Pedego Stretch E-cargo Bike—The Strong, Silent Type.
We all have that favorite movie actor who would be the best sidekick, tough, yet mild mannered on a daily basis. The Pedego Stretch may not be a star (yet), but having one in your life could be awesome. I was lucky enough to get one of the first run models of this brand-new electric-assist cargo bike. I let it star in my own personal movie for several weeks. I must say it was a great production that will stay in my mind like the best classic movies do.
Three colors can grace the extra strong aluminum frame (black, green or red). Mine was in the brightest flame red you can imagine. I think the color might have been part of why it drew so much attention, but much had to do with the appeal cargo bikes are getting nowadays. Many are using them as car replacements, yet most of those had already abandoned their cars. Either way, I like to think of them as lifestyle supplements. A bike like this can give you so much help and happiness as the months go by.
Cargo bikes are designed to carry a load, whether it be your kids, shopping or? The more weight you load on-board, the harder it will be to pedal the bike, especially as you hit the hills. That is why adding the electric-assist is so popular. Pedego isn’t the first (or last) to do this, but they really hit the price point well and make a bike that is as smooth as silk. The way E-bike control systems work is a big deal for me and I am happy to report this one is spot on (watch the video below).
There are many cool features you will find on the Stretch, like the powered USB port for your phone and audio. The versatility of the racks and footboards is very well thought out. It takes more than a couple minutes, but the different positions can really help tailor the bike to your specific needs. I got a chance to test this out when one of our friends came to a group ride planning on meeting us at our dinner destination by car. Her knee was acting up so she had decided not to ride with the group. No problem, a make-shift seat and backrest pad—and we were off for the best of times.
Riding with her on the back took a bit more attention to bike control, but was fully doable. I did lower the seat some so I had better stability at the stops, and while she was getting on and off. The bike is listed at being able to handle 400 lbs. We were still below that with room for more. The 24” tires are big balloon types and the spokes are as beefy as they get. The slightly smaller than normal tires help keep the rear deck height lower for better balance and more room for your load.
One drawback of the ultra-firm frame can be a stiff ride on the rough stuff. You can lower the tire pressure some to smooth it out. Make sure to not go too low, especially when you are loaded down quite a bit. On most normal roads and pathways the bike rode really smooth, yet the big hits do catch your attention. I am glad they kept the bike simple without front or rear suspension. Although suspension can be nice, they can be weak and very maintenance needy. I would rather count on the suspension seat post (and plush saddle) for some comfort, than have the risky and heavy suspension on the bike.
The control panel on the handle bars is close at hand for safety when setting the pedelec power modes. The bar height and angle is quickly adjusted with the strong multi adjustor mechanism. The Pedego Stretch will fit a wide range of people as the saddle can go very high and low, with the bars matching that easily. I enjoyed the very upright seating position, even with my over 6 foot frame. The throttle is on the right near the shifter for the 7-speed drivetrain. Backlighting on the LCD panel comes on with the front and rear lights, that get their power from the bike’s motor battery. The lights work well for basic rides, yet out on the open road some add-ons are a good idea.
Speaking of add-ons, I really went to town on this E-cargo bike. I started out with the Pedego branded saddle bag and handlebar bag I had from a previous test. My ABUS Bordo 6500 Plus lock was a given. From there I added all kinds of cool lights on the bars, in the wheels and on the frame. Even my ORP Smart Horn found a place on up front. With each nighttime ride (and there were many), I was sure that I could see and was fully being seen. Many commented “What a cool bike” because of the lights, yet had no real idea just how cool this Pedego Stretch E-cargo bike really is.
The bike I tested had the 17 Ah extended range battery. With so many wanting to make sure they don’t run out of power on a ride, these larger capacity batteries continue to get more popular. I cruised this downtown and beyond many a time. For most, the battery will outlast your ride length desire a couple times over. I did a couple 50 milers on one charge each with no problem. With the weight of this particular bike, you do want to make sure to not outride the battery, as normal pedaling can be quite strenuous. You do add maybe 50 percent of the power with your legs most of the time, but 100 percent would be worth avoiding if you can. Not that the bike doesn’t ride ok without the power, it is just one beefy, heavy bike.
I do recommend watching the video I did explaining the power control system and its use. I could go into details here, but won’t. I will say the soft-start is wonderful. On any E-bike you don’t want it to take off abruptly, but when your precious cargo is part of the journey (kids?), you want nothing but smooth. Plenty of climbing power is another feature of the Pedego Stretch, although with their reputation, you probably figured that out for yourself. And from stem to stern, you get a strong, silent ride anywhere you go. What a great sidekick.
Yup, I liked it, maybe you will too, Turbo Bob.
“I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things.”—Lech Walesa.
Pedego shops are around world-wide. You can find them on the web and Facebook.
Just some of the videos I posted on the Pedego Stretch.