In a word: impressive. This thing is a tank.
It seemed heavier than the Xtracycle, but extremely rigid. I test rode the V 3.0 which was set up as a 21 speed. It was also set up with very large bags (the go-getters).
It also came with a very beefy single leg kickstand, that I would immediately upgrade to an available double leg version.
Since it has the advantage of having the rack integrated with the frame, I expected it to be rigid, but I was still surprised at the lack of flex. I could easily coast down the street standing on either the rear rack, or on one of the sideloaders, and even if I bobbed up and down, I couldn’t detect frame flex that was distinguishable from the response of the tires (which were admittedly underinflated). No issues with handling during these stunts either.
Disadvantages with respect to the Xtracycle:
- it is heavy. I don’t think that I could carry this one up and down stairs (I can do this with my Xtracycle, especially since there is a tube that is designed as a good handle at the balance point).
- availability of accessories are limited, although they seem to be catching up quickly.
- the rear rack is a little higher from the sideloaders than the Xtracycle, which would make it harder for my kids to put their feet down.
- lack of modularity
- lack of a track record and/or established user base?
- Rigidity. To be fair, I haven’t tested a Big Dummy either, but the fact that the rack and sideloaders are steel on the Yuba Mundo also makes a difference.
- The width of the sideloaders is less than on the Xtracycle. One of my pet peeves about the Xtracycle is that with the wideloaders, my bike BARELY fits a standard door.
- It is cheaper for comparable components. I realize that the Radish is also pretty cheap, but my bike was built up with a Free Radical, which is the most expensive way to go in the end.
In summary: if I was in the market for a true cargo bike, I’d be hard pressed not to get the Yuba Mundo. It would take some fiddling to make it as good a kid carrier as my setup. However, I was very impressed with the rigidity of this thing. I think that this bike is going to kill the market for more expensive longtails.
Also, I’ve found that the modularity of the Xtracycle system is a bit of an illusion. Firstly, you have to be careful to avoid anodic corrosion between the aluminum rack and the steel frame. After a couple of Toronto winters, it is not so easy for me to take the rear rack off the frame. Also, if you hit an obstacle with the wide loaders, they get bent back, and this makes it almost impossible to remove them. I leave the wideloaders on full time, especially since they serve as the mounting points for the centrestand.
It is interesting that Kona and Gary Fisher also have bikes in this space, but in terms of price and carrying capacity, I would say the Yuba Mundo can’t be beat at this point in time. It’ll be interesting to see how this bike category evolves. In particular, the Fisher Transport is going to be offered with an electric assist option.
Another comparison between the Yuba Mundo and the Xtracycle, from March 2010
A comparison between the Yuba Mundo and the Surly Big Dummy, also from March 2010