Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by Igor Karni
Babboe traces its roots to the Netherlands, where it was started in 2007. However, its seeds were already germinating as early as 2005.
It was mainly founded on practicality since its founders, mostly Dutch family men and women, desired more budget-friendly cargo bike options. They took the initiative to design, develop, and manufacture their own models. Their efforts bore fruit over time, as evidenced by the company’s significant milestones for every year since its founding.
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The company’s name interestingly has Malaysian roots, as “Babboe” means “nanny”, which certainly doesn’t depart from the general purpose of their cargo e-bike and bike offerings. It still makes its headquarters in the Netherlands, particularly in Amersfoort.
Is Babboe a Good E-bike Brand to Buy?
Considering the affordability-to-quality ratio of most of Babboe’s cargo e-bikes, we can safely say that they still get the checkmark. You have to limit your expectations to what cargo e-bikes’ purposes are.
You can’t expect most of their models to have long-riding ranges, as they’re primarily intended for the regular short commute, errand, or leisurely ride around town. Emphasis has to be placed on “short” since all the models can manage only a little over 37 miles (60 km) in a single full charge with the 500Wh battery, which is the limit for most models.
That being said, the 4- and 6-passenger capacities of models like the Big-E and Max-E make it a viable alternative for your family car, especially if you limit your trips to nearby sites. The same rings true for regular grocery runs.
In short, if you want to rely less on cars but can’t do without their main perks, not least of which is easy transportation of goods, kids, and pets, then a Babboe cargo e-bike is a good bet. Naturally, expect to get the limitations that cargo e-bikes have, such as being unable to take them up or down stairs and more limited parking options, especially if you’re going for the three-wheeled options.
Babboe e-Bikes Review: Model Lines
|E-bike Model Line||E-bike Type|
Babboe hasn’t received a reputation as a cargo bike specialist for nothing. All the present 9 e-bike lines in its catalog fall under that category. Out of those 9 model lines, 5 are trike variants, with 1 that is arguably a hybrid.
Most Babboe models set themselves apart with their relative sturdiness and stability when ridden. Most of its e-bikes aren’t hard to get the hang of, especially the trike ones, which naturally don’t require too much balancing from the rider.
The models are adequately specced for their purposes. They impart the flexibility and durability you can expect from a cargo e-bike, enough to help you perform your duties for the day, day in and day out.
There are “Mountain” options in its catalog that aren’t necessarily mountain e-bikes but cargo e-bikes better equipped to negotiate more demanding inclines. They obviously make great options for people residing in cities with roads that are more on the hilly side.
Of course, most Mountain models incorporate more powerful motors and are relatively better when changing gears.
Babboe Cargo E-bike Model Lines Review
All the models and their respective variations share the same specs. For instance, 7 of the 9 main lines are available in the Mountain version. Any cargo e-bike with that label incorporates a Yamaha mid-drive motor that can deliver up to 70 Nm of torque.
That assistance is enough to make any Mountain version a better, more versatile option. The riding range may fall short, but we appreciate the freedom the brand provides in letting riders customize the capacity of the batteries. You can save more if you choose the lower 375Wh ones, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to go for the 500Wh for the highest range you can get if it’s available.
Its gears are triggered pedelec-style (you’ll still need to pedal to get it moving). The standard e-bike option, on the one hand, uses a classic derailleur. More importantly, Mountain models have variable transmission, which lets you choose the gear ratio you’re comfortable with, depending on the terrain you’re in and even while you’re on a full-stop.
That feature is especially helpful in steeper hills where you want to control how you negotiate them by balancing power and speed.
At best, the model lines are only set apart by how they’re supposed to be ridden or the number of passengers (mainly children) and items they can hold. For example, suppose you want to fit as many kids as possible. The Max-E may be the most suitable for you since it can accommodate up to 6, thanks to its 2 benches (yes, not seats!)
The problem is it’s limited to the standard rear-drive motor, which only delivers 40 Nm of torque tops. So, you may have to think twice if you reside in a city with noticeably more challenging climbs, or you have to plan your routes properly.
