Lots of power and easy sizing adjustments make this one of the more versatile family-focused e-cargo bikes on the market.
With two kiddos, aged 7 and 4, the PakYak E+ has plenty of power to haul a full load of a parent and the two kids up big hills and could easily go well beyond town. During our test period, the Momentum PakYak E+ easily integrated into our family transportation needs.
We tested the Momentum PakYak E+ over a number of weeks from the end of summer into the heart of fall taking the kids to the farmer’s market, to kids’ concerts, and to school on a daily basis. We like it a lot and recommend it to any family looking to getting around by bike easily and often.
Momentum PakYak E+: Configuration
The Momentum PakYak E+ comes in one size but is suitable for riders from 5’2” to 6’2” thanks to the ALUXX Aluminium Low Step frame and the thumb-controlled 70mm drop post seat. The drop post seat made it easy for my wife and me to keep the bike comfortable for each of us to ride, depending on who was hauling the kiddos.
For after-dark travel, the Momentum PakYak E+ has a built-in Supernova E2 Mini ProAxa BlueLine Steady 550 lumen (160 lux) 10-watt headlight mounted under the front cargo basket to prevent it from being blocked.
The light threw a beautifully smooth beam across a large swath across the front of the bike and provided plenty of time to spot and dodge obstacles even at speed. The E6 rear red light was also perfectly mounted to remain visible and was bright and easy to see.
The bike is, not surprisingly, quite heavy at around 79 pounds. The handle under the rear of the seat helps tremendously when needing to nudge the bike a few inches to the side for better parking positions and for pushing the bike forward off of the wide two-pronged kickstand — especially when under load.
Other configuration specs include the 720mm wide swept-back aluminum handlebar with 50 mm of rise, Momentum dual compound grips, anti-slip flat pedals, Tektro 2 Finger brake levers, and a lockable vertical storage console designed to hold an extra battery and a few small items.
Passengers & Cargo
The total load limit of the Momentum PakYak E+ is 361 pounds, which puts it as one of the higher capacity extended-tail e-cargo bikes. With myself at 170 and the kids at 50 and 35 pounds each, we have plenty of room to grow before we get close to that limit.
However, there are limits on how the load can be distributed, with a maximum of 33 pounds in the front basket and 102 pounds on the rear rack.
That load capacity comes in part to the ALUXX Aluminium rear rack and utility rigid fork where the front basket is mounted. For our use, the front basket served as a perfect place to stack and strap down (using Momentum’s own PakYak Cargo Strap, $15.75) school backpacks or groceries.
There are a number of configuration options for the rear section of the bike. There’s the raw rear rack where up to two individual kid seats can be mounted, cargo baskets, oversized panniers, or what we used: the padded seat with passenger bars and footrests. The passenger bars completely surround the padded seat platform which, of course, is a very secure method.
The downside is that it makes for a very involved climb-in process for the kids. Sometimes to get going faster, I just picked them up and placed them. But their independent mindsets and the joy of climbing things means they often want to get in on their own.
Other bikes have two U-shaped bars at the front and back with a gap between them, which makes it easier for the kids to load themselves.
At 4 and 7 years old, the kids still fit just fine, and while it’s going to get snug with winter jackets on, there’s still room for them to grow. And even though they can both ride their own bikes — and they regularly ride themselves to school — there are plenty of opportunities where it’s just easier to manage getting somewhere with them contained on the one bike.
I have not yet played with attaching a trailer to the PakYak E+, but that would be the next step to haul kids and gear.
This bike has plenty of power. It’s zippy and it passed our biggest test: the 2.5-mile, 350-vertical-foot ride up to Chautauqua Park for a kids’ concert. These may not seem like big numbers for a cycling workout ride, but add 80 pounds of kids on the back and it becomes a haul.
This test took place on a warm summer afternoon and I didn’t even break a sweat. I cranked the pedal-power assist to the highest setting and took the climb head-on. We didn’t hit 25 mph, but we moved along nicely and never felt like power from the 250-watt mid-drive, 80Nm, SyncDrive Pro Yamaha motor was lagging.
The Momentum PakYak E+ has five pedal-power assist settings: Eco, Tour, Active, Sport, and Power. They are selected by an easy-to-reach thumb button on the full-color LCD RideControl Dash screen. The bike also has an Auto power mode, which I didn’t use very much, but it works fine.
To move that power to the wheels, Momentum uses a forged alloy minimal Q-factor 46-tooth crankset and Shimano Nexus five-speed RevoShift shifters and a 24-tooth cassette.
As always, the range of any e-bike depends on how and where it’s ridden — power setting, hills, loads, even riding into or with windy conditions change how much power the motor has to draw from the internal 500Wh integrated cell battery made by Panasonic. Momentum calculates the bike should have a range of about 35-60 miles.
It can also take on an extra 500Wh battery, which doubles the range estimate. To juice it back up, the Energypak 6-amp charger will provide a full recharge of one 500Wh battery in 4.1 hours. We leave it plugged in overnight after a few days of riding and it’s ready to go.
Ride Quality & Handling
The 2.5-inch-wide Maxxis Hook Worm tires keep the Momentum PakYak E+ easy to balance. And even with relatively smaller 24-inch radial tires, we rolled along nicely.
The wheels are held on with 35mm alloy rims and stainless steel spokes. The Tektro 4-piston 203mm hydraulic disc brakes were easy to control with one or two fingers, and that was especially appreciated on the long descent from the kids’ concert.
A majority of the smooth ride quality is due to the aforementioned drop seat post, which has 40 mm of suspension — great for the driver but no help to the passengers.
Overall, the Momentum PakYak E+ is easy to handle. It can be a little tricky while steering because the front basket is mounted to the head tube, so it doesn’t turn when the handlebars and wheel turn.
It’s also worth riding some without any extra load on the bike before taking passengers. That extra 80 pounds of kids makes a difference in managing the weight of the bike. We only almost dumped the kids out once while standing still getting ready to go.
I only have three gripes — and none of these make me dislike the bike. First off, I’m not a fan of the controller. The on/off button is small and hard to push.
While I appreciate the long push required, it just takes too long and it’s slow to respond to any touch to confirm something is happening. There’s also an uncomfortable lag when selecting the power modes — I’d like the controller to respond faster.
Another complaint is in how the charging cable plugs into the bike. The plug is round and is difficult to orient properly to get the prongs aligned. There is a little flat side to help with this, but I want it to be more obvious and easier to plug in.
My final complaint is how the motor still tries to push power to the pedals while stopped. I know this is a tricky one, but it feels awkward to be stopped with my foot resting on the pedal near the top of the stroke and the motor sends power because it senses me pushing the pedal. I’ve noticed this on a number of other e-bikes, so maybe it’s just me being picky.
Price and Value
The base price of the Momentum PakYak E+ is $5,500. As ridden with the accessories to haul the kids and the extra battery, ours was closer to $7,500, which is right on par with this style of bike, making it a fair value. Get more details, order one, or find your closest dealer at the Momentum website.