Bunch Bike Cargo eBike Review

Whether you want a car replacement, a fun way to get outdoors with young kids, or simply want to skip the carpool pickup line at school, the Bunch Bike stands ready to serve. With the ability to transport four young kids, up to 220 lb. of cargo, or your pack of pooches, you can haul it all with the Bunch Bike!

Unlike other family bike configurations, Bunch Bikes are truly unique because your kids ride in front of you! As a result, it’s super easy and fun to have conversations with them as you ride, as well as listen to their cute banter with each other.

Supported by a 500W motor, the Bunch Bike provides plenty of power to help you haul large loads around town. To keep both the adult rider and little passengers comfortable, a wide array of accessories are available to customize the bike to fit your family’s needs.

Like any bike, the Bunch Bike can be suitable for many families, but less ideal for others. From tackling hills to how it actually feels to ride one of these, we cover it all in this review.

grandpa riding the Bunch Bike with three kids in the front box

Bunch Bike Cargo eBike

Original 4 Model

stars

RATING: Highly Recommended for those living in semi-flat areas with 2+ kids.

MSRP: $5,399

FRAME SIZE: One Size (Fits 5’2″ – 6’6″)

BIKE WEIGHT: 152 lb.
MAX BIKE CAPACITY: 350 lb. total (kids/cargo + adult rider), 220 lb. max in cargo box
DIMENSIONS: 33.25″ W x 83″ L

MOTOR: 500W brushless, 45 Nm torque
PAS MODES: 5
BATTERY: 614 Wh
RANGE: 20 – 30 miles
TOP SPEED/CLASS: 20mph
TORQUE SENSOR: Yes
THROTTLE: Yes

TIRES: 20″ x 2.15″ front, 24″ x 2.0 rear
BRAKES: Tektro Auriga Hydraulic with 180mm rotors, with parking brake
GEARS: 7sp, trigger shifter
DERAILLEUR: 7sp Shimano Tourney

What we Love About the Bunch Bike

  • 14-day free trial offers a risk-free experience
  • Bike arrives fully assembled and fully charged, just roll it off the pallet!
  • It’s the mini-van of bikes – capable of hauling up to 4 kids, groceries, dogs, bikes, and even adults
  • Inclusivity: All kids can join the ride and enjoy the front seat action
  • Stability: Being a tricycle, balancing is not a concern; the bike won’t tip over when stopped.
  • Enables great conversations with kids seated in front
  • Lots of customization options, including a canopy for cold weather and a toddler seat
kids of all ages riding in a Bunch Bike with the canopy on

What you Should Know Before you Buy:

  • Bunch has three models, the Original (which we tested), the Preschool (larger box holds up to 6 kids) and the K9 (two seats and a door for dogs to easily get in and out). The “4” in the Original 4 refers to their 4th and latest update to the Original model (component upgrades only).
  • There is a bit of a learning curve to handling the bike. Going over uneven surfaces and around tight corners takes some practice, but becomes second nature with time, even for “non-bikers”.
  • Slower and not as spunky as a more traditional longtail cargo ebike (but can fit twice as many kids!)
  • The bike is not ideal for families in neighborhoods with steep hills. If it’s a steep hill that you dread walking up, expect to pedal hard to get the fully loaded Bunch Bike up it (even with the motor on in the highest pedal assist mode).
  • Changing a flat while out and about is certainly possible, but not fun. If “goat heads” or thorns are a possibility where you will be riding, be sure to get the optional Tannus tire inserts! The inserts are installed (by Bunch) between the tire and the tube to prevent punctures.
Grandpa riding a bike with 3 young kids in the box

What type of rider/family is the Bunch Bike the best fit for?

  • City Dwellers: Ideal for urbanites seeking a convenient car alternative for short trips, from school pickups to grocery runs.
  • Families with Young Children: Perfect for families with two or more young kids. Babies as young as 9 months can safely ride in the Bunch with the optional toddler seat. Older kids certainly fit as well, it just get a bit cramped.
  • Novice Cyclists: Great for those less confident in biking skills, as the tricycle setup eliminates the need for balancing.
  • Special Needs Families: Enables enjoyable rides for kids with diverse abilities. Teen and adults can ride in the Bunch (as long as they sit on the seat closest to rider to properly balance the bike). Just be sure to stay within the bike’s total weight limit of 350 lb. (weight of rider + weight of people and cargo in the box).
two girls smiling while sitting in the Bunch Bike

Who is the Bunch Bike not an ideal fit for?

