The ‘Semi-Trike’ is a five-wheeled semi-truck meets electric bike

What happens when you take a heavy duty cargo trike and make it even, well, heavier duty? You end up with something that looks like the Semi-Trike, a new cargo solution from Civilized Cycles.

The last time we heard from Civilized Cycles, the company was showing off a clever solution for storage on a typical two-wheeled electric bike, though the expanding hardcase panniers were anything but typical.

Now the company is back with something much larger, and with a few more wheels.

Civilized Cycles describes the Semi-Trike design as bringing “four wheel safety to three wheel vehicles,” which is seems mostly true other than the fact that they actually have five wheels.

semi-trike civilized cycles

The rear cargo box seems to come in multiple sizes and rides on a platform with four wheels for extra stability. The smaller version has 2,700 liters (96 cubic feet) of cargo space, while the larger version rocks a massive 5,600 liters (200 cubic feet) of storage. Add a bed and composting toilet, and you’ve got yourself a pedal-powered bike camper.

The Semi-Trike has a payload capacity of 340 kg (750 lb) and a gross vehicle weight limit of 450 kg (1,000 lb).

That much weight cruising along at the bike’s electronically-limited top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph) requires some strong braking. To get there, the company outfitted it with electric 1-ton rated 7” drum brakes with an inertial proportional brake controller.

The cargo platform rides on custom 1-ton axles with 8″ wheels, a 1,200W motor, and self-leveling air suspension. That self-leveling suspension is a trick taken from the company’s previous cargo e-bikes.

The aluminum construction of the rear cargo frame matches the aluminum bike frame up front. The single front wheel is a 20″x4″ fat tire that required a special fat bike suspension fork. There’s also another brake up front, this time hydraulically powered.

The company has begun producing the Semi-Trike and is looking to begin pilot testing soon in Detroit, Michigan, where the company manufactures the vehicle.

Civilized Cycles is no stranger to heavy-hauling bikes, as evidenced by their other models

Civilized Cycles aren’t the only one working on bigger than life cargo e-bikes for heavy-hauling duties. Coaster Cycles, the same folks behind those giant USPS mail bikes we covered last year, are also working hard on big bike-based cargo movers. Others like EAV have also explored how electric three-wheelers and four-wheelers can bring bicycle-level efficiency to the parcel delivery and urban logistics industries.

With major companies like Amazon, UPS, FedEx, DHL and others all looking towards a future with more bicycle-based cargo delivery solutions, vehicles like these could help bridge the gap without taking up as much space as a traditional box truck.

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