Using a bike to run errands saves both the world and your waistline! Solely motivated by that corny titbit, I assembled the best bikes for grocery shopping.
Before I ascended to this final form, I once believed that the only bike options for me were those quaint, bulky beach cruiser-esque contraptions toting a basket. I now know that there are many options for arresting my carbon footprint without looking like an utter goof.
The best bikes for grocery shopping are:
- Rad Power RadWagon 4
- Tern GSD S00 LX
- Urban Arrow Shorty
- Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch
- Yuba Boda Boda
- Surly Big Easy
- Tern HSD S8i
- Riese & Müller Load 60 Touring HS
You’ve now got a nicely packaged list with your next helper hiding in the little details. Now you just have to sit through my short read and consider all the characteristics I’ve gone over against your specific requirements and limitations.
I’ve done my due diligence with each suggestion and spent the time researching and scouring the matrix. With the help of some generous experts and first-hand reviewers from the likes of
Best Bikes To Use For Grocery Shopping
With my poor experience with cheaper entry-level cargo bikes, I did fall to the expert persuasion of the more costly mid-tier electric cargo bikes. Although most of these bikes left a Marmite aftertaste, I had to begrudgingly agree that they are some of the best quality machines on the market. They have proven longevity from the production lines of some of my most trusted brands.
1. Rad Power RadWagon 4
The RadWagon 4 is designed and engineered to be a hauler; this electric bike longtail has ample space for child seats and grocery bags. The bike’s stretched and lowered 6061 aluminum frame provides much more stability while riding than traditional cycles.
Although the RadWagon 4 doesn’t have the easier-to-mount step-through frame, it only has an inseam length of 30 inches, making it a welcoming mid-step. The lower step-over height makes it easy for a lovely hobbit of 5’4” to mount and a towering Ent of 6’2”.
Although lacking at times, the bike’s 672 Wh battery is well-utilized, so you can go around 24 to 45 miles on a single charge.
The 750W hub motor isn’t as powerful or reliable as the motor’s in similar electric cargo bikes like the Bosch Cargo Line motor, which can haul butt at around the same power output. The bike doesn’t have the smoothest time on inclines because of the limited 7-speed gearing.
However, the frame’s super sturdy but its thickness and massive welds at joints steal away from any aesthetic qualities that Rad Power tried to push. It’s a minivan of bikes, so don’t expect a beauty, but in that same regard, the bike’s 350-pound maximum load capacity is thanks to that utilitarian design.
I also love that the bike’s lamp automatically turns on and stays on when you are riding. Surprisingly, the ride quality is comfortable for a bike this low, and the 22-inch tires don’t negatively affect the ride. The 7-speed freewheel doesn’t force constant paddling, which is lovely when you wish to just cruise with your grocery bags.
2. Tern GSD S00 LX
We know Tern for their nifty folding bikes, but their GSD S00 LX is an actual cargo machine in a neat package. A single look at this longtail bike makes eyes aware that you don’t only have great exercise, but you are also getting things done.
The S00 LX has one of the strongest tracks on the market, and the company’s claim of a 220-pound capacity on the rack seems even conservative. The Bosch Cargo Line motor is also sublime and pairs well with their Magura MT5, 4-piston hydraulic brakes to take you up to speeds and safely bring you to rest.
Tern also added safety and convenience accessories synonymous with quality electric bikes like solid chainguards, fenders, and lamps. The bike is also not light; at 77-pounds, it is far from light. This heft does steal away from the ability to easily fold and carry the bike as Tern envisions for all their folding bikes.
Unfortunately, this bike is mad expensive. The lunacy seems almost extortionary, and I had to shed a tear from just the thought of departing with upwards of $5,499. Although Tern has gone all out for this bike in their catalog, they decided to stick with their trademark of 20” wheels that you find on all their folding bikes.
The S00 might be expensive, but the monetary investment won’t feel like vapor in the wind, and the Abus accessory helps ease the anxiety of your hauler being stolen. Also, the Continuously Variable Transmission is excellent in bringing the smoothest possible gear shifting.
