Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm still in shock I'm a Yuba Mundo Owner! Pinch me.. am I dreaming.

Yuba Story - For my Bicycle Blog

My Yuba Story:
Some followers of mine might know that I’ve been riding my Sun Cruz 3  speed to the HEB near my house (HEB is a grocery store for all ya’ll non-Texans). This started around August 2010. I mostly do it to save on gas and CO2 emissions. I’m a hefty sized good ol’ Texas boy and I’m already slightly exceeding the maximum load on my aluminum framed beach cruiser then add 30-40 pounds of grocery on that… well… no issues so far. 

One day in about April 2010 I said “I wish I could carry more on my trips to HEB…” so after some internet research I was very interested in riding a Sun Atlas Cargo Bike that just came out. It retails for around $550-$600. It’s a typical long tail cargo bike that is “xtracycle aware” meaning it uses some of the xtracycle accessories. After chatting with Sun dealers (JB Importers connected bike shops) a shop in Corpus Christi was going to order one for me at a cost of $500 unassembled… but it involved a trek of 200 miles by car to get it. So I never placed the order. After doing more research I was leaning toward an xtracycle conversion or a Yuba Mundo. Kona Ute didn’t interest me too much and the Surly Big Dummy was out of my price range. The xtracycle Radish was given some slight consideration. So I started to save my dollars.
In late July 2011 an ad popped up on Austin Craigslist for a used Xtracycle conversion kit for $250 with deck, bags, etc. I was in San Angelo, Texas at the time and called. I was just about willing to drive across the Texas hill country way out of my way back to San Antonio to buy it, but during the conversation with the guy selling it say he was selling it because he bought the Kona Ute (an alternative to the Big Dummy and Mundo). Considering this guy ditched the xtracycle conversion for a dedicated design spoke volumes to me. So I narrowed my list down to the Sun Atlas Cargo and the Yuba.

One day in June 2011 we decided to take a road trip up to Austin to visit my bro-in law. While there I stopped in at the Peddler’s Bike Shop and test rode a Version 3 Yuba Mundo… It was awesome and the only reason we weren’t smiling in the photos we took that day was the 110 degree temperature of that day. The Shop owner offered a great deal … $1,000 out the door with all the accessories he had in stock only problem was I didn’t have $1,000 for it at the time and still don’t! Wasn't about to go in debt either. Later that week, I requested some literature from Yuba Bicycle via their website but instead I got a personally call from the CEO of Yuba Bicycles. He had some questions about the blog I rode about my experience at Peddler. The fact that such personal attention was give to me meant a great deal to me; combined with the fact they they’re focus and purpose for the Mundo was to help developing nations it seems like they are on the right track.

I’m an elementary teacher so around August my attention was school. I’d my bike for more causal rides with friends but I started to notice more bike on my commute to work. So my interest was peeked yet again for a utilitarian style bicycle. This past weekend I was able to ride in 2 group rides. While driving home after the 2nd ride I saw something I’ve never seen in San Antonio before a Yuba Mundo… heading the very same HEB I shop at! I was excited and followed the cyclist, saw what he looked like then found a parking spot and literally ran into the HEB searching. I wanted to see the man living my dream! How long has he been doing this? What was his thought and opinions on the Yuba? So many questions? I was filled with excitement. 

In chatting with Robert (the Yuba Rider) he mentioned this wasn’t his first Yuba and he had one that he wanted to put on Craigslist but didn’t want to deal with the annoying calls and emails from scammers (I know what he means). So I chatted with him and hear the price which was very reasonable so I told him to consider it sold providing it was in some what a good shape. He said it would be great if he could have it out of his garage that day and I was eager so I went and looked at it. Both tires were flat; some paint nicks were on it, etc. He used it as a daily commuter rain or shine! After looking at the Blue V1 Yuba I handed him the cash and loaded it up on my Hollywood Sport-rider 4 rack (yes it's a beast of a rack and can handle the weight of the Yuba and then some!)
So in what seemed like a whirlwind adventure I’m now a cargo bike owner. The blue Yuba needs some TLC but I think I’ll have it rolling soon.
Here is a list of things I’ve check over so far that need to be done and the cost was so affordable I can afford to do the repairs many of which I will do myself.
  • 1. Order a kick Stand (contacted Yuba with some questions)
  • 2. Grease hubs and freewheel (Yuba Freewheel Tool ordered!)
  • 3. Install New Inner Tubes and Slime
  • 4. Inspect tires and decide if I need to order some Schwable Big Apple Kevlar Tires.
  • 5. Replace rear reflector/Install head light and tail light
  • 6. True rear wheel and check front.
  • 7. Adjust breaks front and rear… might put a disc on front if I think I want swap out the fork…
  • 8. Clean Chain/possibly replace
  • 9. General tune up.
  • 10. Rear Deck
  • 11. Straps for tie down
  • 12. Remove surface rust and touch up paint.
  • 13. Ride!
I’m happy. 

Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

1 comment:

  1. You’ll have a great time on the Yuba. I liked the impossibly sturdy construction enough to upgrade to the V3. The V1’s rack is even sturdier and wider – you could strap a smart car to it as a spare! When thinking of kickstands, if the single leg doesn’t work, consider the Pletscher two leg. If you trim the legs with a hacksaw so that a loaded bike touches on the two legs and two tires, it is stable enough for just about everything and doesn’t rub against the chain the way some of the moped style two leg models do.
    While I have a rear deck on the V3, I find that it interferes more with tying things down (because it covers the bars) than it helps. The magic of the Yuba is that you can tie anything to it – so anything that reduces that capability doesn’t help much. Adults will generally want to ride their own bikes instead of staring at the saddle/rider interface in front of them, so the deck doesn’t help much for riders unless you are taking children around.

    Looking forward to seeing you at HEB!