Urban Arrow Family Cargo E-Bike Review 2024

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In early 2023, Jody and I were debating which style of cargo e-bike to purchase. Did we want the Bakfiets style popular in the Netherlands and Europe, which has a big cargo bin in front, or did we want the longtail style with the rear bench for kids? The Bakfiets models were much more expensive, but we leaned towards that style for its greater cargo capacity. However, we then found out that we were expecting our third child, which gave us the push to get the bigger Bakfiets e-bike. After considering the Riese & Muller Load 70 and Urban Arrow Family models, we ultimately selected the Urban Arrow Family.

As I reflect back on the past 9 months that we’ve owned the Urban Arrow, I can confidently say that it has been a great addition to how our family gets around the Seattle area, whether in the warm summer months or rainy winter. It has been fantastic. I have ridden over 750 miles on our Urban Arrow Family and in this post, I will walk you through what I like about it and where it falls short. So, let’s get to it.

Key e-bike details


  • Model Reviewed: Family Cargo Line
  • Base Price: $6,999
  • Class: 1
  • Max Speed: 20 mph
  • Estimated Range: Up to 30 miles
  • Weight: 110 lbs

Motor & Electronics

  • Motor: Bosch Cargo Line
  • Torque: 85 Nm
  • Motor location: Mid-drive
  • Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500
  • PAS Sensor: Torque
  • Throttle: No
  • Display: Bosch KIOX


  • Brakes: Magura CMe Hydraulic disc
  • Drivetrain: Enviolo Heavy Duty with Gates Carbon Belt
  • Belt Drive: Yes
  • Tires: Schwable


  • Recommended Rider Height: not given
  • Max Rider Weight: 275 lbs
  • Payload Capacity: 550 lbs

What we like about it

  • Interactive Riding Experience: One of the main reasons we purchased an Urban Arrow instead of a rear bench style cargo like the Tern is that the front bucket design allows for a more engaging ride with kids. The design offers a 180-degree view for children to see the world. Watching their interactions with each other and the world enhances the riding experience.
  • Substantial Cargo Space: With dimensions of 31 inches in length and 22 inches in width, the cargo bin comfortably fits two toddlers and two grocery bags. The option to add a third seat to the front cargo area is a nice bonus for larger families.
  • Smooth Pedaling and Gear Selection: The Bosch Cargo Line motor combined with the Gates Carbon Belt Drive offers a smooth and quiet pedaling experience. The Enviolo shifter, has no fixed gears, giving you a good selection of gear ratios for most gradients.
  • High quality components: At it’s high price point you expect high quality components, such as brakes, integrated lights, etc and the Urban Arrow doesn’t disappoint. I’ve ridden ours more than 700 miles and haven’t had any issues with anything on the e-bike. It’s solid and well built.
  • Excellent rain cover: The $400 rain cover is a worthy investment, especially in cold or rainy conditions, as it effectively shields the kids from wind and rain. The optional poncho integration is a thoughtful addition for rider comfort.
  • Car replacement: With a base price of $6,999, plus additional costs for essential accessories like the rain cover, it’s a significant investment. We viewed the purchase as a car replacement, owning the Urban Arrow has made it possible for us to stick to only one car, despite having three kids with a variety of activities. I should get a sticker for it that says: “one less minivan!”

Where it falls short

  • Lack of Front Suspension: The absence of front suspension means every bump is felt, which can be uncomfortable, especially if I hit a big pothole. The lack of suspension means you have to remain vigilant as you ride so as to avoid big bumps otherwise you’ll have the kids bouncing around in the front bucket.
  • Limited Battery Range: While it’s advertised as having a range of 30 miles, I’ve found the actual battery range is closer to 12 miles when used on turbo mode. Some bike shops offer a dual battery upgrade — I was quoted about $2k — and I regret not adding that when I purchased the e-bike. That said, I believe I can upgrade from the Bosch Powerpack 500 battery to the 725 which will give me a ~45% increase in range, plus the 500 as a spare for a pinch.
  • Curved Handlebar Design: The curved handlebars might not be comfortable for all riders. When I place my hands on the grips, it causes my wrists to be at an awkward angle. A flatter handlebar could have offered a more universally comfortable riding position. I’m planning to swap it out for something else.
  • Limited gear range: The Enviolo shifter has a narrower gearing range compared to a traditional cassette. This difference becomes noticeable primarily on very steep grades with gradients of 15% or higher.

