Revolutionizing E-Bike Cargo Frames: Our Journey from Design Challenge to Sustainable Innovation

Revolutionizing E-Bike Cargo Frames: Our Journey from Design Challenge to Sustainable Innovation


E-Cargo Trike Evolution

At Bamboo Bicycle we help people to build there own bicycles from scratch, Our neighbour is the contemporary equivalent of the classic milkman, delivering milk and bread using e-cargo bikes. However, the costs of these bikes were a hurdle to there growth. Challenged by this, we embarked on a mission to design an e-cargo delivery bike from the ground up. 

In our research, we examined numerous designs featuring different components like boxes, canopies, and drivetrains. We noticed significant design shortcomings. While some were sturdy, they lacked user-friendliness and ergonomic considerations. Many canopy designs were overly rigid, leading to excessive vibrations and compromised visibility. The component choices in many models left much to be desired, with subpar parts repurposed from cheap motorcycles. Additionally, the predominant drivetrain designs often had a single drive wheel, resulting in undue wear on the bearings and chain.

After extensive research and enjoyable test rides, we crafted our design objectives:

- A robust all-wheel drive differential.

- Hydraulic discs with a dual-lever system.

- Strengthening through the incorporation of Guadua Bamboo (100mm).

- A load capacity of 250KG.

- Utilization of standard bicycle components wherever feasible.

- Creation of the rear box using recyclable modular sheets for easy adaptability.

- Vibration reduction to protect the cargo and ensure rider comfort.

From our previous venture into building bamboo bikes using flax connections, we recognized bamboo's strength, confirmed by exhaustive tests in collaboration with universities testing facilities. This technique became our choice as it eliminated the need for initial investments in moulds or welding—making it ideal for prototyping. We meticulously designed the complete bicycle ensuring the main chassis fit comfortably within major bike lanes, and did not exceed 1m by 2.5m dimensions.

For the delivery box, we selected a recyclable, lightweight honeycomb material supplied as sheet material. Its design simplicity means shapes can be modified based on delivery needs, and it's easily shipped for DIY assembly at home.

Given the variable weather conditions of Northern Europe, ensuring rider comfort was paramount. Our canopy, crafted from laminated bamboo, is both durable and flexible, moving in harmony with the trike while maintaining its form. Optimal visibility was a key design criterion.

Our final design showcases the potential of a modest budget paired with innovative materials and expertise. The mid-drive motor ensures reduced maintenance, and our choice of an internal gear hub permits a consistent, durable chainline.

The primary chassis is impressively robust and supports versatile box adaptability. As we look ahead, our goal is to diminish the build time by 90% via a modular system with pre-fabricated lugs, simplifying the assembly process, and enabling anyone to construct a trike tailored to their delivery needs.

As we continue to refine our design, we're eager to collaborate. If our journey intrigues you, please reach out. We're excited to partner with like-minded enthusiasts in the next stages.


  • David Fisher on
    Hello, do you make or are you thinking of making an electric assist pedicab?
  • Gervase on

    Good morning James.
    This looks like what I need to take my tools to demo at shows now. I like the fact you have premade lugs for quicker construction. What is the kit price?
    Cheers Gervase
    Ps. I’m going to Makers Central show at the NEC again next year. It would be great to take it there.

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