|My most fuel efficient vehicle at Pearl Brewery Farmer's Market - San Antonio, Texas|
I just came to the realization that I've had my used Yuba Mundo (Version 1) for a few days over 6 months and I thought this would be a good time to give an update and a more long term review of my well used (well used by the previous owner and myself) Yuba Mundo V1.
I purchased the bike Oct. 8, 2011 by chasing down the owner of a version 3 at the grocery store to ask how much he liked his bike...in talking with him he mentioned he had a Version 1 he needed to sell. So I made and deal and took it home later that day but it needed work. The tires were flat, the rims needed to be trued and the headset was shot as well as the rear derailleur cable.
|Hank of Helotes Bicycle Shop|
I found that I really enjoyed riding the Yuba Mundo and it has become my primary bicycle since I took ownership of it. I've not ridden my other bikes more than 2-4 times but the Yuba sees weekly usage. This is because the utility of the Yuba. I regularly use it to ride to the HEB (grocery store) about 1.5 miles from my house and I can easily fit a week’s worth of groceries on the bike. At first I used ratchet straps and plastic containers but quickly learned that doesn't work well with the Yuba's rack which as diagonal supports, the straps fall and the box got loose quick.
|All Strapped In!|
Also the Go-Getter bags carry some things like a bike lock, rain poncho, and even a full sized floor air pump when I go on rides with large groups (who likes those small 6" pumps when you have a flat anyways!). The bags also make the bike more grab and go friendly I just open my garage (where my car once was) and hop on the Yuba and ride! I’ve taken it on some extensive trips, for a cargo bike, away from the house. I rode to a library (a hilly 10-12 mile round trip) to assist with a lecture on using your bicycle for utility. I carried a multimedia projector safely in the go-getter bags.
|Utility Cycling Session at Great Northwest Library - San Antonio, Texas|
The bags are not only useful in carrying camera stuff they are also nice because they keep honest people honest! I was able to leave my bike within eye sight at the recent Siclovia event with my camera gear left on the bike knowing that it would take some balls to go open up the go-getter bags and go snooping around. I realize the bags are not a metal trunk and that is why I kept it in eyesight and no more than 30-40 feet away from me like when I did the drum circle, but it’s still nice not to have to carry that stuff around my neck or just having it sitting in a basket where anyone can see it and be tempted to steal it.
|Siclovia Drum Circle - March 2012|
“Enough on the bags…. What about other utility usefulness?” I’m glad you asked.
The bike has had its share of cargo loads over the past 6 months primarily groceries from the grocery store. Some of the rather odd things that I’ve carried were other humans, k-9s, hardware, and more! My wife and I rode on the Yuba to Sea Island Shrimp House and Half-Price Books on the bike. Carrying people is different than groceries because they can shift their weight and you’ll notice it as the driver of the bike. It took some getting used to but driver and passenger always felt secure. I even hauled my wife’s beach cruiser on the side racks just by putting the front tire in the side and strapping it in. I admit there was no reason to do this other than I saw other Yuba Mundo owners doing it on Flickr and I wantedto do it! Being a verison 1 I don’t have a rear deck or side platforms but I think that side platforms would have helped with the towing of my wife’s bike since the straps holding the tire came loose and the front wheel started to slip down the rack.
Another unique item that I hauled was an 8 foot grounding rod from Lowe’s hardware for a Ham Radio antenna I was installing. This was to longest item I’ve carried on the Mundo and it was easier than hauling the grounding rod in my Jeep Wrangler. It was fun using bungee cords to strap that on the rack and frome then using the red plastic flags to let people know that I’m hauling a large item…ON A BICYCLE! I rode the 2.5 miles back home without anything going wrong with it. Below are some pictures of the strange hauls so far, including the K-9 and the grounding rod.
|Yuba Mundo decorated for Christmas Light Bike Ride... complete with Tree|
|My Dog, Phoebe, as Cargo!|
|At Lowe's after loading 8 foot Grounding Rod|
|Yuba with my RC Airplanes ready to go to the flying area!|
The Yuba mundo attracts a lot of attention. I’ve had people come up to me while I was loading the cargo and ask about it. One conversation that sticks out in my mind was a mother and her 12-15 year old son at HEB (grocery store). The exchange when something like this: She started by saying, “Hey cool cargo bicycle so you can fit all that in your bike?” my response “yes, I do it all the time” Her response “Well I ride my road bike 20-30 miles at a time but I take my car 3 miles to the grocery store… I think I need to look into this Yuba Mundo.”
That is what I hope I inspire-logical thinking about being green and living healthy.
It’s amazing that people are so stuck in the Lance Armstrong idolizing spandex sport of cycling they don’t even realize the utility it can be until see me on the big Yuba Mundo. I love it when I see them realize for the first time that it is possible to ride a bicycle for errands especially when they pedal their road bike 20 to 100 miles just for fun. Believe me utility cycling is way more fun that riding just to ride because you get the joy of cycling and the coolness that comes from knowing that you are rejecting the social norm of thinking that bicycles are only exercise equipment. For me cycling for utility has a trill in it that comes when you return from a shopping trip with a load of groceries. If you search around the internet you will get some inspiration from fellow car-free/utility cycling people like Anne and Tim at Car Free Days. They have inspired me to make just about every Sunday a car free day! Thanks Anne and Tim. Y'all should check out their site CarFreeDays.com
|Pre Go-Getter bag Yuba at Target in NW San Antonio|
|My wife and I rode this to get some sea food and we got the best parking spot too!|
|Barnes & Noble Via Yuba Mundo|
The saddle is the original one from Yuba and is comfy enough but I’ve been thinking a Brooks Saddle would be nice to try. Some future plans include upgrading the shifters and possibly the front derailleur. I might get around to making a rear deck for times when I haul a passenger, stoker bar for the rear passenger and some padding for the rear passenger. I’ve also thought of adding disc breaks to the front but that means replacing the front end again but I feel safe the way it is.
|Yuba Mudo at 2012 Siclovia - San Antonio, Texas|
Life with the Yuba Mundo is good! My version one has been useful and I enjoy owning it but sometimes I long for a newer lighter Version 4 with disc brakes, but then I remember the low cost I paid for the used version 1 which was comparable to a mid priced Walmart mountain bike and I’m happy. I’m sure the version one is here to stay at least for another 6 months. When I have children I might upgrade so I can use the integrated child seats on the rear rack (they don’t work with the wider V1 rack). Right now this system works for me.
Thanks for reading please leave your comments!