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Tips for Cargo Biking With Your Kids

When I started reviewing electric cargo bikes years ago, they were expensive, niche vehicles for a specific subset of eccentric people. Today, electric bikes are everywhere. But there’s one demographic for whom an electric bike is especially useful—parents. Parents, especially moms, travel a lot. In addition to a full-time job, I have a 4-year-old and a…

When I started reviewing electric cargo bikes years ago, they were expensive, niche vehicles for a specific subset of eccentric people. Today electric bicycles are all the rage . But there’s one demographic for whom an electric bike is especially useful–parents.

Parents, especially moms, travel a lot. Aside from my full-time job I also have a 4-year old and a 7 year-old. I drop them off at school, then run back to my computer to log on, take them to playdates or volunteer at events. My bike’s motor would have made it impossible for me to transport my children and carry all their stuff. I would need a car.

The ebike was a game changer for me. My endless boring errands became windswept opportunities to simultaneously exercise, take my children on a joyride, as well as chat with my neighbors. My electric cargo bike is my favorite thing, almost too much. Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned along the journey.

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Pick Your Ride

Photograph: Tern

Bikes are incredibly personal. The best bike for you will depend on many factors such as your budget, your strength (sorry), the terrain around your home, and traffic.

In general, cargo bikes come in two flavors. A mid- or longtail has an extended rear rack to attach seats or panniers, while a bakfiets or a Long John suspends a cargo box between the rider and the front wheel. I ride a Tern GSD S00 (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which is a mid-tail bike. It has a maximum weight capacity of around 450 pounds, and it’s not very long, which means that it can’t carry as much stuff as easily as a bakfiets, but it’s lighter and more maneuverable. If you

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