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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 05-25-10, 03:04 PM   #1
Sammyboy
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Going Car Light - Yuba Mundo questions

(cross posted from Living Car Free - sorry!) So, I'm selling my car. My wife is keeping hers, (we have a 2 year old, and are trying for another, so though she's willing to do lots by bike, we'll need motor transport, and I don't think I'd like to do without altogether at this stage). I, however, have a job that involves travelling all over the country and staying away from home a lot, so I'll be using my folding bike on trains, carrying all my eqpt and clothing in various clever bags, and using my Blackberry as a satnav to get me round new and unknown areas. Although I'll be doing it far more, none of this is new to me, and I don't have any questions about it.

What I would like to know is a bit more about the Yuba Mundo. I'd like, when I'm home, to feel like I can still do all the local jobs that I would do by car, when the wife is out in our remaining car. Partly this is for practicality, partly just that I want to do less by car. I know the Mundo is heavy, but that doesn't worry me too much - it's pretty flat round here, and as a 240lb guy, I'll be half the possible payload on my own! I like that it has really big well designed bags, I like that it has the wide-loader aspect of the Xtra built in, and I like that it'll transport me, another adult, a kid in a child seat and still some other stuff besides. Here, however, are my questions:

1) I gather that the Peanut Shell kiddie seats make it impossible to use the big bags. How easy is it to remove and refit them, and with one in position, can you use regular panniers behind?

2) How easy is it to lock this bike? I have a gold standard U lock, but it looks to me as though the side frames would make it hard to lock the rear triangle Sheldon Brown style on this bike. Would I need a big heavy chain too?

3) Does anyone know whether the bike has clearance for Schwalbe Fat Frank tyres? This is partly for durability, and because I really trust Schwalbe, but honestly, it's at least as much because I think the bike would look awesome with cream balloon tyres

4) It looks as though the seat pad is easy to install and remove; can you use it with a Peapod, to carry an adult and a child? And does it impede the fitting of the big bags, or other panniers?

5) Has anyone used a child trailer with the Mundo? I realise that's starting to sound excessive, but I can imagine it being useful sometimes, and if you have the trailer anyway...... Is there anything about the design that makes fitting a trailer hard?

If there's anything you think I might be missing, I'm interested to know. I think realistically it'll be a few months before losing the car saves me enough moolah to consider the Mundo, but I want to lay my plans ahead of time....
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Old 05-25-10, 03:12 PM   #2
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I don't have a Mundo, but I rarely bother to lock the rear wheel on the Xtracycle. Blasted thing is hard enough to get off as it is.

I checked out a Mundo last year and you may want to factor in upgrading the components - not sure what it configurations it comes in where you are, but the shop here that carries them only has singlespeeds with a caliper brake which doesn't inspire confidence. For considerably cheaper I upgraded a secondhand MTB with a Free Radical. Not quite as stiff, but the disc brake is worth it.
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Old 05-25-10, 10:01 PM   #3
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I'd be going with the 21 speed version. It comes with calipers, which lots of people seem to feel would be adequate, but I'll bear in mind the possible need. I have a very old 3 speed tandem which has steel rims and centre pulls, which are just about adequate, so I feel like with V brakes I'd be happy, but who knows til I try it?
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Old 05-25-10, 11:39 PM   #4
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You sound like you're in the same situation as Mark Stosberg. You really need to talk to him about "going car light" and getting your wife to ride a bike.

Mark bought the elMundo, a Mundo from Yuba that has an electric assist motor in the front wheel.

You can read about his experiences of replacing car trips with bike trips (and his wife doing most of the "pedaling") on his blog, Bikes as Transportation.
You can see his photos on his Flickr.
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Old 05-25-10, 11:40 PM   #5
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I can answer some of your other questions.

