Have you ever thought, “You know what I need…a pickup truck that I can pedal like a bicycle”?
Yea, me neither. But I recently got the chance to test one out anyways, and now I realize what I’ve been missing in my life. The XCYC Pickup is a ridiculous e-bike that actually works really well and may just be the answer to urban cargo solutions.
XCYC Pickup electric bike…thing
First of all, what is it?
Well, the XCYC Pickup is technically an electric bicycle in the broadest sense – or rather an electric tricycle.
The front end is built like a standard heavy-duty cargo bike (though perhaps a bit more robust), while the rear is a tricycle base designed to accept a variety of utility attachments from a flatbed to a pickup truck bed to a giant, enclosed cargo box.
Check out the video below to get a better understanding of how the XCYC Pickup is put together. Then read on for more info.
XCYC Pickup video review
XCYC Pickup quick tech specs
- Motor: Bosch Performance CX
- Top speed: 25 km/h (15.5 mph) with electric assist
- Range: ??? (probably not great, let’s be honest)
- Battery: 48V 10.4Ah (500 Wh)
- Charge time: 3-4 hours
- Max load: 300 kg (661 lb)
- Brakes: Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes with 203 mm rotors
- Extras: Parking brake, LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, front and rear LED lights, mounting for gigantic cargo box/bed setups or other accessories
What do I think?
First of all, I can tell that the XCYC Pickup is really well made. This isn’t a joke or some hokey, slapped together cargo bike. This thing is an industrial machine. It doesn’t just look like a truck. It’s built like a truck.
The bike is solid. And it better be, considering it’s rated for up to 300 kg (661 lb) of cargo load. That’s more than I’ve ever seen on an e-bike before, surpassing the Tern GSD’s 181 kg (400 lb) load limit quite handily.
And you’ll probably be happy to know the XCYC Pickup is built in Germany, not a no-name factory halfway around the world without much oversight. The components are definitely up to the task too. Just look at that double crown suspension fork and the giant rotors on those hydraulic disc brakes. Or the rear tires that look more like they came off a lorry. And there’s a dropper seat built right in so you can change your seat height on the fly simply by squeezing the under-saddle handle.
Of course, the build quality factors into the cost, with the XCYC pickup starting at €5,666 for the lowest model and increasing from there.
But if you need a commercial-level vehicle that is classified as an e-bike but can fulfill the duties of a truck, this is it. I can see it being perfect for cities that restrict trucks and gas-vehicles from entering urban centers. You could slip right through legally in such cities and have your own electric truck fleet making deliveries or hauling goods.
And you wouldn’t need an athletic group of riders/drivers either. The Bosch Performance CX line offers 75 Nm of torque. And don’t let the 250 W rating fool you. This thing is actually putting out over 750 W (1 hp) peak, which is more than enough to easily move this geared down truck. I was pedaling uphill without breaking a sweat.
Even with me in the back, Electrek’s publisher Seth Weintraub could pedal with ease
You do need to be extra careful while riding though, especially if you’re not used to riding a tricycle. Which I’m not. Just ask the plastic lane barrier that I accidentally took out when cutting a corner too close (see the video above).
And it’s easy to forget how wide you are back there since the XCYC Pickup legitimately feels like a bicycle. The handlebars and pedals give you a deceptively normal feel, and it’s only when you start to lean into a turn that things suddenly stop feeling bike-ish. But the rear end is wide enough to remain stable and I never felt like I was going to tip it.
The only thing that makes me wonder what the designers were thinking is the size of the battery. It seems to come with a Bosch PowerPack 500 as standard. That’s a 48V and 10.4Ah battery, which isn’t much capacity compared to other cargo bikes. And when you consider this one is set up to haul a lot of weight, that battery is going to be depleted fairly quickly when under a large load.
The good news is it’s easily swappable so could change to a fresh battery as soon as you deplete the first. And if you’re wondering where you could store a spare battery on this thing… let me direct your attention to the entire rear half of the bike.
Would I get one?
I’m probably not going to be buying myself an XCYC Pickup any time soon, even though I’d honestly love to have one in my garage. But it’s not really meant for me either.
These things are best suited for commercial fleet applications, and that’s exactly where I want to see them succeed. I’m tired of seeing big delivery trucks idling in my bike lanes all the time. If a ridiculously large vehicle is going to be blocking my way then I at least want it to also be a bike.
And think about how underloaded those delivery vans and trucks often are. Half the time you see a guy wheel out one dolly load of boxes from an otherwise empty box truck. That can’t be very efficient. Why not use a smaller cargo e-bike like this? It gives you truck functionality but without driving an entire apartment-sized box around mostly empty.
So, all in all, I think the XCYC Pickup is an awesome vehicle and something like this could absolutely help improve our cities. And I could even see it being useful for some personal applications as well. Have a little farm that you want to get around on but don’t want to use a tractor or ATV? Get an e-bike-truck. You’ll enjoy a bit of exercise and be the talk of the county fair!
Head on over to XCYC’s site to see their entire lineup of XCYC Pickup models, and let us know what you think of this behemoth in the comments below!
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