Retailing at £3,499.99, the Elops e cargo bike is likely still a little too costly for most to consider it as Christmas present material – although it would be seemingly well-suited to Santa Claus’ requirements, given the 90kg cargo weight limit (80kg at the rear and 10kg in the front basket), the multitude of accessories and the generous 60cm x 40cm space at the rear.
Or perhaps more realistically used to haul any unwanted gifts to the recycling centre post Boxing Day...
But yes, Decathlon’s longtail electric cargo bike, the Elops R 500, is now available in the UK – after initially being released for the European market in the spring of this year.
Three years of development when into the Elops R 500, with the bike being intended as not only a practical solution for those wishing to join the sustainable transport revolution, but an affordable one, too.
Granted, it’s not as cheap as Mycle’s cargo offering, which costs £1,999, but the £3,499.99 price tag of the Elops R 500 puts it at about £1,000 less than both the Tern GSD S10 and Raleigh’s Stride 2 – all three of which made it into our Gear of the Year line-up.
To power this load, which increases to a maximum of 170kg when you include the rider and passengers, the R 500 uses a rear hub motor that delivers 58Mn of torque and a 672Wh battery that Decathlon says is good for up to 90km when using eco mode, 70km in regular and 50km in power mode, all managed from an LCD display that’s mounted on the handlebars. However, these are all based on riding without a load, and like all the best electric cargo bikes, the numbers can alter drastically when load and terrain are figured into the calculation.
Unsurprisingly, Decathlon has opted to equip the bike with a rear hub motor. While more expensive electric cargo bikes tend to use an integrated bottom bracket motor, such as Bosch's CargoLine, which features on both the aforementioned Tern and Raleigh bikes, cheaper options locate it on the rear wheel. Mycyle’s e-cargo bike does the same, and as our resident e-bike expert Hannah Bussey points out in her review it can help to limit wear on the drivechain if nothing else.
Mycle’s motor is however a little more powerful, with a maximum torque of 65Nm. The Bosch motor increases this further still, giving both the Tern and Raleigh a maximum of 85 Nm. This could point to the Elops being a little underpowered given its job description and range of add-on accessories that allow you to carry two children, install panniers and load boxes - although its listed maximum total load weight is some 30-40kg less than the Mycyle and the Tern GSD.
Aesthetically the Elops has a little more in common with the more expensive e cargo bikes referenced here. Certainly by hiding the battery within the downtube it avoids the rather rudimentary look of the Mycle, albeit at a substantially higher price point.
Other noteworthy specifications include Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, integrated front and rear LED lights that feature a ‘slow down’ warning and like the power modes can be operated from the display, a built-in footrest for passengers and an anti-theft wheel lock.
For more information visit decathlon.co.uk (opens in new tab)
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Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for over twenty years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.
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