First Look: Yuba Mundo V3

We’re currently evaluating a Yuba Mundo V3 cargo bike. The following is an appetizer that’ll be followed up with the main course (a full review) later this spring. —Alan

The Mundo is a tough, but reasonably priced, dedicated cargo bike that boasts an amazing 440 lb. load capacity.

The frame is constructed of hi-ten steel. Tough and easy to repair. The sideloaders are cromo.

The working end of a real packhorse. That’s a 48 spoke wheel with a 26×2.125 tire at 40 psi.

Gussets everywhere you look.

Triangles galore. Typical loads disappear under this bike. Extreme loads are not an issue.

Check out the ovalized tubes for stiffness. Cool stuff.

Yup, you read it right: 440 lbs.! That doesn’t include rider weight.

This year’s model has a low range triple up front. My knees are thanking Yuba.

Garden variety twist shifter and a cute bell. If it was my bike, I’d nix the twisters and mount some Thumbies with D/A Bar-ends (non-indexed).

21-speed indexed drivetrain (3×7).

Every cargo bike should have one of these self-centering springs; they make loading much easier.

The single-leg kickstand is super-beefy and stronger than last year’s double-legged center stand. Yuba is currently working on their own super-stout double-leg stand, due out later this year.

Extra braze-ons in case you want to get creative and come up with your own hauling solutions. Neat!

The “Go-Getter” waterproof bag is huge. It’ll take 4 grocery bags, no sweat. It’s nicely made and a steal at $109.

The cargo deck is made from recycled milk bottles, and the padded seat is plenty comfy for giving someone a lift. It can be removed in just a few seconds to clear the deck for hauling.

The Mundo is designed to be “one size fits all”, so the adjustable stem is a nice touch.

The quick release, extra long seatpost with sloping top tube, and adjustable stem make it possible to fit a wide variety of people on one frame size.

And to top it off, it’s a pretty bike, as cargo bikes go. We’re really enjoying the ride. Look for the full report in a few weeks.

Yuba

35 Responses to “First Look: Yuba Mundo V3”

  • brad says:

    Regarding the “self-centering spring,” is that designed to keep the front wheel stable while you’re loading stuff on the back? That’s a cool idea — I’ve been looking for something like this to stabilize the front of my city bike, onto which I’ve installed a Gomoh basket. The Gomoh is great (rated to carry 40 pounds) but it’s heavy and it destabilizes the front end whenever I’m not holding the handlebars. I remember years ago seeing something called a “flick stand” that held the front wheel stable, but I haven’t seen them available in my local bike shops and nobody seems to know what I’m talking about.

  • Alan says:

    @Brad,

    Yes, the spring stabilizes the front end for loading. If you’re carrying a heavy load on the fork, it also decreases wheel flop to a small degree. I know there are aftermarket, clamp-on springs like this available, though I haven’t had the opportunity to try one.

    Alan

  • Tom says:

    Brad, my Torker Cargo T has a locking stem that I don’t think I could live without. It’s superior to the spring solution, in my opinion. I use it with the center stand every time I park. Here’s a pic http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/images/page_image/Torker-4004-web.jpg

  • Matt says:

    Not sure about the highest load capacity among cargo bikes. It’s not always clear whether it in- or excludes the weight of the bike itself and/or the rider. Larryvsharry.com’s Bullitts come pretty close (180kg). I recently put it to a minor test with ~220lbs of gravel bags which I picked up at a hardware store. What’s better, the center of gravity of Bullitts is very low so they’re very easy to steer even, or especially, with heavy cargo.

  • Roland Smith says:

    I’m having trouble thinking of a 200 kg load that would even fit on a bike, unless you’re carrying bottled water or lead ingots. :-) Most of the stuff I use my car for isn’t usually that heavy, but just ungainly and too large to carry on a bike.

    Personally, I think I’d pick an internal gear hub over a derailer. Trying to get rolling with a heavily loaded bike stuck in the wrong gear isn’t pleasant.

