Yuba is a small company based in Sausalito, California specializing in building long wheelbase cargo bikes for hauling heavy loads. The company was founded in 2006 by Ben Sarrazin who, after helping start Xtracycle and spending several years working there, saw the need for a more robust, fully integrated longtail design capable of carrying extreme loads. The result is the Mundo, a heavy-duty longtail with one of the highest load capacities of any bicycle on the market.
The Mundo is a big, heavy-duty bike (it’s nearly 7 ft. long) that is obviously built to handle large, heavy loads. When you first get on the bike, you immediately feel the stiffness and mass in the frame; it’s clear from the first pedal stroke that this is a purpose-built cargo bike that makes no allusions to being anything other than a workhorse for hauling anything-and-everything from a pair of children to 400 lbs. of bananas.
The Mundo frame is manufactured in China. Hi-ten steel is used throughout to reduce costs and simplify repairs in the event of a damaged frame. The downside is that building with hi-ten results in a heavier bike than when building with stronger, but more expensive chromoly (the Mundo weighs in at approximately 58 lbs.). The frame is generously triangulated, and the main frame tubes are ovalized to optimize stiffness. Overall, the frame gives the impression of being well-built and utilitarian in the best sense of the word.
The overall fit-and-finish are what you’d expect for a cargo bike in this price range, and the powder coat and decal set look fine, if not refined. The numerous braze-ons in the cargo area are a nice detail that add significantly to the versatility of the bike by allowing the end-user to experiment and add their own cargo securing methods. The welds are reasonably clean and about what you’d expect on a Chinese-made frame in this price range.
The Mundo is designed as a one-size-fits-all frame with a sloping top tube, long seat post, and adjustable stem. While I’m usually not a fan of this type of sizing, it can work fairly well for specialized tools like cargo bikes and folders where time in the saddle and distances are typically shorter. We were able to adjust the saddle and bars to comfortably fit everyone in our family. If you’re on the extreme edge of the sizing bell curve, be sure to take a test ride before making a commitment.
The Mundo’s component group is a budget mix from Shimano and Promax. The indexed twist shifters are sufficient, if not inspiring, and didn’t require any adjustment over the test period. The Promax V-brakes are sufficiently stiff, though I’d suggest swapping out the brake pads for KoolStop salmon pads. Yuba offers a disc brake upgrade option ($85) that I’d highly recommend for anyone who will regularly be carrying loads over 100 lbs. or for those who live in hilly terrain. You certainly don’t want to load 200 lbs. on any bike and head down a steep hill with only V-brakes to stop you.
The Mundo comes delivered with heavy-duty, high-spoke-count wheels (36 up front, 48 in the rear) with 14mm solid axles and sealed bearing hubs. Wheels are frequently the Achilles Heel of budget-priced tandems and cargo bikes, but the stout wheels on our test bike stayed true throughout the test period.
For the relatively flat terrain and fairly light loads we carry, the Mundo’s 7-speed triple drivetrain was perfect. At 20.4″, the low gear was fine for us, but those who will be carrying big loads in hilly terrain may want to consider a slightly lower bottom gear.
Our test bike came delivered with a heavy-duty single-leg kickstand. While it’s the strongest single-leg kickstand we’ve seen, it wasn’t ideal when the bike was heavily loaded. Fortunately, Yuba recently developed a stout, double-leg centerstand that will be supplied on all bikes going forward. This should be a big improvement over the single-leg stand. If you already own a Mundo, the double-leg stand can be purchased separately for $77.
Think pedal-powered minivan or pickup truck and you have the correct mental picture of this bike. With a pair of “Go-Getter” bags mounted, the Mundo easily carries 6 bags of groceries. With the addition of a pair of “Peanut Shell” child seats, the Mundo can safely carry two young children. Add the “Soft Spot” padded seat and “Hold On” stoker kit and the Mundo effectively becomes a tandem (without the second set of pedals, of course).
With the creative use of straps, all manner of large and heavy objects can be carried on the Mundo. We don’t actually move around large, heavy objects very often, but we did take the time to test some heavy loads and found the Yuba totally up to the task. Even with loads over 100 lbs. on the bike, the frame felt solid and secure. Even though the Mundo is rated for up to 440 lbs. of cargo (plus rider!), at some point, the challenge becomes less about the bike and more about balancing the weight and dealing with the bulk. For us, anything past about 150-200 lbs. is pretty much unmanageable. It’s no fault of the bike, it’s just the difficulty of handling that kind of weight.
Yuba offers a long list of accessories for the Mundo. The “Go-Getter” bag is a nicely constructed, oversized nylon pannier that easily swallows 3 large grocery bags. The “Soft Spot” seat pad straps on the cargo deck and provides a reasonably comfortable spot for a passenger. Up to two “Peanut Shell” child seats can be attached to the Mundo’s rear platform for carrying children from 20 lbs. up to 50 lbs. each. In case you need to increase the Mundo’s already huge carrying capacity, the “Bread Platform” platform rack mounts on the headtube above the front wheel. Visit the Yuba website to see the full list of accessories.
At $1099, the Yuba Mundo is one of the least expensive full-featured cargo bikes on the market. It also happens to have one of the highest load capacities of any cargo bike ever made. It’s a purpose-built bike that serves its intended use as a minivan replacement quite well. It’s a large, heavy bike that I wouldn’t personally consider using as an everyday ride for commuting, light errands, and just getting around town, but if I had the need for a bike to haul major loads on a regular basis, the Mundo would certainly be on my short list.
- Model: Mundo V3
- Frame: 26″/50 Mundo MP Hi-Ten Steel 1 1/8″ w/disc brake mount
- Fork: 26″ Steel w/disc brake mount
- Size: One size fits all
- Headset: 1 1/8″ Steel
- Brakes: V-Brake TX-125 L – Promax
- Brake Levers: BLG 82 – Promax
- Freewheel: Shimano 7-speed 14-28T
- Crankset: Triple 22/32/42 SL Gigga Blk
- Bottom Bracket: VP-BC 73 boron steel 113mm
- Shifters: Shimano Tourney
- Derailleurs: Shimano Acera
- Hubs: Modus Sealed Bearings – Alloy
- Rims: Huafen 660g single wall – 36H/48H
- Tires: Kenda 841A
- Handlebar: Promax HB-T310 alloy
- Stem: Promax Adjustable
- Seatpost: 400mm Steel
- Saddle: Velo VL-3205
- Weight: 58 lbs. (on our scale)
- MSRP: $1099
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