3. Urban Arrow Shorty
The Urban Arrow Family bikes have been working on their designs since 2010, and the Arrow Shorty is an indisputable result. This massive front loader may seem daunting with its colossal 101.41 pounds, but it checks out once you realize that you’re getting an unmatched hauler.
The Shorty’s price tag shoots north of $5,000 and completely laps the mid-four grand of the Tern GSD S10 that I’d nearly vowed not to approach.
The main reason I felt dismayed over the Tern GSD S10 was primarily because of its 20-mile average as opposed to the 25 to a 30-mile average of the Shorty. That 10 miles is night and day.
The Shorty hits this average distance while hauling a good chunk of its near-half ton load capacity. That Bosch Active Line Plus motor works.
The Bosch ALP motor is the basic motor you can choose to ship your Shorty with, has 45 Nm torque, and comes with a 400 Wh battery. It’s best for being used on reasonably flat city roads with medium loads for the best performance.
The following two available motors you can choose from are the heavy-duty Bosch Performance Line and Bosch Cargo Line. I’m familiar with both, and I can fully vouch that the 60 Nm torque on the Performance Line proved more than enough on more normal-looking electric bikes.
I haven’t seen the Cargo Line motor on too many bikes that aren’t meant for some serious cargo hauling on and up mountainous city streets. Like the rest of the Bosch line, 75 Nm torque is much better used than on any other motor in the industry.
I looked at the Shorty with the Bosch Active Line Plus motor and haven’t seen any disappointing reviews. The Shimano disc brakes might not match the price, but they match the quality. They are robust and responsive, just as they should be on a machine you’ll trust with your stomach and family.
The Shorty also has the option of dual battery expansion, which effectively doubles the range. Having a dual battery setup will set you back a pretty penny, but it’ll prove helpful during the 6-hour charging time of each battery. Since you could potentially always have a charged battery if you split the workload.
Besides the massive asking price of the Shorty, the only other issue that kept coming up was the enormous width of the bike. Because of that lockable front loader, cruising your 15 mph on bike lanes might prove challenging.
4. Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch
The Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch is as fun to use as the name is fun to say. This long-tail has proven to be a genuine car replacement for many families, and I fully agree. At around $5,000 with son accessories added on, I'm not as worked up by the price.
Unlike other electric cargo bikes that I won't call out anymore, that asking price will give you a purchase that includes all the solid amenities you’d usually have to still add one on similarly specced cargo bikes at this price.
The stem doesn’t enjoy the same level of adjustability as Riese & Muller Load 60 Touring HS. However, the quick-release lever-operated seat allows the ride to accommodate riders between 5 feet and 6 feet 5 inches. Riders around the 6-foot league don’t seem to suffer as much as I thought they would.
Yuba has made this hauler relatively light at 60 pounds while contending with much heavier bikes with its 440-pound loading capacity. I found that Yuba reports the 35.43-inch long rear rack capable of carrying an excellent 330-pound load, which is way more than I’ve ever needed from a cargo bike.
The 6061 aluminum frame doesn’t show flex even under considerable load and is stiff enough to help with those hard turns. It also works well with the Schwalbe Big Apple Plus 26x2.15 inch front and 20x2.00 inch rear tires to deliver some formidable comfort.
You seem to lose a bit of comfort when you load up the bike because you then have to run the rear tires with higher pressure, leaving you wide open to take all the knocks and punches from rundown roads.
The motor doesn’t disappoint with the Bosch Performace CX 250W paired with Bosch’s 36V Powerpack 400 battery. In the best conditions, lowest assistance, and with no load, the battery can give you a range of 80 plus miles. However, I found that you’ll probably get about 20 to 30 miles if you put the bike to work.
The motor also has a user-mode that lets you run the motor at the lowest power possible to help you push the bike up ramps. I wasn’t disappointed with the Shimano M396 hydraulic, which continued to prove itself to testers and reviewers with Shimano’s superb stopping performance.
