Category Archives: riders comments

Child Bike Seat, Bike Trailer, or Cargo Bike Part Three — Rider Profiles

In our early discussions planning this series, our curiosity was inspired. We live and breathe Cargo Biking, and we know why we make certain design choices and offer the bikes we do. Being so close to our own thinking, we wondered why people choose the style and model of cargo bikes that they do. So to learn insights from other cargo cyclists, we took to the Twittersphere to ask what people looked for when selecting a cargo bike to carry kids, as well as some reflection about their experience. We got many great responses by email and have included some of them in this post.  We hope you find it as informative as we did!

From Cargo Bike Conversion Kit to a Complete Longtail

Eunice Martel had this to say about his entry to, and evolution of, cargo biking with children:

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“Forget the MiniVan” says Outside Magazine. Family Life with the Yuba el Mundo.

Wondering what it is like to trade in the car for an Electric Cargo Bike? Michael Roberts shares his experience with his family on an el Mundo at Outside Magazine Online.

Outside Minivan

Ready to ditch the MiniVan!? Get your el Mundo here.

Transporting Multiple Bikes by Mundo

Periodically we repost a tutorial or other useful content from Yuba riders. This tutorial, from Gray Harrison of the Me and the Mundo blog has some great ideas about how to transport multiple bikes by Mundo. Enjoy!

There has been a lot of interest in the posting about carrying bikes on the back of my Mundo, so I’ve decided to put up some more details and a “how to” on the process.

The original inspiration for trying this out was that the Fort Collins Bike Library needed to move about 65 bikes from their storage location to the downtown library kiosk.  New Belgium Brewery was hosting a meeting of folks from around the country to plan this summers’ Tour de Fat festivities, and all the visitors needed bikes.  The plan was to ride the bikes from storage to the library, and then walk back to the storage to pick up another bike.  Repeat until done.  I volunteered to help move the bikes, but not being a fan of walking I figured there had to be a better method, and thus the Mundo Multiple Bike Loading System was born.

In front of the Bike Library
Carrying 2 bikes at a time.

The basic idea was pretty easy: get a couple of v-shaped bike trays, such as those made by ThuleYakimaRocky Mounts, mount them to the Mundo’s outriggers, and start moving bikes!  Sounds easy, and as it turned out, it really was.  A few technical details needed to be worked out, as I will show you, but it didn’t take long to figure out.

Here are the things you’ll need:
(2) full length bike trays
(4) 1″ hex-head stainless steel machine screws with the same diameter and thread pitch as the ones that come mounted in the Mundo’s outriggers.  (The stock screws might not be long enough to go through the bike tray into the fitting).
A drill
A measuring tape (to measure exactly where to drill the holes in the trays).
Some old carpet or other material to protect the frames where they contact the Mundo in transit.
(2) Yuba 3 meter Cargo Straps (or similar).
(1) hour of time to do the first installation. (Note: once everything is measured and drilled, the process of removing or installing the racks takes less than 5 minutes).

Detail 3
Here’s what the final installation looked like.  The trays are different styles only because they were the only 2 available at the time.

The most expensive part of this project were the 4 stainless steel machine screws, as the used bike trays were donated by the Fort Collins Bike Co-op.  Getting a tray or 2 for a project like this could be a bit of a stumbling block, but if you keep your eyes open you can probably find one on craigslist, your local community bike shop, or even at a metal recycling center.

Although the original inspiration for the project was a short-term job, my long-term objective was to have a way to easily carry one or more bikes with the Mundo.  I have tried towing bikes, and it is not an ideal way to transport more than one bike, or even one bike over longer distances.  This setup with the trays allows me to, for instance, carry my mountain bike to the trailhead (about 10 miles) using the Mundo instead of a car.  It’s a great way to get to and from the trails without having to ride my mountain bike on the street for a fairly long distance.  The Mundo’s electric assist makes it super-easy to get up to the foothills quickly where I can then enjoy the amazing Colorado singletrack.

In Action 1
carrying the mountain bike to the mountains.

Here are some more detailed pictures of the installation process for the trays, and for those of you who might need to transport 3 bikes, I think there is a way of mounting a 3rd, short tray on the top of the cargo rack.  You’d have to have the kind where you remove the front wheel, otherwise the bike would stick out too far and you might have a problem with too much weight hanging off the back of the rack.

