Tom de Wilton and Ben Towler from OxWash with the Urban Arrow Cargo (left) and Tender (right). Pic: Karen David

Cargo bikes in Oxford: What they are and where to buy

 4 mins | By Karen David
 | Sustainability | Aug 23rd 2019

Cargo bike technology is rapidly evolving to add capacity for load weight and volume and there is a decent amount of choice on the market. We take a look at the cargo bikes in use by OxWash and Pedal & Post and speak to an independent retailer about the state of the market for cargo bikes in Oxford.

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Urban Arrow Electric Cargo

Dutch cycle brand Urban Arrow offers innovative design, lightweight frame, safe and comfortable materials combined with components from leading manufacturers such as the powerful electric assist from the German company Bosch, Shimano brakes and NuVinci transmission. Urban Arrow won a Eurobike Award in 2010, the ISPO Award in 2013 and the ExtraEnergy Commercial Cargo Bike Award in 2016. The frame is modular, allowing various front frames to be connected to the robust rear frame, making it possible to configure a variety of models. UK dealers here

Urban Arrow CARGO

Length 260 cm / Platform L 69 cm x W 70 cm up to 125 kg, maximum 275 kg including rider and bicycle 43 kg 55 km (average depending on load) Shimano hydraulic disc brakes as standard Front fork suspension as standard Black or white, special colors on request (series of 20 bikes and upwards) From €3.017 ex. VAT (Bosch Active, 400Wh battery and NuVinci N380 transmission).

Urban Arrow TENDER

The Urban Arrow TENDER (on the right in the pic) comes in two sizes: large and even larger. All TENDER models have three wheels for extra stability, and double hydraulic disc brakes on the front wheels in order to be able to bring the load to a halt rapidly. That’s certainly no frivolous luxury when dealing with a load volume of between 1500 and 2500 litres.

Length 358 cm x Width 114 cm x Height 137 cm 300 kg / 2500 L Bosch Performance CX (delivers 75Nm traction power, with 500 Wh battery as standard) Rohlo Aluminum cabinet with two swing doors (optional roof and navigation cockpit) From €7.550 ex. VAT (flatbed).

Iceni Electric Cargo

Pedal & Post’s Iceni e-trike. Pic: Pedal & Post

Iceni’s Next Generation Monocoque Cargo Trike provides a load-carrying pickup cargo platform offering a range of transport and delivery options. Use it as it comes, or build your own cargo box or retail outlet, otherwise choose from optional add-on alloy high volume lockable box.

  • Kerbside weight of 60kg
  • Designed for multiple cargo solutions
  • 47cm deep alloy side cladding
  • Cargo footprint 92cm wide x 126cm long with M6 body fixing points
  • Max dimension 107cm wide x 255cm long x 120cm high
  • Optional 1.5m cubed alloy cargo box, larger capacity on request, 30kg
  • Optional electric assist, crank, hub or rear wheel drive available, 8kg

8Freight Cargo

Standard cargo bikes designed by Mike Burrows, whose bikes have won Olympic gold medals. Features include Mono Blade Forks, allowing puncture fixes without wheel removal, two meter wheel base for stabilisation, light weight at 20kg so not much more than a standard bike.

Where to buy: Oxford’s independent retailers for e-bikes and e-cargo bikes

Independent bike store Warlands Cycles is seeing a big uptick in demand for cargo and e-bikes. Firms, families and commuters are turning to electric and cargo bikes to handle deliveries, ferry children and get around the city.

“We’re growing cargo bikes exponentially,” says Warlands manager Andy Holme. “The first year we sold three, the second year 10 and last year 30.”  Whether the trend will continue, Holme can only guess: “we’ve already sold three Tern GSD’s and have only had them [in stock] for three weeks.’

Warlands Cycles in Oxford. Pic: Karen David

Warlands supplies the city’s two biggest cycle fleets, Pedal & Post couriers, and OxWash laundry service.

Food delivery firms and restaurants are also showing a lot of interest. Holme says he looks at customers on a case-by-base basis and the main issue is lack of storage space: “Take people delivering food. When they ask about cargo bikes I point them in the direction of a trailer because cost-wise, it’s massively cheaper. You can fit it to a normal bike, which is perfect for cycling around Oxford. And if you want to zoom around, you can get a fleet of two or three electric bikes.”

Demand for cargo and e-bikes is making Warlands’ business more stable, according to Holme, who founded the business with Steve Stuart in the 1980’s.

“The last 10 years has been horrendous for the cycle industry,” he says. “Effectively the cargo bike has replaced what we’ve lost in other areas,” he adds, citing the market for hybrid bikes which he describes as having disappeared.

“E-bikes and cargo bikes are putting a bit of sparkle back into the business,” he adds.

Warlands sells most big cargo bike brands and their electric models including 8Freight, Babboe, Bakfiets, Bullitt, Circe, Nihola, Omnium, Onderwater, Tern and Yuba.

Holme believes the two-wheel Tern GSD (Get Stuff Done) electric cargo bike is the future. “If you look at tricycle or back seats, they’re bulky, unwieldy and a lot of people who ride in them are put off by the size and weight of balancing and getting moving.”

The Tern GSD is fitted with small wheels front and back, and at 180cm is the length of a normal bike.

Andy Holme of Warlands with a Tern GSD. Pic: Karen David

He points out: “It has massive carrying capacity and full mountain bike brakes and will stop on a sixpence, which inspires people with confidence.”

Independent bike retailers for cargo bikes in Oxford

Warlands, Botley Road, Oxford OX2 0BS. Call: 01865 723100, email:

Walton Street Cycles, Jericho, Oxford OX2 6EA OX Supplies Pashley cargo and work bikes including Pronto, Loadstar, Courier, Delibike, Classic No. 33 vending tricycle and Euroload trailer.  Call: 01865 311610, email:

About the Author

Karen David

Karen has a long career in writing and communications in technology, finance and creative sectors in Oxfordshire, the UK and internationally.

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