You won’t find yourself in want with the 10-speed Shimano Deore SL-M610 trigger shifter. Although the KMC X10e chain is one of the longest on any bike, it performs smoothly. The guide does help keep it in line, and I only found one or two instances where the guide failed or the long-chain started causing rubbing noise.
The Shimano 11-32T cassette marries well with the Spicy Curry’s Samox 170mm 20t crankset. You won’t be getting extremely low or high gears, but you will be getting more than you’ll probably need for your grocery runs.
5. Yuba Boda Boda
Another Yuba bike exclusive, the Boda Boda long-tail electric bike, had me going huba-huba. I’m sorry, I had to say that. The names Yuba comes up with deserve the most parent energy I can muster.
Starting at a considerable $3,800, the Boda Boda (so fun to say) is not the cheapest option out there. But it is the closest price to the more affordable Schwinn Meridian Electric cargo tricycle.
I was going to add the Meridian as an honorable mention, but I might as well go on a tangent now. The Meridian is a stellar tricycle that sells for under a thousand bucks for the non-electric version and sits comfortably under three grand once you outfit it with an electric conversion kit. Okay, back to the Boda Boda (bliss).
The bike comes in a step-through and step-over version, with the former accommodating the less vertically-inclined riders of 4.9 feet to 5.10 feet and the former 5.5 to 6.5 feet.
The aluminum frame is as reasonable as any other frame from Yuba’s line and provides matching quality to their Spicy Curry. Although the 220-pound load capacity doesn’t contend with the 440 pounds of their Supermaché front loader, it is plenty for grocery runs or school drop-offs.
The Boda Boda is also on the lighter side of cargo bikes at 60 pounds and just under 80 pounds with accessories, although it still isn’t light. Yuba has well-utilized the E6000 Shimano Steps mid-drive motor because the 250 W motor can work when needed.
Few hills will damper your errand runs with 60 Nm torque at your beck and call. The 9-speed Shimano Altus components with the Shadow derailleur also work exceptionally well if you choose not to use any of the three assistance levels.
Unlike the much costlier Riese & Muller Load 60 Touring HS, the Boda Boda’s E6000 Shimano Steps has automatic downshifting, which gets you into a lower gear for a more leisurely start from rest.
The Tektro Vela hydraulic disc brakes may be entry-level components, but they are worth their weight in braking power. They provide exceptional braking power and are easy to adjust and maintain.
Not to mention that the 36V 418 Wh battery provides some insane range. With some testers reporting between 50 and 90 miles. It is safe to assume about 25 to 35 miles loaded up.
6. Surly Big Easy
Surly Big Easy is a monster long-tail hauler. Possibly my favorite electric cargo bike entry here. The double-butted 4130 Chromoly steel frameset is built to tank a nuke and made me realize that all bikes weighing near or over, Big Easy’s 67.4 pounds, should consider going back in time and using steel.
Although this is a rigid suspension bike, the generous Surly ExtraTerrestrial 26x2.5" tires, sitting on some formidable WTB ST i29 tubeless-ready mountain bike rims, pair well with the vibration-absorbent frame to provide smooth-sailing all-day.
The Cane Creek ViscoSet headset also provides noticeable stabilization and some dampening. The Tektro Orion 4 Piston HD-M745 disc brakes provide note-worthy braking and modulation to match the all-day use in wet and dry conditions.
The Big Easy only starts to falter when you look at the single kickstand instead of the double kickstand you find on similar cargo bikes. The next big has to be the base $5,249 price.
That’s on the higher end of asking prices, considering that this is before you accessorize with a front rack and fenders. Integrated lights and fenders shouldn’t be an afterthought when nearly all competitors consider it a given.
Fortunately, the mid-drive Bosch Performance CX motor makes up for most of the bike’s few shortcomings. The 250 W motor drives like a 500 W and bounds over hills relatively quickly when you engage the motor’s Turbo mode.
The Bosch Purion display lets you intuitively toggle through the four electric assistance modes and view where the Bosch PowerPack 500 battery is sitting. If you aren’t satisfied with the 500 Wh battery, you can double it… for a hefty $800 plus sum, of course.
