Overview: Electric Bike
Using an E-Bike to tow your young child who is riding their own bike is a fantastic way to ride as a family. Having the assistance of an E-Bike will help make the riding you do easy and enjoyable. E-Bikes have strong frames and are generally designed to enable carrying weight (exception being E-Mountain Bikes/Carbon E-Bikes). The biggest issue you may have is where your battery is and how this affects attaching things to your bike.
Type of Riding: E-Bikes are used in all riding environments from around town riding to multi day tour riding.
Type of Frame: There are a wide range of E-Bike frames available, please see the end of this story to learn more about your frame and what type of kids tow will work with it.
Towing: E-Bikes are a great choice for towing a child on their own bike especially for making your riding easy with added weight. The only thing to watch for is attachment. Let’s find out more…
Bike Tow Frame
You can use a bike tow frame with an E-Bike. Tow frames connect the adult bike to a child’s bike. A great option for commute or transport type travel by bike. Cargo bikes are usually used to transport a 4yr old so towing one is unusual but you may want to. If you think your family wants to do this a Cargo with front seats/storage is the best option.
Find out more about bike tow frame attachment: Will a Bike Tow Frame fit my bike?
Bike Tow Bar
E-Bikes will need to provide a clear path to the seat post and have a big enough frame size to work. You may struggle to use a bike tow bar with a Cargo Bike. Tow bars need a clear path to a seat post so no kids on the back and they are not long enough to use with any extended rear axels.
Find out more about bike tow bar attachment: Will a Bike Tow Bar fit my bike?
Bike Tow Rope
You can definitely use a bike tow rope with an E-Bike especially an E-MTB which will enable you to tow heavier kids. The match of a cargo bike and tow rope would be unusual as cargo bikes are not meant for off road riding.
Find out more about bike tow frame attachment: Attaching a Bike Tow Rope.
Overview: Cargo & E-Cargo Bike
Using a Cargo Bike to tow a young child is a little unusual but your family may want to do this. Towing is a great way to teach children about town riding or to ride with multiple kids – some on seats, one being towed. You will probably find for this to work your seats need to be at the front of the cargo bike – bucket style. Cargo Bikes have extremely strong frames and are designed to enable carrying cargo. They are heavy and usually longer than a standard bike so you will need to adapt to handling one.
Type of Riding: Cargo bikes are for around town, urban, commute style riding.
Bike Tow Frame: With Cargo Bikes the kids (4yrs+) are usually sitting on the seats provided. To ride with multiple kids you may want the option of towing an older child or a child who is learning to ride a bike. A clear path will be needed to the middle of the cargo bike rear wheel for attachment, rear footrests may interfere with this.
Bike Tow Bar: Any cargo bike that has an extended rack for kids to sit on will not work with a Tow Bar. The bar won’t be long enough to clear the rear of the bike.
Bike Tow Rope: Usually used for off road riding, not somewhere you will find a cargo bike.
The ultimate in family transport, often used to replace a second car. An Electric Cargo Bike takes all the effort of riding a heavy bike away with the assistance it provides you. Also enabling you to ride hills. Battery placement needs to be considered and whether this will interfere with your ability to tow a child.
Type of Riding: E-Cargo bikes are for around town, urban, commute style riding. Often purchased as a replacement for a car.
Read both sections above to understand compatibility.
What to do when the kids are too old for your Cargo Bike.
A great story about planning for the transition off the cargo bike. When your family grows your options will need to change.
Design Features & Frames for E-Bikes
Learn more about the specific E-Bike frame you have and which kids seats/trailers best suit the design.
Step Through Frame
No top tube or what is called a double down
Commonly called Womens frame, urban bike, town bike
Horizontal or close to horizontal top tube
Commonly called urban bike, town bike, commute bike
Squashed Triangle Frame
Angled top tube
Commonly called hard tail MTB, front suspension MTB, trail bike
Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Curved top tube
Commonly called full suspension MTB