Mastretta launched its first 3-wheeled e-bike in 2019, before the e-bike market really began to take off. That bike, the MX3, featured an ingenious steering mechanism that allowed the 3-wheeler to lean into turns like a 2-wheeler, giving riders a more planted, stable-feeling ride while delivering a more natural riding experience. Two years later, the company has a followup act that’s even better than the first. Meet the MX3 Cargo, a full line-up of cargo e-bike solutions for commuters, bike taxis, urban delivery, and just about every human-powered thing in between.
Mastretta claims that its four MX3 configurations (shown above) will meet just about every need, and it’s kind of hard to argue with that assertion in the face of what is, perhaps, the bikes’ most impressive feature: the MX3 Cargo 200 Remolque’s 440 lb. towing capacity. That number, along with the striking visual of seeing a bicycle hauling a small cargo container down the street, is the one that really made me, at least, sit up and pay attention to what Mastretta was doing.
It’s easy enough to imagine a restaurant or florist or other small, local business making use of cargo bikes to move their goods around busy urban areas, but we don’t usually think of companies like UPS or Amazon making use of bicycles to make deliveries. With the Mastretta, though, I don’t think that’s outside the real of possibility, especially in European markets like Cologne, Germany and Gothenburg, Sweden, that are experimenting with low-emission zones. With something like the MX3 available — at, what I can only assume is a significant savings compared to an electrified Transit van — I think it’s hard to make the case that a company needs a van, you know?
The Mastretta cargo e-bikes have possible applications in other markets, as well. I am particularly interested in developing markets where moto-rickshaws and bicycle taxis are common, and which might be looking towards establishing “green zones” in their urban centers as well. It would be easy to imagine a few of these in Key West, Florida, for example, or even Singapore — especially when they seem like they’d have a natural advantage over both purely human-powered and stinky, two-stroke options even without the need for green government initiatives.
As for the bikes themselves, each of the four Mastretta MX3 cargo e-bikes pack a 90 Nm electric motor (a bit more than 65 lb-ft of TQ), which should be more than enough to get them up to speed quickly, while the innovative front suspension can deliver either the characteristic “lean” of 2-wheelers or be locked in place for a more stable, upright riding experience. The company plans to offer both mid-drive and hub-mounted motor options, as well as extra batteries, in case even more juice is needed to help move people and things around.
So, OK. It’s safe to say that I think this thing is awesome, but what do you guys think? Is Mastretta’s new leaning cargo e-bike a real innovation that will change the way some companies look at tight urban delivery options, or is this a narrow use case deal that really just got my attention because of the bright yellow paint? Let us know in the comments.
Source | Images: Mastretta Bikes, via New Atlas.
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