  • Families with Older Kids: Best suited for toddlers and preschoolers due to limited space in the box and weight constraints of the bike. For families with special needs kids, however, one or two older kids absolutely fit in the Bunch, but leg and shoulder space will be very limited.
  • Riders in High-Traffic Areas: Not particularly fast or peppy, making it less suitable for keeping pace with traffic. Use on sidewalks is possible, but it takes the entire sidewalk and is not ideal due to the on and off ramps (bike bounced around on ramps).
  • Riding on Dirt Roads or on Hills: The Bunch is designed for smooth and mainly flat, paved roads.
  • Heavier Adult Riders: With a total weight capacity of 350 lb., the heavier the adult rider, the less kids/cargo (in terms of weight) the bike is able to carry. A 200 lb. adult rider can only carry 150 lbs. in the bike (which goes fast with 4 kids), while a 130 lb. rider can haul 220 lb. (Due to the 220 lb. total weight capacity for just the front box, a 110 lb. rider could still only haul 220 lb.).
  • Taller Adult Riders: Taller adults tend to weigh more and have heavier kids, which can push the limits of the bike’s weight capacity. Riding “high” on the bike – with the saddle properly extended for longer legs – is a bit unsettling when going over uneven surfaces (you get tossed around a bit). The bike doesn’t bounce you around as much if you lower the saddle and sit very low on the bike.
Bunch Bike being ridden in a hilly neighborhood

Bunch Bikes Original Review – Results of our Test Rides

Riding the Bunch Bike sparks nostalgia for my younger self, when shuttling around a pack of toddlers and preschoolers was a daily adventure. With two young kids of my own (as well a serving as a nanny for my sister’s two young kids), transporting four little ones usually meant relying on the car. While I had an impressive four-seater stroller in those days (it was a sight to see!), it was cumbersome for longer outings to the library or nearby parks.

The Bunch Bike would have been the perfect solution! From quick pickups and drop-offs at preschool, to trips to the library for story time, it would have been a game-changer for me. Fortunately, it can still transform your family’s transportation routine! Whether you have young children (or kids of any age) to transport, investing in the Bunch Bike is a decision you won’t regret.

With my kids no longer little 😭, to get the full Bunch Bike experience, I tested the Bunch Bike with various families – from parents seeking an easier way to stay active with little ones, to grandparents embarking on adventures with their grandkids. We all learned a lot along the way and truly saw the potential in Bunch.

toddler sitting in the Bunch Bike while his mom adjusts his helmet

Overall, our young testers absolutely loved riding in the Bunch Bike (and often begged for more)! Parents also enjoyed the experience, particularly the chance for fun and random conversations while on the move. The bike is indeed fabulous and can certainly lead to a lifestyle change. However, just like finding the right car for your family, understanding the ins and outs is crucial to ensure it’s the best family bike for your specific situation.

What’s it like to ride a Bunch Bike?

While riding around our neighborhood, the first question people always ask is – “What it’s like to ride the Bunch Bike?” Whether seeing it online or in person, the appeal of the Bunch Bike is instantaneous, but parents are often left wondering, “Can I actually pedal it? How does it navigate neighborhoods and how do you turn it?”

Riding around on the Bunch Bike is certainly a unique experience! It’s kind of like pushing around a large grocery cart while pedaling. Steering is similar to a shopping cart—you push or pull on the flat handle. However, instead of walking, pedaling propels the cart forward.

Dad riding the Bunch Bike with his kids inside

But just like you wouldn’t skip using a cart because you can’t drift through tight turns in the produce section, the Bunch Bike’s quirks don’t overshadow its usefulness. While it takes some time to get accustomed to riding the Bunch Bike, especially for biking enthusiasts accustomed to zipping around, it does a great job for what it is.

