With the CARGOLINE FS 800, KETTLER Alu-Rad have made a full-suspension E-cargo bike to conquer our cities, offering a huge carrying capacity, long range and excellent handling. You might be asking if you still need your car. Apart from the E-cargo bike’s few flaws, our test proves that you don’t!

CARGOLINE FS 800 | Bosch Cargo Line Cruise/1250Wh | 56 kg | € 7,999 | Manufacturer’s website

With the CARGOLINE FS 800, KETTLER Alu-Rad have released a full-suspension long john cargo bike that has us questioning how many wheels we really need for urban life. Do we need the four wheels of our car, or can the two of this 2.61 m cargo bike also do the trick? Shuttling the kids to creche, doing your weekly shopping, restocking on drinks, or snapping up a beautiful table that you happened to spot at a flea market on your way home: the € 7,999 CARGOLINE FS 800 can often do all this on just two instead of four wheels, allowing it to replace your car in a surprising number of situations. Best of all, you’ll probably have more fun along the way! The KETTLER doesn’t only score with its large cargo box and big battery capacity, but above all with comfortable, safe and intuitive handling. As such, the CARGOLINE FS 800 manages to combine heavy-duty capabilities with riding pleasure.

Das KETTLER Alu-Rad CARGOLINE FS 800 mit Holzbox in Parkposition – 261 cm Länge und 250 kg zulässiges Gesamtgewicht

The spec of the KETTLER – Bosch motor and mountain bike components

The CARGOLINE FS 800 is based on an aluminium frame into which they’ve integrated an 85 Nm Bosch Cargo Line motor, providing up to 400 % assistance. The 625 Wh Bosch PowerTube battery is integrated into the tubing on which the cargo box rests, keeping it close to the ground. Theft protection and a low centre of gravity for stable handling go hand in hand here. An optional second battery doubles the capacity to a full 1250 Wh, giving the KETTLER the power and range it needs to transport the maximum permissible weight of 250 kg from A to B and back again. Our test bike weighs 56 kg and the cargo box is certified to carry a maximum of 100 kg. Do the math and you’re left with 94 kg for the rider.

The low, integrated battery compartments in the KETTLER don’t just offer theft protection…
… but also ensure a low centre of gravity, keeping the cargo bike’s handling stable.

Regardless of weight, it doesn’t really matter who takes a seat on the KETTLER. The cockpit can be adjusted to suit almost any size rider in just a few simple steps. Every member of our DOWNTOWN test crew could get comfortable on the cargo bike, measuring between 1.65 m and 2.00 m tall. By lifting the big lever under the handlebar, you can adjust its angle and height. Adjusting the saddle to your desired height is just as fast via the dropper post remote on the handlebar, which is a feature you’ll commonly find on mountain bikes. When riding trails, this allows you to drop the saddle for more freedom of movement, though it works just as brilliantly for lightning-fast and stepless saddle height adjustment on the KETTLER. It also makes getting on and off a lot easier. Smart! If the adjustment range isn’t big enough, you can still lower or raise the dropper post in the seat tube. The CARGOLINE also makes good use of other mountain bike components for its urban exploits. The powerful hydraulic disc brakes supplied by MAGURA usually bring enduro riders and bike park fanatics reliably to a halt, also promising ample stopping power and reserves on a cargo bike. The mechanical 12-speed SLX Shimano drivetrain offers a wide 510% gear range. The shifter on the right side of the handlebar will look familiar to most mountain bikers. Unfortunately, the one thing that doesn’t correspond to current mountain bike standards on the KETTLER is the outdated and spindly 9 mm quick-release axle on the rear wheel. As such, the rear wheel can twist slightly in the frame when loaded and cause the brake to drag, for example. A heavy-duty cargo bike like this needs a solid bolt-thru axle!

With just one lever and a little effort, you can adjust the height and angle of the handlebar.
The dropper post allows for lightning-fast adjustment via the remote on the handlebar. If you need more adjustment, you can always raise or drop the seat post in the seat tube.
A common sight at the bike park: the MAGURA disc brakes and 12-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain on the CARGOLINE have been tried and tested on mountain bikes.
Inappropriate: the quick-release axle is out of place on a heavy-duty cargo bike like the KETTLER. It needs a sturdy bolt-thru version.

In addition to a centre stand under the bike, the KETTLER also features integrated lighting at the front and rear, an additional luggage rack for a payload of up to 25 kg, mudguards and a permanently mounted frame lock. Less visible but at least as valuable as these components is the suspension of the CARGOLINE FS 800. Under the saddle, you’ll find a RockShox Monarch air shock like you’ll see on many mountain bikes, discreetly integrated into the aluminium frame and providing the 26″ rear wheel with 70 mm travel. Things get exciting up front where an inconspicuous gap in the main frame at the end of the cargo box hints at a second linkage, providing the small 20″ wheel with 45 mm travel via an elastomer. Therefore, the KETTLER is a true full-suspension cargo bike.

