Momentum, a subsidiary of GIANT, sent us the PakYak E+ cargo bike to take on the competition in our group test. You can guess the animal lineage, at least by name, but is it destined for trekking tours over grassy meadows, or is the PakYak more of an urban animal? We put it to the test to find out.

Momentum PakYak E+ | GIANT SyncDrive Pro /1000 Wh
45 kg in size One Size | € 5,369 | Manufacturer’s website

Momentum are a subsidiary of GIANT – if you want to take a look behind the scenes of GIANT’s Taiwanese subsidiary, then continue paging to our “Riding Taichung” story, where we pay their HQ a visit. As expected then, Momentum rely on GIANT technology, and the motor on the PakYak E+ is sourced from GIANT’s trusted partners Yamaha, equipped with the 80 Nm SyncDrive Pro model. So that Momentum can deliver on their promise of “unrivalled range”, they rely on a modular battery concept with a removable, 500 Wh GIANT EnergyPak Smart Compact battery in the down tube, with the option of a second 500 Wh auxiliary battery for double the capacity.

With the PakYak E+, Momentum promise a bike that can replace a car, capable of carrying both groceries and children, or all your camping equipment for a weekend adventure. This could prove to be somewhat challenging, at least on paper, because it’s the second shortest long-tail cargo bike in the group test at 1.92 m in length. At 45 kg, the PakYak E+ is slightly lighter than the cargo bike group test average of 47.4 kg. With a gross weight limit of 200 kg, however, it should theoretically allow you to haul quite a lot of luggage, leaving 155 kg for the rider and their cargo. The basic configuration of the PakYak is available from € 4,299. However, our test bike came equipped with € 1,069.50 worth of accessories, bringing the total to € 5,368.50. This is just under € 1,200 less than the average price of the cargo bikes on test (€ 6,536).

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best cargo-bike – The 12 hottest models in our comparison test.

Looks like a yak! – What sets the Momentum PakYak E+ apart?

Pack mules are so last century, PakYak E+ is the future! The cargo bike’s most striking feature must be the design, which probably made naming the bike relatively easy. With a bit of imagination, you can see the cargo bike’s resemblance to the animal. The slightly curved handlebar looks like the horns, and the long rear end represents the back of the Asian cattle species. The curved frame with its round tubes is appealing, and the transition between head tube and rigid fork has a high-quality look. Momentum have integrated the motor just as seamlessly, giving the bike a sleek silhouette, and the batteries are also hidden in the frame, unlike other long tails like the Mustache Lundi or Benno RemiDemi XL where they’re just attached to the frame rather rudimentarily. Even the battery cover is colour matched to the frame. If you don’t like the PakYak’s subtle colour, you can opt for Bumblebee yellow in the configurator instead.

No, there’s no hidden prize in the mystery box, it’s just the storage case on the PakYak E+, housing the auxiliary battery with enough room to accommodate two water bottles.

With its curved handlebar and long rear carrier, the PakYak E+ bears some resemblance to the Asian cattle species, with a bit of imagination.

The dropper post makes everyday life in city traffic considerably easier, allowing you to put your feet on the ground while remaining seated.

Furthermore, if you want to fit the seat cushions (€ 59.90), your kids better not be impatient . Because securing the cushions with the wing nuts takes about 15 minutes, which is too long when you’ve got a whiny child standing next to you. Therefore, the rear carrier can’t be flexibly adapted to different transport tasks. Long tails with quick mounting systems, like the Specialized Porto or the Moustache Lundi with three MIK interfaces, offer more flexibility.

If you’re looking for a sturdy transport solution, you can also mount the heavy-duty PakYak E+ rear basket (€ 169.90). Riders who want more storage space on the PakYak E+ can also attach bags to the bosses of the rigid fork, in addition to the standard front rack. On our test bike, we opted for the optional footrests (€ 129.90) and wheel guards (€ 49.90), to keep the kids’ feet out of harm’s way, in addition to the auxiliary battery and auxiliary battery holder (€ 830). The length of the rear carrier has been compromised to make room for the storage case behind the seat tube. It’s big enough to accommodate small items like two water bottles or your wallet, though its main purpose is to house the auxiliary battery, simultaneously protecting it against theft. The case locks with the same key as the battery in the down tube.

