BLACK IRON HORSE
PONY FAMILY E-ASSIST BIKE - DI2
The single design-problem when designing a cargo tricycle is balancing steering with handling and the latter two with space. Black Iron Horse just might offer the cleverest response to this problem: rear-wheel steering. And hey, why not? If Porsche can do it, so can a cargo bike company.
So, what's the problem, exactly? As you can read on our Cargo Bike Face-off, most 3-wheeled cargo trikes on the market tend to be high on stability (when compared to 2-wheeled cargo bikes) but much of the handling can be lost. And handling is equal to stability when it comes to safety. Why? Because handling is how you veer away from drivers who aren't paying attention.
Most trikes (Babboe, Christiana, Bunch) steer by using a pivot under the box, meaning the whole box steers. That means that the heavier the cargo is in the box, the worse the steering. (It doesn't help that brands like Babboe use such heavy boxes to begin with - Winther is the exception here).
Nihola, meanwhile, uses the same kind of independent steering found on a car. But, this steering takes up a great deal of space that could have otherwise been cargo. The Black Iron Horse gains back nearly half a foot of cargo space while offering incredible handling; it just means the steering is in the rear.
Rear wheel steering may raise an eyebrow and sure, it can take a ride or two to get used to (truth is: it's really fun), but there's a reason why it exists on many cars, forklifts and other modes of transport that require very sharp steering. Simply put: rear wheel steering offers a smaller, sharper angle of rotation when compared to front wheel steering systems. It's perfect for tight corners and offers the best slow-to medium-speed handling of any other cargo bike. Best of all, it doesn't matter how much load you have in the front box; maneuverability is no longer determined by the weight of the cargo.
The Black Iron Horse comes equipped with Shimano's spectacular E6100 motor. This offers up to 100km of range, amazing up-front quality, and rapid after-sales service should anything go wrong. Shifting is powered by Shimano's electronic Di2 system, which means no more cables to break or to freeze in cold weather. The brakes are incredibly powerful - and very low-maintenance - hydraulic disc brakes. Like all cargo bikes we sell, the box has been impact tested for safety.
- Questions? Book a consultation with one of our Cargo Bike experts
- Lightweight ABS box that absorbs impacts
- Tons of plug-and-play seating options that grow with your family
- Shimano E6100 motor with 250w continuous output and 60nm of torque
- Shimano 418W Lithium-Ion Battery will take you up to 80km on a single charge
- Shimano Nexus 5 hub is sealed from weather, low maintenance, and made for e-assist systems!
- Shimano Di2 Electric Shifting is exact, accurate and works all winter
- Powerful hydraulic disc brakes for all weather confident braking
Tough rust-resistant aluminum frame with chip-resistant powder-coated finish
Integrated powerful LED lighting system
- Fully enclosed chain guard to keep clothing looking fresh
- Maximum Capacity: 200kg (Box=100kg, Rider=100kg)
- PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE
|BLACK IRON HORSE|
|FRAME||Precision steel with impact resistant powder coating
||Shimano Steps E6100 (60 NM / 250 W)|
|BATTERY||Shimano Steps 418Wh (36V, 11.6Ah)|
|COMPUTER||Shimano Steps SC-E6100|
|COMPUTER MODES||Speed, Battery capacity (%), Average speed, Maximum speed, Trip meter, Odometer, Range, Cadence, Clock, Lights|
|MAX ASSISTED SPEED||26kmh|
|RANGE ESTIMATE||65km - 130km|
0-80% - 2 Hours
0-100% - 4 Hours **
|SEAT||Selle Royale Sky Gel
|BRAKE LEVERS||Tektro Xuriga|
|SHIFTER||Shimano Di2 electric shifting|
|REAR HUB||Shimano Steps DI2 - 5 internal gears
20" Double Walled - Alloy
|TIRES||Schwalbe Marathon Plus|
|BOTTOM BRACKET||Shimano Sealed|
|CRANKS||Shimano Forged, 42T, 165mm|
|LOCK||Axa Rear Wheel Lock|
Front: Axa Compactline 20 E-bike
Rear: Busch Muller μ E
|SEAT BELTS||Three Point Harnesses|
|BENCHES||Bench for two kids
|BIKE DIMENSIONS||202cm L x 86.5cm W|
|BOX DIMENSIONS||89cm L x 66cm W|
|BIKE CAPACITY (BOX & RIDER)||130kg (285 lbs)|
|BOX CAPACITY||400 Litres
|WEIGHT FRAME||16 kg (35lbs)|
|WEIGHT CARGO BOX||12 kg (26lbs)|
|5' 4" **||6' 4" **|
Will this take up a lot of space on the road?
Not really, most bike lanes are 1.5 – 2 meters wide and the Winther is only 86cm wide, leaving plenty of room for other transport users to pass.
Two-wheeled or three-wheeled?
