Well established in the world of urban assisted bicycles, the O2Feel company has not forgotten the popularity of cargo bikes. For its first test, it therefore offers a longtail model, designed to support most of its load on a high and reinforced luggage rack. A type of bicycle that has the advantage of not being wider than a conventional bicycle while remaining maneuverable despite its greater height.
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 that develops 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 .
The brakes, saddles and lights also change from one version to another, but above all the transmission is different. 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 huge, with the Equo Cargo Power 4.1 asking €3899 (€500 more than the 3.1), while the 7.1 tops out at €4999. Count 300 € more to get from the battery capacity of 432 Wh to 720 Wh.
Comfort and ergonomics
However, it is less impressive compared to a normal bike thanks to a design trick that consists in using a small diameter rear tire (20″, compared to 26″ in front), thus reducing of its wheelbase despite the height of the rear triangle. The height of the luggage rack is also reduced, which is easier for children to climb and load in general. It also lowers the center of gravity for better stability.
A sturdy 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 makes it easy to install 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 at the front which makes it easy to get on the bike.
For the elderly, O2Feel also offers a handle to attach to the seat post.
For carrying things, you can also attach a large 60 x 40 cm rear platform, which can support up to 60 kg, as well as a 30 x 40 cm front platform, which supports up to 15 kg . To store small items and tools, for example, there is also a central bag.
The O2Feel Equo Cargo therefore offers the essential accessories to be expected from a longtail cargo. However, be careful, everything is optional, the basic bike only combines bare luggage. It is also equipped with a central stand that ensures good stability. However, its placement was not very practical because its legs folded and suddenly deviated from the ground, causing the bike to jump. However, this reduces its size under the bike once the stand is folded.
The cyclist benefits from a comfortable driving position, favoring a balanced posture, thanks to a curved handlebar. The adjustable stem allows everyone to find a comfortable position according to the size of their arms. As for the seat, it can be adjusted low enough to fit 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 meters, we did not feel cramped.
The suspended seatpost also provides good comfort to add cushioning to an already good saddle (Royal Herz City Gel in our 7.1 test version).
Front comfort is provided by an RST Avalon 26 suspension fork with 60 mm of travel. It behaves very well in the city and on bad roads, its travel for us is enough for the use of such a bike. Be careful not to overload the front to maintain maneuverability and safety when braking hard.
In any case, you can count on the wide reinforced Schwalbe Pick-Up Perf tires 2.15″ wide at the front and 2.4″ at the rear to ensure good behavior for the Equo Cargo Power, even when full- and loaded.
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 removed from below. The finishes are smooth and the cables go through the frame to be smarter.
When it comes to lighting, the Equo Cargo Power 7.1 is the best of the series, taking advantage of a Trelock Airflow headlight that emits 70 lux. We’ve seen more power, but it’s usually enough to drive at night when the public lights are off. Let’s just be careful outside the cities and in the rainy season.
The Axa Juno rear light has become very visible, but is not connected to the brakes and therefore does not signal their activation; Not good, because we found such a function on a bike like the Radwagon 4, but 2.5 times cheaper than the O2Feel.
Regarding the protection of the cyclist, it is necessary to do without protective casing at the level of the plate. The belt transmission certainly avoids the greasy traces that can cause a chain, but we are not immune to some dirt on the light-colored bottoms of the pants.
We also want the front fender to go down to the wheel and end with a flap, to protect the top of the shoes that otherwise won’t stay clean in wet weather.
Despite its particular geometry, the Equo Cargo Power handles almost like a normal bike thanks to its 26″ front wheel and a small 20″ rear wheel that does not change the way it handles. in. be careful, especially in town and on tight turns. The relatively wide turning radius requires a little anticipation.
Fortunately, the small 20-inch rear wheel allows for good maneuverability. It doesn’t reach the agility of a bike like Mustache Monday 20, but it’s not like riding a tractor-trailer.
However, with almost 40 kg on the scale (39.4 kg for our fully equipped model, with child seat, foam seat, central pannier and front tray), there is reason to fear the bike’s behavior. This is where electrical assistance comes in. Thanks to the high-performance Shimano EP8 Cargo mid-motor, the Equo Cargo Power starts as if nothing happened, from the first pedal stroke.
This engine however knows how to stay soft, thanks to its torque sensor that makes the assistance proportional to the force applied to 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 able to provide enough assistance to climb relatively 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 that increases the smoothness of the transmission, in addition to providing some reliability. All it’s missing is an automatic transmission so you don’t have to worry about anything but its path.
The Nexus hub is all the more relevant as the weight of such a bicycle once loaded should start with a lower gear. There is no problem here, because you can change gears without stopping without the risk of derailing or breaking anything.
The only flaw of this transmission, its limited progress hardly allows to exceed 35 km/h without grinding too much.
With its 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, the O2Feel Equo Cargo Power stops very quickly in about 3.5 m on dry land, with an 85 kg load. Schwalbe tires are no strangers to this good result and the bike remains stable thanks to the large front tire and lowered rear.