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  1. #1
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    The Great Debate

    I'm sure the debate long bike vs bakfiets has taken one too many turns on the Mary go round but I'm bringing it up again. Forgive me, please.

    For various reasons I've narrowed it down to a Yuba Mundo or Madsen but cannot choose between the two. I will hopefully be able to test out a Mundo next week but so far have not found a place to test out a Madsen (or similar). One of my biggest undecided factors is weather protection. I know the Madsen has a cover which would be great but the Mundo can also have a DIY cover made. I feel like I will be more comfortable on a long bike (I previously have only had a bike with trailer which I do not like, so both styles are very new to me). Can I get some opinions?

    A little more info, I'm about 135lbs and plan to carry my 10month old and 4.5year old. We'd like to do regular everyday errands (school, church, groceries, ect). There are a few hills but nothing too steep. We are in MI, would like to ride in rain but do not plan to ride in snow (yet). Our longest commute would be about 5 miles one way, with a 'normal' being 3.5miles.

  2. #2
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I never heard of Madsen and just looked them up. There's something not right with that web site. The pictures of riders are off: their seats are too low. That's not an indictment of the bikes, but do they have a bunch of ignorant people there? How did that get by? Also, it seems they have only one model. There's something about the bike I don't like, though I can't put my finger on it.

    I have seen the Yuba Mundo but haven't ridden it. It impresses the heck out of me. It is a proven bike. I see one locked up outside a few blocks from my home. My local bike shop has sold several of them, and people are happy on them.

    You are going to test ride before you buy, right?
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  3. #3
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kindacrunchymom View Post
    A little more info, I'm about 135lbs and plan to carry my 10month old and 4.5year old. We'd like to do regular everyday errands (school, church, groceries, ect). There are a few hills but nothing too steep. We are in MI, would like to ride in rain but do not plan to ride in snow (yet). Our longest commute would be about 5 miles one way, with a 'normal' being 3.5miles.
    For your stated needs the best cycle choice is a tricycle.

    With all the trike designs on the market I'm sure you can find one to customize to your precise needs.

    BTW, 3 to 5 miles would not be a challenge on a trike with gearing.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    You are going to test ride before you buy, right?
    i'm going to try my hardest. I haven't found a madsen in my are to test and the nearest Yuba dealer is about 2 hrs away. They were not sure if they would have the Mundo to test but have their other model so I can at least test something similar. The Madsen looks like a great option for me but having talked to a few people, I'm not sure I like how much room the tire takes up in the bucket. But I do like the ability to cover the kids easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    For your stated needs the best cycle choice is a tricycle.
    During my research I haven't come across a trike that struck my fancy, at least not within my $2,000 price range. Did you have any specific models come to mind?

  6. #6
    The wizard of ...
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    I have ridden both, and there is no question that the Yuba is a much better experience for the rider. The Yuba is faster, lighter and handles better loaded and unloaded. The Madsen is a better experience for young passengers.
    Both the bikes you mention are suitable for your stated purpose, even accounting for your relatively light weight. The woman I know who owned a Madsen looks to weigh about 100 pounds. She has since traded up to a Yuba. She hauled her son around for years on the Madsen but is faster on the Yuba even though she now has a bigger son.
    My friend who weighs less than 150 pounds has carried me up a fairly big hill on a Yuba. I weigh 180 or so. She isn't an olympic athlete either.
    As for weather protection, I suggest seeing how warm clothing works for you before you go spending a pile on custom canopies for the Yuba. You will probably find that a raincoat works just fine. I have a cover for my CETMA that I haven't used in years, I just dress the kids warmly and they are fine.

  7. #7
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I stopped by the LBS a few minutes ago. The owner has a Yuba Mundo available for rent, so I'm going to test ride it for fun. It is a very intelligent looking machine.

    Two hours is a long way, but so is $2,000.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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    Oh yes, I def plan to test the yuba if that's what I decide to buy, just wish I could find a Madsen too. I'm def leaning toward the Yuba. I'd like to put a Yepp Mini on the from for my son and have seen a few hacks to make a little rain cover for him if need be and with the added 'monkey bars' on back for my daughter I'm sure a cover would be easy for her too.

    I'd love to here your experience with the yuba once you test it!

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    I know people with both, though I've never personally ridden either one. For what it is worth, the Yuba owners unequivocally love their bikes; the Madsen owners seem more ambivalent--the extrolled virtues of the Madsen are primarily that it was cheap (I notice the prices have gone up significantly in the last few years) and that you can put an infant carseat in the bucket if you want to start biking when your kids are younger. However, both groups seem pretty happy, so I'm not sure you can go too wrong with either. Keep in mind that the official Madsen cover is new to the market, so it hasn't been tested yet. A common complaint I've heard is that the Madsen doesn't have that much cargo room with kids in it. The frame-mounted rack helps, but you may not be able to use it with a front-mounted seat. I think the Mundo has more longevity--after a certain point, the kids don't fit in the Madsen that well.

