There always seems to be trade-offs when considering electric cargo bikes. Find one at an affordable price, and they may not have enough power, or costs were cut in components that negatively affects the performance of the bike. Sure there’s the Tern GSD that pretty much delivers in every aspect, except its $4000 price tag. However, CSC Motorcycles seems to have hit the mark with the Vista Cruiser in areas many other cargo ebikes have missed.
You may not have heard of CSC Motorcycles, but as their name suggests their specialty is motorbikes. They are making a name for themselves, particularly in the electric motorcycle market, with the City Slicker and the Monterey Scooter that is reminiscent of vintage scooters of the past.
They also have electric bikes in their lineup and their Vista Cruiser cargo electric bike is new for 2021.
Specs of the CSC Vista Cruiser
Motor: 750 W Bafang geared hub motor; 80 N.m. torque
Battery: 48 V 14 Ah (Battery 1); 48 V 14.5 Ah (Second Battery)
Range: 50-90 miles
Bike Class: Class 2
Gears: 7-speed, freewheel, 11-34 tooth
Lights: Integrated front and rear
Brakes: Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm
PAS: 5-level pedal assist
Sensor(s): Cadence sensor
Max Speed: 20 mph
Tires: Kenda 27.5 x 3.0″
Min seat height: 32.15″
Max seat height: Not listed
Step-over height: 22.5″
Payload Capacity: 440 lbs
Bike Weight: Not listed
Where to Buy: CSC Motorcycles
With a total length of 84″ and a wheelbase of 55″, it’s obviously longer than your traditional bike measurements of about 70″ and 45″ respectively.
This extra length makes it possible to comfortably and practically carry more cargo and/or a passenger. CSC has also taken advantage of this extra length to include a second battery. With two batteries the Vista Cruiser offers a total of 1368 watt hours of power which will deliver a range of about 50-90 miles.
The Vista Cruiser is equipped with a 750-watt Bafang geared hub motor with 80 N.m. of torque. That’s the kind of power you need for a cargo bike.
And CSC didn’t cheap out on the brakes either. While many other competitors have mechanical disc brakes, CSC went with hydraulic brakes and 180 mm rotors. Hydraulic brakes are pretty much a necessity for a bike that can carry 440 pounds! You need that smooth, reliable stopping power.
One thing I’m a bit surprised by is the tire selection. Most electric cargo bikes have opted for 24 or 26″ wheels. The Vista Cruiser has 27.5 x 3.0″ wheels which sets the bike a little higher than the rest, but that 3″ tire width will provide good stability which is a must-have on a cargo bike.
Like most electric cargo bikes it isn’t equipped with front or rear suspension, but since this is the type of bike that’s designed primarily for pavement, suspension isn’t really necessary. It’s not like you’re going to be launching the bike off a ramp or maneuvering it down a twisty dirt mountain path at 20 mph. Well, I guess you could, but I wouldn’t want to see the aftermath.
But that doesn’t mean the bike is boring. One thing that most notably differentiates it from the competition is its more aggressive and sporty look. While some of the competition screams soccer mom van in ebike form, the Vista Cruiser will make you feel like a cool soccer mom or dad.
It is available in two different color combinations: Black and cream or turquoise and cream. It even has a vintage style headlight.
It’s also equipped with a wood platform for the rear rack and wood foot platforms for a passenger.
According to a representative of CSC bikes, the first shipments of the Vista Cruiser is expected in late February 2021. There will be accessories available including child grab bars and brackets to mount child seats.
At $2488 it’s a bit more than Rad Power Bikes RadWagon, a main contender in the cargo ebike category, but the Vista Cruiser offers more in range and upgraded components. Dual batteries, hydraulic brakes, higher load capacity, and passenger footboards that are included make the higher price tag justifiable.
It’s great to have more choices in the electric cargo bike category. Such bikes make a lot of sense for families and those wanting to replace a car with an electric bike. I look forward to future products from CSC Motorcycles. They’re on to something good.
Check out the Vista Cruiser at CSC Motorcycles.