What would it take to get Americans out of their cars and SUVs and onto a bike? That’s the big question a lot of cities and towns would love to figure out. Maybe an easy-to-pedal, upright riding, huge storage capacity machine is the answer? Something like Urban Arrow’s Family or Tender models could be a very good start.
Buckle up, kids! Russell Eich / Immediate Media
Urban Arrow comes from the Netherlands, a place where people love their bikes. Men, women, kids, everyone uses bikes for nearly everything. How? Well, the bikes aren’t the typical double diamond standard road bike, they’re often a style called bakfiets.
A bakfiet bike has a regular rear end with a normal size wheel and the drivetrain, however the front end that’s a step away from the norm. On the front bakfiets can have a flat platform, giant cargo bed, seats for kids or any variation between the handlebars and the much smaller front wheel. They have longer wheelbases and a much more utilitarian feel.
Urban Arrow versatility
While it was interesting to see and ride the Urban Arrow e-cargo bike, sadly there was only two on display. I say sadly because the Dutch company offers a unique range of setups.
The Urban Arrow e-bike can be configured with short, medium and long front ends Russell Eich / Immediate Media
The huge range of configurations are replete with different wheelbases, cargo capabilities, child seat options, and weather protection. The weight carrying capacity seems impressive with the long-wheelbase Family model able to carry 125kg (275lbs) and the Tender cargo models able to haul 300kg (661lbs)!
Bosch powered with Nuvinci gearing
Thankfully, the Urban Arrows are electric. There’s two main reasons for this: first, they’re quite heavy even unloaded. The white one above weighs 43kg (95lbs). Second, the riding position is very relaxed with high handlebars and forward cranks. That’s fine for cruising but for putting the power down isn’t the best.
Power is supplied by a Bosch motor. Even empty, these things aren’t light, you’re gonna need it Russell Eich / Immediate Media
Gear ratios are supplied by a Nuvinci internal hub. It’s not a geared, stepped system per se with defined ratios. It relies on a simple grip shifter that seamlessly rotates spheres in a special fluid inside the rear hub to provide a 380% gear range.
Urban Arrow pricing
Urban Arrow’s Family, the white bike as configured in the gallery above, retails at $5,950. That includes a 400Wh Bosch Performance motor, Nuvinci N380 transmission and Shimano hydraulic discs.