Loden One E-Cargo Bike: A Bike with Two Identities

Still a fairly unknown name on the European map for e-cargo bikes is the Loden brand. Perhaps that will change soon. The manufacturer has awarded the Loden One an update for the 2022 season. That alone does not make a name for it. However, thanks to the new features, this lightweight cargo bike could be taken more to the forefront.

When you say Loden, you also mean Cero. This is the actual name of the manufacturer, under which it has been operating on the market in its country of origin, the USA, since 2018. For Europe, Cero has chosen the brand name Loden. Few of you may have heard of it so far. On the other hand, reading Cero One might ring a bell with some of you. After all, the editors of the renowned US bicycle magazine “Bicycling” chose it as Editor’s Pick in its premiere year. At the 2019 edition of the Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, the Cero One received the Gold Award in the (E)-Cargo Bike category. So, the Cero One has already made it into the headlines. Now the Loden One wants to get there.

The Loden One e-cargo bike for the 2022 season comes in grey and a light blue.

Japanese cult and British practicality

There is definitely an original approach behind the bike. Its design is influenced by the founder of Cero, the Japanese Kiyoshi Iwai. He emigrated to California more than 20 years ago. Among other things, he carried in his luggage the memory of a cult bicycle from his homeland – the Mamachari. A basket is usually mounted at the front of the curved frame with the low step-through, while a child’s seat can be found on the rear carrier. Despite the name, dads are of course also allowed to ride it.

According to Kiyoshi Iwai, the delivery bike of the British Royal Mail Bike and the Schwinn Cycle Truck also inspired him. From these influences, Loden, aka Cero, has created its very own interpretation of an ebike suitable for urban use: a smaller front wheel and a larger rear wheel, low step-through, a bicycle with standard length but higher loading capacity.

Japanese cult bicycle Mamachari
Cargo bike Schwinn Cycle Truck from 1955

Rear, front or both

The ability to carry a lot of luggage is based on a quasi-standard versatility. The Loden One has a massive rear carrier, reminiscent of a longtail. However, it is not actually part of the frame. So you could remove it at any time. Almost as solid as a frame tube and reminiscent of an elongated U, on the other hand, is a construction that supports the front rear carriers. Like a kind of nose, it protrudes from the frame above the front wheel in the direction of travel. It provides the basis for carrying a generous amount of luggage at the front as well.

The Loden range currently includes three rear carriers that continue this flexibility. They can be mounted on the front or rear. You can choose between two different sized baskets and a loading area that is open on three sides and bordered on one of the ends by a bevelled side wall. It is entirely up to you, which carrier you choose and where you mount it. They are available individually and cost between 150 and 220 euros. Alternatively, a Thule Yepp Maxi child seat, for example, fits on the rear carrier. Practically without an adapter.

Carrier “Big Basket”
Carrier “Small Basket”
Carrier “Platform”

Not a real powerhouse

As far as space is concerned, you are spoilt for choice. However, you are somewhat limited in terms of cargo weight. Your luggage may weigh a maximum of 35 kilograms. No more than 25 kilograms of this may rest on a single carrier. The reason for this is the rather low maximum permissible total weight of 136 kilograms. Fortunately, the Loden One itself only weighs a little more than 26 kilograms. Fully loaded, you are still left with only 75 kilograms, which you, as the rider, are allowed to bring along as your own weight.

Smaller and bigger changes

With the start of the bike season, the Loden One has received an update. The manufacturer has changed details on the frame so that the cables can now largely run inside the tubes. The cut is bigger when you look at the drivetrain. Loden has switched from the Shimano Steps E6050 to the Shimano Steps E6100. The latter is smaller than its predecessor and visually blends in much better with the bike as a whole. At the same time, the possible range increases to up to 105 kilometres. However, you have to ride consistently in eco mode to reach that mark. In addition, the motor offers a little more torque and the display meets the requirements that we place on such a device nowadays.

Something has also changed in terms of gears. The previous derailleur has been replaced by a hub gear. To match the e-drive, Loden has opted for the Nexus Inter-5E from Shimano, which is specially designed for ebikes. Although it has a smaller range than derailleur gears, it is superior in terms of stability and low maintenance. Especially as Loden is consistent and replaces the chains directly with a Gates belt drive.

In the current version, the Loden One has a hub gear and belt drive.
The Shimano Steps 6100 motor supports up to the usual 25 km/h.
An important feature of the frame is its low step-through.

The height and angle-adjustable stem makes it easy to find the right riding position.
Mounted directly on the front rack, the front light does not swing with the steering movements.
For contact points such as grips, Loden relies on high-quality suppliers such as Ergon.

Basically, the manufacturer is going back to the old days. It received the award at the Eurobike 2019 for a model that was equipped in a very similar way. Only the hub gears were still from Nuvinci back then.

Tough competition

It is difficult to predict where this refresh will take the Loden One. The competition among compact, smaller e-cargo bikes is now extremely large and well-known. Considerably cheaper than the Tern GSD, in contrast to the Moustache Lundi 20 with a front rack in the basic equipment, a higher-quality e-drive than the Yuba Kombi E5, considerably smaller and lighter than the Bergamont E-Cargoville LT – depending on what you prefer, the Loden One scores several points on the plus side. Of course, this game could just as easily be turned around. In any case, you are the winner, because the selection of really good ebikes this year is larger by one light cargo bike.

Loden One at a glance

  • Frame: Aluminium 6061-T6
  • Recommended rider height: 158 cm to 195 cm
  • Motor: Shimano Steps E6100
  • Battery: Shimano E8010, 504 Wh
  • Drive train: Shimano Nexus Inter-5E
  • Brakes: Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Big Ben Plus 20″ (front) and 26″ (rear)
  • Length: around 173 cm
  • Weight: 26.3 kg
  • Maximum permitted total weight: 136 kg
  • Price: from 4,497 euros


Pictures: Voss Spezial-Rad GmbH

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