    @brad,

    As for a stand, I really like the front stand on the fr8 transport bike. Because of it’s width it is extremely stable, and it makes it easy to load up the front since it can’t move when on the stand. Maybe you can fit something like that to your basket?

  • Alan says:

    @Roland

    I can’t see hauling 440 lbs either (the frame is rated for 440 lbs. plus rider). What it really indicates is that more reasonable loads are practically unnoticeable with very little frame sway.

    Alan

  • bongobike says:

    Well, at least you can carry two 80 lb. sacks of concrete, if you’re so inclined.

  • Alan says:

    @Matt

    I changed the language to say “…dedicated cargo bike that boasts an amazing 440 lb. load capacity”.

    Thanks-
    Alan

  • EdLark says:

    “[I]t’s a pretty bike . . . as cargo bikes go.”

    heh

  • AdamM says:

    Alan, you big tease! Lovely photos, as usual. Looking forward to hearing your real world experience of the Mundo. Liking the sound of the new double leg stand too.

  • Chris Morfas says:

    I took one of these for a spin in Mike’s Bikes and then around the block…I was tempted. I may yet pull the trigger on one of these later this year.

  • Dave says:

    I’m eager to see photos of passengers and cargo on the Mundo. It looks like it’s up to the task!

    I do have some experience with 400 + pound loads on my Surly Big Dummy. It’s all about the gears. Shift down to that LOW gear before you stop, and shift, shift, shift as you accelerate. Think ‘big rig’, not ‘gear masher’, and you will be amazed at what you can haul.

  • Lee says:

    I appreciate your reviews and enjoy reading your blog, but I wish you would stop knocking twist shifters. Because of a hand problem, they are all I can use. I appreciate your personal preference of course and look forward to more on the Yuba Mundo.

  • Doug in Seattle. says:

    If I were to get a cargo bike, this is certainly the one that I would get. The cost per pound of load capacity is better than all the others, if I recall correctly. I feel like it would make a great wedding present.

  • David says:

    Not my cup of tea, but I really appreciate a well thought out, purpose-built design. If I didn’t have three young ones to cart around in a minivan, I could easily see getting a tank like this in lieu of the second car.

  • Barbara Kilts says:

    I used a flick stand too, years ago – very clever device. The only drawback is that it doesn’t work with fenders…

    This is a very cool bike – the double-leg stand would seem to be a must to be able really load it up. The stands on the Box-cargo bikes are very stable since they are widely spaced.

  • Phil Barns says:

    I’ve carried people, compost, another bike, trees, and when I was last on strike a couple of weeks ago wood and a brazier ( it was -5 on the picket line ). Getting the balance right is the key to stability when you don’t have to worry about the frame flexing under a load.

  • Ian says:

    Looking forward to the full review. I’d also be interested to hear anyone’s informed opinion on the relative merits of this style of cargo bike compared to a Bakfiets type Dutch cargo bike, particularly when heavily loaded.

    @David
    Surely your 3 kids don’t weigh more than 400lb. :)
    I notice the Bakfiets even has optional seats to carry 3 kids!

  • Jens says:

    I wonder about the braking power. I’m anxious to read the full review. You should try a good downhill with rated load in wet conditions.

    rgs.
    jens

  • Derek says:

    Jens,

    This V3 Mundo seems ready to accomodate disc brakes.

  • Alan says:

    Disc brakes are available as an option on this bike for those who live in hilly areas. Where we live it’s essentially flat with a few rollers, so the rim brakes are sufficient.

    Alan

  • Roland Smith says:

    I wonder if these brakes are up to stopping a fully loaded mundo in worst case conditon (downhill on a wet road)? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t volunteer to test that!

    Personally, I’d rather have disk brakes for a scenario like that. And probably a trike instead of a two-wheeler for heavy hauling.

  • David says:

    @Ian
    Good point, but I cringe at the thought of the 6 year old battling his 4 year old sister with the 10 month old in between while I’m huffing up a hill! At least in the minivan they can’t reach each other…

  • Frits B says:

    @Tom April 7 10:45 – Good ideas always pop up again. See this Fongers from 1908: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9623863@N04/2228398594/

  • Cullen Carter says:

    Nice looking utilitarian bike. I’m surprised that it lacks a chain-guard.

