We Have a New Bike! Welcome the Yuba Mundo!

yuba mundo cargo bike

We weren’t really planning on buying another bike, but we have been trying to figure out how we were going to continue to ride everywhere we want as a family. With Little Ding riding his own bike instead of being towed in the bike trailer, we’ve been enjoying family rides in which we all ride together, but have been frustrated because now we can’t ride as far- he is not able to put in the same miles that we can.  We loved riding to the zoo for example, but that’s too far for him.

We had already considered a variety of family cargo bikes but we’ve been limited by price as well as by storage. We live on the 2nd floor and do not have garage space.  No bakfiets, Madsens, Christianias, or other sorts of box-style cargo bikes would be suitable for us. At a couple of the Kidical Mass rides we watched as one parent pulled up on an Xtracycle with her’s child’s toddler bike tucked into one of the side pockets. Brilliant!  But Little Ding’s bike is larger than a toddler bike, and has the two extra fat-tire ‘training’ wheels, and we weren’t sold on the Xtracycle for various reasons. The Big Dummy wasn’t too bad, but a little pricey and not as upright a bike as Mr. Ding wanted – his wrists are having a harder and harder time with his hybrid.  Overall we wanted something solid that could haul a heavy rider as well as lots of cargo,  allow a disabled rider to ride in the back, tow a kid’s bike, and not be too expensive. Then someone reminded us that J.C. Lind Bike Company here in Chicago was now carrying Yuba Mundos! Ding Ding!

Blue Yuba Mundo

The blue Yuba after Mr. Ding’s rainy test ride

We stopped by the bike store on Wells street on a rainy Saturday afternoon and checked out some of the bikes in the store and Mr. Ding headed out for an initial test ride.

Mr. Ding riding the blue Yuba Mundo

Mr. Ding takes a Yuba Mundo out for a test ride while the Van Moof bike looks on

blue_yuba_rear_rack

The Yuba is 6ft 9 inches long – not your standard-length bike.  A steel bike made to haul 440 lbs of cargo plus a rider, it is the strongest in terms of the load it can carry,  of all the longtail cargo bikes. The rear rack can hold 2 child seats, along with grocery bags on each side.  Here’s one in the store configured with two different kinds of child seats for riders of different ages.

Yuba Mundo with two kid seats

The side bags that you can buy to go with it (called “Go -Getter” bags) are sturdy, fairly water-proof , have reflective strips, and can hold 3 bags of groceries. That’s 3 bags on each side!

After our first visit we were basically sold on the Yuba.  We did a little more research, thought about how/where we could store it, and decided we would indeed purchase one.  Since orange is Little Ding’s favorite color there was no question as to which color bike we would get, though Yubas do come in Pacific Blue and Matte Black as well as our chosen color, Tangerine Orange. We bought one this past weekend, with bags and a few other options, and Mr. Ding rode it home.

Yuba Mundo from above

The Yuba Mundo has 26-inch wheels with 48 spokes (!), a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain, SRAM derailleur and Pro-max V-brakes.  Both the front and rear hubs are “disc-brake ready” so we may switch out the V-brakes for disc brakes – seems like a good idea on a cargo bike.

spokes on a yuba mundo

To keep the base price low Yuba Mundo treats a few things like the kickstand and front-wheel stabilizer as accessories.  Sorta lame, but   Jon at J.C. Lind was very clear about what was included in the base price and what was not.

We  “added” the front-wheel stabilizer. I have one on my Dutch bike and it’s imperative for cargo hauling.

Yuba Mundo front-wheel stabilizer

And of course we added the kickstand.  It’s really solid and stable.

Yuba Mundo kickstand

And we added the rear rack/platform, the “softseat” for passengers, a rear set of handlebars, and two “Go-Getter” bags, though only one was on the bike when I took this photo.

Yuba Mundo rear rack

They were out of stock of the running boards for the rear rack, but we have some on order.

Yuba Mundo Rear racks

Besides being able to carry Little Ding, his bike, and some groceries, the bike had to be one that he could mount and dismount without any assistance.  This is a big consideration for any bike that we buy as his Cerebral Palsy and leg braces limit the range of motion in his legs. He’s a climber, but not an acrobat.  Also, since the Yuba is not a step-through, Mr. Ding (or any rider) really needs to mount the bike before any passenger climbs aboard or he would kick them in the head.  We tested all these constraints and found to our delight that the Yuba Mundo worked out fine.  Any groceries or load will be loaded onto the bike first, then Mr. Ding gets on the bike or stands over the top tube and then Little Ding can climb on the back.

