Cromoly frame rather than hi-tensile, and compatibility with xtracycle stuff are selling points to me.
I need to look up the weight difference between Sun and Yuba. 10% of the time I might need the extra stoutness of the Mundo, but 100% of the time I'd be pedaling the extra weight, assuming it is heavier than the Sun.
It's a value for the dollar thing to me that sways the equation. By the time I buy a Mundo and have it shipped to me, I'm looking at a substantial premium over the Sun, which likely will be 90% as functional for close to half the cost. I'm not particularly worried about what others thing image-wise, either, although I agree with you that Yuba has it all over Sun in that regard.
For $600-ish, this seems hard to pass up, really. I just emailed my local shop who can order Sun products and told them that when they can order one to let me know.
Both bikes are nice. My statement that the Sun would be a Mundo killer was overly simplistic of course, but I would think that a Mundo would be a harder sell with a sub-$600 Sun that was awfully close in functionality for most people. Just as Yuba probably steals some sales from Surly on price, I would think Sun would be able to snag some Mundo-shoppers.
The Yuba Mundo is definitely heavier because it's built using high tensile steel and uses much more tubing, just check out pictures. The Sun bike is CroMo steel, the same as the Big Dummy. High tensile steel is weaker than CroMo and you need about 2x of Hi Tensile steel to get the same strength as if you were using Cro Mo steel.
If I'm correct the Mundo frame itself is over 30lbs compared to 15lbs (including fork) for Big Dummy. I expect the Sun bike to be slightly heavier than a complete Big Dummy but still way under a complete Mundo's weight. I'm guessing that a complete Mundo is probably close to 50lbs (the weight specs are hard to find), complete BD is just under 30lbs and the Atlas will probably be another 5-10 lbs heavier than BD.
And for business I'd much rather get CETMA bike or heavy duty trike (depending on how heavy my loads would be and how far I'd have to haul them) than a longtail.
I agree though that the Sun bike seems like the way to go if you're budget oriented. I was very excited about it, but when the new BD frame came out and it was much cheaper than I expected I was too impatient and bought one. Like I said though, I don't believe Sun will market their bike the same way Yuba and Surly do. The Sun brand lacks the coolness factor of the other two, they've build heavy, boring industrial bikes for years. They'd need to work on their image and reach the right crowd for their bike to succeed and present a significant competitor to Yuba and Surly.
Also one thing that turns me off from Mundo and the Sun bike is that they're "one size fits all" and I always had issues with frame sizing. I'm 5'11" and I should be riding 18" bike but had to get a 22" BD to be happy with it. A 20" bike feels too small. I was afraid Mundo or the Sun Atlas would feel too small for me.
I still haven't bought a second bike yet, and the more I think about it, the more I'm swaying between a really nice hybrid, or a cargo bike... I'm pretty sure if I get the cargo bike, this will be the one. Scott SUB 20, with all Deore drivetrain and hydraulic disks for $700? Or a decked out Sun cargo with bags and wideloaders? Hmmm.....
I wish I could get both!
I can't get a definitive answer from anyone locally on when I can order a Sun. If anyone else here gets word, please post. Thanks.
Update. A local bike shop just emailed me back regarding Sun Cargo availability. Thought I'd share in case anyone else is curious.
Here is what they said below. Anyone know if it is customary to pay freight on top of MSRP for a bike like this? I never remember any freight charge on any previous bike I've bought. <moot point see below>
Hi Matt. I just spoke with SUN on availability. They have 150 units showing up in late March of which 130 of them are pre-sold. We can get one back ordered if you would like. They are estimating the freight charge at 125.00. Thanks
Update: just called the shop and they said they would work out the freight with Sun, and if I wanted one it would be $599. Early April delivery here at the shop. I said what the heck and pulled the trigger... someone has to be the guinea pig and get one. Looks like it's me unless someone else finds one in stock somewhere first.
If and when this bad boy arrives, I'll be sure to update with pics and impressions. It probably won't equal a BD or Mundo, but my expectations are fairly low given the price tag.
The frame should not disappoint and the parts can be upgraded with time. No, bike shops never mentioned any freight charges to me. They must have been included in the price or not applicable. They may be charging you extra for shipping because they're just buying one and are not getting any volume discount from Sun.
This is exciting.
Looking forward to a report.
One of two things is going to happen. A) I get the bike and I'm like, wow, this was a steal, SCORE! or... b) I'm going to get it and think yes, this is why you never order something major sight unseen --finding out there is some major flaw in the bike
Either way, we'll know in a few weeks. No pain, no gain.
look forward to hearing about it.
