General FAQs

What makes Yuba brand bikes special?

Yuba bicycles and add-ons are designed for everyday trips by ordinary people. We make bikes that help people live healthy and full lives without needing a car for their transportation. Picking up kids from school, dropping off 50 pounds of apples for a friend, giving a date a lift, this is what our bikes live for. Because all of our bikes have integrated racks, they have unusually high hauling capacity, and unsurpassed stability under load, which means they ride like, well....a bike! The second feature that differentiates our bikes is that we have almost 20 accessories to help you configure the bike to your specific lifestyle. For children, our accessories are designed to grow as the child grows.

 

How do you carry kids on a Yuba Mundo? When are they old enough? How do you do it?

The Yuba Mundo can be configured to accommodate children of all ages - from babies to toddlers, rug rats to tweens, and beyond.
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Rani C. and his daughters commute in style year round in Canada.

In general, the American Medical Association recommends that children can be transported on a bike in a child seat, such as the Peanut Shell, from when they can hold their head upright (about 12 months or 20 pounds) to about 36 months or 36 pounds. To give parents more security, we've designed our seat to accommodate kids up to 48 months old or 48 lbs. That being said, children get bigger faster or slower, and are ready to move to sitting on the Soft Spot at different ages. It really depends on the temperament of the child.
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Two adorable monkeys getting ready to go for a ride at Pedalfest. Notice the Mundos in the background with alternative child seat set ups.

The next set up after the Peanut Shell would be setting up the Mundo with Wheelskirts, a Leg Up, Soft Spots, and either Monkey Bars or a Hold On Bar. If you're taking a lot of short trips with a lot of ons and offs, then Hold on Bars are ideal, if you have two or more kids to haul longer distances, and they like to interact with (tickle) each other or fall asleep, the Monkey Bars are more ideal. Monkey Bars will be available after August 30.
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This Sparkle Princess is ready for camp.

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Here's some happy campers getting ready for a summer vacation.

Once the kids get to be a bit bigger, and their feet can reach the Sideloaders, you probably will want to get Running Boards or a Running Board and a Towing Tray. A Rumble strap can be added for increased security after they are too big for the Monkey Bars.
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You can see kids of all ages with all set ups in this photo from Dave C.

I have a couple kids, which bike is better for me?

fb sarah armstrong 300x300 General FAQs The best way to figure out which bike is best for you, is to go to your local Yuba Dealer, and try out the bikes. As a general rule, if you're hauling 1 kid and a small amount of stuff (2 backpacks and 2 bags of groceries) all the time, the Boda Boda should be perfect. That being said, you can fit two kids on the Boda Boda if you want. @daslael 300x300 General FAQs If you have 2-4 children, the Mundo is probably the better option. The rear rack can comfortably sit up to four children, and with that amount of weight, you're going to be glad to have the 21 gear drive train. As a dedicated "school bus" for a larger family, options such as the Towing Tray, and the ultra-large Go-Getter bags make it easy to get all the kids, their lunches, science projects, backpacks and musical instruments to and from school. kate b ready2ride 300x216 General FAQs

Why are your bikes so great for carrying kids?

Kids are more than just cargo on a bike, they’re a loveable load that wriggles and interacts with the world. Yuba bikes are built to be stable and feel safe when carrying kids. With our integrated racks and one piece frames, our bikes do not flex when kids are riding shotgun. The stiffness of the frame translates into an extremely stable ride, even when your 'cargo' starts singing The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round at the top of their lungs. Most bikes barely have room for one child seat. Because we know that kids come with piles of gear, we designed Yuba bikes have room to carry both kids and stuff. As the kid(s) grow, the accessories grow with them, from the Peanut Shell, to Hold On Bars and Soft Spots and beyond; our bikes will accommodate the needs of your growing family. The side racks and optional Bread Basket give you plenty of  extra carrying capacity.

Is it better to buy my bike from a dealer or direct from Yuba?

There are several good reasons to buy your new Yuba from a Yuba dealer. For one, the dealer won’t charge you for shipping. Secondly, your dealer will make sure that the bike is correctly assembled and adjusted. Your dealer will be there to tighten your cables on your new bike after the “break-in” period. Just as importantly, your dealer always will be there to keep your bike maintained. Lastly, your dealer can help you with things you might not have thought about such as other Yuba add-ons or updates.

How much can I really carry on your bikes?

