Out to eat on an electric Yuba Mundo

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    Tonight we rode to a restaurant on our electric cargo bike that we never made it to in over two years of owning the box bike.

    In just our first few days of owning and riding our Yuba Mundo, it is already replacing trips that we used to take to by car, despite having other bikes to ride. My wife has quickly adopted it as "her new bike".

    Two things make a big difference: first, even with the extra weight of the electrical system ( 20 pounds? ), the bike is still lighter and faster than the box bike, even while the assist is turned off. Second-- and this is the clincher-- the electric assist makes a big difference, both mentally and actually.

    Tonight my wife mostly pedaled unassisted for the exercise, and used the electric assist to soften some less pleasant spots of the trip: helping to climb some hills, and accelerating quickly to get through spots with heavy traffic.

    For myself, I found that I needed to quickly check-in on a project at church multiple times during the week, requiring a 6 mile round trip for a short visit. With electric assist heavily engaged, I was able to average nearly 18 mph for the trip while carrying a child, allowing me to travel each way in under 15 minutes. I didn't have time in my schedule for a trip that took twice as long, so I would have needed to take the car myself, or skipped the trip.

    Steven Vance, rpcoldfish, and ksnyan_1975 added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Steven Vance 59 months ago | reply

      Great story. Awesome photo. I should seriously have my Mundo this week!

    2. meligrosa 58 months ago | reply

      oh how fun!! :D

    3. fiddleswithbikes 58 months ago | reply

      Mark, I think this is getting at another issue people should think about with lightweight electric vehicles: I believe our kinetic energy goes up as a squared function of our speed, and while it's tempting and feels clever to start pushing 20 mph, I think that's exiting the range in which you're relative safe to strap on a Styrofoam helmet and ride down the street in shorts. We have to remember that unassisted cycling warrants caution; I don't think we want to start going much faster than that. At some point people are going to figure out that a lightweight bike with e-sist could do 30mph or more. I hope when/if that happens, they treat it more like a motorcycle.

    4. Dottie B. 58 months ago | reply

      Wow, amazing. Love hearing more about the e-bike. Occasionally I have to choose the car over the bike when I'm in a time crunch -- didn't realize the assist could make that much of a difference.

    5. Steven Vance 58 months ago | reply

      @letsgorideabike: I think you could easily upgrade your Oma to have an electric assist wheel just like you see in the photo above.

    6. Mark Stosberg 58 months ago | reply

      Good thoughts. I also recall that 20 mph may be a magic number for regulating e-assist: below that you are a bicycle, above that you are a scooter of some sort and additional laws apply.

      I don't feel comfortable going much faster than 20 mph with a baby on board. As a coincidental safety feature, the Mundo also "runs out of gears" just above 20 mph, so you can't easily go much faster than that easily, without installing larger chain rings.

    7. Mark Stosberg 58 months ago | reply

      Steven: that's true, but the kit also adds about 20 pounds of weight to the bike, so for it to make sense you need to be using it a good percentage of the time, or have separate assisted/unassisted bikes for different purposes.

    8. Mark Stosberg 58 months ago | reply

      letsgorideabike: I have some more stories in my Electric Mundo set. The next two are here and here.

    9. Euro Joe 58 months ago | reply

      Mark, i see you are running a rear disc brake, is that a 14mm disc hub or did you use adapters?? i see yuba have a shot of one on their flickr page but not on the website

      Thanks

    10. Mark Stosberg 58 months ago | reply

      Euro Joe, I don't know for certain if there's an adapter because Cycle 9 took care of the build for me. The brakes are "Avid BB7, 185mm rotor" and from visual inspection it appears this Disc Brake Adapter listed on the Yuba site is in use.

    11. Steven Vance 58 months ago | reply

      @Euro Joe: Mark's Yuba Mundo most likely has axle adapters. Most, if not all, disc brake-compatible hubs have only 10mm axles but the Yuba Mundo has 14mm dropouts. Yuba sells spacers.

      The disc brake set is irrelevant. It's the hub that matters.

      My Yuba Mundo will have spacers.

    12. Euro Joe 58 months ago | reply

      thanks both, i was looking on their flickr page and couldnt be sure, i think i'll do the frame only build as i have so many parts lying around i should manage it! thanks again

    13. Euro Joe 58 months ago | reply

      FYI saw one at blue city cycles, it is a 14mm disc hub

    14. Hsinya Lin 47 months ago | reply

      Hi Mark, I have used this photo for my blog post: greenimalist.com/2011/04/carrying-heavy-loads-sans-car/ Thank you for the photo!

    15. Mark Stosberg 47 months ago | reply

      Hsinya Lin, Thanks for leeting me know.

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