I'm definitely looking forward to it too. Considering, you can get better components and an Xtracycle extension for about the same money, the main draw is the strength of the frame and the rear wheel. I'm definitely curious to see how it holds up under actual use.
That's what I was thinking. I was originally thinking of getting an xtracycle setup and hacking my old Specialized Hardrock. Then I was thinking Yuba Mundo, etc. I then found the Sun, and thought to myself that for about the same money as xtracycle (and a little over half of a Mundo), I can have a whole additional bike that's probably stronger due to the frame being one piece instead of the xtracycle part melded onto the Hardrock. This way, I keep the Hardrock in non-longtail form for the times where I want to bomb around on that, and have the Sun if I want a cargo bike. Cost being roughly the same, made sense to me to have two bikes than one.
I'm sure the Sun will be a compromise. To me it wasn't ultimate hauling ability so much as value for the money. It will probably do the vast majority of what I need a cargo bike to do for really cheap money. Like you pointed out, I can hardly get an xtracycle setup for much less. Unless the bike turns out to be a total POS, seems like a good deal to me. $600 leaves you some budget to tweak some details you might not like and still feel pretty good about the expenditure.
Hopefully the bike shows up sooner than later. As soon as it does, I'll take pics, etc, of anything anyone wants to see in detail. I hope the shop isn't blase about it and actually does what they can to get the bike here. It's not like I'm getting a Big Dummy or something really nice, but for some reason I'm kind of excited to get this and it's bugging me to have to wait weeks rather than just walking in a shop and walking out with a bike.
I too am waiting to see a report with pictures. I have been considering a cargo bike, but am in no hurry to pull the trigger.
I think part of the intrigue is the lower price point, Torker is a company that does that too. I bought a Redline R-530 (sister company to Torker) that was roughly $200 less than an equivalent Breezer model. I am guessing because the name is not as well known, and they don't spend massive amounts of money on advertising in magazines like Bicycling.
Well, if we can get the bike for $600, you can upgrade the brakes to disk for about $75. The Xtracycle Hoodie isn't compatible (same problem as the Big Dummy, the frame is too high where the front of the hoodie comes down) so you'd need to get the Freeloader bags... that's $150. I'd probably make my own wideloaders from conduit, and a deck with a pad. Still, total outlay would be like $750 if you didn't upgrade anything, and that's not bad at all. I'm guessing the 2010 Freeloaders will work with the Sun's racks, but we'd have to see it in use to see if the straps would fit the slots in the Sun's deck.
Anxiously awaiting. I am seriously thinking about doing this. I don't need a race bike that only gets ridden once a week.
Yeah, I found it indeed: look under "Pins for telescoping tubing" -> "Quick release button connector". Sorry, their links don't survive copying and pasting. It's not exactly the same, Xtracycle uses a two piece design where the button and the spring are separate, but it's the same function and basic mechanism and it should be easier to insert than the two piece design.
and scroll to the bottom of the catalog page.
Still looking at snapping up one of these. I hate to let someone else be the guinea pig, but seeing pics of one will clear up a LOT of questions I have about it, like seeing the non-drive side of the hubs and whether they are disk-ready or not. I'd also like to see closeups of the dropouts, welds, etc. and general stuff like that... I mean, I'm a bike geek, after all... but overall, if you can get by with a 3x7 freewheel drivetrain, this thing looks like a winner. I have 7-speed parts galore, including spare shifters, freewheels, derailers, wheels, etc. so I have no doubt I could keep one running for many years.
It will still require a few pieces to make it usable, like a decent saddle, maybe new handlebars or different shifters if you don't like the twist ones. I wish it had more bottle bosses. Depending on how cramped the frame is, it might need a steerer extender too... all of those little pieces add up.
I'm getting closer to budgeting for it. The wife thinks cargo bikes cost $2000 or more, I'm planning on being able to build this one complete for $900.
There are clamp-on bottle mounts of all sorts. But it'd be nice to have more braze-ons. It also seems like there are no fender braze-ons.
The frame has IS disc brakes but yeah, we don't know if the hubs are disc-ready and whether they're 6-bolt or Centerlock (like Yuba wheels).
I'd have to see one for the final judgment. I wonder if that LBS I go to is getting any?
I live near Kent, WA, so I emailed JB Importers to see if they'd let me come look at one, if they have them in stock.
If so, I'll let you guys know so you can tell me what you'd like me to find out for you...
Please clarify for me,are we under the assumption the Sun bike will accept Xtracycles wideloaders? In the pic of the Sun I do see what looks like wideloader holes ready to go.
What are your thoughts on a centerstand?