In a perfect e-bike storm, I had two bikes to pick up this week to review! A Tern Vektron folding electric bike, and a Riese and Muller Load front loader, full suspension, cargo bike (that’s a mouthful!)
Now, I just had to get them home.
After cranking on some work most of the day I caught an Uber over to the largest e-bike dealer I have ever been into, Electric Bicycle Mega Store. This shop is located on Federal Boulevard just west of downtown Denver, Colorado. Within a few minutes, the shop pulled out the Tesla of front loader cargo bikes for me take home for a couple of weeks. The Riese and Muller Load is a bike I had recently learned about at an e-bike dealer event in Santa Cruz. THE very best cargo and e-bike dealers were waxing on about how amazing these bikes are. Serependioutsly, Riese and Muller contacted me to try one and that is the quick backstory of how I have the honor of fostering this dream bike.
From the Mega Store, I pedaled north a few blocks to SloHi Bike and Coffee to meet with a colleague and pick up my second e-bike of the day, a Tern Vektron folding e-bike. I typically don’t care much about folding bikes. I tried out a Brompton earlier this year and it just didn’t fit into my life. I live in suburbia, have a garage for my bikes, and have an office with indoor bike parking. This bike piqued my interest as it is a compact e-bike that a Yepp child seat can easily fit on. It’s also a good bike to try out while I wait for the Tern GSD cargo bike.
After fueling up on some delicious espresso I rigged up the 48.9 lb folding bike to the front of the pretty damn heavy cargo bike. The load was secure with my used tube recycling program but it was top heavy. I sent my wife a picture and hoped for the best as I set off down the bike lane. In hindsight, I should have tested out cornering the load before setting out but it all worked out in the end.
If you know Denver, I hopped on the South Platte River Trail up to the Sand Creek Greenway that brings me home to suburbia Stapleton. The route has a slight uphill most of the way, and a chilly headwind was hitting me 90% of the ride. I rode the Load on Sport mode, which is 190% support (I believe). This essentially amplifies my watts up to 190% until I hit 20mph. This allowed me to average 18mph for the entire trip with a really heavy and bulky load, headwind, and a slow gradual incline. A note about the photos, I always find some pleasure riding my bikes past the Suncor Oil Refinery. It can be stinky some days but I always have my own silent “fuck you” as I pedal by. Cars have their place in life but I hate our addiction to them.
Am I in Love?
When I arrived home we took both bikes out as a family. My fairly pregnant wife was happy trying them both (she will NOT ride the Bullitt). The enclosed hood was needed when the sun dipped behind the clouds and my toddler turned into a popsicle.
I look forward to more everyday rides with the cargo bike including shoving another kid in there. The cargo bike steers well but the steering radius is much shorter. The Bullitt allows you to cut in pretty hard, which can be a disaster for inexperienced riders but allows you to turn the thing around! We will see how much that bothers me or if it means my wife loves it. As for the folding bike, the true test will be installing our Yepp seat to the back and seeing how the bike handles and parks with a 30 lb kid on the bike.
In some socially driven way, I have great hope for these two bikes. They have the potential to be life-changing for some people and I plan on riding the rubber off them to find out how good they really are.
What would you like to be included in the test and reviews on these two bikes? Let me know in the comments below!