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amcargobikes/amladcykler Ultimate Harmony cargo e-bike review

Last August we bought an Ultimate Harmony cargo e-bike from amcargobikes, which is the English branding for the Danish company amladcykler. Now we've had it a while, I thought it would be worthwhile to write a review to help anyone else considering buying one.

The cargo bike standing on the beach front. It has a large wooden bucket on the front, supported by two wheels. There are poles for the roof, and a handlebar like a pram handle. The back half is like a normal bike.

I'm not used to writing reviews and I don't have any financial incentive to do it, so this is quite a rambly collection of thoughts about the bike.

Why I want a cargo bike

I live in Whitley Bay, in the north-east of England, with my wife and two kids. I work mostly from home, but commute on the Metro to the university in Newcastle. Whitley Bay isn't the Peak District, but it's by no means flat; we live a few minutes up a moderately steep hill from the beach.

I already use my standard bike regularly for small trips to the shops, nearby family, and just for exercise. My wife and I both have Hamax child seats on the backs of our bikes, which we had been using to take the kids to nursery/school, playgrounds, or to visit our mothers who both live within 10 minutes of us.

I'm disabled: among other things, I have vasovagal syncope tendency, which means I get tried very quickly when standing still, or walking slowly. Within a few minutes my blood pressure drops and I get very wobbly. It takes me a long time to recover from this.

However, I can easily ride a bike for a long time, so I use it as a mobility aid.

While the kids' school and nursery are only a 15-20 minute walk away, walking there and back was leaving me tired for the rest of the day. I had been cycling to school with my eldest either on the back of my bike, or riding her own bike or scooter. But towards the end of the last school year, she started to refuse to do that, and she's growing too big for the seat anyway. We're both autistic, and I just don't have it in me to have an argument about how we get to school, and then tire myself out walking and potentially carrying her scooter or bike as well.

With the youngest starting nursery in September, we needed a way of getting everyone to school and back.

We'd seen Babboe cargo bikes in the Netherlands on holiday, so started looking into whether it would make sense to get a cargo bike.

Over time we met a handful of other people with cargo bikes, so always tried to ask them what they thought about them. They were unanimously positive; it became a bit of a joke between us that cargo bike owners were almost evangelical: they'd sing the praises of their bikes and give us plenty of time to ask questions. One man even offered to let us borrow his bike!

It seems that cargo bikes are in the same category as air fryers of products that make you say to everyone you meet, "you've got to get one! It changed my life!"

So over the Summer we decided that a cargo bike would a be a good idea. We had two cars: a Ford C-Max for everyone, and a Hyundai i20 that my wife used to commute to work. Our thinking was that it didn't make sense to waste petrol driving a heavy car with two child seats, but after a year of using the i20 it didn't work out any cheaper with tax and insurance. So we sold the i20, leaving us plenty of money to buy a cargo bike.

Basic questions about cargo e-bikes

We had a lot of questions about cargo bikes, some of them really basic. It was hard to find answers to all of these online, so I've tried to list as many as I can here in case anyone else is wondering.

Does it have to be electric?


I'd never ridden an e-bike before, and I'd seen non-electric Bakfiets bikes around. Electric cargo bikes are significantly more expensive than non-electric ones.

I just don't think it's worth not having a motor. It helps you go so much more easily, and to carry much more stuff.

Security - is it safe to leave?

My standard bike was a couple of hundred quid. I've had one stolen from the Metro station, which was very annoying but not a huge hit to our finances. Cargo bikes are several thousand pounds. We couldn't afford for it to be stolen. So how can I keep it safe?

I don't know if I've overthought this. At least, our bike hasn't been stolen yet.

The bike we rented in the Netherlands just had a frame lock. These aren't very common in the UK. It's just a metal hoop which fits on to the fork around the back wheel. When you lock it, the hoop goes through the wheel, stopping it from turning. When you unlock it, the half going through the wheel retracts. The key stays in the lock while it's open, meaning you can't lose it. It's a really good basic system, but doesn't protect against someone just picking the bike up. I suppose with a heavy cargo bike that's not easy to do.