1. Read my post above. Mark has a peanut shell for his child.
2. You'll need Kryptonite's largest u-lock (the long shackle kind). To make it more convenient, buy a chain from Albus (or another Euro company) or Kryptonite.
3. Yes. See this photo. My Mundo (in progress) will have Fat Frank tires.
4. The seat pad does not interfere. See this photo.
5. I don't know

Last edited by stevevance; 05-25-10 at 11:43 PM. Reason: double post, added different content
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Old 05-26-10, 02:28 AM   #6
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Talk about good timing. I have a pictorial answer to question #5! A member of Yuba's Facebook group, Rana Bufo, just recently shared these pictures of his Mundo with a trailer:

http://bufo72.free.fr/yuba/yuba01.jpg
http://bufo72.free.fr/yuba/yuba02.jpg
http://bufo72.free.fr/yuba/yuba03.jpg

As for #1—your question about seats and panniers—we're working on a new accessory to make it easier to attach panniers when you have a Peanut Shell (or two) attached to your Mundo. I'm looking forward to this myself, since I carry two children plus what seems like their entire wardrobes on school days.

Last edited by mfitz; 05-26-10 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 05-26-10, 07:27 AM   #7
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Smile Yuba Mundo feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
1) I gather that the Peanut Shell kiddie seats make it impossible to use the big bags. How easy is it to remove and refit them, and with one in position, can you use regular panniers behind?
The Go Getter bag still fits, and is just a bit compressed. You can see it here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/markstos/4617409582/

It is not however easy to reach the buckles for them in this position. It could take 5 or 10 minutes to attach or unattach it.

The bike does not seem to be designed for regular panniers-- the top tubes are thick, the diagonal braces may interfere, and there is no hook attachment at the bottom. I have not figured this out yet, but others may have.

The Peanut Shell also takes 5 to 10 minutes to remove or reattach. It might be possible to retrofit some kid of quick release system on it, but I haven't tried.

So far, we basically leave one Go Getter back and the Peanut Shell on the bike most of the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
2) How easy is it to lock this bike? I have a gold standard U lock, but it looks to me as though the side frames would make it hard to lock the rear triangle Sheldon Brown style on this bike. Would I need a big heavy chain too?
I'm still figuring out the preferred way to lock it. We have an electric bike (from Cycle9.com.. *not* the same specs as the elMundo from Yuba). For now we use a heavy chain. We may use a second U-lock for the front wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
3) Does anyone know whether the bike has clearance for Schwalbe Fat Frank tyres? This is partly for durability, and because I really trust Schwalbe, but honestly, it's at least as much because I think the bike would look awesome with cream balloon tyres
Here's a photo with Fat Frank tires and regular panniers:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_F-H_g6Xqua...0/DSC02460.JPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
4) It looks as though the seat pad is easy to install and remove; can you use it with a Peapod, to carry an adult and a child? And does it impede the fitting of the big bags, or other panniers?
It doesn't work to put an adult *behind* the Peanut Shell... the bike will want to tip backwards. The reverse might work, if you put the child seat at the rear of the rack, and the adult in front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
If there's anything you think I might be missing, I'm interested to know. I think realistically it'll be a few months before losing the car saves me enough moolah to consider the Mundo, but I want to lay my plans ahead of time....
I would definitely consider the electric assist option-- the total would still weigh less than a bakfiets, and you don't have to use it. It's made a huge difference for my wife, who rarely rode the bakfiets, and rides the Mundo nearly everyday now. Ironically, she's getting a good deal *more* exercise now because she's riding the bike more and choosing to use the electric assist only minimally (even with the child on it). But for some hills, distances or time constraints, it makes all the difference.
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Old 05-26-10, 12:50 PM   #8
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Maybe I'll consider the electric assist on that basis. I'm not a fan of the whole concept, but it might help the missus! My assumption has been that she's not going to do the shopping on this bike; she's tiny at 5'2 and 100 pounds or so, and anyway, the store is only a mile away, so I don't feel like a trip there once a week by car is the end of the world. What she wants at the moment is a child seat fitted to her solo bike; this is a big step forward, until recently she didn't like riding solo and lacked confidence, only really coming out on the tandem with me. Ash has taken to the tandem very much though, and Gill is much more confident generally than she was 2 years ago, so she's ready to take on solo cycling with him, and maybe later with a trailer. A long bike, with huge panniers, with or without electric assist, is a big step, so it might be that I got without assist for now, and consider adding it later. It would mean adjusting the bike a LOT between us though; I'm 6'2 with long arms, so whether we can really share a bike, I'm not sure.