Because our bikes are built with integrated frames and racks, the possibilities of what you can use them for are truly endless. The Mundo's Sideloaders and the Boda's Lovehandles make it possible to carry ungainly things, from wooden pallets to kayaks and stand up paddle boards, from kids to unholy quantities of fruit. Boda Boda The Boda Boda is rated for 220 pounds (100 kilos) of cargo - plus rider. This roughly equates into one adult passenger, 40 watermelons, 2 pony kegs and a kid, or whatever you want within reason. Its eight speed drivetrain with MegaRange makes it pretty easy to get up, down and around with your all your gear. Mundo The Mundo can carry 440 pounds (200 kilos), plus the rider. That is approximately two adults, 1723 bananas, two full sized kegs and a drinking buddy, or whatever your legs can pedal. If you are planning to use the bike to transport bags of rice or concrete, it is probable that you will give out before your Mundo does. The solidity of the frame, makes it a great bike for heavier cyclists as well, because they do not have to concern themselves with frame flex, or stress-fracturing the frame. The Mundo's 21 speed drive train with a front Granny gear and a rear MegaRange make it easy to get your stuff where you're going with minimal muss and fuss.

What is the craziest thing anyone has ever hauled with one of your bikes?

That depends on how you define "crazy". We've heard of this guy hauling 400 pounds of bananas:   And this cellist touring Tasmania on a Mundo: 'The Unconventional Cellist's' Bicycle Cello Tour of TASMANIA 2012 from Kristin Rule on Vimeo. It really depends on what you want to do.

Do I have to wear spandex to ride your bike?

No. Absolutely not. Unless you and your kids are dressing up like the Incredibles for Halloween or a parade.

I want to build a music stage / mobile kitchen / lockable cargo box on by bike. Do you have any resources?

In general, if you want to do a custom build, it is best to work with someone who has done that build before or with someone who is very familiar with our bikes. Your local bike shop may be the right answer, or you may need to look further afield. If you're looking to get a pedal powered stage, you should contact Rock the Bike in Berkeley, CA. They have built numerous stages for people, and have also done many custom configurations.

Will this bike REALLY improve my love life? Will it take me from dud to stud?

All we can say is, you can offer people a lift. That gives you a chance to spend some time with them, build a little trust that you’re not a psycho, perhaps even tell them a few jokes. We conservatively estimate the increased hotness from riding a Boda Boda Cargo Cruiser to be in the 18-22% range and a Mundo in the 15-20% range, which is more of a margin than many recent presidents have been elected by. So, the answer is a qualified, yes?

Do Yuba’s fit in bike lockers at public transit stops?

Based on information provide for us by the BART agency, Mundos will not fit in bike lockers. It would be possible to get a Boda Boda in a bike locker, if the handlebars were swapped for a narrower bar. BART lockers1 General FAQs

Can I use your bikes to get my board / kayak / SUP to the waves?

20130220 yuba surf 0063 General FAQsOne of our favorite way to use the Boda Boda or the Mundo here at Yuba is to carry a SUP (stand-up paddleboard). We have carried wave boards (8.5" long) and race boards  (14" long). We have also hauled whitewater kayaks, and even sea kayaks. It is easy and simple to use the Boda Boda and the Mundo to transport long loads. Both bikes feature side loading platform. The board or craft is positioned lengthwise on the bike. In general it is best to position the board on the right side of the bicycle. A couple of pieces of high-density foam positioned along side the rack create the necessary clearance for the biker's feet. With some crafts such as a whitewater kayaks it doesn't even require to use a block of foam. Yuba Bicycles will be releasing a SUP/ Surf/ Kayak pad system during the summer. In the meantime below are some instructions to help you make your own.

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To carry your board on Yuba Bicycle you will need: A block of high density foam. Pipe insulation foam. A pair of Yuba Utility Straps. 1) Select and cut the high-density foam. • We do recommend using high-density foam. Such foam can be found at a kayak or surf shop. You will need a piece the size of about 16"x7". • Cut one piece of about 16" tall and 5" thick. This is the piece that will push the board away from the carrier. • Cut a second piece of about 16" tall and 1" thick. This piece will be positioned towards the end of the carrier, it gives the board a bit of cushioning.
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high density foam preparation

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5″ wide

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the thick piece is for the front, thin piece for the rear

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groove in the foam for the Boda Boda rack

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blocks of foam on Mundo

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foam blocks on Boda Boda

  2) Install on the bike. • To secure the foam on the bike, duck tape, zip-ties or small short straps like rok straps can be used. 3) How to load the SUP on the Boda Boda or Mundo. Once the foam blocks are installed it is time to load the the board. We would recommend that you follow these steps: • loop the Utility Straps around the sideloader bars first! • postion the board on the bicycle, with the board/craft between you and the bicycle. This way you will be able to control the board, the straps. • pull both strap ends towards the top of the rack and loop around a solid anchor point on the bicycle rack. Tighten one side then the other. • once the board is securely on, loosen the strap and insert the paddle so it sits on the top  edge of the board. Cinch straps again. • wiggle cargo (the board and paddle) to make sure it is attached properly. • take a test ride on an empty parking lot or quiet street. • test the safety of the load one more time. • ride and have fun at the beach, river, lake....
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straps go around the sideloaders before the board

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board or craft between you and the bike

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tighten securely

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strap loops around the carrier

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board securely attached

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rear view with paddle

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I’m really short/tall. Will your bikes fit me?

