Surly's Big Easy wants to be the electric semi-trailer of the bike lane
Cargo bikes can be a great way to haul around gear, surfboards and kids, but by their very definition are going to demand more of the rider. Thankfully, there is now a plethora of electrically charged cargo bikes for those looking to lighten the load. The first of these from Minnesota bike builder Surly is a long-tailed two-wheeler fitted with Bosch's brawniest EV drive unit, promising the kind of pulling power befitting an "18-wheeler of the cargo bike world."
Surly prides itself on its steel framed bikes and the all-new Big Easy stays true to this ethos. The company has dabbled with pedal-assist systems before through bespoke after-market attachments to its existing cargo bikes, but the Big Easy is its first time building one from the ground up.
That means fixing Bosch's Performance CX electric drive unit to frame, with enough space for a second should you want to double the range. The unit affords the bike 75 Nm of torque and will assist the rider's pedaling up to a speed limit of 20 mph (32 km/h). This allows the electric bike to remain classified as a bike in the US, though it's always going to be worth checking out your local traffic regulations to make sure your setup is street legal.
Built to be equipped with a front racks, fenders, rear racks and full-blown trailers, the Big Easy has a maximum load capacity of 200 lb (90 kg) and maximum rider weight of 300 lb (136 kg). The maximum it will take together, however, is 400 lb (181 kg). Surly has also built the bike with sharing in mind, allowing it greater stand-over height clearance than usual and adding a dropper post for easy seat height adjustments.
Technical details include an 11-speed SRAM NX 11 shifter, four-piston Tektro brakes and a dampening headset to smooth out the ride. The Shimano M525 front and back wheels, meanwhile, are fitted with WTB STS i29 TCS rims and Surly's own ExtraTerrestrial 26x2.5-inch tubeless ready tires.
Surly is hesitant to put a range figure on the Big Easy for pedal-assisted power, as it says this will vary greatly depending on rider weight, riding style and conditions, though Bose does have this handy calculator to use as a guide.
Available in small, medium and large frame sizes in the US only for now, Surly is offering the Big Easy for a starting price of US$5,000. You can see it in action in the video below.