junctions. It took me a while to learn the right e-assist level and gear ratio for setting off; the Enviolo gears are stepless. After that, starting off and riding with the extra weight was much easier than a non-electric cargo bike. The Bosch crank motor and continuously variable gearing make for a smooth ride.
You can secure a newborn in a Maxi Cosi seat (the adapter is £190), while children up to about eight years old can be seated securely and belted in. Having your children in full view is reassuring. My daughter liked sitting in the box as she had her own little domain.
You need to consider parking and storing it more carefully, as it’s so much bigger and heavier than a regular bike. Manoeuvring it on foot is a little awkward, although no worse than other box bikes in that respect. The frame is aluminium and the box is made of EPP, a lightweight but strong material similar to the inside of a bike helmet, so it’s not as heavy as it could be.
My only criticism is that my daughter found it hard to climb in and out of, despite the inbuilt step.
The Urban Arrow Family is a well-designed e-cargo bike that’s ideal for nursery and school run trips with two or three young children. It’s a true car replacement for local journeys. If you’ll do the mileage to justify the price, and are able to store it easily, it should be a great investment for your family and the planet.
Cube Cargo Hybrid 500 £5,599
Budget-priced longtail e-cargo bike with a 65Nm Bafang hub motor. The rear rack takes two childseats or one larger passenger. Reviewed in the December 22/January 23 issue of Cycle.