  • Alan says:

    @Cullen

    You may have missed it in the photos, but it has a chainring guard. While not offering quite as much protection as a full chainguard, it works well enough to keep your pant leg out of the chain and sprocket.

    Alan

  • Cullen Carter says:

    @ Alan

    I’m unfamiliar with that type of chainring guard. Do they work pretty well? Do you have any recommendations.

    I’ve always wanted to get a chainring guard for my trike. Something like that one would work terrifically.

  • Alan says:

    @Cullen

    They work quite well. I have one on my LHT that I purchased from Rivendell:

    http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/07/25/chain-guards/

    They’re more adaptable than the traditional full-length chain guards and serve the purpose.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @Lee

    I’m sorry to hear you have an issue with your hand that dictates the use of twist shifters – certainly it’s good that we have options to meet our individual needs.

    One of the reasons I don’t like twist shifters is that they can be difficult to use for people with small hands. They can also be difficult to use in wet weather, again particularly for people with small hands. So, for some people, the issues with twist shifters go beyond just aesthetics.

    Regards,
    Alan

  • Fergie348 says:

    Friends of ours just bought one of these to go with their 2 little kids to the groceries. Imagine two car seats with a 2 year old and a 6 month old in ‘em mounted to the top rack and grocery containers on the sides. It’s pretty impressive.

    I think this is the perfect application for an electric assist hub. You wouldn’t notice the extra weight of a BionX hub and lithium battery and it would help a lot, especially up hills..

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  • Cafn8 says:

    @fergie 348

    I just came here from the Yuba website, and an electric assisted version is also offered. It has a 750 watt motor and a top speed of 20 mph.

  • Max says:

    Well, here’s my poorly worded two cents:

    I have a Mundo version 1 that I use for 10-20 miles on a daily basis. The V1 isn’t as refined as this newer model, but close enough. Plain and simple, these bikes work great. I haul my two kids (currently totaling 85 lbs) to and from school, shopping, playgrounds, etc., in fairly hilly terrain, and they/we really enjoy it.

    I’m used to loaded touring/commuting on a regular bike. This bike has no flex, and with that extended wheelbase actually handles really nicely loaded as well as unloaded. A center stand is a must, of course.

    We are at a point where my 6 yr old is enjoying riding her own bike more, and my 3 yr old is going miles on his balance bike (no pedals), but neither of them are road ready, so I load up the Mundo with them and their bikes, head to the trail, and off they go. When they tire out, I load ‘em back up.

    We initially used a trailer, which was alright, but eventually my daughter outgrew it. I researched all the other options, and can see benefits to all of them, but really this style of bike really fits our needs, and with a pretty reasonable price. I do think I would like to have a trike variety for the winter months, to handle the icy conditions more safely.

    One of the best side benefits is that I’ve been able to offset the continual precious cargo weight increase (growth of my children) by using the bike and lowering my own extraneous cargo (fat). I’m sure there is a nifty math formula in there somewhere.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Creative Solutions says:

    […] as groceries, building supplies, or furniture. What they may not realize is that a bike like the Mundo (shown above) can also tow a bicycle and carry passengers, replacing an SUV in the process. For […]

  • Victor says:

    Hey Max,

    I’d be interested to learn how you manage to transport two kids plus their bikes on a Mundo. We just placed an order for a Mundo and are wondering how we are going to accommodate our 5 year old and 2 year old plus the 5 year old’s bike when she gets tired of riding. The Yuba site’s method of towing a bike on the rear running board (see “DIY Bike Hauler for the Mundo: The “Mobile Bike Rack” http://yubaride.com/yubamundo.blog/?p=559) looks like it would not be compatible with having a child seat mounted at the rear of the deck and the 5 year old sitting in the middle. You can reply to me via my yahoo email address, weinstev, or just post a comment on this blog.

    Thanks for your sharing your experiences.
    Victor

 
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