The integrated battery is easy to access via the side of the down tube, and can be secured with the same key as for the storage case.

Adapting the rear carrier for various transport tasks requires calm nerves and a lot of patience.

Speaking of which, the GIANT EnergyPak Smart Compact 500 Wh battery can be conveniently accessed via the side of the frame. If you want more range to do your shopping after dropping the kids off at kindergarten, you can get an optional 500 Wh auxiliary battery, like the model on test. That’s enough to power the 80 Nm Yamaha SyncDrive Pro motor for quite a while. Powerful motors make particularly good sense on cargo bikes because they help you carry heavy loads. But Momentum don’t make use of GIANT’s most powerful model. The SyncDrive Pro motor is somewhat dated, with the new SyncDrive 2 Pro capable of putting out 85 Nm and offering 400 instead of 360% support. You can operate the motor via the RideControl Dash handlebar remote control with integrated display.

The one-size-fits-all concept of the PakYak E+ is designed to fit riders from 160 to 190 cm tall. Due to the lack of adjustment options, however, this doesn’t work very well, and tall riders in particular are put into a slightly hand-heavy riding position. Not even the seat post on the PakYak E+ has a quick release clamp, which means you’ll have to reach for the toolbox simply to adjust the saddle height. That’s a shame!
Other stand-out components are the 9-speed Shimano Alivio derailleur, offering a sufficiently wide gear range, and the reliable TEKTRO HD-E737 four-piston brakes.

Momentum PakYak E+

€ 5,369

Specifications

Motor GIANT SyncDrive Pro 80 Nm
Battery GIANT EnergyPak Smart Compact 1000 Wh
Display RideControl Dash
Fork ALUXX Alu
Seatpost Alu 70 mm
Brakes TEKTRO HD-E737 203/203 mm
Drivetrain Shimano Alivio 1x9
Handlebar Momentum Alu 720 mm
Wheelset Momentum Alu 24"
Tires MAXXIS Rekon / MAXXIS Hookworm Maxxpro 2.5"/2.2"

Technical Data

Size One Size
Weight 45 kg
Perm. total weight 200 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 155 kg
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

Storage box

Tuning tip: For more handling stability, get the PakYak E+ pannier bags for an additional € 129.90

Wild ride or smooth sailing? – The Momentum PakYak E+ cargo bike on test

If you go to take the PakYak E+ out of the garage, you’ll probably find it propped up on the centre stand and taking up relatively little space due to its compact dimensions. Getting it on and off the stand is relatively easy even when loaded, but it takes some getting used to because it’s not quite as intuitive as on the Riese & Müller Packster2. With a step-through height of 57.4 cm, hopping aboard the Momentum PakYak E+ is not as effortless as on the R&M Multitinker with its lower step-through, and you’ll have to lift your foot up relatively high. The riding position is upright, and it places you relatively high on the bike, like the cargo on the rear carrier, resulting in a high centre of gravity overall. Unlike the other long-tail cargo bikes on test, the Momentum doesn’t have a small 20″ wheel on the rear, rolling on 24″ wheels both front and rear instead. It’s due to this that the rear carrier sits higher up, so pulling away can be somewhat shaky and requires some practice. However, the dropper post lets you place your feet on the ground while remaining seated, to stabilise the bike when coming to a halt, which is a major bonus at traffic lights. The motor provides reliable and powerful support on level asphalt roads. However, if you hit a steep climb, you’ll need to put in a little more physical effort to make it to the summit without having to climb off. The 9-speed derailleur offers a wide enough gear range for steep hill-climb challenges, but the shifting feels little spongy.

