Locking technology turns cargo bikes into a mobile safe

04-04-2023 | Emka | Automotive & Transport

Urban Mobility has developed a special cargo pedelec with a secure goods attachment to fulfil the company's vision. Its 'UM CargoBike' is planned to replace bulky delivery vans and to ease excessive traffic from the downtown core of our many city centres. However, to assure the same level of theft protection as a delivery van, the company sought support from EMKA, experts in locking systems.

The CargoBike is intended to transport larger quantities and heavier loads in urban areas than could be accommodated on a normal bicycle. The pedelec runs on electricity and can move from A to B using cycle paths and roads. It is aimed to serve commercial courier express parcel service providers as an alternative to large bulky transport vans utilising a standard transport case with a volume of 2m³ that stores the parcels safely.

The unit can transport up to 250kg of goods and provides a rear door using simple snap locks, which offers access to the cargo container. However, it was quickly recognised that extra locking would be needed to provide that packages could not readily be stolen from the parked bike when a delivery is made.

"Right from the first meeting with EMKA, we could put together the ideal locking solution for our CargoBikes from their extensive selection of individual components," says Tilmann Rosch, managing director of Urban Mobility. "The prototypes arrived very quickly, and we could install them successfully".

EMKA used a locking solution for the storage door and created an optimised system based on a rod control mechanism for multiple interlocking. Three locking points inside the seal are joined with a flat rod made of stainless steel. Each point comprises a rod control for multiple interlocking (galvanised) systems in combination with a bearing bush, a righthand side end-stop (black glass-filled polyamide) and a stainless-steel cam. The locking points can be opened by operating an L-handle quarter turn (black powder-coated). Since the quarter turn includes an integrated lock, this supplies increased protection against theft. Also, the three locking points increase the resistance to violent attacks.

The hinges are 180° hinge type 1056-U59 (die-cast aluminium). Here, Urban Mobility was quickly persuaded by the difference in weight compared to stainless steel versions, as the company wanted the bike's design to be as light as possible. Urban Mobility intends to contribute to creating a more mobile, environmentally friendly, and sustainable world. In addition, the system is compatible with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) locking system, which makes handling easier for the delivery person.