I greatly appreciate the rest of this advice though; it's helped a great deal, and the bikes do look great with Fat Franks (I'm now picturing black frame, cream tyres). British weather being what it is, though, I need to consider whether I can fit fenders with those tyres!
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Old 05-27-10, 12:57 AM   #9
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If I had a Mundo, I'd put an electric assist on it. I've got a lighter xtracycle/townie combo, and I still occasionally wish I had some help.
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Old 05-27-10, 10:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
It would mean adjusting the bike a LOT between us though; I'm 6'2 with long arms, so whether we can really share a bike, I'm not sure.
My wife and I had have easily shared our bakfiets and now the Mundo. She is 5'4" and I am 6'4".

We found a handlebar position that works for both of us ( which wasn't hard ), and just use the quick release seat to adjust the bike. Our favorite positions are marked on the seat post, so it's very easy and fast.
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Old 06-02-10, 04:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
... 5) Has anyone used a child trailer with the Mundo? I realise that's starting to sound excessive, but I can imagine it being useful sometimes, and if you have the trailer anyway...... Is there anything about the design that makes fitting a trailer hard?...
I asked Ben at Yuba, via email, if the Burley trailer hitch attachment would fit on the Mundo. Here's the meat of his reply:

"The bars are about 1.5" lower than the axle (at the axle point). You also want to consider that the Burley attachment point is designed for a 10mm axle, so it would need to be enlarged or get one custom made. The other way to go about the sideloader bars is not install them when using the trailer or to attach to the sideloader (which we have not tested)."

He went on to say he might be able to work out a custom solution...

My thoughts on Ben's email:
1- Ben may not know the hitch Burley now offers will fit on the standard BMX axles.
2- I don't want to have to take the side loaders on/off when I am/am not using a trailer
3- The Burley hitch will not attach to the axle with the side loader bars on.
4- Affixing an "L" bracket on the back of the right side loader bar, where it attaches by the two bolts, may be a way to mount the Burley hitch. One could drill two appropriately sized holes on the horizontal piece of the L bracket and attach the bracket with the two existing side loader bolts. A third hole, on the vertical portion of the L bracket would offer a place to bolt on the hitch. This would probably work, though I haven't done it, as I don't have a Yuba [yet].

Last edited by hopperja; 06-02-10 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 09-11-13, 07:16 PM   #12
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Hopperja, did you ever get a Burley hitch to work on a Mundo?

Thanks.
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Old 09-12-13, 03:26 AM   #13
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Sorry people, the main killer for me is Yuba uses a High-Tensile Steel frame not a 4130 CroMoly steel like the Surly Big Dummy frame. I have no faith in High-Tensile Steel frames in a Cargo bike.

Just my $.02ct
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Old 09-12-13, 08:31 AM   #14
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This is an old thread brought to life but I'll comment on the high tensile steel issue....I rode a Big Dummy for about three years but I have now switched to a Yuba Mundo and it feels like I've made an upgrade. The only thing the high tensile steel does (in this case) is add some weight because the Yuba feels more solid than the Dummy and it feels much better with a heavy load.

Yuba has done a lot with the cheaper tubes....Things are well thought out, very oversized, and ovalized to strengthen the frame. If they did all of this with chromoly, it would take a few pounds off the frame and double the price but the Yuba has helped me turn down my snobbishness and appreciate the package. I still love chromoly but now I see that real good things can be done with high tensile steel too. The me from ten years wouldn't even touch the Mundo because of the cheaper tubing but the me of today likes it a lot because it does the job so well.
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Old 09-15-13, 07:56 PM   #15
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It is indeed an old thread! Here's another link that others might find of interest. It's a blog post from this July about a DIY kid->cargo trailer conversion for a Boda Boda. The project involved making a Burly standard hitch work on a Boda Boda by fashioning some adapters out of metal bar stock. One shorter piece bolted onto the Yuba axle and stuck down; the Burly hitch bolted onto the bottom of that. The longer piece bolted to a frame braze-on a bit fore of the dropout and to the shorter piece, to keep the shorter piece from twisting backward or forwards in use. http://whatabikecando.com/making-a-t...r-a-boda-boda/

-Peter
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