Review: Yuba Mundo vs Xtracycle EdgeRunner

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. Update 2022: Current models of Yuba Mundo and Xtracycle are similar. Xtracycle now calls the EdgeRunner “Stoker”.  Neither model reviewed here has electric. 

Xtracycle EdgeRunner
Xtracycle EdgeRunner
Don with a load of bikes to recycle

Yuba Mundo

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How I found myself running errands with two kids by bike

Welcome Mrs. S., a biking mother of two young children who is making her first post here.

Yuba Train Rolls Along

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.

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Shawn’s Electric Yuba Mundo

 

The author giving his touring bike a break

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.

Continue reading Shawn’s Electric Yuba Mundo

Solving the casserole-by-bike problem

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:

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Hauling couches by bike

Couches are fun to haul by bike.

couch by bike
.

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 hunting: riverside break

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.

new bikes-at-work trailer

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
without strain.

another alley couch and loveseat liberated
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Hauling a couch and loveseat to the dump.
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Electric Cargo Bike as Grocery Getter

Grocery Trip

  • Two 45 Gallon Totes by Sterlite + the Go Getter bag provide 340 liters of hauling volume
  • Up to 300 lbs of cargo reasonably hauled (in addition to the rider)
  • Bar mitts keep hands warm without bulky gloves or mittens
  • Schwable Winter Marathon carbide-studded tires for traction on ice
  • Electric system provides up to 20 mph of assist reliably for 20 continous miles (longer if you pedal more)
  • Much less effort getting up hills, even with a load.
  • Bright front and rear LED lights are powered by pedaling if battery fails
  • Super-stable double-sided kickstand
  • Recharges overnight in the garage for pennies

We’re able to haul more stuff further, faster, with less effort and greater comfort than ever before (like loads of recycled computers, or two children and camping gear). Compared to the alternative of having a second car, the system more than pays for itself.

My electric Yuba Mundo was built and sold by Cycle 9. Trailer by Bikes at Work is expandable to 8 feet for longer loads, like couches. Combining this trailer with this bike currently requires a bit of custom welding.

DIY battery box for electric Yuba Mundo

I’m trying out a new battery box for our electric Yuba Mundo.

I used the weather-resistant compact file tote from OfficeMax. Inside I’ve placed our 36V 15Ah battery from Cycle9.com, which has first been padded in Granite Gear armored pocket. The padded battery fits snugly at the bottom of the box. Perfect!

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. )

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Emundo vs bakfiets for winter kid and cargo cycling

eMundo with trailer, bar mitts on greenway

The electric Yuba Mundo works well asa kid & cargo winter bike. Recently I’ve been trying out Bar Mitts which so far seem to very effective at keeping my hands warmer while allowing me to wear thinner gloves inside of them. Compared to the bakfiets, the child needs to be dressed notably warmer. Since this photo was taken, we’ve also gotten some child ski goggles for her as well. In sum, we’re able to make cross-town trips comfortable at 15F (-9.4C) which is about as cold as it gets here in Richmond, Indiana.

The bakfiets makes it easier to keep the child warm with the greenhouse-like canopy, and the fully enclosed chain guard is definitely a plus for the bakfiets– On the eMundo the drive train got clogged with frozen slush in just about 15 minutes on a cold day– it was easy to clean out a little later with a stick, but no fun– plus the eMundo chain will need to be cleaned more after getting wet.

However, what the eMundo has going for it is a motor which allows me to get places faster and spend less time outside on very cold days. For that reason I currently prefer the eMundo to the bakfiets for most winter uses. The Mundo’s electric motor smoothed over the problem with the slush– while pedaling became “chunky” due to that issue, the motor could pull me along just fine without pedaling anyway.

Here’s same scene in a bakfiets from the previous winter:
box biking at 10F

Missed the Bus

J. missed the bus to high school today, and I was tasked with getting the girls to school and daycare on time.

With temperatures in the upper 20s, we piled on to the electric-assisted Yuba Mundo and headed out. For this trip we dressed the toddler more aggressively to block the wind generated from the bike’s speed. Her commuting clothes included a winter helmet with built-in ear covers, a balaclava, mittens over gloves, snow pants and a winter coat. She reported that nothing was cold when we arrived at daycare about 15 minutes later.
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