The 100 lx headlight sits firmly on the mudguard.
The rear also has a luggage rack with an integrated taillight and a lock.
A standard RockShox Monarch air shock absorbs impacts at the rear.
The front elastomer suspension is integrated under the cargo box and hardly visible, but the KETTLER is a true full-suspension bike.

Without question, the literal elephant in the room and the heart of the KETTLER is the huge cargo box that sits enthroned between the handlebar and the front wheel rolling far ahead. We tested the variant made of stuck and lashed together fibreboard, which offers around 300 l of storage volume. For comparison, the storage volume of the trunk of a VW e-Up is limited to about 250 l. As additional options, KETTLER offer a vertical partition for the wooden box and bucket seats with straps for two children. There is a small locker for valuables integrated into the flat bottom of the wooden box. As an alternative to the wooden box, the CARGOLINE FS 800 is also available with a metal box made to carry children, including a roll bar and roof. If you want to keep your cargo safely locked up on the KETTLER instead, the third option is a closed metal cargo box. Regardless of whether you’re planning to use it as a versatile pack mule, a kids shuttle or a large valuables transporter, the CARGOLINE FS 800 offers a suitable option.

Depending on your preferences, you can choose to place a wooden frame, a bucket seat for kids or a lockable cargo box on the bare chassis of the CARGOLINE FS 800 weighing 46 kg.
The parts of the wooden box get slotted and then lashed together with a belt.
The box features a locker for valuables, integrated into the floor.

The KETTLER Alu-Rad CARGOLINE FS 800 in review

MGetting comfortable on the CARGOLINE is as simple as opening the lever on the handlebar, for which you’ll need to apply some force, and setting the desired height and angle. Together with the remotely and steplessly adjustable seat height of the dropper post, the KETTLER accommodates a wide range of riders without any fumbling or having to get out your tools. It’s a very convenient feature if you want to share the cargo bike with others!

A few simple steps are all it takes to adjust the CARGOLINE FS 800 to any rider. That way, it can be easily shared by one family or household.

Loading goods into the low wooden box is self-explanatory. Just note that your cargo is likely to slide around on the smooth wooden planks and it’s best to lash it down with a few additional straps or elastic bands. The slots and openings in the boards offer numerous tie points. The icing on the cake would have been so-called airline rails in the bottom of the box. You’ll find an example of these on the cluuv e-cargo bike, which we presented to you in our Eurobike 2021 highlights.

How much can the KETTLER take? With a maximum permissible weight of 250 kg, there is plenty of space for goodies.
However, we recommend lashing loose items down so that they don’t slide around.

Intuitive and simple handling

Once you’re up to speed, the CARGOLINE FS 800 is surprisingly agile. Although you can only partially see the front wheel through the wooden box, the KETTLER quickly makes you feel like you’ve got everything under control. You don’t think you’ve got what it takes to manoeuvre a heavily loaded 2.61 m vehicle safely across roads and along bike paths? Don’t worry, the KETTLER is very intuitive to control and its handling is characterised by excellent straight-line stability even when loaded. With its four support modes from Eco to Turbo, the Bosch Cargo Line motor works smoothly and inconspicuously. It delivers the necessary power to cruise through the city without breaking a sweat, just making the green traffic light and getting up the next climb with ease. The cockpit of the KETTLER with its mechanical 12-speed Shimano shifter and powerful MAGURA disc brakes feels both familiar and secure. You don’t have to get used to anything here, as everything on the handlebar of the CARGOLINE feels like it does on other bikes!

The cockpit of the KETTLER is neat and doesn’t come with any nasty surprises.
Thanks to the Cargo Line motor from Bosch, you can cruise through the city or park without breaking a sweat.

As gentle as a Mercedes

KETTLER have done a brilliant job with the full-suspension chassis of the CARGOLINE FS 800. The air shock at the rear and the elastomer suspension up front play well together, especially when the bike is loaded. Even if you accidentally hit a pothole, ride over a curb or take a shortcut along a forest path, the KETTLER feels as smooth as a classic Mercedes, despite two boxes of red wine and a yucca palm in front of you! The batteries inside the bottom of the frame keep the cargo bike’s centre of gravity low, making the handling very stable. The only thing fluttering is the palm tree!

You can trust the intuitive handling of the KETTLER. Once it’s in motion, this E-cargo bike can even be fun!