We design the Yuba brand of bicycles to fit as many people as possible. Mundo Generally speaking, the Yuba Mundo fits riders from  5’0” to 6’7”. Any shorter, and you need to ride in the Peanut-Shell! There are some stem extenders on the market that our taller customers have recommended. Please contact us for details if you are taller than recommended. Boda Boda To accommodate a wider range of riders, the Boda Boda comes in two sizes: a step-thru medium size (fits riders 4’9″ to 5’10″ or 150cm to 177cm) and a step-over large size (fits riders 5’5″ to 6’6″ or 167cm to 202cm).

Why do your bikes have those wings?

The Mundo’s "wings" or Sideloaders and the Boda Boda's Lovehandles are actually loading platforms to carry objects like boxes or a cooler or a stereo cabinet. With the wings as a horizontal platform and the frame as a vertical support, very large objects can be securely strapped to the Yuba bike. We believe that this design is better than bikes that have front platforms or buckets because the Sideloaders can carry any sized object that can be strapped to it.

Is there a car bike rack that can accommodate the Mundo?

We recommend The Hollywood Racks Sport Rider for Electric Bikes (HR1450E). It is an easy-to-use hitch mounted rack that fits standard 2" trailer hitches on cars or trucks. Designed for the additional weight of electric bikes, it has the capacity for two elMundos (or any two >80 lb bikes). The sliding wheel supports make it easy to adjust to longer wheelbase bikes, such as the Mundo, and also fit a shorter wheelbase bike such as a Boda Boda or a road bike. IMG 1370 General FAQs Putting the bikes in the rack is easy, even for people with less upper body strength. Simply lift up the front wheel, and place it in the rack, and then lift the rear of the Mundo up by it's frame and pop it into the rack. IMG 1368 General FAQs 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. The rack conveniently folds up against the vehicle when not in use. **Please remember if driving with an electric bike to remove the batteries before putting your electric bike on a car rack, because the vibrations of the road can decrease battery life.

Do Yubas fit on the bike rack on the public bus or Amtrak?

Yes and no. The Boda Boda can fit onto most public transit bike racks. If it's a tight fit, the front wheel can be rotated 180 degrees to shorten the wheelbase by 4" more.  The Boda Boda also fits onto the Amtrak bike racks. Unfortunately, the Yuba Mundo with its 59" wheelbase, is generally too long to fit on to bus bike racks. Amtrak also has prohibitions against bringing longer bikes, such as tandems, recumbent and longtails on to American trains. Fortunately, commuter subway and ferry systems generally don't have prohibitions against longer bikes. Remember that you can flip you Mundo up on it's rear wheel and Sideloaders to get it on elevators to get you down to the platform.

Is it hard to ride a Mundo?

We are going to let our friend, Doug Reilly answer this question. He uses science to help people understand why additional weight on a bike isn't noticeable until encountering a steep uphill grade.   Doug's project bicycleastronomy.com brings the wonders of the heavens to anyone who wants to see them at his regularly occurring "star parties" in Geneva, NY.    

