A new year, a new e-bike to review, and something entirely different this time.
Harking back to the good old days when local shops got lads on bicycles to deliver goods to your door, I have been looking at the latest Cargo e-bike from Swedish firm Cake. The Åik is a sweet ride, as I found out.
Many decades ago, before the days of DHL, USP, DPB et al., delivered anything from the Internet to an address of your choice, local shops were your only choice to purchase items. It seemed like every shop also employed a lad riding a bicycle, who would deliver the items you bought to your door. Along came the online retail giants initially distributing products from their garages, and the goods arrived at your door. But the expansion of this booming business and the subsequent food delivery sector has put millions of vehicles on our roads, causing congestion and damaging emissions. Many manufacturers are keen to change how deliveries are made and are returning to the past to move forward.
Cake, the Swedish brand making Electric mobility solutions are one of these companies wanting to tackle the issues surrounding congestion and emissions. To provide a delivery solution that will overcome Ultra-low emission zones cropping up across the globe, Cake has created a cargo bike with its roots in the past but its design in the present and future. The Åik is a Utility e-bike, i.e. a Cargo bike powered by batteries and pedals.
The Åik is not just an e-bike; it is a utility tool that can unlock areas in Urban environments where other vehicles can’t go. The e-bike is designed around an aluminium modular frame, allowing customers to equip the basic model with the carrying system that suits them best or change it regularly for the goods being carried. Using one battery or up to three, you can achieve a range from 110 Km and have a combined weight of 200 kg.
Cake produces racks, passenger seats, baskets and much more to aid your carrying. A significant advantage of the Åik is that, unlike an Electric motorcycle or petrol moped, it doesn’t require a licence or insurance, so running costs are considerably reduced. Operators do not require special training, so staff can be recruited and sent out to deliver pizzas, parcels, documents, or medication.
So where does the Åik e-bike get its name from?
One way or another, all CAKE names derive from the island of Gotland. The Åik comes from the local ancient language “Gutniska” and means’ big and heavy load’ referring to Åik’s hundreds of utility combinations to pull, stow and carry heavy loads.
Being an e-bike and not classified as a motorcycle, the Åik can use cycle lanes, paths and other areas otherwise off-limits to vehicles. These benefits are evident as the rider can take deliveries right to the door without parking and then continue on foot. There are two other benefits to not having to pay for parking or wasting time parking.
CAKE founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn, “With Åik joining the :work series lineup, we’re now offering a complete assortment of electric two-wheeled solutions for any business in need of a transportation solution.
Our range is optimized for artisanal needs, from the fastest deliveries in town through to surveillance work in the backcountry.”
In designing this bike, CAKE took its expertise from manufacturing high-performance electric motorcycles and applied it to e-bikes. The result is a robust bike that’s ready for the demands of commercial fleet use and everyday commuting alike.
The key feature of the Åik is its battery or batteries. One of the 750 Wh batteries can power the bike up to 110 Km, but you can connect as many as three to extend the range to cover more Kilometres than most want to ride in a single day. The batteries can also power electronic devices such as temperature-controlled food boxes, electronic tools, and equipment.
There is a vast selection of Electric Cargo Bikes as manufacturers attempt to grab sales from the lucrative delivery market, especially among food deliveries. Competing with the Cake Åik, I have selected three to mention, spanning different styles. The Tadpole from Amcargobikes the Bakery Elite from Bergamont and the Mycle Cargo.
The Åik is available for pre-order on ridecake.com with shipping in May 2023.
The Åik comes in at a starting price of $8800, which is a fair bit more than the other three but gives you many benefits which will recover the outlay.
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