All aboard the Yuba Mundo

All aboard the Yuba Mundo!

Greetings from Yuba Mundo-land

No pictures please, we’re Yuba Mundo-ing

Then reverse is true for dismounting.  Mr. Ding stops the bike and stands while Little Ding climbs off.  He can lift and sorta slide his foot across the rear rack without too much effort.

Exiting the Yuba Mundo

We are going to make a few more adaptations to the bike to make it easier for Little Ding to ride:

  • First there are those running boards that we have on order, which will give him a stable platform to stand on as he mounts and dismounts.  As his braces cover his feet he can’t ‘feel’ the edge of the racks and has to be careful he does not slip.
  • The guys at the bike shop are also going to build up a little platform/footrest for him as his feet don’t quite touch the running boards yet. This will give him more stability while riding.
  • We’re also on the lookout for a longer stem for the rear handlebar to give him a little more space behind Dad, and it might make him feel more stable too. Though after we adjusted the handlebars a couple of times they worked much better.
  • We’re looking for some sort of seat-back too. Something larger than one of the child seats, but also something that is not permanent. He can ride without one now, but because he sits so upright (as opposed to his own bike in which he leans forward a little) and has some hip and core-support issues, we think a back-support might be useful. Perhaps a storage box or bag back there will be enough.. still thinking about that one.

The guys riding on the Yuba Mundo

So that’s our new family bike, our sweet, tangerine orange Yuba Mundo!  I will write more as we ride more, fill it full of groceries and get more adaptations for Little Ding. In the meantime, who is ready to ride with us?  Are there enough Yuba Mundo owners in Chicago for a parade?

a friend and the yuba

A friend stops on her ride to check out our new bike

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  • Liz

    What brand and model is the kid seat in front in the picture with two kid seats?  It is clearly for older kids.  Thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    Does the Yuba Mundo fit on a cta bus rack?

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      We’ve never tried to put it on one of the CTA bike racks, but given that it’s nearly 7ft long I doubt it would fit on the rack itself. Also, given the weight, it might be difficult to load and unload.

  • Nancyerobbins

    hi sonny, i am seriously looking at the yuba with electric assist, but want to be able to fit 3 kids on it!  how do you do it?  thanks!

  • Sonny

    Im glad you guys are loving your Yuba.  We love our yuba too.  The kids love it.  I have 3 kids sometimes ride on the deck.  I have since installed a mid-drive electric motor so I can easily give my kids a ride, even uphill, lol!

  • http://southernspokes.wordpress.com Nik

    Ooooh.  I’ve been looking at the Yuba to increase my hauling capacity and to take two young kids around.  Right now my wife and I have a Gazelle Basic and Batavus Old Dutch respectively with the Yepp child seats on each of our bikes.  My son will likely be too big for the Yepp seats in a year and he will be too small to ride around Mobile, AL which is not bike friendly.  So I’ve thought the Yuba could help bridge the gap between the Yepp seats and when the kids are old enough (cognitively and physically) to ride around city streets on their own.  I’m curious to hear further about the bike handling with a passenger or two.  Also, did you guys look into internal hub gearing at all?

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      So far we like the handling with another rider, not a big deal. The thing about the Yuba Mundo, which we’ve experienced and I’ve also read others comment on too, is that it just doesn’t feel like it’s a long as it is. And Andrew says that even with Little Ding, or better, the big ole grocery haul we did over the weekend, he didn’t feel a noticeable change in the ability to turn (he made a bunch of u-turns on a low-traffic street) or ride. Two kids might be a little more unwieldy with all those arms and legs, but I think it’s probably quite doable – the bike is a workhorse. And no, we haven’t thought about internal gears though I love them on my WorkCycles Oma. We’ll see how it goes and then decide if we want internal gears or at least a chain guard. We are going to add disc brakes though.

      Keep us posted if you do any test rides or buy one!