    You don't mention how tall you are. If you're shorter, you may find it easier to have the step-through frame of the Madsen rather than the higher stepover of the Mundo, especially with the front child seat.

    If you haven't already found them, these blogs have a lot of information about the Mundo:

    http://8legs2wheels.com/
    http://www.tinyhelmetsbigbikes.com/blog-we-ride.html

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Here is a blog from someone that owns a Madsen. I still think the front box like the Workcycles Bakfiets or a CETMA are the way to go, but they are pricey.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  11. #11
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kindacrunchymom View Post
    During my research I haven't come across a trike that struck my fancy, at least not within my $2,000 price range. Did you have any specific models come to mind?
    Please describe the roads and terrain that you will have to ride so that I can help you find a trike...........
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone! I am 5'3". Our roads are pretty flat, occasional long hill but not very steep. Roads conditions can be crappy (especially with this winters damage) and riding on a side walk is not an option.

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    I connected with a sweet gal from michigan who has a madsen and while she loves it she had stated the same about there not being a lot of room in the bucket with the tire. I'd really like to be able to get groceries with both kids so I think that's another push toward the Mundo. I'm going to call and set up an appointment with a bike shop to test drive it next weekend.

  14. #14
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    Hmm, since you are of shorter stature, have you thought about the Boda Boda instead for the easier step-through? If you can keep your younger one in a front-mounted seat until he or she is 3, both kids could probably both share the deck of the Boda Boda with stoker bars at that point (or Yuba might make a Monkey-bar-like set up for the Boda Boda at a future date). And by that point your older one might be riding solo for some trips.

    I had a couple of other thoughts that might steer you toward the Mundo or another long-tail.

    Do you ever plan to travel with the bike? I know people with the Madsen have put it on top of their cars for travelling, while those with the Mundo have been able to use a trunk/hitch mounted rack--albeit somewhat awkwardly.

    Have you considered putting a trail-a-bike on the back for your older one? There are a lot of "hacks" now to attach a Burley Piccolo to a Mundo or other longtail and Yuba stated last year that they were working on a Mundo-specific trail-a-bike attachment. That wouldn't be an option with the Madsen.

    Also, I know lots of people like the Yepp Mini, but I wanted to put in plug for the Bobike Mini. I've actually tried all four of the front-mounted bike seat options--Ibert, WeeRide, Yepp Mini, and the Bobike Mini, and the Bobike Mini is by far my favorite. I had two issues with the Yepp: (1) The seat angles back, so the space for mounting and dismounting was more limited; and (2) there is an exposed metal bar on the bottom that was very uncomfortable if I didn't splay my legs enough, as opposed to the smooth bottom on the Bobike. My 3.5 year old, who is 30 lbs and 38" tall, is still riding comfortably in the Bobike Mini.

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    Thanks for the input mel1012! I have not seen the bobike mini so I'll have to go look at it! I'm going to test drive the Boda Boda at the bike shop this weekend, are there any other major differences besides the size? I was leaning toward the Mundo because if a front mount seat doesn't work for us I don't want to cramp them both by adding a back mount seat. I did plan on buying the monkey bars either way as I like the extra security it adds.

    I have considered a red a trail a bike but I don't know if it's practical for us. We will be taking my daughter to school so a lot of the time (besides summer break) It will just be me and the boy. And I don't want to mess with taking it on and off (unless there is a good quick release option).

    We we don't plan on traveling with the bike as most of our traveling is to the middle of the woods, not much biking going on.

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    just to add since I didn't see it mentioned, there are a few reviews of both on youtube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philphine View Post
    just to add since I didn't see it mentioned, there are a few reviews of both on youtube.
    Thanks. I think I've read/watched every one I could get my hands on lol. But the more the better!

  18. #18
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Please describe the roads and terrain that you will have to ride so that I can help you find a trike...........
    IMO the best cycle for your current needs is a "front platform" trike that so common for family use in Europe where bikes are a main method of transport.

    There is one company that builds this type of trike in America......Worksman.

    http://www.worksmancycles.com/shopsi...html/stpt.html

    I recommend this trike PROVIDED that you order it with a 7 speed gearing since it is on the heavy side but will last forever.

    To find other trikes of this type one must look to Europe to import one.

    See "Tricycles" below.......
    http://streetswiki.wikispaces.com/Ur...+With+Children
    Last edited by Nightshade; 03-08-14 at 12:30 PM.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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