Biruni Nantucket E-cargo Bike—Fresh Style and Dependable Transportation.
The word on the streets is that cargo bikes are taking over. And for many when hauling the goods you need an electric-assist to get motivated. Whether you need the help of a motor or not, having it there when you do can make the ride that much more enjoyable and meaningful. Let’s see how this bike can change your mind about riding with a load.
I had heard about this new E-bike in a few circles, but got my first peek at Interbike this year. Meeting the designer and seeing what it offers took much of one pleasant evening there. I didn’t get a chance to saddle-up then, but this baby has been spending the nights in my garage for the last couple weeks or so. Although this particular bike is a pre-production prototype, I am really liking the ride and utility it delivers.
This Biruni E-cargo bike is not as fully stretched as some cargo bikes you might see out on the street. That makes it more maneuverable and easier to move about by car or on public transportation. The racks are large and the optional fold-down panels for the rear can increase its carrying potential. This bike is styled out to match-up with some classic Nantucket baskets for a look that’s hard to beat. It is speced out nicely and has the power to move you out.
The lightweight aluminum frame is matched up to a solid Cro-moly fork. You may notice the frame is designed a little different than most, the result of much thought and insight for riding comfort and strength. The side view photos just don’t begin to do justice to the lines and flow of the bike. Some time in person is all it takes to get a feel for the special personality that this bike extrudes.
With a somewhat popular (nowadays) 500 watts of rear-motored power, it has enough juice to help you up the hills and brave most any headwind. Being a direct-drive motor, it is nearly silent and really comes into its own above 10 mph. It has a dual-control system that integrates a pedelec and hand throttle for motor control. Even though the prototype I’m riding is set in an experimental mode, I am assured that the production models (on sales floors now) work in the way I like.
That means you get a automatic pedelec function with at least five power levels and an off setting, (selected from a small switch panel next to the display unit). Plus the half hand throttle will work to full power whenever you feel the need to operate the bike in that manner. Speaking of the display panel, it is a sleek unit that seems new. I haven’t seen this piece on other bikes and it has more functions than most in this class of E-bikes. It is just one more up-scale item this bike shows off.
Sporting a 36 volt high capacity battery mounted mid-frame, it helps to balance out the bike and extend your ride time. I also saw another prototype with a longer frame and a pair of batteries that can really help you haul the mail for longer rides than your derriere might be able to tolerate. I do believe that E-cargo bike will be out soon. This (the Nantucket) bike might be better suited for most, but others will be desiring the stretched dual-battery Biruni.
The ride is nice with some over-sized balloon tires and a set of beefy rims. The seat post suspension is topped off with a comfortable saddle that matches the color combo cleanly. The brown tires do the same. When you check the Biruni website you can see they offer this E-cargo bike in other colors too. As this company is just ramping-up, they will be sure to make a wider variety of bikes, options and shades before too long.
With a 17 inch frame and a fairly long cockpit, Biruni gives it a chance to fit many rider’s frames correctly. The moustache like bars feel good and match my riding style fairly well. I got word that a shorter cockpit is available too, making for a bike that will allow for a more up-right seating position, something that I personally strive for. I would like to see them put out this E-cargo bike in a few frame sizes so every rider can find the Biruni that fits them perfectly.
One thing I always check on an E-bike is how they ride with the power turned off. The drive-train, weight and other factors can affect this and I found the Biruni Nantucket to feel much like any other bicycle when just pedaling (a little heavier to be sure, but that is the nature of E-bikes). Some quality pieces and bearings match well with the 8-speed Shimano gearset to give a ride that pleases whether you are taking advantage of the electric-assist or not.
I think I heard that different braking options will be on the list for the production models, yet I found the disc brakes on my bike to work fine and couldn’t fault them. If you are really planning on maxing out the load capacity then having the best brakes available does make sense to me. During all my rides I never really put too much weight on-board, yet I did run on some fairly steep hills that the power system and brakes breezed through with no problems.
Riding the Biruni Nantucket has been fun. It catches plenty of notice and each person has their own take on what they would haul with it. We have a few friends with cargo bikes and I can barely remember how many times (when on rides with kegs, gear or a barbeque on-board) that they said how much nicer their bikes would be if they had an electric-assist like the bikes Barbara and I were riding at the time. With a bike like this they could be living the high-life too. E-bikes have their place and the more you carry the better they look.
So what could you carry on a E-cargo bike? A couple kids—easy. All your groceries—even easier. Those kids and the groceries—it would be a breeze. I see photos on-line often of people moving furniture and other bulky items with cargo bikes. I guess the limits of what you can carry are close to limitless. I wish I had this bike longer to fully realize all it could do for me.
Park the car and ride? On the Nantucket it’s all possible, Turbo Bob.
“If I can bicycle, I bicycle.”—David Attenborough, British broadcaster and naturalist.
You can view the Biruni website with this link
Here is a video I posted on this E-cargo bike
One shop that I know that is offering the Biruni and has them on the sales floor is Blue Monkey Bicycles in Utah. Here is a link to their FB page.