Dost launches belt drive Crate electric cargo bikes with mid-motor and throttle

Canadian electric bicycle manufacturer Dost Bikes has just announced the launch of a slick-looking electric cargo bike designed by its Dutch partners, tapping into the roots of the birthplace of cargo bikes: The Netherlands.

Cargo bikes were invented in the Netherlands as a practical and sustainable solution to urban transportation challenges. The Netherlands, known for its flat terrain and cycling-friendly infrastructure, has a long-standing cycling culture that extends beyond recreation and personal mobility, meaning using bicycles for work and utility-related tasks is the norm.

And so it makes sense that if you want to properly design a cargo e-bike, you’d go to the place with the most experience in it. That’s exactly what Dost Bikes did, with the new Dost Crate popping out at the end of that journey.

dost crate

Available in both a step-through and a step-over frame option, the new Dost Crate electric cargo bike packs in a number of interesting features.

In addition to both front and rear cargo carrying platform options, a whole host of accessories are available from seat pads to child protection bars and gear holders.

A maximum capacity of 440 lb (200 kg) provides plenty of opportunities to mix and match cargo. Even despite the impressive cargo-carrying capabilities, Dost says that the bike remains fairly compact, or “about the same length as a regular city bike.”

Power comes from a strong 120Nm Bafang M600 mid-drive motor, which offers two highly sought after components: a torque sensor and throttle functionality. The torque sensor makes the pedal assist experience much more pleasant and natural feeling, while the throttle makes it easier to maneuver the bike at slow speeds or just take the edge off by letting riders rest their feet after a long day.

A top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) is reachable on pedal assist, making this a Class 3 e-bike in many jurisdictions of North America. But the bike can also be speed limited, enabling it to function as a Class 1 or Class 2 e-bike, if desired.

To improve the overall ride as well as the bike’s efficiency, an Enviolo automatic CVT rear hub is included, giving the bike an automatic transmission. The rider can simply choose his or her desired pedaling speed, then the automatic shifter handles the rest to ensure the rider is always pedaling at the proper cadence.

The last major high-end component that is likely to excite riders is the Gates carbon belt drive system. Instead of using a chain that must be cleaned, oiled and maintained, Dost opted for a belt drive setup. Gates belt drives are known for lasting longer than chains without needing any maintenance. Taken over their entire lifetime, they’re also said to be more efficient than chains. While chains are slightly more efficient when new, their efficiency degrades over time much more steeply than a belt drive.

And making the Crate easy to use was a big part of Dost’s design goals.

As Dost Bikes founder Sam Atakhanov explained:

There’s never been a bike more capable of replacing car trips than the Crate, a fully-loaded multi-passenger electric cargo bike that’s compact, simple to ride, and has a host of features designed to boost your confidence on city streets. Multi-passenger cargo bikes are without a doubt one of the most substantial developments to hit the biking industry in our lifetimes and we are determined to set the new standards for what the cargo e-bike could be.

Integrated LED lighting with custom tail light and high/lo beam headlights, hydraulic disc brakes and a dual battery option round out the list of other key features. In fact, Dost was one of the first e-bike companies to offer dual batteries as an option and has continued that tradition with the new Dost Crate electric cargo bike.

All of those nice parts as well as the Dutch design don’t come cheap, with the Dost Crate priced at US $4,999. Riders can either order the bike online or at their local Dost retailer. The Crate is available for pre-order with a $500 deposit. Shipping is free in the US and Canada, and deliveries are expected to commence by the end of this year.

We’ve tested Dost bikes before with positive results, and with any luck we’ll be back again with a Crate review soon to follow up and see if Dost is still as awesome as the last time.

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