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Thursday 9 December 2010

Pepsi Run

In my lunch hour I decided to go to Lidl in Longsight to buy some cheap special-offer Pepsi Max to stockpile. Naturally I took the Yuba. At the end of Plymouth Grove there is a (pathetic) cycle lane at the traffic lights. I was sadly unsurprised to see that it was blocked by queuing traffic. I was more surprised to see that two of those vehicles in the mandatory cycle lane were an ambulance and a Police van. At the next set of lights, the Police van jumped the red just as it changed. It is no wonder that the behaviour of other motorists is so very very poor when those who are supposed to enforce the law flout it so openly.

The rest of the ride was fairly pleasant, even with 64 litres of Pepsi Max on the back of the Yuba. For you imperial dinosaurs out there, that would weigh over 10 stone (143 lbs for those of you in the USA).


  1. Mightily impressive.

    I'm not showing this Wendy - she may get ideas about (a lot of) Baileys.

  2. I appreciate the load is low down but how does this much additional weight affect handling, particularly as it is all over the back wheel?

    The bike looks very interesting though. Would do more shopping trips on mine except I hate shopping and the wifey does the majority using the car.

  3. @Darrell

    The weight has a fairly minimal effect on handling. The minimum speed at which the bike becomes easy to balance increases with the load, but even with this much weight it is still fairly low. As for the load being on the back wheel, this is counteracted by the rider position, on an unloaded Yuba the rider's weight is distributed more evenly between the front and rear wheels. When a load is added, it restores the usual distribution of weight to that of a normal bike, so loads have a minimal effect on handling. The lack of weight at the rear end when unloaded doesn't produce the expected "liveliness" because the wheelbase and frame angles increase the turning radius just enough to compensate most of the time (although I have managed to wheel-spin it when setting off on wet leaves). The weight distribution of an unloaded Yuba is probably what makes it good in snow/ice.

    The advantage of doing the shopping is that you get to choose everything. As for the Yuba, having one has its advantages. Carrying a passenger or another bike is pretty easy for example.

  4. Good to know it is still rideable with this much load. Bet you get some funny looks from pedestrians and vehicle drivers alike when you are fully laden.

    As it primarily for shopping, what swung it for the Yuba over a cargo bike or even trike?

  5. @Darrell

    There were two main factors which decided led to me choosing the Yuba Mundo; price and practicality.

    The Yuba Mundo is the second cheapest of the mass-produced cargo bikes. The Kona Ute can be had for less but it has an aluminium frame, 700C wheels, no side-rails and a lower load rating. The Surly Big Dummy has a lower but still impressive load rating, better stock components and the frame is cromo steel. It is however over twice as much as the Yuba Mundo and requires the Xtracycle Freeradical kit and Wide Loaders to be purchased separately to bring it up to the same capacity as the Yuba Mundo.

    The Madsen bucket bike (or rack version) is an impressive bike, but the rack version offers few advantages over the Mundo for its increased expense. The bucket version is a great idea, it has obvious advantages, but the bucket means parking is more difficult and may require forward planning. Other bikes such as the Bakfiets or a trike have their advantages and I may one day purchase one, but in the UK I would require a garage (or at least a ground-floor flat) to store it. For my current situation I chose the Yuba Mundo because it was the best combination of practicality and price for me. I would recommend the Bakfiets to anyone with a garage and especially anyone who want to carry their kids.

  6. Uhhm, kind of what I thought.

    I should be moving to a house with a garage (from a upper storey flat) next year. I'd be keen to get a cargo bike for taking my little girl about the place as well as larger shopping trips. Hopefully my wife will cycle with me, I'll let her shop while I read the paper and then I'll transport it all back.

    Now, do you think the extra stability of a Bakfiets trike is worth the extra weight and storage issues over a two wheeled option?

  7. @Darrell

    From what I have heard, those who choose the Bakfiets trike tend to use it less than those who use the two-wheeler. The advantages of it are outweighed by the drawbacks in efficiency and manoeuvring once the novelty wears off. Plus it will mean fewer standard bike parts are usable when it is time for maintenance, and the range of accessories and upgrades available for the bike version is greater. I'd definitely go for the two-wheeler

  8. @Darrell

    Shop. There's nothing more smugly satisfying than getting the best parking space outside the supermarket. An X5 can fit in a Disabled spot or a Parent & Child parking spot. To them though, a Sheffield stand is of no use whatsover. It's evidence that Karma works...

    ...and as Mr C says, you get to choose...

    ...and I've saved a fortune (but that could be down to a thirst for a bargain!)

  9. @ian

    It is always nice when the stands are located near the entrance. Sometimes they are bloody miles away though. If you are going to a shop like B&Q they don't seem to mind me taking the Yuba in, I imagine that it is even better with a Bakfiets as it becomes a trolley and you cane be sure that whatever you buy will be transportable.


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