Urban Arrow family
Primarily for transport of children, but you will be surprised how many other things you will be carrying too. The electric assist makes you tackle hills and headwinds like a pro and allows the bike to keep with busy traffic. Add plenty of useful accessories, such as an extra bench, a tent or a rear carrying rack. The only thing you will regret with this purchase, is that you didn’t do it sooner.
Specifications in brief
|Price||£4300 (or £4700 for Performance CX version)|
|Electric assist I||Bosch Performance with 400Wh battery|
|Electric assist II||Bosch Performance CX with 500Wh battery (+£400)|
|Gear hub||Nuvinci N380 variable transmission|
|Brakes||hydraulic disc, Shimano|
|Includes||mudguards, lights, a cushioned bench with seatbelts, frame lock, fold-down-stand, battery charger|
|Colours||black or white|
|Manufacturer’s website||clicky: www.urbanarrow.nl|
- Rain tent £249 – a must have!
- Box cover £89 – recommended if bike is kept outdoor
- Additional bench front £139
- Rider rain poncho £89
- Rear rack £69 – very useful, trust me
- Luggage net £79 – not cheap, but really useful
Dimensions, weights, capacities
|B||height||1140 mm depending on setting|
|C||box opening||920 mm|
|E||box depth||530 mm|
|F||handlebar width||635 mm|
|I||widest point||690 mm|
|G||box widest point inside||560 mm|
|H||width at floor||400 mm|
|box volume||approx 170 liter|
|bicycle weight||48 kg|
|suits rider height||155 cm (just above 5 ft) and above|
|wheel sizes||front: 22” (406) / rear: 26” (559)|
1 up to 4 children depending on age, also good for dogs.
The aluminium frame is light, does not rust, and scratches in the thick paint do not appear as visible had it been steel. Aluminium is not as strong as steel, but the Dutch have chosen walls thick enough not to crack should the bike fall over. I have yet to see an Urban Arrow with frame failure.
The front wheel fork, the steering rod and the optional rear carrier rack, are made of steel.
The cargo box is made of a dense and elastic material called expanded polystyrene (EPP). It is very durable and dents, that may for instance when bike falls on its side, amazingly disappear by themselves. It is not the same material that is used in bicycle helmets, which intentionally is made to be brittle.
The Urban Arrow is powered by one of the industry’s finest systems, the Bosch mid-motor (or crank motor). It is easy to use, reliable and highly efficient. Three internal sensors that take 1000 measurements make the motor behave in a very precise manner. Typical power consumption for ordinary use is around 10 Wh/km, although if you are modestly sticking to Eco mode, it is as low as 3 Wh/km. The choice is between two different motor and battery systems:
|Torque max||50 Nm||75 Nm|
|Pedalling assistance max||260 %||300 %|
|Battery||400 Wh, 11.6 Ah, 36 V Li-ion||500 Wh, 13.0 Ah, 36 V Li-ion|
|Real life range1 – Eco mode2||70 km||85 km|
|Real life range – Turbo mode3||not tested yet||not tested yet|
What you can expect from the Performance CX is more power assist when going up very steep hills. Travelling on normal level ground there will not be noticeable difference. Both motors are capped at the same speed (27.5 km/h) and will consume the same amount of power. The battery bundled with the CX has more capacity, thus offering a better range.
1 Typical use as tested by Amsterdammers, with a bit of hills and some cargo etc.
2 Eco is the lowest of the four power settings; giving you less assist, but more range.
3 Turbo is the highest power setting; shortens the range, but more fun.
Do not settle for anything else than hydraulic disc brakes when it comes to cargo bikes. The Urban Arrow uses the excellent Shimano Deore system with discs of 180 mm diameter front and back. The factory-fitted brake pads last 300–700 km, but once worn out, we replace them with an aftermarket type that lasts 500–1000 km.
This bike has an unusual gear hub called Nuvinci N380. It is operated by a gripshift on the handlebar and instead of presenting different gears to choose from, it allows a smooth and continuous selection of any gear ratio within the range of the hub (380%). It is a heavy piece of equipment and offers less efficiency than a conventional gear hub, but on an electric bike it makes perfectly sense.
The bike does not need to come back to the shop for a check-up after purchase (unless an unusual sound or similar develops). Its initial service should be carried out at 500 km, and thereafter every 1000 km. However, for an Urban Arrow that is used gently, mainly on the flat and kept indoor, the service interval can be extended up to 2500 km.
Things to look out for as an owner
There are some little things that you should look out for as an owner.
- These two little bolts for the brake mount will work loose. It is not visible when this happens, so the only way to find out is by fortnightly tightening with a 5 mm allen key. It has to do with the thick aluminium material used in the frame. Threadlock (call it glue for bolts), won’t help. Failure to look after this may lead the brake disc to spectacularly selfdestruct and then cost you money.
- Wheel nuts, again fortnightly. Use a 5 mm allen key for the front and a 15 mm ring spanner for the rear.
- In total 4 bolts for the stand mount, again 5 mm allen. These need to be adjusted now and then. Too tight and the stand does not move freely as it should, not tight enough and the bolts may work themselves loose and parts get lost. The game is to find the sweetspot where the stand flings itself up at a speed that you are happy with!
- The 4 large frame bolts. You will see when they need tightening when a gap appears, see picture. If there’s no gap, then all is good. Use a 6 mm allen key.
What to do next?