Three wheels, innovative tilting technology and a differential are the basic components of the new CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike. This unique prototype of a step-through E-cargo trike was developed in close cooperation with BMW and aims to revolutionise the classic cargo bike with a new approach.
The two Bavarian companies, CUBE and BMW, have gone one step further to drive the urban mobility transition. With their Concept Dynamic Cargo trike, they’re presenting an innovative concept for sustainable and long-term mobility, promising an ultra-compact, safe and manoeuvrable vehicle for everyday use with their step-through cargo trike. The CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike is said to have been developed specifically for urban environments. We were the first magazine to have the exclusive chance to put the trike to the test. The model we tested is a concept bike, meaning that it isn’t yet production ready and the components and solutions can still be changed or added. That said, the bike is ridable and a production model should be available on shop floors by the end of 2022 for around € 6,000. Alongside the CUBE Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid (review here), the Concept Dynamic Cargo trike is already the second cargo vehicle in CUBE’s portfolio. However, their collaboration with BMW on the new Concept Dynamic Cargo is a first and focused primarily on the development of the innovative tilting mechanism. The trike debuted at the IAA Mobility expo (covered in this article) in Munich.
Why the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo rides better than many other cargo trikes
The CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo differs from other cargo trikes due to its innovative tilting mechanism and the differential. The unique tilting mechanism allows for a natural riding experience that feels like a regular ebike and ensures that your cargo stays level when cornering and manoeuvring the trike at low speeds. Most of the weight is carried by the two rear wheels and can only be felt to a minimal extent, even when leaning the trike over. This is made possible by a so-called constant velocity (CV) joint, which allows the drivetrain to be tilted while continuously transmitting power to the differential and thus to the two wheels at the rear.
The differential of the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike allows the rear wheels to turn at different speeds from each other. This is particularly important when cornering, as the wheel on the outside of the corner has to cover a longer distance and therefore turn faster. Otherwise, one of the wheels would always spin or slide when cornering. The differential keeps the steering of the Dynamic Cargo trike precise even when cornering at higher speeds.
The CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike in detail
The CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike comes with an exchangeable and modular box with which you can transport loads of up to 60 kg. There’s a useful luggage net that can be attached to all four corners of the box via carabiners, keeping your luggage securely in place. CUBE are also promising a rain cover for bad weather and a front rack. Suppose you want to transport your kids in an appropriate manner. In that case, you can mount two optionally available child seats by rotating the cargo box and securing the little ones as per regulations. However, your kids and luggage will be behind you, so you can’t see what they’re getting up to or whether you’ve lost some of your goods. The CUBE has a maximum permissible weight of 220 kg, which means that the 54.2 kg Concept Cargo trike can carry a rider weighing up to 105 kg while fully loaded (60 kg) – excellent! Additionally, the CUBE cargo trike comes with all the lighting required for road traffic, stylishly integrated into the handlebar and bumper.
The spec of the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike
The CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike features the latest generation Bosch motor. The Performance Line CX motor offers a torque output of up to 85 Nm and is powered by a 750 Wh battery. An option for a second battery should also be available and the customer will get the new CX motor with cargo application, according to CUBE. The Bosch motor can be controlled via the LED remote. The Dynamic Cargo trike also relies on the new Kiox 300 colour display. It provides information such as the speed, the battery charge status and the trike’s estimated range. Your mobile phone can be connected to the Bosch system using the eBike Flow app. In future, there will also be optional Connect Modules available that, in conjunction with the eBike Flow app, provide an anti-theft and tracking function that is deeply integrated into the motor.
Shifting on the CUBE is taken care of by the stepless twist grip of the Enviolo NuVinci N380 geared hub. In combination with the powerful Bosch motor, the 380% gear range is sufficient not to break into a sweat even on steep climbs and easily reach the 25 km/h limit. When the CUBE Dynamic Cargo trike is parked, you can activate the parking brake on the handlebar to keep it and its cargo securely in place. The cargo trike relies on hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro and uses a total of three rotors. In this way, the heat generated when braking isn’t distributed over two brake rotors and callipers, as is usually the case, but three. As such, the CUBE delivers more than enough braking power and reserves no matter how heavy the load.
The seat post features two quick-release mechanisms for adjusting the saddle height, so you can easily and quickly adjust the height if several people are sharing the trike. A dropper post would offer even more comfort as its height can be adapted to suit different riders at the push of a button. Since it’s still a concept bike, the spec isn’t yet final and can still change before hitting the market (we’re looking at you, product managers 😊).
The CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike compared to a classic cargo bike
Compared to a conventional cargo bike with only two wheels, the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike offers many advantages. While carrying a load on a regular cargo bike significantly influences cornering and balance, doing so on the Dynamic Cargo trike only slightly affects handling thanks to the clever way the weight is supported, making it safer and easier to ride. Distributing the braking force over three wheels and rotors further supports this. The CUBE is almost as easy to ride as an unloaded ebike.
Riding the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike
When riding the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike, you can easily forget that you’re hauling a load of up to 60 kg. Thanks to the innovative tilting technology, cornering remains easy even with a high payload. It also allows you to shift your weight enough to not tip over through tight corners or during aggressive manoeuvres. However, you’ve got to remember that the rear end is wider than a conventional bike as you can quickly forget about the box on the rear. In addition, the position of the cargo box also makes it difficult to keep an eye on your cargo or your kids. If you must take a shortcut or a detour along unpaved roads with the CUBE, the two rear wheels offer enough traction to pull away or accelerate even on inclines or loose surfaces. Braking power is sufficient for a safe descent too.
The gear range of the Enviolo NuVinci N380 drivetrain is wide enough to deal with most climbs and descents, allowing you to reach the 25 km/h limit without any problems. At higher speeds, the step-through cargo trike starts to feel nervous at the front, which is a common issue on step-through designs and means you should always keep at least one hand on the handlebar to stop it from wobbling. However, the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike is made for tight urban spaces, which is where it can play out all its strengths. The tight turning circle lets you navigate city traffic playfully and loading up your goods couldn’t be easier. Thanks to its three wheels, the CUBE remains stable at all times and even bumps such as curbs and potholes can’t throw it off. However, the Dynamic Cargo doesn’t offer enough storage space for large or very bulky items. It’s also a challenge for one person to lift, which means that you must have an easily accessible garage or storage space to park the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike.
Our conclusion on the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike
Together with BMW, CUBE have created a unique concept featuring innovative and pioneering technology. With its easy and safe handling even when loaded, tight turning circle, ingenious solutions and well-chosen components, the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo is in a league of its own. However, it isn’t suitable for transporting bulky items at higher speeds and you can’t park it in the basement.
- safe and easy to ride at low speeds
- heavy loads only have a minor influence on handling
- tight turning circle
- secure stand for easy loading
- nervous at high speed
- requires an easily accessible parking space
- cargo box isn't big enough for bulky items
For more information about the CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo trike, visit cube.eu
Are you interested in finding out more about other cargo bikes on the market? Then check out our cargo bike group test featuring an extensive range of bikes and everything you need to know. It’s essential reading for anyone in the market for a cargo bike!
To find out more about what to pay attention to when riding a cargo bike and how to confront some of its unforeseen challenges with confidence, we can also recommend reading our article about everyday life with a cargo bike.
Words: Peter Walker Photos: Peter Walker, Robin Schmitt