In the Netherlands, and increasingly in other countries too, you see Urban Arrows everywhere! But what are the advantages of the Urban Arrow compared to other electric cargo bikes and how good are they really?
An Introduction to the Urban Arrow
The Urban Arrow bike is a popular choice of electric cargo bike for families who prioritise convenience and sustainability when it comes to transportation. Although it is expensive compared to other bikes on the market, the Urban Arrow provides a unique riding experience that is well worth the investment. I’ve had plenty of experience riding them for work, making deliveries all over Amsterdam, and they are often used by young parents to transport the kids to and from school.
One of the standout features of the Urban Arrow bike is its cargo capacity. With a spacious front loading cargo area, this bike can easily accommodate multiple children, groceries, and other bulky items. This makes it an ideal choice for parents.
In addition to its cargo capacity, the Urban Arrow bike is also designed with safety in mind. It features a low centre of gravity, which makes it more stable and easier to handle, even when carrying heavy loads. The bike also comes equipped with high-quality brakes and lights, which ensure that riders can stop quickly and stay visible on the road.
Another notable feature of the Urban Arrow bike is its electric assist motor, which provides an extra boost of power when pedalling. This is particularly useful when navigating hills or carrying heavy loads, as it makes the ride much smoother and less taxing on the rider.
Overall, the Urban Arrow bike is a fantastic choice for families who want a reliable, versatile, and eco-friendly mode of transportation. While it may be more expensive than other bikes, the quality of construction and range of features make it well worth the investment.
The Urban Arrow Compared to Other Electric Cargo Bikes
When it comes to cargo bikes, the Urban Arrow stands out in several ways when compared to other models on the market. Here are some of the key differences and similarities between the Urban Arrow and other popular cargo bikes:
- Capacity: One of the main advantages of the Urban Arrow is its cargo capacity. With a spacious front-loading cargo area, the bike can carry multiple children or large items. Other cargo bikes may have smaller or less accessible cargo areas.
- Electric assist: The Urban Arrow comes with an electric assist motor that provides an extra boost of power when pedalling, which can be very helpful when carrying heavy loads or navigating hills. Some other cargo bikes also have electric assist options, but others rely solely on pedal power.
- Stability: The Urban Arrow has a low centre of gravity that makes it more stable and easier to handle when carrying heavy loads. This is important for safety and manoeuvrability, and not all cargo bikes offer the same level of stability.
- Price: The Urban Arrow is generally more expensive than other cargo bikes on the market. While this may be a disadvantage for some, the bike’s high quality construction, features, and capabilities make it worth the investment for many families.
- Brand reputation: Urban Arrow is a well-known and respected brand in the cargo bike world, and their bikes are often seen as reliable and well-designed. Other brands may have different reputations or levels of recognition.
Overall, the Urban Arrow offers a unique combination of cargo capacity, electric assist, stability, and brand reputation that sets it apart from other cargo bikes on the market. However, each family’s needs and preferences may vary, so it’s important to carefully consider all options before making a decision.
How does the urban arrow’s electric assist motor work?
The Urban Arrow’s electric assist motor is designed to provide an extra boost of power when pedalling. The motor is located in the bike’s rear hub and is powered by a rechargeable battery. When the rider pedals, the motor senses the movement and automatically provides assistance, helping to propel the bike forward with less effort.
The Urban Arrow’s electric assist motor has different levels of assistance that can be adjusted using a control panel on the handlebars. The rider can choose the level of assistance that best suits their needs, depending on factors like the weight of the cargo, the terrain, and their own level of fitness.
The electric assist motor is designed to make the Urban Arrow easier and more comfortable to ride, particularly when carrying heavy loads or navigating hills. However, it’s worth noting that the motor is not designed to replace pedalling altogether. Riders still need to pedal the bike in order to activate the motor and maintain a certain level of speed. The electric assist motor simply provides an extra boost of power to make pedalling easier and more efficient.
Where are Urban Arrows made?
Urban Arrow bikes are made in the Netherlands, where the company is based. The bikes are manufactured in a factory in Nijmegen, a city in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Urban Arrow takes pride in designing and producing their bikes locally, using high-quality materials and sustainable manufacturing practices. This allows them to maintain a high level of quality control and ensure that each bike meets their standards for safety, functionality, and durability. The company also prioritises sustainability in their production process, using energy-efficient machinery and minimising waste wherever possible. Overall, Urban Arrow’s commitment to local manufacturing and sustainable production practices is a key part of their brand identity and is highly valued by their customers.
