Can this ‘SUV of bikes’ replace your car? You might be surprised

professionals and cons Professionals Large hauling capability Excellent design Easy shifting Cons Finicky entering into a motorcycle rack extra shopping for decisions The most effective gear marries design and performance right into a seamless bundle, and the exemplars of any class do that in an iconic method. It has to look good, make you look … The post Can this ‘SUV of bikes’ replace your car? You might be surprised appeared first on Ferdja.

May 18, 2023 - 14:00
Can this ‘SUV of bikes’ replace your car? You might be surprised


professionals and cons

  • Large hauling capability
  • Excellent design
  • Easy shifting
  • Finicky entering into a motorcycle rack

extra shopping for decisions

The most effective gear marries design and performance right into a seamless bundle, and the exemplars of any class do that in an iconic method. It has to look good, make you look good, and do a number of work to fulfill the challenges of every day life. This is applicable equally to private computer systems, tennis racquets, and toaster ovens.

On the threat of falling into romantic opining, nice gear can be more and more laborious to seek out. What number of issues have you ever bought just lately that you just count on to be supplying you with good service in a decade? Twenty years?

That top-handed preface is resulting in an equally high-handed thesis: I discovered a cargo bike that solves a serious conveyance drawback for me and my household. It’s from an OG model, technically refined, utterly rugged, and absurdly tailor-made to our explicit use case. It’s also designed and constructed with an old-school ethos: Make great things that can work effectively for a very long time. 

Importantly, this overview shall be from the attitude of that use case, from my explicit physique sort and driving model, and you must pay shut consideration to these particulars, which I elucidate under and which can differ in necessary methods from yours. This bike is ideal … for me. And whereas it’s a Swiss Military knife of a machine, it most undoubtedly just isn’t one-size-fits all.

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Learn on to seek out out why, and if you happen to’re contemplating a cargo bike, this overview ought to allow you to dial in on the related concerns, alternatives, and pitfalls. 


Rider Top Min/max 5’0″/6’6″
Bike Size 212cm
Bike Weight 67,9lbs
Body Mundo V6 Electrical Cr-Mo Through Axle w/Disc Tab
Brake Magura MT32 Hydraulic or RideRever Assault-XU Hydraulic
Motor System N/A
Rear Derailleur Shimano RD-M2000 Altus 9-Velocity or S-Journey RD-M310 9-Velocity
Cassette Shimano 11-36T 9-Velocity or S-Journey 9-Velocity Nickle 11-32T CS-M300
Rims WTB SX23 (36H Entrance | 36H Rear)
Tires Schwalbe Massive Ben Plus 26″ x 2.15″
Max G.V.W.R. 550lbs

Yuba dock rider

Setting off from the dock to the daycare!

Greg Nichols / ZDNET

Rider profile

My household lives open air. I imply that just about actually … we name a giant outdated sailboat residence and stay dockside in a marina in Southern California.

Residing on a ship is nice, however dwelling on a ship with two children requires some planning. Children want to maneuver, and regardless that our WWII-era sailboat is a beast designed to hold troops, cargo, and tons of fish, the truth is we have to get off the boat early and sometimes to maintain our sanity. Which means frequent outings to parks, the seaside, farmer’s markets, college, and each number of sports activities observe, errand, and appointment conceivable.

In Los Angeles, meaning a number of time in automobiles. Vehicles are handy however when driving in them turns into a way of life one thing feels off. That is the place a motorcycle with a helpful cargo capability is available in. Is it doable to dump a good portion of your car-bound life to sustainable, lifestyle-boosting bike commuting?

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Given the above constraints (two kiddos, gear, city setting) the bike must be rugged, have a large cargo capability, and be flexibly set as much as accommodate issues as various as groceries, wiggly kids, and random boat components. It must have good visibility and ideally some sort of cool issue (in any case, Los Angeles).

Add to the combination my private rider profile. I am 6’4″, so I want a giant bike. I take pleasure in a highway bike stance over a extra vertically aligned seaside cruiser or informal commuter. Having ridden bikes for years, I am additionally extra tolerant of a heavy bike in the case of maneuverability in tight areas.

Yuba Mundo Lux

The proper seaside cruiser, it doubles as an SUV for around-town errands or out-of-city adventures.

Greg Nichols / ZDNET

The construct

The Yuba Mundo Lux is billed because the SUV of bikes, and with good motive. It is sturdy (but has a classy look), performs equally effectively on the road or on a fireplace highway, and may carry gobs of drugs and goofball children.

Yuba is among the authentic cargo bike firms and it has perfected the artwork of the full-sized cargo bike within the Mundo Lux, which it has been producing in numerous variations for over a decade. The bike I examined was the sixth model, a longtail that may carry as much as 550 kilos and three children.

