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Re: new commuter, buyer's regret, and wanting and xtracycle

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  • Rich W
    Minimum cost is probably an Xtracycle conversion kit installed on a older pre suspension mountain bike. Look around both on Craigslist and at local Salvation
    Message 1 of 19 , May 28, 2013
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      Minimum cost is probably an Xtracycle conversion kit installed on a older pre suspension mountain bike. Look around both on Craigslist and at local Salvation Army and other donated material stores such as St. Vincents etc. The old pre suspension MTBs are frequently available cheap. A couple of years ago I picked up a Trek 950 for about $75 at a Goodwill store. It needed new tires, a new bottom bracket and some cleanup but is an excellent older steel MTB that now has a NuVinci rear hub in it. Go for a good quality aluminum or steel frame bike for conversion.

      Rich Wood

      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Brian Livelsberger <livelsbe@...> wrote:
      >
      > re: flex -- if you have the cash, I'd go with big dummy, Edgerunner, Yuba
      > or the like to minimize flex. If cash is a problem, or if you just like the
      > add-on idea, aluminum frame is the next best bet, but still only does so
      > much, as the primary point of flex comes in the mating between the donor
      > frame and the bolt-on attachment. I have an aluminum donor frame and carry
      > my 6yo and 3yo, and I've gotten used to the flex, just toned down my riding
      > to accommodate when loaded. Is the flex annoying? Yes. Does it limit what I
      > do when loaded? Yes, mostly it makes me slower and more deliberate about
      > everything. Is it a deal breaker? Heck no! My X is the only bike I ride.
      > The other day I lashed a trailer tongue and a couple of cheapo wheels on a
      > 2x4 to a 6' length of 7" diameter log and towed it home with both kids on
      > bike. It's not a choice between bad and good, but a choice between good and
      > better.
      >
      > Brian, DCish
    • rdstreet
      I am impressed with the amount of response. Thanks to all. The more I read the more attracted I am to a Yuba Mondo. It has the highest weight rating, and costs
      Message 2 of 19 , May 28, 2013
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        I am impressed with the amount of response. Thanks to all.

        The more I read the more attracted I am to a Yuba Mondo. It has the highest weight rating, and costs much less than a Big Dummy. Odd to me that they use high tensile steel, though. Does anyone know if this is a cost or design consideration? I initially assumed it was cost, but I am now considering that it may be because high tensile steel is less flexy, which is a good thing in a cargo bike.

        I don't have the cash, but I don't have the cash for a fully outfitted FreeRadical either, so a manufactured longtail means saving a little longer, and probably avoiding another thread with "buyers regret" in the title.

        I am still considering the FreeRadical though, particularly for my wife's bike, which *I think* has conforming dropouts. Her load would be much less, as I have at least 80 pounds on her, and I will carry the heavier children.

        Rob

        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich W" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
        >
        > Minimum cost is probably an Xtracycle conversion kit installed on a older pre suspension mountain bike. Look around both on Craigslist and at local Salvation Army and other donated material stores such as St. Vincents etc. The old pre suspension MTBs are frequently available cheap. A couple of years ago I picked up a Trek 950 for about $75 at a Goodwill store. It needed new tires, a new bottom bracket and some cleanup but is an excellent older steel MTB that now has a NuVinci rear hub in it. Go for a good quality aluminum or steel frame bike for conversion.
        >
        > Rich Wood
        >
        > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Brian Livelsberger <livelsbe@> wrote:
        > >
        > > re: flex -- if you have the cash, I'd go with big dummy, Edgerunner, Yuba
        > > or the like to minimize flex. If cash is a problem, or if you just like the
        > > add-on idea, aluminum frame is the next best bet, but still only does so
        > > much, as the primary point of flex comes in the mating between the donor
        > > frame and the bolt-on attachment. I have an aluminum donor frame and carry
        > > my 6yo and 3yo, and I've gotten used to the flex, just toned down my riding
        > > to accommodate when loaded. Is the flex annoying? Yes. Does it limit what I
        > > do when loaded? Yes, mostly it makes me slower and more deliberate about
        > > everything. Is it a deal breaker? Heck no! My X is the only bike I ride.
        > > The other day I lashed a trailer tongue and a couple of cheapo wheels on a
        > > 2x4 to a 6' length of 7" diameter log and towed it home with both kids on
        > > bike. It's not a choice between bad and good, but a choice between good and
        > > better.
        > >
        > > Brian, DCish
        >
      • David Dannenberg
        ROb, There is a world of difference between the ride quality of a Big Dummy and that of a Yuba Mundo. The BD rides like a dream and feels good to ride. It is
        Message 3 of 19 , May 29, 2013
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          ROb,

          There is a world of difference between the ride quality of a Big Dummy and that of a Yuba Mundo. The BD rides like a dream and feels good to ride. It is smooth, fast, predictable. The YM (at least the one that that I rode once) rode like a pig. I mean no disrespect to the bike or its owners, but I found it incredibly clunky and uncomfortable. Yes, it is more heavy duty. It is also more heavy period.