Similar to a shopping cart, the Bunch Bike struggles with sharp turns, curbs, potholes, and uneven surfaces at angles. If you hit them at speed, be prepared to be shaken around a bit 🤪 (you feel like you could fall off the saddle, but not to worry, no one even came close). Around town, going up and down sidewalk ramps (or down driveways) was where we felt the most unsettled on the bike, but if you’re sticking to bike lanes around town, this shouldn’t be a concern.

Riding the bunch bike up a ramp

Bunch Bike Ride Feel vs. Longtail Ebike

Having ridden several longtail cargo ebikes with kids, we can say the Bunch Bike isn’t as maneuverable or fast. Longtail ebikes often fair better on uneven surfaces and on hills (many have larger 750W motors). If you prioritize speed and agility and only have two small children under the age of 4 or 5, opting for a longtail ebike (such as the Aventon Abound or Xtracycle Swoop) may be more suitable.

Aventon Abound longtail ebike vs. Bunch Bike
Aventon Abound and Bunch Bike

However, longtail ebikes quickly become cramped when accommodating more than two kids or at least one older child aged 6+. In the Aventon Abound pictured above, the kids in the back are 2 and 4. If one of them were age 6 or older, fitting both comfortably would be challenging.

While the Bunch’s unique ride feel may not be as ideal for the adult rider, it offers a better ride experience for the kids compared to longtails. With more space, greater versatility, and the added benefit of easy communication, our young testers all preferred the Bunch Bike over the longtail.

Steering the Bunch Bike

While it’s easy to get accustomed to, the Bunch Bike does provide a very unique ride feel for a bike. Its reverse tricycle set-up lends itself to a very unique steering mechanism.

To turn the bike, you simply push or pull on the bike’s handlebar. The two front wheels, positioned on the sides of the box, rotate with the box during turns. The rear single wheeled portion of the bike then pivots around the center of the box. Stoppers on both sides of the bottom of the box (shown below), prevent the box from rotating too far away from the rear portion of the bike.

image pointing out the stoppers on the Bunch Bike that limit the steering

Around town, we never felt restricted by the limited turning radius and you wouldn’t want to make a tight turn on the bike anyways (the bike could tip at high speeds!). Maneuvering around corners on the sidewalk was never a problem, but you would likely struggle going up a tighter wheelchair ramp with some hairpin turns. On super tight turns or when backing up the bike, be prepared to do 5 or 6 point turns!

What size kids fit in the Bunch?

The Original 4 has two bench seats with two harnesses on each side of the box (front and back). We had no problem fitting four kids ages 9 and under in the Bunch. The older the kids, the more snug the fit. As a result, if you’re only hauling three kids, it’s best to leave the empty seat next to the oldest or largest child.

Bunch Bike with different ages

For the youngest of riders, Bunch Bikes offers a toddler seat. The seat positions the toddler in a comfortable, slightly leaned-back position. With any young child, make sure you check with your doctor before taking them for a ride and don’t forget a toddler helmet!

Bunch BIke toddler seat

As your kids grow, the Bunch is absolutely still usable (as long as you stay under the given weight limits). To see how well the bike performed with older kids or teens, I took a ride with my 5’6″ tall17-year-old in tow, and much to my surprise, she really liked it (but not enough to let me take her to school in it🤣).

As you can see, she certainly fit, but there wasn’t a ton of room for additional passengers.

Bunch Bike with teenager

But… still enough room to also fit my 5’0″ 12-year-old! Shoulder space was pretty limited when they sat next to each other, so diagonally was a much better option.

Bunch bike with two older kids

How does the Bunch Bike really do on hills?

You’ll come across mixed reviews regarding the Bunch Bike’s performance on hills, which is common with ebikes of any style. Similar to cars, an ebike’s performance is greatly influenced by the load it carries and the steepness of the hills it encounters. The heavier the load and the steeper the hill, the more the ebike is likely to struggle.

To give you some context for the “hills” we tested the bike on, we live along the edge of Salt Lake valley. While it’s not San Fransisco, nothing is really flat. From my son’s elementary school and back, it’s just over 2 miles and just over 100 feet elevation gain (according to Strava). Not nothing too crazy, but it’s impossible to avoid hills.

