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Cannondale cargo cart Neo review: First look

Cannondale Cargo Cart Neo Review: Specifications and Features

Cannondale Cargo Cart Neo Review: Specifications and FeaturesCannondale Cargo Cart Neo Review: Specifications and Features

frame and fork

The Cannondale Cargo Cart Neo rolls on a 6061 heat-treated aluminum frame. Its design is reminiscent of some of the other cargo e-bikes that have become very popular. It is designed for 20 inches. Wheels that offer multiple benefits: Smaller wheels have shorter spokes that are stronger – a practical advantage. The smaller wheels also help make the e-bike easy to maneuver while keeping the e-bike’s center of gravity low. Finally, designing the frame for smaller bikes also allowed the designer to give the frame a large opening and a low overall standover height, another feature that makes this cargo e-bike easier to handle when starting and stopping.

Cannondale chose a Suntour Mobie suspension fork with 85mm travel. This is a detail that may frustrate drivers. A suspension fork must be tailored to the weight of the load, not just the weight of the rider. Set the suspension to 180 pounds. The rider and e-bike ride well until a child and a few bags of groceries come along and the fork dips at every little bump. Our recommendation for any river would be to set the fork to the maximum load it will ever carry, keeping in mind that the ride will be hard if the load is lighter.

Motor and battery

When we first saw the announcement of this e-bike, we suspected that they would specify the Cargo Line motor because it was equipped with a Bosch mid-motor. We were wrong there. Cannondale chose the Bosch Performance Line Speed ​​motor, a Class 3 motor that allows the rider to reach 28 miles per hour with pedal assistance. It produces a whopping 85 Nm of torque, which is good for a hub motor but even more impressive for a mid-engine motor.

Like other Bosch motors, this one is rated at 250W, and since it’s a mid-drive motor, it delivers the power to the crankset using the 10-speed Shimano drivetrain. More on that in a moment.

It is equipped with a 545 Wh Bosch PowerPack battery, which would be a concern with another cargo e-bike, but not with the Neo cargo cart. Our rule of thumb for combining a battery with a motor is that the wattage of the motor should be approximately equal to the capacity of the battery, measured in watts/hours. This tends to give an e-bike a solid range. On paper, the combination of a 250W motor with a 545Wh battery looks great, but before we conclude that it is a long-distance champion, we must remember that it is is a cargo e-bike with a payload capacity of 441 pounds. The heavier the load, the more power is required to accelerate the e-bike to speed and keep it there. While Cannondale doesn’t provide a range estimate, a busy person driving to work and picking up kids from school should still be able to drive for several days between charges.

Apart from e-mountain bikes, there is probably no other e-bike category where a torque sensor is more helpful or welcome. Loaded with a child and a few shopping bags, a rider needs power the moment he pedals, not a second or two later. The Bosch Performance Speed ​​motor ensures that power transmission adapts seamlessly to the rider’s effort.


Cargo wagon Neo componentsCargo wagon Neo components

One of the first details we noticed when looking at the cockpit components was Cannondale’s decision to specify 740mm wide handlebars. Most commuter and city e-bikes have narrower handlebars, more like 680 mm. The wider handlebars give the rider greater leverage when controlling the e-bike and therefore do not require as much muscle strength to control the e-bike.

The Neo cargo cart is a one-size-fits-all design, but Cannondale obviously expected this to be an e-bike that can be ridden by multiple family members. To make changing riders quick and easy, it was equipped with a dropper seat post. Dropper seatposts come from the world of mountain biking and are practical because they allow the rider to lower the saddle before a steep descent, thereby lowering their center of gravity. In no time they turn scary into fun. What most mountain bikers (and e-mountain bikers) don’t know: They were invented for rental fleets.

By quickly pressing a lever (the one on the left side of the handlebars), a rider can adjust the saddle up or down. While it’s hard to criticize a quick release seat clamp, there’s no doubt that the dropper seat post is both faster and easier.

Cannondale has included a number of other important necessary accessories (necessities?), such as a two-legged motorcycle-style stand, which might not seem like a big deal until you try to load kids and groceries. This also included above-average lights, an Abus ring lock, fenders and puncture-proof hoses from Schwalbe.

To further enable riders to customize the fit to their needs, Cannondale has equipped the Neo cargo cart with an adjustable stem.

Drive, wheels and brakes

The equipment of a cargo e-bike is important. Going uphill requires a lot of torque and that torque is best produced with a low gear. Cannondale has equipped the Neo cargo cart with a 10-speed Shimano Deore Linkglide drive. Thanks to a 10-41T cassette, this e-bike has twice the gear range we see on most budget e-bikes – 410 percent as opposed to the more common 200 percent.

What is notable is the Linkglide name that Shimano gave this group. This is a relatively new version from Deore, designed specifically for e-bikes. The difference is that it uses a wider chain, wider chainring and wider sprockets. The extra metal in the gears and chainring lasts longer under the strain of the Bosch motor’s torque.

We have already taken a look at what the 20-inch model looks like. The wheels work with the frame design to make the Neo cargo cart easy to handle, but there are a few other commendable features when we look at the wheels.

The hub dimensions (15 x 110 mm front and 12 x 148 mm rear – axle diameter x axle width) are a relatively new standard adopted by mountain bikes and e-MTBs, giving the wheels stability and making handling a little crisper.

As mentioned, the payload capacity of the Neo cargo cart is 441 pounds. (200kg). A cargo e-bike loaded with 400 pounds. isn’t easy, but Cannondale wants riders to be on the safe side when this happens. They have 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro with 203 mm front disc and 180 mm rear disc brakes. This is a powerful setup, as powerful as we’ve seen on a cargo e-bike.

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