Despite the feeling of having full-suspension and the confidence-inspiring handling, the KETTLER can cause a ruckus when riding at high speed. The walls of the wooden box have some play, rattling against each other, and the steering rods and kickstand knock against the bottom of the frame on bigger hits. It makes a lot of noise and can lead you to believe that the CARGOLINE is at its limit. However, the annoying noise is deceptive. The CARGOLINE FS 800 never veers off line and wholeheartedly deserves being called a full-suspension cargo bike. Fortunately, you can eliminate the noises from the steering rods and kickstand by covering the contact points with thick rubber tape or an old tube. That way you won’t have to worry about disturbing your noise-sensitive neighbours!

The steering rod knocks against the frame when things get bumpy…
… and so does the sturdy kickstand. To make the bike quiet, we recommend covering these areas with tape or an old tube.

Light and shadow – The steering

The handling of the CARGOLINE is surprisingly direct and a lot of fun. No, you don’t need a truck driver’s license to handle this cargo bike! Admittedly, your cargo can occasionally require some balancing, depending on the weight of your load and how fast you’re riding. That said, it never feels like you might lose control. The transfer of input on the handlebar via the steering rods under the frame to the front wheel feels neither nervous nor sluggish but rather direct – as long as you don’t have to make a tight turn like you do through slow corners and when manoeuvring. There is room for improvement here for KETTLER since the turning circle of the CARGOLINE is much too big. Be prepared to put your foot down when riding slowly and manoeuvring the bike because the maximum steering angle comes surprisingly quickly and you tend to tip inward into a corner. When turning the wheel as far as it will go, the inside of the front hub and the axle housing collide and damage each other. The KETTLER loses points both for its large turning circle and the lack of protection for the axle and hub.

The steering rods are located under the belly of the CARGOLINE and transmit your steering input to the distant front wheel.
The maximum steering angle of the CARGOLINE is insufficient for tight corners and manoeuvres. It’s annoying…
… and it damages the unprotected hub and axle housing of the KETTLER.

Another weak point of the steering mechanism becomes apparent when you’ve got lateral forces acting on the front wheel. When turning abruptly, riding over curbs at an angle or when braking hard while making a sharp turn, the steerer twists far too easily so that the handlebar is no longer perpendicular to the front wheel. This is because the clamp connecting the steerer to the steering rods is too weak, which is another point KETTLER will have to improve on. A possible solution could be using two instead of just a single clamping bolt and increasing the clamping surface, which seems to work well enough with conventional stems. Using grip paste and excessively torquing the bolt aren’t good fixes, but if you don’t do that, the CARGOLINE rides around with a crooked handlebar.

The clamp connecting the steerer to the steering rods is too weak and tends to twist when knocked sideways.
As soon as you’re on the move, the CARGOLINE FS 800 is surprisingly easy and intuitive to control.

Rolling instead of heaving

Another highlight of the CARGOLINE FS 800 is the effortless handling of the kickstand. You don’t have to be a professional weightlifter to get the CARGOLINE onto the sturdy kickstand. Thanks to its clever design, you don’t have to lift the bike up onto the stand but rather roll it into position. You can do this even if you don’t have a daily pull-up routine! Simply push the stand down with one foot, pull back on the handlebar and the CARGOLINE willingly plops into its stable parking position. When doing this, just make sure to pull your foot back in time. Otherwise, the edge of the battery compartment might hit your shin. Getting it off the stand is even easier. As soon as you push the KETTLER gently in the direction of travel, the stand folds up with a (very) loud clonk and waits nestled under the cargo box for when you next park. At this point, we must remind you of the solutions we mentioned above for being a good neighbour.

Loud but good: thanks to its clever design, the KETTLER is easy to get on the stand even when it’s loaded. Getting it off the stand is even easier.

Our conclusion on the KETTLER cargo bike

The full-suspension KETTLER CARGOLINE FS 800 E-cargo bike is comfortable to ride despite its enormous carrying capacity. It fits riders of all sizes and is a lot of fun once up to speed. Unfortunately, the turning circle is too big, which is a nuisance in tight corners, it’s noisy and the steerer twists too easily. That aside, this cargo bike makes you want to leave your car at home and rock the trip to the daycare centre or supermarket on two instead of four wheels.


  • safe handling even when loaded
  • easily adjustable fit
  • intuitive handling at speed
  • high-quality drivetrain and brakes


  • turning circle is too big for tight corners
  • steerer twists easily
  • wooden box and frame rattle
  • undersized 9 mm quick-release on the rear wheel

For more information about the KETTLER CARGOLINE FS 800 E-cargo bike, visit kettler-alu-rad.de

Are you interested in finding out more about other cargo bikes on the market? Then check out our cargo bike group test featuring an extensive range of bikes and everything you need to know. It’s essential reading for anyone in the market for a cargo bike!

If you want to find out more about what to pay attention to when riding a cargo bike and how to confront some of its unforeseen challenges with confidence, we also recommend reading our article on everyday life with a cargo bike .

Words: Moritz Geisreiter Photos: Peter Walker