It is instantly obvious that this bike is engineered to final. It has a chromoly body (brief for chromium-molybdenum) that makes it tremendous robust and immune to corrosion, which is very necessary within the marine setting the place we stay. 

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The bike is heavy at 57.9 kilos inventory. The body is undeniably beefy and so are the 26″ wheels, which make this a really tall experience. Countering the load are hydraulic disc breaks and thru-axles, in addition to a spring-dampened steering system for ease of management.

Cargo capability on this factor is basically wild — I genuinely did not know a motorcycle might carry this a lot stuff. With 160 liters of rear cargo capability and a beneficiant non-obligatory entrance basket, the bike can haul per week’s value of groceries simply. By including extra equipment, such because the Go-Getter bag, you may enhance the carrying capability by as a lot as 80 liters.

A motorbike that at any given time could or might not be carrying tons of of kilos of drugs wants one thing extra stable than a kickstand. Motorcyclists will acknowledge the swing-arm-style kickstand, which easily levers the bike backward, even with a heavy load, lifting one wheel off the bottom to supply a tripod assist that feels steady sufficient to load and unload children.

My bike additionally got here with a pedal-powered entrance and rear gentle, that are good touches, magnificently comfy grips and saddle, a bell, and fenders which are snazzy and useful for warding off highway spray.


The philosophy behind cargo bikes is that they seem to be a platform, a basis, the proper clean canvas on which to construct your final biking expertise. 

As such, the add-ons are a giant deal. Yuba is high of the heap in the case of add-on choices, and getting the recipe proper is the key sauce to creating your bike a completely excellent marriage of design, efficiency, and performance for you. 

My add-ons replicate my major cargo: groceries and children. This is what I am rocking:

Monkey Bars: Lik guard rails for kiddos, the monkey bars create a framework across the cargo tail to supply hand holds and to maintain the children in place. Additionally they present a helpful scaffolding for retaining luggage of groceries on the tail, though warning is required (and so are some bungees) in any other case the floppy luggage are liable to slide by way of the hole under the bars.

Bamboo Boards: These are the first foot platforms for long-limbed passengers. My seven-year-old is sort of tall sufficient to succeed in them.

Comfortable Spot: It is a good seat that goes over the cargo tail. It is comfortable for the tushy of any passengers.

Leg up: These are foot pegs for the tiny passenger that sits ahead most on the cargo tail (in my case a four-year-old).

Go Getter Bag: That is an easy-on, easy-off facet bag that takes benefit of the Mundo Lux’s top to extend storage considerably. The best half is how simply it clips and unclips from the bike, for taking it with you when leaving the bike unattended.

Bread Basket: A entrance basket that is rated for 50 kilos and two circumstances of beer. Good!

The above system is ideal for metropolis journey. Yuba has different add-ons that make its numerous bikes appropriate for all the pieces from tenting to hauling full-sized kegs (no, actually!). You may try the full add-ons line here


The Yuba Mundo Lux replaces my outdated highway bike and trailer arrange. The kiddos are outgrowing the trailer, and I simply really feel safer with little ones sharing the bike with me.

Greg Nichols / ZDNET

Electrical help vs. guide transmission

The inventory Mundo Lux is pedal energy solely, however Yuba makes an e-bike model referred to as the EP8. With the brackets already put in, the Mundo Lux can simply be transformed to an e-bike or e-assist utilizing quite a lot of aftermarket setups, nonetheless doing so will void the guarantee.

It is easy to see why some people go for an electrical route, nonetheless. The bike’s top and weight conspire to make it difficult to get going from a lifeless cease, particularly when carrying tiny passengers. The middle of gravity is excessive, and whereas the bike is easy to maintain up with two toes planted firmly on the bottom, the transition from a full cease to a cushty pedal could be nerve-wracking with two children on again. If you do not get a superb push with that first pedal, or in case your foot slips off, you are caught attempting to awkwardly straighten and catch your bike earlier than your treasured cargo crashes to the highway.

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Despite the above, nonetheless, I am holding off on electrical help. Whereas I get the practicality, the Mundo Lux feels like a motorcycle ought to really feel. It is a piece of kit that is meant for use laborious and put away moist, that I do not thoughts wrenching on myself, and that I really feel competent sufficient to repair ought to one thing break (nothing has but, by the best way, despite months of laborious use). 