With a bit of imagination, you can see where the Momentum PakYak E+ got the inspiration for its name.

Due to the large 24″ wheels and the high rear carrier, the weight of the cargo has got a high centre of gravity, which comes at the cost of handling stability.

Due to the 57.4 cm high step-through, you must lift your foot a little higher to climb aboard. But don’t worry, it doesn’t require ballerina-level flexibility.

In rush-hour traffic, the cargo bike benefits from its compact 192 cm length, and the handling is agile though somewhat demanding. The Yak can’t dodge pedestrians at a busy weekend market quite as playfully as the R&M Multitinker. While the handling of the PakYak E+ is intuitive when it’s unloaded, this stops being the case as soon as you load your goods onto the rear carrier. Due to the large 24″ wheels and the top of the carrier measuring 71 cm from the ground, the cargo’s centre of gravity sits relatively high up, robbing the bike of stability. As a result, beginners in particular will quickly be disillusioned. We recommend upgrading to the PakYak E+ pannier bags from the configurator for an additional € 129.90, offering a capacity of 12 kg per bag, thereby lowering the centre of gravity of your goods and increasing the bike’s stability. At higher speeds on the PakYak E+, the handlebar tends to wobble quite easily when loaded, forcing you to grip the Yak firmly by the horns. As a result, the PakYak E+ doesn’t track well and demands a skilled rider to navigate the city reliably and safely.

The high riding position and minimal damping offer little comfort on long-distance rides. On bumpy terrain, like cobblestones, the comfort at the rear is on par with the Moustache Lundi thanks to the suspended seat post. However, you get thoroughly shaken up at the front, and you need to secure your luggage in the front rack. The PakYak E+ can’t match the ride comfort of the R&M Packster2.

The dropper post lets you place your feet on the ground while remaining seated, to stabilise the bike when coming to a halt, which is a major bonus at traffic lights.

Who is the Momentum PakYak E+ for? – And who better steer clear?

The Momentum PakYak E+ is aimed at riders who know exactly what they want to transport with their cargo bike. It’s not the kind of cargo bike that can quickly adapt to different scenarios. The PakYak E+ is designed for small loads, and it’s suitable for riders who have little space in their garage. If you also want to use your cargo bike as a standard, unladen commuter on paved roads, you’ll find what you’re looking for here, too. If you want to stand out from the crowd with a colourful bike, you should choose the bright yellow Bumblebee finish in the configurator, which is guaranteed to turn heads.

Our conclusion on the Momentum PakYak E+

The PakYak E+ is made exclusively for urban cowboys because venturing off-road to a picnic in the woods is not this cargo bike’s strength, considering the unstable handling. Due to the lack of fit and cargo adaptability, you should consider both who will ride the back and what you intend to transport before buying. The Momentum PakYak E+ is more of an urban commuter for occasionally hauling cargo, and it prefers well-maintained asphalt roads.

Tops

  • suspended dropper post
  • flexible dual battery concept

Flops

  • eingeschränktes Größenkonzept
  • lack of adjustability for a one-size-fits-all bike
  • cumbersome to adapt to different transport tasks
  • lack of comfort up front
  • limited payload capacity at the rear

For more information, visit momentum-biking.com


The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best cargo-bike – The 12 hottest models in our comparison test.

All bikes in test: Moustache Lundi 20 Cargo 3 (Click for review) | Specialized Porto (Zum Test) | Ultima Multipath Cargo Compact (Click for review) | i:SY Cargo P12 ZR (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Packster2 70 Touring (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Multitinker Vario (Click for review) | BTWIN Cargo R500E Longtail V2 (Click for review) | WINORA F.U.B. 2W (Click for review) | Cannondale Wonderwagen Neo1 (Click for review) | VEOLO Cargo Trailer (Click for review) | Benno RemiDemi XL (Click for review) | Momentum PakYak E+

Words: Benedikt Schmidt Photos: Antonia Feder, Robin Schmitt