Posts Tagged: kids


6
Dec 2014
by mark

Review: 2013 Yuba Mundo vs 2014 Xtracycle EdgeRunner 27D

By: Don Galligher

This review compares the 2013 Yuba Mundo cargo bike with the 2014 Xtracycle 27D EdgeRunner. My daughters have named our matte black Yuba “Black Pearl”. The Xtracycle is named “Baliwick” after a butler
in the Princess Sofia cartoon.

Xtracycle EdgeRunner

Xtracycle EdgeRunner

Don with a load of bikes to recycle

Yuba Mundo

Background

Prior to this review, the Yuba has been ridden 2,000 miles over 12 months in all types of terrain (family riding, touring and urban transportation as a car replacement). I live about 5 miles outside of town, making my minimum travel distance about 10 miles for most trips.

Our Mundo is equipped with Monkey bars, two Go Getter bags, two Soft Spots, running boards, and wheel skirts. I modified the stock bike with a 9 speed drivetrain, SRM power meter, TRP’s hydraulic cable pull brakes, Schwalbe Big Apple 2.3″ tires, some Ergon grips, and bar stem seat post. After upgrades the bicycle would cost approximately $3300.00.

The EdgeRunner was ridden 2 months approximately 700 miles on all types of terrain. This included family riding, touring and urban transportation as a car replacement. Accessories including the Hooptie, U-tube, and Kickback center stand, X2 bags, two Mini Magic Carpets, and Xtracycle fenders. The 27D Lux is equipped with a BioLogic generator front hub, which runs the front and rear light, and has a handle bar remote switch which can charge a USB compatible device such as your phone while riding. The EdgeRunner comes equipped with a 27 speed drivetrain by Shimano and Deore hydraulic disc brakes. I upgraded it with a Raceface narrow wide 40t chainring and a DuraAce SRM power meter. Estimated cost would be about $3,700.

It’s worth noting that one of the fundamental design differences between these two bikes are that the EdgeRunner has a 20” rear wheel and 26” front wheel while the Mundo has 2×26” wheels. The 20” rear wheel allowed me to convert the bike to the simpler 1×9 drivetrain and for my needs allowed a light weight, simple shifting system.

During the test period I carried my two daughters (ages 3 and 5) for most of the miles up and down mountains, on rail trails, some off-road and paved surfaces. I carried my daughters 20” Specialized Hotrock bike, as well as towing adult bikes. I also tested each bike with some heavy loads ranging from 100-300lbs.

Enjoying the ride

Yuba Mundo with two girls and 20″ bike onboard

Xtracycle EdgeRunner towing a 20" bike.

Xtracycle EdgeRunner towing a 20″ bike

I should preface all my opinions here with the fact I put more stress on my bikes than the average user, and my expectations are pretty high of what I expect the bike to do.

Continue reading →


14
Apr 2011
by mark

A Song about a Purple Pedal Power Berry Bicycle Blender

Smile and enjoy this catchy music video starring some students who readily trade in Halloween candy for purple pedal powered bicycle-blended berry smoothies.

If you’d like to buy your own bike-powered blender and maybe a bike to go with it, Rock the Bike has you covered.


28
Aug 2010
by don

Cargo bike brakes with kids on board

To avoid developing brake monomania, I’m promising myself that this will be my last post (at least for awhile) on the topic of cargo bike brakes.

But I noticed something interesting during my emergency braking tests yesterday: my bike had approximately the same stopping distance when carrying 180 pounds of cargo as it did with no cargo.  How could I explain the physics of that?

I think it’s because stopping performance depends on the friction generated between the tires and the pavement.  On an unloaded bike, the front tire does extra duty as the weight of the rider bears down on it – just like the front of a car dips down during hard braking.  In this scenario, the unloaded back tire can’t produce as much friction, and it’s easier to lock into a skid.

With 180 extra pounds over the rear wheel, the back tire carries more weight, and the job of slowing down the bike will be more equitably distributed between the two wheels.  The greater momentum of the extra weight just about matches the extra friction exerted by the back tire, and stopping distances remain about the same.

That was comforting to me until I realized that the bike’s center of gravity is also an important consideration.  I carried my heavy containers of water relatively low.  If I were carrying a passenger on the cargo deck, the center of gravity would be higher, and once again a lot of that weight would be loaded onto the front wheel during hard braking.  Stopping distance would probably lengthen.

Trying to stop on a downward slope would also increase the load on the front wheel.  For some combination of slope, speed, weight, center of gravity, brake type and condition, and road slickness, there will be safety issues.

Skidding

As my experience shows, things get dicey if your tires begin to skid.  A skidding rear tire isn’t too bad, except that it might indicate less-than-optimal weight distribution and diminished stopping power.  There’s also a slight loss of maneuverability; it’s easier to steer the bike if both wheels are rotating.

A skidding front tire is another story.  It’s nearly impossible to steer when your front tire is skidding.  If you try, the tire is likely to catch the pavement, at which point your handlebars will be wrenched from your hands or you will be removed from your seat.  The outcome of that situation is up to God’s mercy.

Moral of the story

The main thing that motivated me to write about this topic again is the realization that emergency stops with human cargo may be riskier than heavy loads with a lower center of gravity.  Especially if you’re carrying kids, you should practice a series of quick stops at progressively higher speeds until you find your comfort limit, and then you should stay below it.  Holding on during quick braking is good practice for your kids as well.

In addition, you should be extra, extra careful on hills or wet streets.

With kids on board, I am planning to reduce my speed and rethink my transport strategy in wet weather.


4
Apr 2010
by mark

Happy Easter