          To be fair, another variable is the components. The YM uses what seem to be low end pedals, handle bars, tires, etc. that themselves feel clunky. They won't break, but there is no pleasure in them. I used top kit when I built my BD and I am sure that makes a bit of difference in how it feels. Still, the main difference is frame design and weight.

          Also, the YM does not use the Xtracycle open source design so the X racks and hardware etc do not fit it. That is not to say that you can't get lots of goodies for the YM, but they tend to be fewer and proprietary. I would say that the YM is a great candidate for electric drive, or if you absolutely need to exceed the 400 lb capacity of the BD, or your budget just can't support the purchase of the BD. If you actually plan to pedal it a lot, I think the BD is the far superior choice.

          David Dannenberg
        • Rich W
          Rob; Hi-Ten steel is always a cost consideration driven choice. It is NOT stiffer than chrome-moly FOR THE SAME WALL THICKNESS AND WEIGHT. In Steel the alloy
          Message 4 of 19 , May 29, 2013
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            Rob;

            Hi-Ten steel is always a cost consideration driven choice. It is NOT stiffer than chrome-moly FOR THE SAME WALL THICKNESS AND WEIGHT. In Steel the alloy has little effect on the modulus of elasticity. Effective stiffness is a matter of tube diameter and wall thickness.

            I am not sure about current production but I have read reports of some older Yuba Mundos that had some standard part/accessory mounting holes misaligned making assembly difficult.

            Rich Wood

            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "rdstreet" <rdstreet@...> wrote:
            >
            > I am impressed with the amount of response. Thanks to all.
            >
            > The more I read the more attracted I am to a Yuba Mondo. It has the highest weight rating, and costs much less than a Big Dummy. Odd to me that they use high tensile steel, though. Does anyone know if this is a cost or design consideration? I initially assumed it was cost, but I am now considering that it may be because high tensile steel is less flexy, which is a good thing in a cargo bike.
            >
            > I don't have the cash, but I don't have the cash for a fully outfitted FreeRadical either, so a manufactured longtail means saving a little longer, and probably avoiding another thread with "buyers regret" in the title.
            >
            > I am still considering the FreeRadical though, particularly for my wife's bike, which *I think* has conforming dropouts. Her load would be much less, as I have at least 80 pounds on her, and I will carry the heavier children.
            >
            > Rob
            >
          • samdodge@ymail.com
            There are a lot of variables that affect ride quality that don t pertain to frame design/materials. I ve been riding Yuba Mundos extensively for a few month
            Message 5 of 19 , May 31, 2013
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              There are a lot of variables that affect ride quality that don't pertain to frame design/materials. I've been riding Yuba Mundos extensively for a few month now after having ridden multiple Xtracycle builds and have some experience riding Big Dummys.

              There is no way I could call the Mundo a "pig." With or without weight it feels like a regular hybrid bike. The stock build is more than sufficient for most users, the complete bike weights only 5-6 pounds more than the Big Dummy, and the riding position matches a normal hybrid. I've ridden for hours with an adult passenger on the Mundo (350lbs total weight) and I haven't even been sore the next day.

              Even after spending 45 minutes with 2 Adult passengers (480 lbs total) the YM was still nimble and easy to ride. It was nimble enough that I was able to skirt around pot holes continuously without causing undue passenger unsteadiness. I even felt comfortable enough to pull an evasive maneuver to sneak past a truck in traffic (a move that freaked out my passengers not because the bike was unsteady but rather because they thought I was going to hit the truck).

              I think people believe the Big Dummy is "faster" or "better" because it's based on a mountain bike geometry that they are used to. Putting drop bars on a YM would be annoying, but on a BD it's not uncommon. If you're looking for Cargo-Light and you want a more sporty feel, the BD makes sense. If you're looking for Cargo-Everything and want the most stable platform, the YM makes sense.