Watch our Youtube review

In-depth review

The primary reason we selected the Bakfiets style was to have a large cargo bin that could easily accommodate three kids. The cargo bin of the Urban Arrow Family is 31 inches long and 22 inches wide, making it suitable for two toddlers and two bags of groceries.

However, it should be noted that the kids are shoulder to shoulder without much room to lean left or right. This arrangement is fine for their current ages (1.5 yrs and 3.5 yrs), but as they grow older, they may desire more shoulder space.

To convert it into a 3 seater, an optional fold-down seat can be purchased. However, this will significantly reduce the cargo space. When our youngest is ready to ride along and we switch to the 3 seat configuration, I plan to attach some panniers to the rear rack. This will allow me to carry the kids and some groceries without worrying about the kids crushing the eggs while we ride.

They enjoy waving to other cyclists on the bike paths, and we often receive big smiles and waves in return. Observing their interactions with each other and the world has truly enhanced my riding experience.

One unexpected benefit of having the kids up front is that it creates a much more interactive riding experience. They have a close to 180-degree view of the neighborhood, unlike when sitting at the rear of the e-bike where they mostly see my back. I have been able to point things out to them and have conversations about what they are seeing.

Plus, with them in the big cargo bin, I don’t mind letting them hold a toy or eat a snack because unlike a bench seat e-bike, if they drop it it just falls into the cargo bin to be retrieved later. You can also have some fun with the bin, like this time that I filled it with some balls.

left photo is of 3 bags of groceries in the Urban Arrow cargo bin, right photo is of the cargo bin filled with bounce house balls around a toddler

At its price point, you would expect high-quality components, and Urban Arrow does not disappoint. The Bosch Cargo Line motor provides excellent power, making it relatively easy to tackle steep grades. While it may not have a high top speed, it has enough torque (80 Nm) to handle heavy loads uphill. I’ve been very happy with the torque this thing has. It became very apparent to me on a trip when the battery died and I had to pedal it up a hill with 8% grade and it was very challenging due to how heavy the bike is.

a closeup of the Bosch CargoLine motor on the Urban Arrow Family

The combination of the Gates carbon belt and Bosch motor results in a smooth and quiet pedaling experience.

closeup of the belt drive of the Urban Arrow Family

The brakes are also of high quality, as I recently tested them on wet leaves while going at about 15 mph. The e-bike came to a quick stop without skidding, which I was very happy with.

It also comes with integrated front and rear lights that are nice and strong. I love integrated lights because I often forget to charge lights and find them dying halfway through my commute.

the integrated front and rear lights of the Urban Arrow Family

I have ridden 750 miles and have had no issues with any of the components. Everything has performed admirably.

I recommend opting for their rain cover if you plan to ride in inclement weather. They offer two different versions, and I went with the premium one which is larger and provides more headroom for the kids inside. It has been great and has allowed me to ride on more days, as the kids stay perfectly bundled up in the cargo bin while I get soaked above. In hindsight, I should have purchased the rain poncho that Urban Arrow offers. Riding behind the rain cover made me realize how nice it would be to have an extended rain cover for myself. That way, I can wear normal street clothes underneath and not have to wear rain pants, boots, and a jacket.

The rain cover is also great in cold weather as it keeps the wind chill off the kids. The only drawback is that it limits visibility, and sometimes my oldest kid complains about not being able to see well. It takes some negotiation with the toddlers to find a balance between visibility and staying warm.

Urban Arrow also offers a sunshade, but I don’t think it’s really necessary. I believe kids enjoy being able to see well, and the sunshade blocks their field of view. Unless you live in a very sunny area, sunscreen should provide enough sun protection.

