Already well established in the world of urban assisted bicycles, the O2Feel company could not miss the craze for cargo bikes. For its first attempt, it therefore offers a longtail model, designed to support most of its load on its elongated and reinforced luggage rack. A type of bicycle that has the advantage of not being wider than a conventional bicycle while remaining quite manoeuvrable despite its greater length.
The O2Feel Equo Cargo Power is available in 3 versions, all with the same 6061 aluminum frame and the same suspension fork, as well as a Shimano Steps mid-motor. The 3.1 version, however, is content with an E6100 engine developing a torque of 60 Nm, when the 4.1 and 7.1 versions benefit from a more efficient EP8 Cargo with a torque of 85 Nm.
Brakes, saddles and lights also change from one version to another, but it is above all the transmission that differs. The 3.1 draws on the entry-level Shimano (Altus) range, while the 4.1 benefits from the most efficient Deore range and the 7.1 opts for the Shimano Nexus Inter-5E integrated gear hub associated with a belt.
The price differences are of course substantial, with the Equo Cargo Power 4.1 asking for €3899 (€500 more than the 3.1), while the 7.1 tops out at €4999. Count 300 € more to go from a battery capacity of 432 Wh to 720 Wh.
Comfort and ergonomics
However, it is not so imposing compared to a normal bike thanks to a design trick consisting in using a small diameter rear wheel (20″, compared to 26″ at the front), thus reducing its wheelbase despite the length of its rear triangle. The height of the luggage rack also drops, making it easier for children to climb in and loading in general. It also lowers the center of gravity for better stability.
A solid luggage rack is attached to the seatstays, which are themselves linked to the chainstays by reinforcing tubes. The set thus supports up to 80 kg of load, which allows the transport of two children or possibly an adult. The Mik HD mounting system also simplifies the installation of one or two baby seats.
You can also install benches for children as well as footrests. For added safety, O2Feel offers a roll bar that children can hold on to. We appreciate its opening on the front which greatly facilitates getting on the bike.
For the older ones, O2Feel also offers a handle to attach to the seat post.
For the transport of goods, you can also attach a large 60 x 40 cm platform at the rear, which can support up to 60 kg, as well as a 30 x 40 cm platform at the front, supporting up to 15kg. To store small items and tools, for example, there is also a central bag.
The O2Feel Equo Cargo therefore offers the essential accessories that can be expected from a longtail freighter. Be careful though, all are optional, the basic bike only integrating the bare luggage rack. It also comes equipped with a central stand which ensures good stability. Its deployment is not very practical, however, because its feet are folded and suddenly deviate on the ground, making the bike jump. However, this reduces its size under the bike once the stand is folded.
The cyclist benefits from a comfortable driving position, favoring a fairly upright posture, thanks in particular to a curved handlebar. The adjustable stem allows everyone to find a comfortable position according to the size of their limbs. As for the seat, it can be adjusted low enough to suit users measuring 1.60 m and high enough to accommodate larger sizes, up to 1.90 m according to O2Feel. From the height of our 87 meter, we did not feel cramped.
The suspended seatpost also provides good comfort to add cushioning to an already well-padded saddle (Royal Herz City Gel on our 7.1 trial version).
Front comfort is provided by an RST Avalon 26 suspension fork with 60 mm travel. This one behaves very well in town and on degraded roads, its travel seeming to us sufficient for the use of such a bike. Be careful not to overload the front to maintain maneuverability and safety in the event of heavy braking.
In any case, you can count on the wide reinforced Schwalbe Pick-Up Perf tires of 2.15″ wide at the front and 2.4″ at the rear to ensure good behavior for the Equo Cargo Power, even when heavily loaded. charged.
When it comes to integration, the O2Feel integrates its battery into its downtube, like most e-bikes these days. A battery protected by an aluminum cover which is removed from below. The finishes are neat and the cables pass through the frame to be more discreet.
When it comes to lighting, the Equo Cargo Power 7.1 is the best-off of the series, taking advantage of a Trelock Airflow headlight emitting 70 lux. We’ve seen more power, but it’s usually enough to drive at night if the public lighting is off. We will just be more careful outside urban areas and in rainy weather.
The Axa Juno rear light turns out to be quite visible, but is not connected to the brakes and therefore does not signal their activation; Too bad, because we find such a function on a bike like the Radwagon 4, yet 2.5 times cheaper than this O2Feel.
As for the protection of the cyclist, it is necessary to do without a protective casing at the level of the plate. The belt transmission certainly avoids greasy traces that a chain can cause, but we are not immune to some dirt on light-colored trouser bottoms.
We would also have liked the front fender to come down more on the wheel and end in a flap, in order to protect the end of the shoes which otherwise cannot remain immaculate in wet weather.
Despite its particular geometry, the Equo Cargo Power behaves almost like a normal bike due to its 26″ front wheel and a small 20″ rear wheel which does not particularly change the way of apprehending the It is rather the length of the bike that requires some precautions, especially in town and in tight turns.The fairly wide turning radius requires a little anticipation.
Fortunately, the small 20-inch wheel at the rear allows good maneuverability. It doesn’t achieve the agility of a bike like the Mustache Monday 20, but it doesn’t feel like riding a tractor-trailer either.
However, with nearly 40 kg on the scale (39.4 kg for our fully equipped model, with baby seat, foam seat, central pannier and front tray), there would be reason to fear for the behavior of the bike. This is where the electric assistance comes in. Thanks to the high-performance Shimano EP8 Cargo mid-motor, the Equo Cargo Power starts as if nothing had happened, from the first pedal stroke.
This engine nevertheless knows how to remain soft, thanks to its torque sensor which makes the assistance proportional to the force exerted on the pedals. We appreciate the naturalness of the pedaling which is not done at the expense of performance. With its 85 Nm of torque, the EP8 Cargo is indeed capable of providing sufficient assistance to climb fairly steep hills.
The Shimano Nexus Inter-5E internal gear hub of our 7.1 version of the Equo Cargo Boost also contributes to this smoothness, especially since it is driven by a belt which adds to the smoothness of the transmission, in addition to provide some reliability. All that’s missing is an automatic transmission so that you no longer have to worry about anything other than its trajectory.
The Nexus hub is all the more relevant as the weight of such a bike once loaded requires starting with a low gear. No problem here, since you can change gear when stationary without the risk of derailing or breaking anything.
Only defect of this transmission, its limited development hardly allows to exceed the 35 km/h without milling excessively.
With its 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, the O2Feel Equo Cargo Power brakes hard enough to stop in about 3.5 m on dry ground, with 85 kg of load. Its Schwalbe tires are no strangers to this good result and the bike remains stable thanks to its large front wheel and lowered rear.