The Big Easy already does quite well with the single battery, with its range averaging about 40 miles while hauling a reasonable fraction of the 200 pounds of maximum load. To decorate our Big Easy lexical gallery, the SunRace CSMS7 11-47t cassette has lovely stepping between gears and regresses the 11-speed SRAM NX shifters.
7. Tern HSD S8i
Tern’s HSD S8i is the more economical sibling of the Tern GSD S10. It retains the reliability and usefulness of the GSD line at nearly half the price: $3,799. The Bosch Active Line Plus (Gen3) motor continues to deliver the goods from its dynamite package of 250 W.
It’s canon in the universe of electric cargo bikes that what Bosch rates their motors as almost always double what they can deliver.
The bike shows one of the more affordable options on this list with the Bosch PowerPack 400. The 400 Wh battery setup isn’t upgradable, but it still manages to push out 26 to 69 miles in range.
The Bosch Purion display lets you effortlessly toggle between the four assistance modes and even a walk assistance mode. Like all the battery systems on the bikes I’ve listed, you can remove the battery for easy charging.
You can also charge it while on the bike or with a babysitter on the rear rack if you enjoy needless toil. The battery also has a lock and uses the same key as the included ABUS 5650L tire lock for a seamless security experience.
The HSD S8i also has adequate integrated light and some stainless steel fenders. The gates system drivetrain makes the complete set look even more premium than it already looks.
Not to mention that you enjoy the stir ability of the entire Tern bike range by being able to fold and carry the 56-pound hauler quickly. The Shimano components and accommodating saddle and stem sealed the deal for these limbs of mine.
8. Riese & Müller Load 60 Touring HS
I’ll be honest, the Load 60 Touring HS is meant to be a full-on mini-van replacement. Everything from the astronomical price of $10,029 to the large front loader.
The bike has a low center of gravity, so you don’t have to worry too much about mounting it and getting it to stay upright. The Schwalbe SmartSam 20x3.5”, my first plushly problem, supports front and 20x2.5” rear tire comfort and dual suspension.
Don’t get me wrong, the suspension works fine, but I didn’t expect the entry to mid-level shocks they have for the bike price. The front of the loading bucket has Suntour Mobie A32 coil shocks with 70 mm of travel while X-Fusion Glyde shocks smooth out the rear. Again, they work fine despite my saltiness.
The beautiful aluminum frame of the bike is super sturdy and doesn’t look like it would immediately get damaged if you were to drop the 80.7-pound machine accidentally.
The Bosch PowerPack 500 Performance battery is upgradeable to two times the power of 1000 Wh. However, a single battery can do anywhere from 25 to 55 miles, and the dual battery setup can do around twice as much mileage.
This means that on your way to the grocery store, you aren’t draining as much power as on your way back, but the bike can handle loads of up to 440 pounds on your back trip.
If you opt to save a bit of money, the stock Bosch Intuvia display should be more than enough. All the data and metrics are adequately illuminated in most lighting conditions, and it easily lets you toggle between the motor’s computer modes: Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo.
The Bosch Cargo Line Speed (Gen4) motor gives you all the assistance you’ll need, 25 mph, up even challenging city slopes (review link) without much trouble. However, the motor doesn’t have automatic downshifting, which is an incredible pain on any electric bike.
Fortunately, the 11-speed Shimano XT Linkglide drivetrain delivers smooth and easy shifting. The FSA/Riese & Müller crankset and 11-50 cassette are good for most daily situations.
The Selle Royal New Lookin Evo R&M saddle provides good comfort while looking good. Adjusting the stem height and angle with the saddle height is beneficial for different-sized riders.
The Tektro TRP C 2.3 disc brakes show no hesitation in bringing the machine to a halting stop which is a legitimate worry on such a heavy machine.
The bike also has all the flares you’d want on such a hefty investment, including solid Supernova front and rear lights, premium mudguards, a sturdy kickstand, and an integrated wheel lock. A bunch more amenities come standard and even more optional addendums.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson