Bunch Coupe review: Specs
Size: 83.5 x 31.5 inches
Weight: 132 pounds
Cargo capacity: 220 pounds
Cargo box size: 36 x 18.5 x 15 inches
Motor: Bafang MAX M400 mid-engine, 250w, 80 Nm
Battery: 36v, 20Ah Lithium-Ion
Front tires: Schwalbe Big Apple Plus, 50-507 – 24 x 2.00
Rear tires: Schwalbe Big Apple Plus, 55-559 – 26 x 2.15
Recommended rider height: 5’5″ – 6’5″
Rear rack capacity: 99 pounds
The Bunch Coupe electric cargo bike is built for those who’d rather bike than use their car for errands about town — and your tots will get a kick out of riding in it too. This reverse-trike has a large cargo area in the front that can be used to store groceries or other bags, and even has a seating area that can fit two small children.
I — and my daughter — had a lot of fun riding around during this Bunch Coupe electric bike review. However, $6,999 is a big ask, even for an electric bike. For that price, you better get everything right. And while the Coupe checks a lot of boxes, it just wasn’t quite right for me.
Bunch Coupe review: Price and availability
The Bunch Coupe is available through Bunchbike.com or at retailers throughout the U.S.; at the time of this writing, there looked to be about half a dozen.
The Coupe costs $6,999, plus $199 for shipping. You can purchase the bike in one of four colors — yellow, black, white, and blue. Blue seems to be the most popular model, as there’s an estimated three-month delay between ordering the bike and having it delivered. Black, white, and yellow models look to ship fairly soon after ordering, while the blue model has about a two-month delay.
If you’d like to try a Bunch bike before purchasing it, the company has an Ambassador program, whereby you can test ride a bike. You can find participating Bunch owners here.
The Bunch Coupe comes fully assembled (shipping is $199), but beware: It gets shipped in a massive crate made up of 2x4s and two wooden pallets. The whole affair is screwed together with Torx-head screws; fortunately, I had the correct drill bit, but even then, it took the better part of an hour to completely disassemble everything and unblock my driveway. On the plus side, lumber is pretty expensive these days, so having a few extra boards can be a plus.
Bunch Coupe review: Design
When you ride a bike as unique as the Bunch Coupe, you’re certain to get plenty of comments. I did. Nearly everyone I rode past remarked on how cool it looked.
The Coupe looks a bit more sophisticated than Bunch’s other cargo e-bikes, with softer corners and a more simplified design that neatly conceals all its wires. There’s even a chainguard, and because the Coupe has an automatic transmission (yes, that’s a thing for bikes), all the gearing around the rear wheel is hidden.
Like the VanMoof, the Coupe is a bike that wouldn’t look out of place on the streets of Amsterdam. (Suburban New Jersey is another matter; in all the time I’ve lived here, I’ve only seen only one other cargo bike.)
There are some nice touches here: The front of the Coupe’s cargo area is made of curved bamboo and folds down to make it easier to unload groceries and let kids get in and out. On either side of the door are two headlights, and the front wheels are covered by plastic guards that keep mud and debris from flying into your face.
The cargo area measures 36 x 18.5 x 15 inches — large enough for a number of grocery bags — and is made from expanded polypropylene, similar to what you might find in a bike helmet. It also helps reduce the bike’s overall weight, a hefty 132 pounds.
At the back of the cargo area is a small bench with two shoulder-strap seatbelts. My daughter, who at the time of this review was about 25 pounds and 36 inches tall, fit comfortably on one side, but adding a second kid about the same size would be a bit of a squeeze.
Atop the handlebars is a large LCD display in the center, which shows you battery life remaining, your speed and your mileage. Sitting by your left hand are controls to turn the bike on, adjust the amount you want the motor to help, activate the lights and access menu items.
By your right hand is a second wireless controller that’s used to adjust the Enviolo continuously variable transmission — that’s right, this bike can automatically change gears for you.
Connected to the rear tire is a frame lock, which are more common in Europe than they are in the U.S. These spring-loaded locks have a bolt that prevents the rear wheel of your bicycle from turning. While they don’t let you secure your bike to a rack, it’s a super-convenient way to make sure no one takes your bike. Considering the weight of the Bunch Coupe – 132 pounds – it’s doubtful someone will just walk away with it.
Rather than a fold-down kickstand, as found on other cargo bikes such as the MK1-E and the Urban Arrow Family, the Bunch Coupe has locking brakes: Just squeeze the brake levers really hard and engage a small switch to keep the bike from moving.
Bunch Coupe review: Performance and handling
I’ve been on bikes for more than 30 years, but when I got on the Bunch Coupe, it was like learning to ride all over again. The reverse-tricycle design of the Bunch Coupe definitely takes some adjustment.
The front wheels of the bike are canted inward — that is, the wheels are angled so that the distance between them where they contact the pavement is wider than the distance at the top. Bunch says this is to help with stability, but even so, turning the bike is a completely different experience than on a regular two-wheeled bike.
The rear of the Coupe angles away from a turn, so you have to lean into the turn to maintain stability. So, for example, if you’re turning right, the back angles left, so you have to tilt your torso right. You also have to take corners slowly — around 10 miles per hour or less — otherwise, it feels like one of the bike’s front wheels will tip up in the air.
The bike was most comfortable tooling around between 10-15 miles per hour. Any faster than that, and it started to feel unstable, especially on windier days, when the front of the bike was more like a sail.
The Bafang 250 Watt mid-engine motor performed flawlessly. As soon as you start pedaling, it kicks in smoothly, adding a nice boost to your ride. Still, it’s not powerful enough to get you effortlessly uphill, as you might do with other electric bikes like the VanMoof. I still had to put in a fair amount of work pedaling — though it was a lot less than if there was no pedal-assist at all.
I also wasn’t in love with the Coupe’s geometry. Bunch says the Coupe is designed for riders from 5’ 5” to 6’5”. I fall roughly in the middle, at 6 feet, and found that I wasn’t able to comfortably keep the balls of my feet on the pedals while fully extending my legs, even after shifting the seat back as far as it would go. My wife, who’s 5’3” — shorter than Bunch’s recommended height — was also uncomfortable on the bike.
The handlebars are wrapped in brown leather, which is definitely elegant, but I found that the stitched wrapping tended to shift around and would dig into my hands.
Those things aside, I did enjoy riding the Branch Coupe, mainly for the pleasure my daughter took as she delighted in the spacious view. Still, when given the choice, she preferred my old-school Trek with a child seat mounted between the handlebars.
Bunch Coupe review: Battery life and range
The Coupe’s 36v, 20Ah Lithium-Ion battery fits into a removable slot at the rear of the cargo area, and locks in place with a key. The battery has its own power switch that, annoyingly, is very hard to reach when the battery is in place.
Bunch estimates that the Coupe’s battery should give you a range of up to 75 miles, but that’s highly conditional. After an hour of riding about six miles of rolling terrain with a toddler in the front, the Coupe’s battery had dropped by 10 percent.
Bunch Coupe review: The competition
Reverse-tricycle electric bikes are a niche within a niche category, but there are still a few options out there worth considering.
The Nihola Family 2 (starting at $4,399, plus an additional $2,199 for a 48V, 10Ah battery pack) has a more powerful 500-Watt motor, which can be used with pedal assist or can fully power the bike itself. Its design is a bit more spare, and the bike is both larger and heavier than the Bunch.
The Virtue Schoolbus+ (starting at $2,799) can be outfitted with either a 250W or a 500-Watt hub motor and a 36V/8.8Ah/11.6Ah battery pack. It has a full wooden cargo area, and overall more of a retro look than the Coupe.
The Ferla Caro Bike ($4,599) has a 350W hub motor and a 36V, 15 Ah battery which can be used in pedal-assist or in a throttle mode, too. It has a molded wooden cargo area that can fit up to four children.
Bunch Coupe review: Verdict
Unlike most other electric bikes, the Bunch Coupe is a very task-oriented electric bike. Because of its size, handling — and more importantly, its $6,999 price — you’ll want to make sure it’s something that you’ll use for more than just casual rides with your kid in the front.
While my daughter had a grand time marveling at all that she saw, if you’re not going to use this bike in lieu of a car for picking up groceries, a more cost-effective solution would be a less expensive pick on our best electric bikes page, along with a front-mounted child bike seat.
The other issue, too, is if you feel comfortable riding the Bunch Coupe among traffic. While it’s just 31 inches wide — thin enough to fit through many doors — it takes up a lot more room on the road, many of which in the U.S. aren’t bike-friendly. I certainly felt more exposed when riding it on busier streets than I have when riding regular bikes.
If you live in an area where local shops and grocery stores are a bit too far to walk — and the roads are not too treacherous — the Bunch Coupe would be a great alternative to driving, but I recommend you give the bike a test ride before buying one.