Our bike was supposed to have a frame lock already fitted, but arrived without it. After several annoying months of phonecalls to e-bikesdirect, who were always pleasant but seem not to be able to actually put a frame lock in the post, I ordered one from bikeINN, which I think is based in Spain. I couldn't find a measurement for either the lock or the bike frame to match up, so ordered what I thought was the same AXA model that amladcykler sell on their website. In the end, the lock I bought was a couple of millimetres too wide for our bike's frame, so I had to just put one screw in and use a cable tie to hold the other end. The mounting doesn't affect the security, anyway: that's provided by the hoop going through the wheel.

While we were waiting for the frame lock, I used the Giant D-lock that I already have. It has a holder which I screwed on to the side of the handlebar, so it's only slightly less convenient than the frame lock. Now we keep both on the bike; I'll use the frame lock when I'm only away from the bike for a few minutes because it's so convenient, but put the D-Lock on as well if I'm leaving it for longer.

When the bike arrived, I registered it with bikeregister, using one of their kits that marks the frame with a code linked to their database. It occurred to me that this is either positive or negative, based on the security of the bikeregister database: if a baddy who wants a particular model of bike has access to the database, they can just look up the addresses of people who own one. But I don't think that's worth considering, compared to most opportunistic bike theft.

Anyway, it didn't cost much compared to the total cost of the bike, so I thought I might as well do it.

I'd heard of people sticking Apple AirTags on their bikes, so they can track their location in the event they're stolen. There are some other makes of tracking tag designed specifically for bikes, but I think that the big benefit of AirTags is that there are millions of phones that will detect them automatically and report their location. I've stuck the AirTag in what I think is a non-obvious place. Thieves might well know to look for them now, but hopefully they wouldn't do that at the place they steal the bike from, so there'd at least be some chance to see which way it went. Again, it wasn't expensive, so I thought it was better to have than not.

This leads on to...

Can I get insurance?

While trying to find a company that would insure the bike in case of theft or damage, I realised that some people spend a lot more money on bikes than I ever imagined! I paid £86.80 for a year's insurance from PingInsure. That felt like more than I was expecting to pay; I suppose I'll look around for

How much motor do I need?


There are loads of kinds of e-bike motors, and I have no idea how the stats work. amcargobikes say that the Ultimate Harmony has a "250W Brushless engine", which matches the other bikes I tried. It's plenty. I can get up a steep hill with two kids and all their clobber with no trouble, at a decent lick.

When we hired the Babboe, I asked the guy about motors. He said that Bosch are the best, but didn't really have anything else to say.

Would it be too fast?

The motor is limited to 25 km/h - it stops pushing when you get that fast, but doesn't brake. So going downhill, I've reached about 28 km/h, just from gravity.

Most of the time, going about 18 km/h feels comfortable. We don't have a speedo on any other bike, but when my wife is riding the bucket bike, we ride together comfortably.

I've recorded long rides into Newcastle both on the bucket bike and my normal bike; both were about the same average speed.

What's the right price to pay?

We set out thinking that our speed would be about £2,000. In the end we paid £3,419 for the bike, fully assembled and delivered.

There's a shop in Tynemouth called Ride Electric that sells only Riese & Muller bikes; those start at about £5,000 and go up to £9,000. Well outside our price range!

Mid motor or rear motor?


Battery capacity?

Charging - fire risk?

What makes are there?

Do I need a well-known brand?

Three or two wheels?




What if the battery runs out?


Shopping around

Ride Electric in tynemouth only sell really expensive Riese-Müller

Hired a Babboe City Mountain when on holiday in the Netherlands. It's a two-wheeler with a mid-motor. We loved it, and so did the kids. Eldest complained that it was too loud inside the bucket. Stopping is awkward: you have to heft it back onto the feet.

Shop in York friendly but useless

Unclear from online shops who had stock, what lead times would be

Clear that hard to get hold of Babboe in UK post-brexit

Phoned e-bikesdirect, guaranteed would be delivered before school started.


Roof is hydrophobic Steering Front light isn't connected to battery

Changes I made

Twinkly lights in winter Sticker on front Blanket on seats Bag of stuff under the seat Frame lock Want a better front light Shower cap for the seat