Detail 5
The outrigger with one screw removed in the front and rear to allow the rack to be installed.
Detail 9
Detail showing the extra-long machine screw needed due to the extra thickness of the rack.

 

Detail 7
Lining up the hole drilled in the rack with the outriggers’ screw hole.  Note the slot in my wood deck for the Go-Getter bags’ strap to go through.
Detail 10
Here is the tray on the other side showing the holes drilled to match up with the existing screw holes in the outrigger.
Detail 11
A view from the top, the rear screw is in, the front has not been attached yet.  Also note the piece of old carpet around the top rack to protect the bike being carried from rubbing against the steel of the Mundo.
Detail 15
As long as the tray is mounted at the correct angle you should have plenty of room to pedal.  The exact placement of the tray, and where to drill the holes was the most critical measurement during the installation.
Detail 19
Here’s the mountain bike mounted on the Mundo for transport to the trailhead.
Detail 23
Here’s a closeup of how to strap the upper part of the bike to the rack of the Mundo.
Detail 21
Another view of the strap holding the bike up.
Detail 22
Using the wheel straps that come with the bike tray to hold the wheels in place.
In Action 2
And hey, I’m off to the mountains!

Thanks for taking a look, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about carrying bikes on your Mundo.  Once the system is in place it’s easy to put on or take off as needed, and as you might expect, it gets a lot of comments as you ride through town.  And if you want to see a short video of the bike carrying a bike, go to my vine page.  If you need to carry even more bikes, you could always build a custom trailer such as this one I recently saw at the Bike Library, built to carry 5 bikes!

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From the Mailbag: Greg N’s Mundo Review

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“My friend Peter came to town with two friends to play a show with two other musicians. He had no car on this trip. We rode our Yuba Mundo (black, shown here locked to two friends’ bikes) and carried a green Brompton folding bicycle for Peter to ride back to our place. On the return trip, I carried his luggage and his guitar on the Yuba. Perfect. Best part: drafting three Lycra-clad carbon-frame-riding roadies for four miles on the trail–and keeping up with a pannier and a Brompton strapped to the cargo bike, comfy 2.35″ tires-and wearing jeans and cowboy boots. They kept shifting up and looking back to see if Brianna and I were still there. I thanked them kindly as we peeled off at our turn, saying: “Cargo bikes are fast!” Their response: “Well, that one is!” Just another great ride on the Mundo.”

-Greg N.

Car Bike Rack for an elMundo

People frequently write in to ask us what bike rack we recommend for the the car to transport an elMundo (or Mundo) long distances, say between a winter residence and a summer residence.

Over the years, we have recommended several products,  but each had their drawbacks. The roof racks designed for tandems or recumbents weren’t ideal for elMundos because it is difficult for many Yuba riders to lift 50-70 lbs over their heads. The “remove the front wheel” type of rack requires remembering to bring the tools to pull off the wheels, and then lining up those little suckers while lifting the bike up. Then there’s the racks that aren’t designed for bikes over 35 pounds, which we haven’t recommended but people have tried.

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A elMundo and a Mundo NuVinci Lux, ready to go on an adventure!

We finally found a rack that’s easy to use, and can accommodate two (yes two!) elMundos. The Hollywood Racks Sport Rider for Electric Bikes (HR1450E) is an easy-to-use hitch mounted rack that fits standard 2″ trailer hitches. Loading the bikes is easy, because the rack is fairly close to the ground, so you can put the front wheel in the rack first, and then lift the rear wheel (and motor) into the rack.

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We  were concerned that the sideloaders would rub and scratch the paint on the second bike. In our test, this did not happen, because the sideloaders rubbed up against the rubber of the tires on the second bike. If it was a major concern, a user could tape or zip tie some cardboard between the bikes to prevent any contact at all.

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The rack conveniently folds up against the vehicle when not in use.

**Please remember to remove the electric batteries before putting your electric bike on a car rack, because the vibrations of the road can decrease battery life.

Yuba Bicycles ‘Boda Boda’ Cargo Bike Wins Green Dot Award for Best Sustainable Transportation

GreenDotAwards_Logo_dotYuba Bicycles has won a coveted Green Dot Award in the category of Transport for its Boda Boda cargo bike. Green Dot Awards are given to recognize businesses that have exceptionally high environmental standards and meet the needs of the present without compromising future generations.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized as an environmental leader,” says Yuba Bicycles founder Benjamin Sarrazin. “The Yuba mission is to get people out of their cars and onto our cargo bikes to save gas, improve their health, save money and build more sustainable communities.”