How much weight can an urban arrow carry?
The amount of weight an Urban Arrow can carry depends on the specific model and configuration of the bike. However, in general, Urban Arrow bikes are designed to carry heavy loads, including multiple children and/or bulky cargo. Here are some general guidelines for the weight capacity of different Urban Arrow models:
- Urban Arrow Family: This model is designed for carrying children and has a weight capacity of up to 275 pounds (125 kilograms), including the rider.
- Urban Arrow Shorty: This model is designed for carrying cargo and has a weight capacity of up to 330 pounds (150 kilograms), including the rider.
- Urban Arrow Tender: This model is designed for transporting goods and has a weight capacity of up to 440 pounds (200 kilograms), including the rider.
It’s important to note that the weight capacity of the bike includes both the rider and any cargo being carried. In addition, the weight distribution of the cargo can also affect the bike’s handling and stability, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for safe loading and riding.
How much do Urban Arrows cost?
Urban Arrow electric cargo bikes are not cheap. In fact, the bike’s high costs even caused a Guardian columnist to declare the bike represented a new form of class politics.
The cost of an Urban Arrow electric cargo bike depends on the model and configuration, as well as any additional options or accessories that are added. In general, Urban Arrow bikes are considered to be high-end and premium-priced, reflecting their high-quality materials, advanced features, and specialised design for carrying cargo and/or passengers.
When I last checked, the Urban Arrow Family model was priced at around €4,800-€6,300 in Europe, while the Shorty model ranged from €3,600-€5,500. The Tender model, designed for commercial deliveries and transporting goods, was priced at around €5,900-€7,600.
It’s worth noting that prices may vary depending on the location and currency exchange rates, and may also be subject to taxes, shipping fees, and other additional costs. Additionally, there may be newer models or updated pricing available since I wrote this blog post—I try to keep everything up to date but it’s not always possible. It’s best to check with a local dealer or the Urban Arrow website for the most up-to-date pricing information.
Do people ride the Urban Arrow in Amsterdam?
Yes, Urban Arrow bikes are extremely popular in Amsterdam, which is of course known for its extensive network of bike lanes and bike-friendly infrastructure. In the Netherlands, cargo bikes are called bakfiets. Since the Urban Arrow is an electric bike it is called an “elektrische bakfiets”. You can also rent Urban Arrows at some electric bike rental places in Amsterdam.
I live in Amsterdam, as you may know, and I see many families in Amsterdam using Urban Arrow bikes to transport their children and other stuff around the city, and the bikes are also used for commercial deliveries—including B2B food, products, and parts deliveries—and other transportation purposes. There are even on-the-go bike mechanics who used Urban Arrows to cycle from job to job with their tools stored in the cargo area.
As already mentioned, Urban Arrow is a Dutch company and was founded in the Netherlands, so it has strong roots in the country’s cycling culture. The company’s bikes are designed specifically for urban environments and are well-suited for navigating the narrow streets, crowded intersections, and varied terrain of cities like Amsterdam.
Overall, the Urban Arrow is a practical and stylish option for getting around Amsterdam and other urban areas, and it has become a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.
Backgrounder: The History of the Cargo Bike
Cargo bikes have a long history dating back to the late 19th century. The first cargo bikes were developed in Europe, where they were used primarily for commercial purposes, such as delivering goods and transporting materials.
The earliest cargo bikes were essentially standard bicycles with added cargo-carrying attachments, such as racks, baskets, and trailers.
Over time, cargo bikes became more specialised and purpose-built, with features like reinforced frames, larger wheels, and integrated cargo boxes.
One notable early cargo bike was the Long John, which was developed in Denmark in the early 20th century. The Long John featured a distinctive design with a long cargo box mounted between the front wheel and the handlebars, which allowed for easier steering and manoeuvrability.
In the decades that followed, cargo bikes continued to evolve and adapt to the changing needs and contexts of their users. Today, cargo bikes are used around the world for a wide range of purposes, from commercial deliveries to family transportation and urban commuting.
Thinking of Buying an Urban Arrow? Where to Buy Urban Arrows in Amsterdam
I live in Amsterdam and so I’ll start by explaining where to get these bikes in the city I know. You can buy them from pretty much any bike shop these days and the prices don’t vary that much between shops. You can also buy them direct from the Urban Arrow website.
In other countries, you can check local bike dealers or use the “Find a Dealer” function on the Urban Arrow website to locate a registered dealer.
Urban Arrow’s aren’t cheap, but you get a high-quality, Dutch-made bike that is versatile, convenient, and useful.