Understanding Weight and Power With Cargo Bicycles

  by Doug Reilly   “Isn’t that thing heavy?” I’ve had a few people ask me that already. The Yuba Mundo specs out at 48 pounds, and that’s probably calculated with no cargo and few of the common accessories like running boards and a side-loader bag. Let alone that copper bell I added! Probably my daily running weight is about ~65 pounds. Certainly it’s far heavier than the 8-pound carbon fiber wonder Jim Hogan at GBC let me hold a while back. It was so light I almost threw the bloody thing through the roof of the store, just trying to pick it up. I expected it to have some weight. It appeared to almost need to be held down.   Does it matter how much your bike weighs? Certainly if you’re a professional athlete, or an uber-serious amateur, it can matter. That $11,ooo carbon fiber frame might shave a portion of a second off your time, and that might be enough. If you’re going to compete in a mega endurance race like the 3,000 mile Race Across America*, probably a big cargo bike isn’t your first choice as well. But for most people, should bicycle weight be a big concern? And should it shy people away from grocery shopping by bike?   I was a bit worried getting such a big, heavy bike as the Yuba Mundo. My specific worry was Washington Street. On the way to work, it’s all downhill, but on the way home, well, let’s just say I do wish it was reversed. It’s somehow not fair that I can get to my office in 3 minutes but it takes me 10 on the way home. I won’t show you a picture of Washington Street, because you would see how puny it is and therefore what a weakling I am. But it’s my hill, and I wondered before the Mundo arrived how it would do on that long gradual climb. Notice that I said how “it” would do. You know, because, it’s all about the bike. (Not my legs or cardiovascular strength.)   I needn’t have worried. The Yuba does its thing, amazingly. Those gear things really help! For the last seven years I’ve been riding a single speed, now I don’t know what to do with myself and my 21 shiny new gears. I actually get home faster than I did with my old single-speed hybrid, which weighs less than half what the Mundo does.   The other day I ran across these stats, posted on the blog of Portland, Oregon based Clever Cycles:  
  • Speed of a 20-lb bicycle at 160 watts effort : 14.8 MPH
  • Speed of a 60-lb bicycle at the same effort, level ground : 14.6 MPH
  • Speed of a 20-lb bicycle at the same effort, 5% uphill : 7.2 MPH
  • Speed of a 60-lb bicycle at the same effort, 5% uphill : 6.1 MPH
  • Speed of a 20-lb bicycle at the same effort, 5% downhill : 23.9 MPH
  • Speed of a 60-lb bicycle at the same effort, 5% downhill : 25.5 MPH
These figures come from an online calculator, backed up with some fancy formulas, found here.   These figures also struck me as self-evidently true given how much easier and generally faster the cargo bike is to ride than the single speed. The Yuba weights 60 pounds. The single speed about 20. So if weight isn’t the biggest determinant of how much effort it takes to pedal a bike, then what is? I decided to ask a few experts, and I got an answer I didn’t really expect.   First, I went to the source, and emailed Todd at Clever Cycles and asked him why weight makes so little difference. Here’s his response:  
Lighter *is* faster, but by a far, far smaller degree than widely supposed. Most of the work of pedaling a bike above speeds of about 12mph is overcoming wind resistance, not overcoming the inertia of the bike itself. Also, heavier bikes are notably slower to accelerate. It’s just that once they’re rolling, it’s not much more effort at all to keep them going.
It’s funny that I don’t perceive the Mundo as being slower, except when it’s loaded up with a lot of cargo and I’m heading up hill. Quite the opposite. I guess this is just perceptual, since my previous bike only had one gear, and apparently a pokey one at that.  The heavier Yuba Mundo is also slower to stop, and this jives with Newton’s laws of motion, too. I actually bought a louder bell (a nice brass Crane bell with a spring loaded clapper) on my bike last week because I was worried someone would walk out in front of me while the bike was loaded and I was zooming down a hill. It takes a good long while to stop, even with well adjusted disc brakes (which by the way, I would consider to be essential components of any cargo bike). Objects in motion like to stay in motion, indeed.   I asked the same question of my friend and once college roomate Phil, who is now one of the world’s top experts on the subject of athletic power. He confirmed and expanded upon Todd’s explanation, and reading his response it began to feel a bit as if we were talking more about airplanes than bikes:  
      1. Roughly 80% of the energy of pedaling a bike involves overcoming air resistance. Thus, under all conditions other than a strictly uphill climb, aerodynamic considerations vastly outweigh weight considerations.
      2. The most important consideration with respect to how quick you will get up a hill is the power to weight ratio, i.e. how many watts can you generate versus how much mass you are moving up the hill. Very good riders (i.e. guys that contend for the Tour De France) generate maybe 5ish watts per kg body mass and can hold than for less than an hour. More pedestrian riders probably generate 2 watts per kg over a similar time frame. You make considerably more power than this in the metabolic sense, however, you are only about 20-25% efficient in terms of what actually gets delivered to the external environment. This is why you get hot when you exercise…the rest of the energy is liberated predominantly as heat.
      3. The most important consideration with getting down a flat road is power versus frontal surface area. Hence the aerobars you see on time trial or triathlon bikes. You are trying to poke a smaller hole in the air.
The takeaway is that the extra mass matters, sure, but not as much as one would think. Which is another way of saying that carrying your groceries home on your bike instead of your SUV is not as crazy an idea as you might think.   Another conclusion I made form this inquiry is that I made a good decision in getting the Yuba Mundo. It’s extra length adds weight, sure, but doesn’t add anything (or not very much) to the aerodynamic cross section of the bike. Something like a bakfiets, with a wide honking cargo box on the front, is, to use Phil’s expression, punching a much bigger hole in the air.   It’s funny, but now that I’ve been riding the Yuba back and forth to work every day, getting groceries with it, and of course, lugging my telescope around on it, I can’t believe I sat in a car for long and let an engine, and way too much fossilized dinosaur poop, do the work for me. It’s not much work at all, and the cost per mile is stronger legs and lungs.   *The link is to an excellent RadioLab episode that features a story about the RAAM. RAAM’s official website is here.

Can I take the Sideloaders off?

The Sideloaders are attached to the Yuba with a few screws and can be removed, but why would you? We designed the wings to be out of the way by making them only as wide as the outside of your pedaling feet. Attached to the Mundo, they easily fit through doorways and they make an excellent handle when lifting the bike.