      • http://southernspokes.wordpress.com Nik

        In Mobile there are really no good bike shops with alternative bikes like cargo bikes.  But on my next business trip to Atlanta I’m going to see if I can test ride a Yuba or a Xtracycle Radish.  Have you test ridden a Radish?

    • http://www.dingdingletsride.com Samantha

      We have one more recent update on the hauling ability of the Yuba Mundo for you. Over the weekend we rode up to a friend’s house for a little BBQ action. We all eventually went up to a park and when we headed back to their house we added an extra kid to the back of the bike behind Little Ding (she is a few years older with longer legs to easily perch on the running boards). Andrew said that it was enough of an extra load to call some of the extra gears into use. I road along with them and another child rider on his own bike and we had a blast. Andrew didn’t notice any handling issues only that the gearing options made it yet another sweet ride. Since the two kids were chatting happily on the back of the bike for the entire ride ( 4-5 blocks) I don’t think they felt any stability issues either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Thomas-Bartom/100000388627242 Elizabeth Thomas Bartom

    Looks fabulous!  And we may not have a yuba mundo, but we love our xtracycle, and would be happy to join a longtail / cargo bike parade.  It was great to meet you at that kidical mass!

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      Yep – your xtracycle gave us some ideas. We’re looking forward to the next Kidical Mass. And we’ll definitely keep you in the loop for the cargo bike event!

  • Sue

    Very nice bike indeed!  I’m so happy for you all.  The pics and review were excellent too!  

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      Thanks! We are loving it. Going to to a big ole grocery run this weekend and run it through it’s paces.

  • jim lynch

    Belated congratulations!  I’ve had my Mundo for about a year now and I find that it’s become my go to bike whenever I need the ability to haul large heavey items. 50 lbs of dog food?  No problem.  Fits in one of the go getter bags.  A bushel of apples?  Right into the other bag.  I could go on and on.  Andrew and the little guy are going to LOVE this bike.  I did upgrade the brakes to Avid discs to improve stopping power under heavey load, but otherwise I’m mighty happy with the stock ride.

    Enjoy!  Big Jim

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      Thanks! They are loving the bike! We can’t wait to ride it to the beach and stuff a couple of beach chairs and other assorted gear in those Go-Getter bags! Good to hear about the disc brakes, definitely something we’re thinking about as well.

  • http://profiles.google.com/alottes Ash L

    So what was the storage solution? Are you just locking this beast outside a la Amsterdam utility or hauling up the stairs each time?

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      We, or actually Andrew, did haul it up the stairs this weekend. The bike tips upwards nicely and the running boards act as a base, which helped making it around the landing, which was our plan. However, our awesome landlords offered up a space next to Oma in the basement! So last night he just backed it down 1/2 flight of stairs and then pushed it back up this morning.

  • http://twomomsandabird.wordpress.com Casey

    Great review and beautiful bike! 

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      Thanks! That tangerine orange is sorta pretty, eh?

  • http://thislittlebikeofmine.tumblr.com/ Sara

    Sweet ride!  I’m really loving the bright, bold color!  Congrats to the Ding fam!

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      Thanks! Verrrry sweet!

  • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

    I didn’t know Little Ding had cerebral palsy. It will be awesome if the Yuba Mundo really allows him some freedom (in getting on and off) and comfort on the bicycle. I met Steve Bode from Yuba yesterday at the Urban Assault ride afterparty. He’s director of Sales & Marketing, he may still be in town and would love to hear more about this. 

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      Yes – we were thrilled to see that he could climb on an off without too much effort. Between the way the running boards are shaped and positioned, plus the additional handlebars , he’s got plenty of handholds and supports. Please share my contact info with Steve Bode if he would like more information. The next step is trying out some of your tricks for towing his bike behind the Yuba. It fits in nicely – just need to determine what sort of tie-downs we might need and how to position it so he can ride at the same time.

  • dhin

     hooray! Looks like you guys are ready for a beautiful new way to ride!

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      The guys are loving it! Andrew was excited to ride it to work this morning – he’ll probably stop at the store just so he can load it up!

  • http://dottiebrackett.com Dream Dottie

     Cool!  Congratulations!

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      thanks! Little Ding thinks it’s ‘the bomb dot com’ meaning verrry cool! ;-)

      • tim ohz

        “the bomb dot com” :-D

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Ms. Ding

      Thank you!