The launch by Riese & Müller of their Packster 80 Cargobike shows that the growth in e-bikes in mainland Europe is also in the cargo bike area.
Germany in particular has a very vocal call for an “Energiewende” or change in how energy is supplied and used, with not just a move away from carbon fuels to produce energy but also towards greener methods of transport. Enter the cargo bike and, as loads increase, the e-cargo bike.Image: Riese & Müller
Riese & Müller already produce a Packster 40 and a Packster 60, with the digits representing the length of the load platform, so the Packster 80 Cargobike has an 80 cm long load space. This can be configured in various ways, to have – for example – seating for 2 children up to about 8 years old for the school run, a platform, or “box”.
As a cargo carrier, the Packster 80 Cargobike can accommodate two Systainer boxes of the standard 60 cm x 40 cm Euro-pallet size (for instance, Tanos or UTZ Rako) – which is equivalent to four crates of beer! The permitted overall weight is 200 kg.
For quick changes of riders, so different members of the family can do the school run, or different employees can transport loads – and different buddies can take it in turns to bring the 4 crates of beer! – the stem and saddle post can be rapidly adjusted to a range of preset positions to make it comfortable to ride.
A smartphone can be docked on the handlebars. The Bosch Smartphone Hub transforms your smartphone into a display and communication system which combines intelligent navigation, fitness data and much more. It is convenient and reliable to operate using buttons on the handlebar or voice control. Your smartphone is automatically charged during your trip. But it also works without a mobile phone: in that case an integrated display shows key riding data.
The base model, the Packster 80 Touring, has Shimano Deore 10-speed derailleur gear, Tektro Auriga Comp, hydraulic disk brakes and 20” Schwalbe Big Ben Plus front tyre and 27.5” Schwalbe Super Moto-X rear tyre. This is equipped with the Bosch Performance Line CX (Gen2) and is priced from £4479.
The Packster 80 Touring HS model has the same spec, apart from an upgrade to the Bosch Performance Line Speed (Gen2) model, coming in at £5039.
You can replace the Shimano Deore 10 speed derailleur with an Enviolo 380 R&M Custom, continuous hub gear and belt drive as a different Packster 80 configuration, which changes the price to £4939 and £5499 respectively for the “standard” Bosch unit and the high speed versions.
Adding weatherproof and waterproof wooden boards for flexible transport tasks adds £94 to the base configuration. With these it is possible to securely lash down large bags, stack crates of drinks, cardboard boxes and much more. Going the “box” route adds £233. This provides a large cargo surface with side walls for secure transport. There is space for two standard-sized 60 x 40 cm stacking boxes next to each other. Weather and water resistant and robust. Can be combined with child seats and tarpaulin.
Just a tarpaulin is £94. Two child seats with seat belts come in at £187. These two together can be purchased for a slightly reduced bundle price of £280. There is also a “child cover” at £327, which keeps rain, dirt and stones away from your most precious cargo. The practical partial opening function lets you transport your child or children protected yet pleasantly cool in summer.
And, just in case the load capacity of the Packster 80 is not enough for you, you can add a rack above the rear wheel for £122 so you can add paniers etc.
Riese & Müller is a quality brand but these are quality prices and you have to be truly committed to reducing congestion and emissions to opt for a bike which costs as much as some 2nd hand cars. What we really need alongside this is an initiative, such as in the Netherlands, with subsidies and incentives to buy e-bikes.