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.
Welcome Mrs. S., a biking mother of two young children who is making her first post here.
I don’t consider myself a hardcore cyclist, but after completing the 30 Days of Biking challenge and now having signed up for the Endomondo National Bike Challenge I have to admit to myself that at this point I am bicycling with at least the same frequency that I am driving my car. I feel like I should write at least something about my bike experiences.
Perhaps I should confess at this point that I love to drive. I also love my car. Having never had a car newer than 8 years old and most frequently having traded in a 16 year old vehicle, my 2010 is like a dream. It looks nice, runs great, has loads of space, and has a cd player (how could I ask for more?). It doesn’t get bad mileage either, for a mini-van. But I don’t love buying gas. I also don’t love using up fossil fuels for trips that could be just as easy (or even easier) with my bike.
Today’s article comes from a guest contributor, Shawn McCarty of Venice, Florida. Shawn is an avid cyclist who has completed bike tours through various parts of the United States and Europe. His blog (aworldspinning.com) has some nice photos of his European adventure. And his custom electric cargo bike is amazing!
If you have biking facts, photos, or a story you think our readers would enjoy, let us know. We’re interested in presenting a variety of topics and points of view as we build our biking community.
Today I got to combine a couple of my interests: cargo cycling and e-waste recycling. Almost five years ago I helped found Richmond, Indiana’s Hardware
Co-op. The Hardware Co-op is a re-use and recycling program for e-waste. The project has operated at a fairly small scale until the last year, when we’ve been attracting more donors and volunteers.
Today the project had our first event presence– a booth at the local Earth Day
Our booth consisted of a thin-client demo lab, which showed how some systems from the Windows-98 era can be made to perform at modern
speeds. It works by sending most processing to a server, like the old mainframe systems with “dumb terminals”.
Using the Bikes-at-Work trailer seen the background of the photo above, I carried over 3 desktop systems, a laptop, a 32 inch display and some other supplies. While our booth was effectively two blocks from a parking lot, I
was able to roll the trailer through the door and right up to our booth. Had I carried the equipment by car, several trips back and forth to the car would have been required to get all the equipment inside.
On Saturday morning my 4 year-old got to take her first ride on the back of our Xtracycle, using stoker bars instead of a kid seat. She loved it. That was no surprise, but I enjoyed it more than I thought as well.
I expected it to feel more loosey-goosey without the constraint of the seat, but it actually felt more stable and easier to ride. I’m guessing that’s due to three factors: First, the weight of the seat has been subtracted, and replaced with some rather light handlebars. Second, her
weight had dropped about 6 inches, lowering our center of gravity. Third, I expect her ability to lean side-to-side more may have contributed to a more natural feel. We’ll continue to use a kid-seat for her on our electric Yuba Mundo, but I expect we’ll use the stoker bars for most trips on the Xtracycle now.
I had this large dish of fresh pasta to deliver to a friend. How to carry it to a bike? It’s not a good match for a bungee treatment. The plastic lid would collapse and the aluminum pan would get distorted. It needs to stay flat so it’s not spilled. Yuba’s Bread Basket works great for this kind of load.
I had first tried a regular milk crate on a different bike, but the milk crate was too small. Other solutions to the casserole-by-bike problem could have included using an oversided milk crate as seen here:
Workcycles bakfiets, pictured above, is not particularly well-suited for the task, as the couch is much too large to fix in the box. That didn’t stop it from being fun to make it work, anyway.
The best choice for hauling couches to use a Bikes-at-Work
trailer, as seen in the photos below.
Couch weight varies greatly. The one above had lots of metal guts to allow the seats to recline, plus it was water-logged for being outside. Simple couch designs can be relatively light, with a lot of the volume being in cushions.
I try to keep my total cargo weight not much above 200, so that the handling remains safe. It will be tempting to give friends rides on couches that you might be carrying, but this most likely quickly put you over that weight limit. That’s why the experience above didn’t last much longer than it took to take the photo. On some cargo hauling trips, I have carried a bathroom scale with me to check how much things weigh, to avoid exceeding safe limits. With practice I could get a sense of how cargo weights were adding up as the trailer was being loaded.
The lowest-effort arrangement for hauling couches by bike is to pair the Bikes-at-Work
trailer with electric assist. With that arrangement, I’ve been able to haul couch and loveseat pairs
The box has small handles, and I used this area to cut a small hole with a utility knife for the battery wire to come through. This placement means water would have to be going up to get into the box, so I’m expecting no rain and very little road spray could make in it there. ( Adding drain holes to the bottom could also be a good idea, just in case. )