Are you looking to buy an Urban Arrow Family cargo bike or did you recently buy one? In this video and article, I’m covering my top 10 tips that I review with all my customers to get them started when they are taking home their new Urban Arrow Family cargo bike.
If you are new here, hello! My name is Arleigh Greenwald with Bike Shop Girl, a family and cargo bike shop in Colorado connecting families and communities by bike.
Today we are doing an overview of my top 10 tips for getting started with the Urban Arrow Family cargo bike. We will dig deeper into many of these tips in future videos, but this video is perfect to get you started. Click here to read my more general overview.
Tip #1 Program Your Key and Phone Number
Before you leave the shop make sure your Urban Arrow dealer has programmed your battery and frame lock key code AND your phone number to the bosch motor. This is something only a Bosch Dealer can do and should be done before you leave the store. You can ensure this has been done by checking the print out of your diagnostics report, which your dealer should also provide you with your new bike.
Tip #2 Adjusting Your Seat Height
This seat height tip is for any cargo bike. Starting off with a new cargo bike or testing riding, I recommend having your seat height slightly lower than normal so you can confidently touch the ground on both sides. The Urban Arrow Family is an electric assist bike so for your first test ride or few rides getting used to the bike it isn’t as critical that your seat height is perfect. As you get used to the bike, raise the seat but initially, I want you to feel confident to have both feet touching the ground to balance the bike when you stop and get started.
In the future, I’ll be doing a video dedicated to riding and steering a bakfiets or box bike.
Tip #3 Handlebar Fit
Adjust your handlebars to be comfortable AND confident.
Using a simple one bolt design you can raise and lower your handlebar, and adjust the tilt. Doing this with a friend is the easiest so you can keep your hands on the handlebars. Once the stem bolt is loose, adjust the handlebar so your arms are comfortably reaching out. Not too high so your shoulders wear out, and not so low that your weight is on your hands.
Tip #4 Grips and Brake Lever Fit
Now that your handlebars are in a good place, adjust your grips using a 4 or 3mm Allen to rotate them so your wrist is comfortable and in line with your arm. Once your grips are in place you want to do the same thing with your brakes making sure everything is in the same plane.
Finally, you can also adjust the distance your brake lever is to your finger or the reach so you can just reach out and comfortably pull on the brakes without stretching for them.
Tip #5 The Kickstand
My next tip is using and adjusting the kickstand. The Urban Arrow kickstand is amazing and steady if used properly. To engage, simply reach down with your foot and push it down while pulling back with your bike. When parking your bike, make sure you are on level ground and the bike is never pointed down a hill.
If the kickstand gets sticky to use over time, there are 4 bolts on either side of the kickstand clamps. Carefully, loosen and test the kickstand snap over and over again. I also take the clamps off and clean them after a hard winter of riding. I will say, it can be dangerous if you loosen these clamps too much as it can allow the bike to roll back over the kickstand.
Tip #6 Shifting
Most of the Urban Arrow Family line uses the enviolo continuously variable transmission. This is also used in some cars but the basic idea is that your gears are in the rear hub and the gears don’t have steps in between and just adjust infinitely from one end to the other. This allows you to fine-tune your shifting without looking for that next click, and you can shift if you are at a stop. You turn away from you to make it easier, and then you rotate towards you like a throttle on a motorcycle to make it harder and go faster. Finally, my biggest recommendation for proper shifting is to try not to shift under load going up that huge hill.
Tip #7 Basic Ebike Functions
I’ll have an in-depth video for the Intuvia Bosch controller but here are the core features to get started riding this bike.
First, turning on the bike. Make sure your head unit is clicked in all the way. Then you push the power button and now your bike is turned on but you don’t have assistance. To get the assistance you use the + and - to change between the different assistance levels. This starts at 50% assistance for eco, all the way up to 260% for the performance model or 300% assistance on the performance CX model. Remember, this is just amplifying your applied pressure to the pedals by that percentage.
The other key thing around the basic ebike functions I like to show customers on this bike is the head unit does come off. You can put a screw in the back but most people take this off when locking up somewhere but be warned that if the head unit isn’t engaged properly then your bike may not turn on or will turn on but not connect with the motor.
Tip #8 Bosch Walk Function
Most newer urban arrow bikes have a walk function. This is where you can press a combination of buttons and your bike will slowly propel itself forward without you pedaling. This is good for when you are needing to walk your heavy bike up a ramp, or into your garage. To engage this you hit the walk button on top of your controller when it says walk plus you hold the plus button down. Keep pressing the plus button until you are done needing the assistance. Always have your hands on your brake and if it goes too quick or you want it to stop just take your thumb off the plus button.
Tip #9 Bike Locking System
Your urban arrow comes with a frame lock that holds the key when the lock is open. This makes it so you ALWAYS have a lock but this key is also the key to your expensive battery so always take your key with you. This key has numbers on it which would allow you to order a new key if you lose yours. I personally program this key number on to each bike’s motor along with the customers’ phone number.
A freebie tip here, I add a little key tag with a label maker of the customers’ last name and phone number in case they lose their key someone can hopefully return it. I’m not going to get into the actual battery or battery hygiene, look for a complete video of Bosch ebike battery maintenance linked below.
Tip #10 PRACTICE!
If you plan on riding with a super-young child, please ride this bike or any cargo bike in various conditions so you are confident. My wife made me ride 100 miles with my first cargo bike before putting my 7-month-old baby in it. I personally can ride the urban arrow family with my 80-pound dog wiggling around in the front, with just my right hand and my left hand holding a coffee. It is a brilliantly steady bike once you know how to ride it but please practice!