We do, however, have one neighborhood that has some intense hills, so like all ebikes I test, I rode the Bunch Bike up there to see how well it fared. Considering the Bunch is designed to haul multiple kids, I threw 120 lb. of salt in the bike first (kids were at school 🤣).

Bunch Bike loaded up with 120 lb. of salt

The Bunch Bike performed as expected as the 500W motor provided plenty of power assist on the less intense hills, but struggled to get up the steepest hills. While I was able to make it, it did take some intense pedaling while in the highest pedal assist mode and in the lowest (easiest) gear.

Considering that some ebikes with 500W motors struggle on this hill with one person, expecting the 152 lb. Bunch Bike carrying 120 lb. of salt to handle the same terrain would be unrealistic.

While it’s hard to show how steep a hill is in a picture, this is certainly a hill that you could walk up, but wouldn’t want to. The average bike rider likely wouldn’t be able to make it to the top without stopping, and if covered in snow, you would avoid the hill at all costs while in your car.

Bunch Bike on a steep hill

On both the moderate and steep hills, I was unable to use the throttle as the motor alone didn’t have enough power to accelerate the bike. To be fair, this is VERY common on ebikes with hub motors on hills. So if you do plan on riding any hills, don’t plan on having the throttle assist you – you are going to have to pedal your way up (with the help from motor in pedal assist mode).

To really push the limits on the bike, I continued to ride for 5 miles up and down the steepest hills and for the most part, with enough effort, the bike did okay, but it’s not something I would want to do everyday.

So in the end, the bike does okay on steep hills IF you are in shape and willing to pedal along, and IF you aren’t planning on going really long distances. While the Bunch will go 20 – 30 miles on flat paved surfaces if you don’t rely on the throttle, after my 5 mile test in the hills (using the throttle when I could), I had less than 30% of the battery life left.

Parking Brake – A MUST on the Bunch

The Bunch Bike is the first bike we have used that has a parking brake, and it is absolutely essential!

Why does it need a parking brake?

As a tricycle, the Bunch Bike is self-balancing and doesn’t need a kickstand, so it WILL roll away if left on a slightly uneven surface. As a result, you MUST remember to engage the parking brake even BEFORE you get off the bike! As a heavy bike, the bike wants to roll downhill, so you need to be vigilant about using the brake.

Where is the parking brake?

The parking brake is conveniently integrated into the left hand brake (front brake). In addition to the regular brake lever, there is an upper black and red parking brake lever. When the parking brake lever is pushed in towards the rider, the regular brake lever works just like a standard bike brake. When pushed out (as shown below) the parking brake can be activated by pulling back on the regular brake lever.

Bunch provides a helpful demonstration of this process in their Quick Start video. I highly recommend watching the section on the parking brake, as well as the entire video, before taking the bike for a ride.

Pay close attention to the amount of pressure required to activate the parking brake. It’s easy to mistakenly assume you’ve squeezed hard enough when you haven’t.

During my initial rides, I experienced the bike starting to roll because I hadn’t squeezed the lever firmly enough. Since there’s no indicator to confirm that the parking brake is fully engaged, it’s important to dismount slowly to ensure the bike remains stationary and the brake is fully activated.

Transporting the Bunch

The Bunch will not fit on any traditional bike rack. In addition to being an awkward size, it is simply too heavy. You can, however, transport the Bunch in the back of a van! Simply remove the handlebar (quick and easy to do with an Allen wrench) and roll it into the back of the vehicle. With the bike weighing 152 lb., it does take some muscle.

Loading the Bunch into the back of a van

Bunch Bike Creature Comforts

With several Bunch Bike owners clocking over 10,000 miles on their bikes (that’s crazy!), Bunch has ensured that there are plenty of creature comforts available on the bike.

Padded Saddle

The saddle is generously padded and quite comfortable. Unlike most bikes, there’s no need to swap it out for a nicer one.

thickly padded saddle on the Bunch BIke

Adjustable Seat and Handlebar Height

The saddle offers plenty of room for adjustment to your desired height. For easy dismounts and mounting, we recommend setting the saddle at a position where you can place your feet flat on the ground while seated.