The Yuba Boda Boda and other winners recognized for green design can be seen at greendotawards.com.

Bicycle Times: First Impression: Yuba Boda Boda

By Maurice Tierney

The Boda Boda “Cargo Cruiser” is only the second bike from the Yuba braintrust, following the Mundo cargo bike released in 2006. Hard to imagine a bike company paying the bills with only one bike to sell, but Yuba has flourished with the singular purpose of the Mundo, which is carrying stuff affordably, comfortably, and efficiently.

I ride a Mundo, and it’s a great bike that can carry up to 440 lbs. of stuff, plus driver. Four bags of groceries? Two passengers? No problem. But It can be a bit much to handle sometimes. Stairs, small rooms, and public transportation all present challenges.

Enter the Boda Boda, which in simple terms might be described as half a Mundo. With its aluminum frame it’s half the weight (35 lbs.), half the payload capacity (220 lbs.), and twice as easy to maneuver. Surely not the same cargo bike.

On the contrary, maybe it’s not a cargo bike but a regular city/cruiser bike with some added room for stuff. It’s just a little bit longer than a regular bike, easy to maneuver onto bus racks and other public transportation, and its longness is perfect for a child seat or adult passenger, two full bags of groceries, or both.

There’s two models available; the step-through model comes in apple green or white and is more suitable to smaller riders (5’0″ to 5’7″) while the step-over model, which comes in green, is designed for humans from 5’7″ to 6’2″ and still easy to mount. Included are a Bamboo rear rack, cork grips, ding-a-ling bell, and kickstand. The spec is entry-level. At less than $1,000 it’s priced to get more people on it. The parts selection is perfectly functional without too many bells and whistles. A deluxe edition is soon to be, and it will up the ante with fenders and dynamo-powered lights front and rear. 

The ride is cruiser-like and functional with an upright position; big, wide, comfortable handlebars; and good pedaling efficiency. An 8-speed SRAM derailleur provides enough gear choices for most conditions. A custom Yuba saddle is a nice touch, although female tester Poppy found it more comfortable than I.

I see the Boda Boda perfect for folks just getting into the idea of the utility cycling lifestyle. Imagine hauling your kid to school while getting a little exercise—sure beats sitting in a steel box with a brain-frying device to your ear. Kid hauling, grocery getting and such are all good times (assuming the infrastructure is good in your town). Parking lots at the grocery store become a joy instead of a nightmare as you roll right in and park by the door while the automobilians struggle. That’s the life!

This life is yours for the low low price of only $999! Step Right Up! Other accessories include the Peanut Shell child seat at $169, Baguette bags at $77 each, and a center stand (recommended) for $69.

But wait! There’s more! What are all those other accoutrements attached to the Boda Boda pictured here? Why it’s a battery and motor! Yes, you are looking at the electric version of the Boda Boda, priced at $2,697. Well, yes that’s quite a few more dollars, but those bucks might make the difference between embracing the lifestyle and staying in your car.

The electric assist Boda features a BionX motor system for pedal assist and battery regeneration. The BionX system is the real deal. After a long day it can really make a difference between riding or not if you’ve got a lot of hills in your way. The 350 watt motor is good for speeds up to the gubmint-regulated speed of 20mph. And the 9.6 amp hour battery is good for up to 37 miles, depending on terrain and load of course.

And it’s fast! I hit the turbo button on the trigger and hit the top speed of 20 in half a city block, about seven seconds. It’s also rad that the BionX has regenerative powers, such that you can set the bike to slow you down and recharge the battery at the same time. This is best on downhills, but the brake lever switch can be adjusted to regenerate the battery as you approach stop signs. I actually used the system for a few days without charging the battery. I’d set the BionX into re-gen mode, ride the Boda like a resistance trtainer, and then expel the power when I needed a kick. The BionX system adds 22.5lbs. to the total weight of the Boda Boda, bringing it to 57.5 lbs.

Allright, let’s wrap this up. The Boda Boda is a great way to expand the endless possibilites of cycling. Priced right, it’s a no-brainer for those looking to get deeper into the possibilities. The electric verision, while costing more money, breaks down even more walls to cycling nirvana.

Read the full article here….