Electric Mountain Bike vs Cargo Bike

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Updated March 4, 2023

If you are thinking of picking up a new electric vehicle, you may be comparing electric mountain bikes vs cargo bikes. The best electric bikes, after all, are typically available in a full range of styles and designs. The primary difference between the two is design. Electric mountain bikes are built for off-road purposes, ascending mountain trails, or traveling in a forested area. Cargo bikes, on the other hand, are built for carrying heavier-than-average loads, making them great for running errands around town.


  • Electric mountain bikes tend to offer better braking and suspension systems than cargo bikes, as the former is built for traversing difficult terrain.
  • Cargo bikes offer heavier maximum-weight capacities and a variety of storage options for hauling groceries and the like.
  • An electric cargo bike tends to be bulkier and heavier than mountain bikes due to the typical use case scenarios.

If this sounds like the ebike for you, be sure to check out the top-rated electric cargo bikes. Both of these types of bikes come fully manufactured and ready to go, which could be important if you are comparing electric bikes vs conversion kits.

Just like there are differences between e-bikes and mountain bikes, there are differences between e-mountain bikes and e-cargo bikes. Keep reading so you can make an informed purchase next time you visit the bike shop.

Insider Tip

There are plenty of accessories for e-cargo bikes, including options for carrying infants and toddlers.

Maximum Weight Capacity

Generally speaking, both traditional cargo bikes and electric cargo bikes boast heaver-than-average maximum weight capacities. These electric vehicles are meant to replace the minivan or the SUV, allowing riders to pick up groceries and perform other errands throughout town. Electric mountain bikes, on the other hand, will feature lower weight capacities in the 175 to 250-pound range. Read up on the specs before making a purchase, as every make and model will be different in this regard. Additionally, if you are wanting a powerful bike, you should know what watts mean on an electric bike so you can ensure your bike has enough power for your needs.

Form Factor

Electric mountain bikes will tend to be lighter and more compact than cargo bikes, as the latter is built for hauling large loads. E-mountain bikes, however, will still be heavier than traditional street bikes and the like. This could be important if you are considering folding bikes vs electric scooters, as no type of e-bike can beat a folding bike when it comes to portability. Additionally, cargo bikes typically have a variety of areas to store items inside of, which will increase the overall bulkiness of the vehicle.

Brakes and Suspension

Mountain bikes are built for perilous terrain, so you will generally find robust braking systems and well-built suspension systems. Cargo bikes, on the other hand, are built to run errands, so the braking systems and suspension systems will be in line with any other traditional e-bike. You can still find cargo bikes that offer a smooth ride, just check on the specs and look for mechanical disc brakes. If a smooth ride is important, you should look into the top-rated electric fat tire bikes.

STAT: By 2007 e-bikes were thought to make up 10 to 20 percent of all two-wheeled vehicles on the streets of many major Chinese cities. (source)


What is the best motor for electric cargo bikes?

Look for a powerful motor on an e-cargo bike or a mountain bike with plenty of motor power that can carry heavy loads, such as a mid-drive motor.

How far can I ride my e-cargo bike with a full charge?

This will depend on your battery life and whether or not you have dual batteries installed. Electric bicycles tend to differ in this regard depending on the make and model.

To electrify or not?

There are plenty of decent e-bikes out there that offer many functionalities above conventional bikes. These include models by Rad Power Bikes, Riese & Muller, and the Bosch Performance CX.

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