While this limits a perfectly efficient pedal stroke, since the pedals are positioned more in front of the rider, instead of below like on a traditional bike, it is easier to ride with a lower than ideal saddle position.

riding the bunch with an older child

Taller riders can also adjust the handlebar height, but it does require an Allen wrench to do so.

Throttle!

If you’re hauling heavier loads on an ebike, a throttle can be your lifesaver. With power supplied by simply pushing a lever, the throttle can help you overcome the initial weight of the bike to get you rolling.

Once up and running, we enjoyed pedaling the bike, but you can also rely on the throttle to propel the bike continually (except on hills). While loaded and on flat surfaces, our throttle couldn’t propel the bike faster than 10 or 12 mph though.

Front and Rear Lights

For added safety, the bike is equipped with powered front and rear lights. You can easily turn on the lights using a button on the bike’s control screen.

Front and rear light on the Bunch Bike

USB Plug on Computer

If you need to charge your phone while out and about, the bike’s computer has one port for your charging cable!

Various Accessories

Bunch sells several accessories for the rider including a phone mount, drink holder, bell, electric horn, bar mitts (for cold weather) and bags for the rear rack.

Family Friendly Features

To keep the little ones comfortable and cozy, the box is full of kid-friendly features.

Under Seat Storage

There’s ample room underneath the seats for your child’s favorite comfort items, snacks, or extra layers. Although the storage isn’t accessible when the kids are buckled in, it’s easy to access once they’re out of the seat by simply flipping one clamp.

Under seat storage

Seat Cushions

Cushions are on optional upgrade. They are available as a double (shown above) or a single (shown below). If you do not order the cushions, the child will sit on the wood bench (which our kids didn’t mind). For taller riders, we found it was better for them to not sit on a cushion so that they sat lower in the box.

Padded seat next to a non-padded seat

Canopy

To keep your littles warm and dry during the winter, a zip-up canopy is available. The canopy easily slides in and out of place and has two zippers on each side to allow for easy access as well as air flow.

Bunch Bike with canopy on top

We did find, however, that it was difficult to zip up all four zippers as the canopy was very tight! But even with the last zipper partially unzipped, the canopy still kept our testers warm and protected.

Child Steps for Easy Entry

Small metal platforms above each front wheel serve as perfect steps for kids to hop into the box. While a bit too high for small toddlers, taller preschool and grade-school testers had no trouble using them.

child step on the bunch bike

Bakkie Pannier Bag

If you need to tow a bike home or transport a child who no longer wants to ride, the Bakkie is the perfect solution. This ingenious bag attaches to the rear rack of the bike and cradles the front tire of the towed bike.

Bunch Bike with Bakkie Bag and bike in tow

Technical Features

Computer

The black and white computer screen on the bike’s handlebar displays a wide range of stats including the battery level, speedometer, odometer, and power assist level.

The up and down buttons on the computer allow you to easily change between the 5 different power assist levels the bike offers. For almost all of our rides, we stuck to the highest power assist level, level 5. Due to the weight of the bike and the passengers, you’re going to want the extra help, especially on hills or when you are trying to go over 10 mph.

Bunch Bike Computer

Charging

The battery can be charged while on the bike, but can also be removed for charging indoors. If you live in a really hot or cold climate, it is always best to charge indoors to ensure battery safety. The Bunch Bike will go approximately 20 to 30 miles on one charge, depending on the total weight on the bike as well as how frequently you’re riding hills. During our testing, we got 17 miles on our first charge, which included tests on hills with up to 90 lb. of cargo.

Gearing

For plenty of gearing options, the bike comes with 7 gears and easy-to-use trigger shifters. Although the bike did struggle on hills, the gearing was low enough to allow us to sufficiently pedal, so we don’t believe a lower gear would be as helpful as a more powerful motor.

Bunch Bike Original Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking to rely less on the car, you want to get your kids outside more, or you want a fun bonding experience with your kids (or grandkids!), you can’t go wrong with the Bunch Bike.

With the ability to haul kids of all ages (from toddlers to adults), the Bunch Bike makes easy work of carpool picks up, library visits, as well as a quick runs to the grocery store. While the bike does struggle on the steepest hills, if you live in a relatively flat neighborhood, you’ll love the Bunch.

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