Alan recently took a Riese & Muller Packster Touring 60 electric cargo bike out for a weekend spin to understand better what the fuss is about. Learn more about this bike here or if you’re interested in any electric cargo bikes, book a demo and see how you get on.
I picked up the Riese & Muller Packster Touring 60 from Bruntsfield and off I pedalled. As this was my first cargo experience the very first moments were a little disconcerting – the thing is so long you don’t see the front wheel, handling is ‘different’ and turning is a relearnt skill. Psychologically, it’s a bit weird but after moments the handling and ride become more ’natural’. The second thought was that at nearly a meter wide I felt much more part of the traffic – no nipping into those gaps! Thirdly, oh that motor! Those who know our mothership store know it’s on the top of a hill. But who would know being assisted by Bosch motor. Hills, I laugh at hills. (Did / do folk ride these without motors?!!) As with any e-bike you need to find the sweet spot of speed and effort. Once you have that; happy days! Fourthly, the bike is a head turner. A lot of reaction while pedalling down the street! Fifthly, the ride is as smooth as butter.
I then stopped for some ‘essential’ supplies. While the load was not going to break the scales there was no noticeable difference in handling. There was more than enough room for a weekly shop (or a lot more essential supplies!). Next on to the office – a 12 km spin. No bother, although I did fear for one road cyclists mojo as I sped past up a sharp ramp!
End of the day I would have completed an easy 40 km with still plenty of juice left in the tank / battery.
Was all about the kids! I spent the day shuttling my 5 year old and her pals around town. To say that the experience was joy unbound would be an understatement….and that was just for the rider. The laughs, giggles and smiles from the ‘bucket’ were a joy to behold. It made my weekend and severed a real practical purpose. I climbed Kaimes Road (+9% gradient) with a bucket full of kids without breaking a sweat! I crossed town in a similar time to a car, reduced my carbon footprint and saved on fuel costs. Nice!
A couple of observations –
- It’s not a traditional bike! Maybe hold off the track stands and bunny hops a little.
- The turning circle is pretty wide! Think super tanker, then add some!
- At over 35kg this is no weight weenie. I’m imagining ground floor garage storage would be best.
- No doubting or arguing, they are pricey. Eye watering. With interest free credit or an Energy Saving Trust loans the pain can be mitigated. Think of it as an investment, much like a car.
- Gosh, it was fun to ride and possibly the most utilitarian bike I’ve ever ridden.
- For guaranteed smiles go ‘turbo’ mode. It will burn battery but it delivers bags of fun.
- There are a multitude of uses for e-cargo. If I had a second car, I would not have a 2nd car!