If you add a motor and a battery to the equation, issues get extra sophisticated. It is a new system to take care of and fuss over, and it is one I am not notably accustomed to. There’s additionally a way of self-reliance that is simple to eye-roll at however makes me benefit from the bike that rather more. I have not taken my bike on any lengthy multi-day journeys but, however I like the concept that I can do this with the system I’ve now, with out fear about charging gear or eradicating it for particular use circumstances. That will sound romantic, but it surely makes me really feel linked to the bike, and that makes me wish to use it much more.


The Go-Getter bag is humongous and takes two seconds to connect or detach from the bike. It is a very versatile add-on.

Greg Nichols / ZDNet

Adjusting to the brand new experience

My typical commute has me navigating busy Los Angeles site visitors to and from college drop off. Using in site visitors with two kiddos on the again takes some getting used to. I am transitioning from pulling a motorcycle trailer and it took me a couple of rides to begin to really feel comfy with the brand new weight dynamics.

Contemplate this: The wheels of the Yuba Mundo Lux are a stable 26″. Add the tail top and cushion and you have got a fairly excessive middle of gravity to your cargo. This has a pair totally different results. First, it means you may’t throw the bike facet to facet, which I am accustomed to doing throughout take off when standing as much as pedal. The primary time I attempted that with the brand new configuration I felt on the verge of dropping management of the bike. 

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When coming to a cease, I additionally really feel the necessity to drop a foot extra rapidly and solidly than earlier than, understanding that if there’s any lean to the bike at relaxation I am going to have to maintain that weight up. On my regular highway bike I just like the seat publish adjusted excessive sufficient to offer me close to full extension of my legs throughout pedaling. This implies I’ve to return effectively off the seat to place my foot on the highway. At first I attempted the same seat top on the Mundo Lux. The pedaling felt nice, however coming to a cease with children on the again was a distinct story. I felt like I had an excessive amount of distance to make up between my seated posture and my resting stance. With my children on the road, I opted to decrease the seat a superb 3-5 inches, which took slightly getting used to whereas driving however makes me far more comfy in begin/cease conditions.

Nonetheless, together with the difficult dynamics comes a number of confidence. Towing a trailer in heavy site visitors, even one with an absurdly tall brightly coloured flag, feels fairly sketchy. However on the Mundo Lux I do know my children are proper according to me, which suggests I could make security and maneuvering choices far more naturally.

After a couple of week experimenting with and dialing within the bike, the match, and my driving model, the entire thing feels completely pure. The kiddos love their perch behind dad. Additionally they love the passenger bell on the Monkey Bars, which they enjoyment of ringing each time they need my consideration. 


The cargo rack is not only for children! With a 550 pound capability the bike has some severe hauling functionality.


Every day driving experiences 

The unimaginable factor concerning the Mundo Lux, which has supplanted my truck for lots of day-to-day Los Angeles driving, is its versatility. I’ve hauled groceries and lumber on the identical day. I’ve ferried kiddos to high school earlier than going to conferences or peeling off on city adventures. 

In a number of methods the bike has opened up a a brand new facet of Los Angeles to me. I have been taking my kiddos to high school on a motorcycle for a very long time, however towing a trailer has often required a fast return residence — these issues are simply too troublesome to cope with on day-long outings. 

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With the Yuba I can take the children to high school after which deal with errands or go for a hike. The utility is constructed into the rock stable body and is expansible with kick butt peripherals and add-ons. The Go Getter Bag is often on my shoulder and doubles as my procuring bag and briefcase after I’m out and about. I’ve bought bungees and tie downs everywhere in the bike, and the experience is burly sufficient that I do not thoughts filling up propane tanks or the dinghy gasoline can and strapping them to the tail. 

Oh yeah, and it is a head turner. Utility is the goal right here, but it surely’s fairly cool to get the “good bike” nod from fellow commuters, together with the hardcore fixie crowd. I do my greatest to offer a cool nod again. My children often blow it for me. 

Backside line 

There are a number of cargo bike choices on the market. In case you’re a tall rider and are in search of a motorcycle that’ll final effectively previous your children’ childhood, I’ve seen no higher possibility than the Yuba Mundo Lux. In case you’re shorter or are in search of one thing extra compact and light-weight, you may wish to try Yuba’s Kombi or Spicy Curry fashions. The model has one thing for each rider sort and elegance, and it makes the most effective gear within the sport. In case you do not wish to take my phrase for it, ask your native bike store professional. That is how I ended up with a Yuba.

Options to think about 

A pocketbook-friendly compact cargo bike from Yuba.

Prices as a lot as a bike, but it surely’s a beast wherever your adventures take you.

A trendy entrance loader that makes for a sensible various to a automotive in suburban and concrete settings.

The post Can this ‘SUV of bikes’ replace your car? You might be surprised appeared first on Ferdja.