Locking up the Urban Arrow is relatively easy. The model I purchased includes the ABUS wheel lock, and I also bought the extender chain from ABUS. If you’re curious about how I secure the bike and use an Apple tag to track it, I wrote about it in this post.

close up of the ABUS wheel lock

Now, let’s talk price. At $7,000, and closer to $9,000 with accessories and tax, it is quite expensive. However, Jody and I viewed it as a car replacement, and so far, it has served that purpose well. It has allowed us to maintain having only one car while still being able to commute, drop off the kids, and take the kids to various activities. I really should get a sticker for it that says: “one less minivan!”

Now, let’s discuss some of the areas where Urban Arrow falls short. The biggest, in my opinion is the lack of front suspension. The Riese & Müller Load 70, which has front suspension, costs more and I suspect a big part of that cost is the front suspension it has. Now, I’ve been riding the Urban Arrow for close to a year and the lack of front suspension isn’t horrible. I just need to be vigilant and avoid big bumps to ensure a smooth ride for the kids in the cargo bin.

The Urban Arrow advertises a range of about 30 miles, but in reality, it’s closer to 12 miles when riding on turbo mode. I always ride on turbo because the e-bike weighs over 100 pounds and having the extra motor power helps immensely.

They offer a dual battery system, which can extend the range. The bike shop I purchased the Urban Arrow from quoted me around $2,000 to install it, but I didn’t think I would need it as I believed the 30-mile range would be sufficient. However, with the actual range being only 12 miles, it can be limiting if you plan to do longer rides. If you have the budget for it, I recommend getting the dual battery setup to reduce range anxiety and minimize the need for frequent charging throughout the week. I regret not adding it at the time of purchase.

That said, I’m pretty sure that I can upgrade from the Bosch Powerpack 500 battery to the 725 battery which will give me a ~45% increase in range. Plus this means I can bring the 500 battery as a spare if I get into a pinch. This is a much more cost effective alternative to the dual battery upgrade.

The battery is nestled behind the cargo bin and in front of the rider, keeping the weight of it low to the ground.

The Bosch Powerpack 500 battery

Another limitation I’ve noticed is that the Enviolo shifter has a narrower gearing range compared to a traditional cassette. This means that you don’t have as high of gears to spin when you encounter a really steep hill. I’ve only noticed this issue on very steep grades, typically steeper than 15%, which fortunately I don’t encounter very often. However, when you do encounter those very steep hills, your cadence can significantly slow down, causing you to lose a lot of momentum. This becomes even more challenging when the bike is fully loaded.

The final drawback I’ve noticed, and this is a bit smaller, is the handlebar design. The handlebars have a curved nature, which can be uncomfortable for someone with broader shoulders like me. Placing my hands directly on the grip requires me to scrunch my elbows or bend my wrists uncomfortably.

While it’s not a dealbreaker, it’s clear that the handlebars are designed for someone smaller or more petite. I may consider swapping them out in the future, but for now, I just rest my hands on the ends of the handlebar so it hasn’t bothered me too much.

I plan to replace the handlebars with a flatter version at some point. However, with three kids, my bike maintenance and upgrades often get delayed. So, hopefully, by 2026, I will be able to report that I successfully made the handlebar swap, which should only take 30 minutes.

The last point I want to mention is that in another review, someone mentioned that the linkage rod, which controls the steering for the front wheel, would sometimes flex and cause the bike to wobble when under load during a turn. However, I personally have not experienced this issue. I have tried to recreate it by taking tight turns over bumps, but without success.

It’s possible that this was a problem with older models and that the material of the rod has been improved. You can see the linkage rod in the picture below. It’s the elbow-shaped piece of metal that is attached to the front fork and extends underneath the cargo box.

a closeup of the Urban Arrow Family's front wheel and steerage rod

All in all, Jody and I have been super happy with the Urban Arrow Family. It’s such a well-built e-bike that is fun to ride and has plenty of room for the kids and all of their gear. If you are considering a cargo e-bike the Urban Arrow Family should be at the top of your list!