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A glimpse of the market figures
currently conjures up a gentle smile on the face of many a bike manufacturer. But where the producers
of cargo bikes are concerned, the smile turns into a broad grin. The sales figures for
cargo bikes are simply soaring, particularly for those models where an electric
motor is propelling bike, rider and load. During the Eurobike trade fair from 4 to 7 September,
practically all the relevant market participants will be represented with their
forthcoming models for the 2020 season. The Eurobike Academy program also reflects the trend theme.
“In 2012, when we were one of the
first manufacturers to have an e-cargo bike in our model range, there was still
no discernible growth market for many people. Since then a lot has
happened. As we offer the right cargo bike for every
application, we are recording a high rise in our sales for the cargo segment
every year”, reports Jörg Lange, Head of Communication at the German premium
producer Riese und Müller.
The bike manufacturer from just
south of Darmstadt is by no means a one-off in the German market.
In 2018, the German Cycle Industry
Association (ZIV) included cargo bikes as a separate category in its market
figures for the first time and instantly recorded a market share of 4 per cent
for this segment within the e-bike market. This corresponds to sales of some 40,000 e-cargo bikes
in Germany, which typically range in price from 4,000 to 8,000 euros.
“According to our observations,
cargo bikes, particularly those with an electric drive, are one of the fastest
growing product categories in the German bike market”, reports ZIV spokesman
The steep growth curve of the cargo
segment can also be charted on the exhibition stage of Eurobike, as the leading
international fair for the bike market: for most of the bike producers among the more than
1400 exhibitors, the cargo bike in its many very different forms has been an
obvious part of the model range for some time now. And then there are the specialists in the cargo
segment as well, who are not only pioneers of this new movement but, with their
innovations and individual solutions, are frequently important trendsetters,
A large number of the special
suppliers at Eurobike are located in Hall A1 of Messe Friedrichshafen and, at
32 exhibitors, their number is again significantly up on the previous year
(last year: 24 exhibitors). This is where visitors to the fair will find some of
the prominent pioneers from the Netherlands and Denmark, the trailblazing
countries in the cargo segment: names such as Urban Arrow and Winther Bikes,
but also newcomers to the market like the start-up A-N.T., which was founded
under the umbrella of the ZEG retailers’ association and mainly targets
municipal and commercial users with its products.
Alongside such heavy-duty
cargo bikes for professional use and family carriers with up to three child
seats, the trend in the cargo segment is also towards the more compact
representatives of their kind, which, with their comparatively short wheelbase,
provide an answer to parking problems in the urban environment.
example is the new model Cargo N3.8 ZR from compact bike specialist i:SY, which
exhibits all the design features of a Long John (i.e. with the loading space in
front of the rider) with a length of just under two metres.
Those at Eurobike in search of an
even more compact cargo bike will strike lucky at the exhibition stand of
folding bike specialist Tern. Its new HSD model is of the type known as longtail,
namely a cargo bike with an extended stern for transporting luggage.
Nevertheless, the dimensions are so
compact that the bike can even be stored in confined living spaces.
Particularly so – and this is where
the folding bike DNA of Tern comes to the fore – because the handlebars can
simply be folded over, the seatpost lowered and the entire bike upended and
stored on its rear wheel.
And on the subject of folding:
included in the exhibition package
of the Frankfurt-based start-up Convercycle is a cargo bike that can actually
be folded together to produce a bike with normal dimensions.
“The roots of Eurobike in the early nineties lie in what was then the young MTB segment, which at the first Eurobike events openly expressed its unbridled desire for innovation and frequently some unconventional solutions as well. In many aspects, the cargo segment is reminiscent of the atmosphere of change at that time. Here too there are many very innovative players in the market who initially started on a small scale with a product that has now developed thoroughly successfully beyond the niche. We are delighted that, through Eurobike, we are able to offer the cargo bike scene the international and prominent stage that this exciting market segment deserves”, says Eurobike Show Director Dirk Heidrich.
For personal, everyday use, the new compact cargo bikes are an
exciting development. Three-wheel models with tilt technology and cargo-bike
sharing continue to make advances. In 2018 the trade show presented the diversity
and dynamism of these bicycles for the first time in a dedicated zone. In 2019,
the Cargo Area will once again be featuring the latest models and trends.