I’ve recently transferred from using a longtail cargo bicycle to a normal sized bike with a trailer. Why?
- I simply was not hauling as much stuff as I thought I would.
- Cargo bikes are darn heavy and frustrating to pedal around when “dry”. You spend your whole time thinking, why am I pedaling this heavy, EMPTY bicycle?
- The child carrying options are less than ideal.
It was this last reason that really pushed me to sell off Kona’s Electric Ute and purchase a used electric bicycle from a friend (home-built eZee kit on a mid-range Marin). My eight year old is now too big to be riding jockey-style on the back deck of the longtail. He wanted to (and needs to) be able to help with the pedaling.
We were able to sell the Electric Ute for more than the used Marin. We invested that extra cash in a Weehoo. Great trailer, but sorely in need of a fender. We added our own, as well as home-made extensions to the Marin’s fenders, and now my kids are riding in back, mud-free and full of laughter. They love this thing.
Between the Weehoo and the Wike DIY trailer, I’m able to haul the same capacity of my old cargo bike, but in a more stable and comfortable manner.
The Down Low Glows look awesome on the front forks. I regularly get compliments about them, including many drivers at stop signs telling me thanks for using them.
And said hello to my new Electric Ute, the official new electric cargo bike from Kona. First impressions:
- I like the pedal assist system (PAS). No more throttle, just a semi-smart computer that sense when you need assistance. It guesses correctly 80% of the time, which is a good enough trade off for me. I like the simplified setup of no throttle.
- The PAS takes a bit to get used to if you are coming off a throttle experience, as you feel a definite lack of exact control for the timing of the power output. If you are coming from a normal bike experience, you’ll be thrilled the first time the PAS kicks in.
- Great battery life (boy, I hope this continues). Made two trips back/forth to town on a single charge, with ample charge left.
- Recharging is simple. With the lousy eZee kit, you really had to remove the entire battery to take to the recharger. On the Electric Ute, the battery stay in place and you simply plug in a cord from the wall.
- The architecture is almost identical to the original Ute, just ~ 2CM taller. I’ll have to make slight tweaks to my stoker bars for my seven year old, but that’s it.
Highly recommended as a car replacement vehicle.