It really comes down to how much of a learning curve you’re OK with. Trikes like the Black Iron Horse have the lowest learning curve since they are remarkably stable and feature highly intuitive steering. Two-wheeled bikes don’t have the stability of the third wheel so they build stability through a long wheelbase (Bullitt bikes are the exception here). This requires a bit of a learning curve, especially when riding at slow speeds since the bike can feel a bit wobbly. But, the advantage of a two-wheeled is that it’s terrific for longer rides (less drag) and it feels the most like a regular bike (if that matters). The advantage of three-wheels is that they are simply more stable, and thus, more safe.
Why an e-assist cargo bike?
Several reasons! First, you might carry a lot of weight up in the box, or second, you commute longer distances or have to deal with hills. When buying a cargo bike, we recommend not always thinking about the short-distance errands that constitute most urban life, but also its use for all-day weekend adventures.
Why a mid-drive versus a front or rear drive?
Great question! The e-assist market started with front wheel drives about a decade ago. They weren’t great. On a wet day as you slowed down into a corner the computer might sense (wrongly) that you need a boost and suddenly you’re slipping off the bike while executing a turn. The rear-drive is much better, but is dominated by many unknown players. But, the big problem with rear-drives is that you are forced to use a derailleur system whereas a mid-drive allows for a low maintenance internal gear hub.
Does the battery lock to the bike?
Yep. That’s one expensive chunk of Lithium Ion. It locks on to the rack and only you can remove it with the key provided.
How long does it take to charge the battery?
It takes five hours to charge the battery from flat to full, and there is no problem if you only charge the battery a little bit, halfway, or whatever. You’ll get over 1000 complete charges with the battery which is typically 5+ years of use before a replacement is required.
Is the unit serviceable?
You bet it is. For years the e-assist market was dominated by small fly-by-night companies with good ideas and no balance sheet. The consumer took all the risk and were often left with technical assistance phone numbers that no longer worked. Today’s systems are made by huge players like Bosch, Yamaha, and Shimano – and they are sophisticated, which means they are update-able, diagnosable, and if something does break, fundamentally repairable.
How does this compare to other three wheeled cargo bikes?
It really comes down to steering. There are three types of steering for trikes: pivot steering, independent steering, and tilt steering. Tilt steering can be found on performance bikes like the Butchers and Bicycles MK1E and is designed for high speed cornering. Independent steering is found on bikes like Nihola. This is designed for highly reactive handling in cities, but isn't designed for high speed cornering because Nihola would view high-speed cornering in the city as fundamentally unsafe (they have a point). Black Iron Horse ups the game by using rear-wheel steering. This doesn't require any learning curve, but it does require a moment of mental recalibration. Rear wheel steering has some big advantages. First, the weight of the cargo has no effect on the steering. Second, the front box can be a lot bigger. And last, rear wheel steering - while a bit weird at first - is highly reactive, offering amazing handling. And good handling is critical in cities where bike lanes are paint on concrete.
How does this compare to a Winther or Nihola?
Both Winther and Nihola are Danish, so they actually have a lot in common! However, Winther uses pivot steering, meaning the handling isn't quite as responsive as Nihola or Black Iron. (Note that the Winther is still much better than bikes like the Babboe Curve or Big, both of which use heavy marine-grade wood boxes). Like the Winther, the Black Iron Horse has generous box space. And, the Black Iron Horse, like the Winther, both use high quality Shimano motors. The Nihola, meanwhile, has incredible front wheel independent steering, but this steering also swallows up a lot of cargo space. The Nihola also uses lower quality Bafang motors that aren't quite as good in terms of after-sales service or overall quality. Both the Black Iron Horse and Nihola feature a type of independent steering, but the Nihola steers from the front while the Black Iron Horse uses rear wheel steering. That makes the Black Iron Horse awesome for motor and for cargo space, but requires a ride or two to adjust to the steering.
Can I store it outside?
You bet! All Black Iron Horse bikes are built for perpetual outdoor storage. The steel frames are coated with a super-tough and chip-resistant powder-coat. And, all the mechanical parts are sealed inside the hubs.
What is the maintenance like?
Very low! Because the Black Iron Horse uses internal gears and hydraulic disc brakes the intervals between tune-ups are few and far between. We recommend oil on the chain and air in the tires every three weeks.
What ’s the rear wheel lock good for?
The rear-wheel lock is a clever design built for short in-and-out errands where finding a locking-pole may take longer than the errand. The rear-wheel lock lets you momentarily lock the bike to itself. It’s great if you need to quickly dash in and out to grab a coffee or at the park having a picnic.
This is expensive! Will it get stolen?
Estimates are that over 90% of bicycle theft is tied to cash-for-drugs and this (unfortunately) makes every bike a target. Make sure you buy a good U-lock or a chain and your bike will be safe. You can read more about bike theft here.
What’s the warranty?Five year warranty for manufacturer defects on frame and fork, two years on Yamaha e-assist and one year on parts (including wood box). Does not include wear and tear
Did you know we ship bikes completely built and ready to ride? Our bikes are shipped Ride Out Of The Box meaning they are professionally tuned and delivered - worry free. Your bike will arrive at your door step with any accessories installed, so you can ride it right out of the box!
READY TO RIDE
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