To prove our earlier point, here’s pretty much what you can expect from most of the cargo variants in the catalog:
- If you want more stability, on the other hand, then the three-wheelers may be better for you. The Mountain versions of the Flow, Curve, and Carve will do, which don’t really differ from one another too much, although the Flow steers more like a standard e-bike.
- If you want a cargo e-bike with handling similar to a standard e-bike, you can opt for any two-wheelers like City and Mini. They’re better for those who want only the bare minimum (i.e., only have two passengers at most) when it comes to things, people, and animals they intend to haul.
- The Slim Mountain is the closest you can get to an actual hybrid e-bike because it’s designed to be ridden for longer distances. It handles like any mid-drive e-bike and provides a more minimalistic cargo box.
Speaking of the cargo box, it’s definitely on the resilient side. It’s made of rugged, sizable plywood that can easily take on the elements. The larger boxes on the trike variations are the very definition of what a cargo e-bike is all about – only they’re either placed in front or in the middle, depending on wheel orientation.
Babboe settles for no less than hydraulic disc brakes (the best in stopping power) for their front and back tires, so that’s an automatic thumb’s up. The tires are anti-puncture and use double-wall rims, which almost always last longer than their single-wall counterparts.
As for accessories, we like that all the models have the necessities. You get front and back lights regardless of whether you choose the standard or Mountain options. All models also come with relatively solid and sturdy kickstands, reliable fenders, and the majority throw in a rear rack for extra capacity.
As for passenger safety, the brand doesn’t sacrifice it at all. There are three-point seat belts in most models. It also took the effort to get the necessary safety certifications on its models and the locks they use.
Overall, it’s not hard to see that most Babboe models are made with longevity, affordability, and quality (though not the kind that exceeds your expectations) in mind. These three qualities are enough to form a recipe for success. They also have a subtle Dutch charm, with the wooden cargo boxes sporting a rustic yet stylish look.
Does Babboe Offer E-bike Accessories?
There are loads of accessories that you can buy to customize and improve your Babboe cargo e-bike. These include sunshades, toddler and baby seats, carrier boxes, chain locks, bike covers, tents, cushions, and benches, to cite a few.
Do Babboe E-bikes Come with a Manufacturer’s Warranty?
All Babboe cargo e-bikes’ frames are covered by a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty against all defects. The boxes and their respective panels get 1-year coverage, excluding any discoloration that happens to them.
Electrical components and most of the pieces get a 2-year coverage. Accessories only get 6 months of protection, excluding wear and tear on tires, chains, chain rings, brake pads, and cables.
To keep the warranty valid, the model must be checked after it has reached 62 miles (100 km) or up to 12 weeks since purchase. It also has to undergo an annual service after its first service check.
Incorrect use and wrongful assembly aren’t covered by the warranty. The same goes if you perform any repairs yourself.
Any component you choose to add later isn’t covered. The warranty is also rendered null if you can’t show proof of ownership. For a complete list of the exceptions, take a look at this page.
Can You Avail of a Test Ride of Babboe E-bikes?
Yes, if you’re a UK resident or live in western Europe mostly. You can go to any of the brand’s test locations or ask about test rides from Babboe resellers in the country. Here’s a map of all the Babboe ambassadors that you can ask for available test rides. Find it on this page.
What Do E-bike Riders Think of Babboe?
Cargo e-bikes are still a strange sight to many. There’s no shortage of cargo e-bike riders who say they still receive glances whenever they go for rides, commutes, and errands. That says a lot about where Babboe stands at present regarding popularity.
At best, it caters to a specific audience (mostly families or individuals looking for car alternatives), having chosen to focus on this particular sub-niche in the e-bike industry. Still, it arguably wouldn’t have lasted this long if it hadn’t enjoyed success.
Indeed, that success was brought about by the brand’s knowledge of what to deliver to its highly targeted audience. Its models provide everything a cargo e-bike owner wants from their ride: a budget-friendly and highly dependable workhorse for the family.
What Countries Does Babboe Ship To?
Babboe ships to most countries in Europe. Babboe also caters to US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Chile residents outside the European region.