              Regarding comparisons to FreeRads in terms of frame flex and handling, in my experience on 3+ different X builds is that the YM with 150lbs of cargo (not rider or bike weight) feels similar to an X build with Zero weight. The YM with Zero weight rides like my hybrid - I have no problems speeding around town at 14-17mph.

              As far as YM build quality, having seen 5 Version 4.0's come through my shop in the past 4 months, everything looks just fine. No misaligned mounts, no mistakes.

              The BD, YM, and FreeRad are all great options and they all serve different needs.

              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Dannenberg <ddannenberg@...> wrote:
              >
              > ROb,
              >
              > There is a world of difference between the ride quality of a Big Dummy and that of a Yuba Mundo. The BD rides like a dream and feels good to ride. It is smooth, fast, predictable. The YM (at least the one that that I rode once) rode like a pig. I mean no disrespect to the bike or its owners, but I found it incredibly clunky and uncomfortable. Yes, it is more heavy duty. It is also more heavy period.
              >
              > To be fair, another variable is the components. The YM uses what seem to be low end pedals, handle bars, tires, etc. that themselves feel clunky. They won't break, but there is no pleasure in them. I used top kit when I built my BD and I am sure that makes a bit of difference in how it feels. Still, the main difference is frame design and weight.
              >
              > Also, the YM does not use the Xtracycle open source design so the X racks and hardware etc do not fit it. That is not to say that you can't get lots of goodies for the YM, but they tend to be fewer and proprietary. I would say that the YM is a great candidate for electric drive, or if you absolutely need to exceed the 400 lb capacity of the BD, or your budget just can't support the purchase of the BD. If you actually plan to pedal it a lot, I think the BD is the far superior choice.
              >
              > David Dannenberg
              >
            • samdodge@ymail.com
              The Mundo s HiTen tubing is custom and fat and stiff as hell. It s not your typical 70 s crappy road bike HiTen. It s definitely a cost decision but Yuba has
              Message 6 of 19 , May 31, 2013
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                The Mundo's HiTen tubing is custom and fat and stiff as hell. It's not your typical 70's crappy road bike HiTen. It's definitely a cost decision but Yuba has always been upfront about trying to keep costs down so that they could bring an affordable option to the market where most cargo-specific bikes are $2k+ (and most are $3k+).

                I recently rode 2 adult passengers for 45 minutes through city traffic and the frame handled the 480lbs (total weight) and potholes just fine.

                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "rdstreet" <rdstreet@...> wrote:
                >
                > I am impressed with the amount of response. Thanks to all.
                >
                > The more I read the more attracted I am to a Yuba Mondo. It has the highest weight rating, and costs much less than a Big Dummy. Odd to me that they use high tensile steel, though. Does anyone know if this is a cost or design consideration? I initially assumed it was cost, but I am now considering that it may be because high tensile steel is less flexy, which is a good thing in a cargo bike.
                >
                > I don't have the cash, but I don't have the cash for a fully outfitted FreeRadical either, so a manufactured longtail means saving a little longer, and probably avoiding another thread with "buyers regret" in the title.
                >
                > I am still considering the FreeRadical though, particularly for my wife's bike, which *I think* has conforming dropouts. Her load would be much less, as I have at least 80 pounds on her, and I will carry the heavier children.
                >
                > Rob
                >
                > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich W" <astronut1001@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Minimum cost is probably an Xtracycle conversion kit installed on a older pre suspension mountain bike. Look around both on Craigslist and at local Salvation Army and other donated material stores such as St. Vincents etc. The old pre suspension MTBs are frequently available cheap. A couple of years ago I picked up a Trek 950 for about $75 at a Goodwill store. It needed new tires, a new bottom bracket and some cleanup but is an excellent older steel MTB that now has a NuVinci rear hub in it. Go for a good quality aluminum or steel frame bike for conversion.
                > >
                > > Rich Wood
                > >
                > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Brian Livelsberger <livelsbe@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > re: flex -- if you have the cash, I'd go with big dummy, Edgerunner, Yuba
                > > > or the like to minimize flex. If cash is a problem, or if you just like the
                > > > add-on idea, aluminum frame is the next best bet, but still only does so
                > > > much, as the primary point of flex comes in the mating between the donor
                > > > frame and the bolt-on attachment. I have an aluminum donor frame and carry
                > > > my 6yo and 3yo, and I've gotten used to the flex, just toned down my riding
                > > > to accommodate when loaded. Is the flex annoying? Yes. Does it limit what I
                > > > do when loaded? Yes, mostly it makes me slower and more deliberate about
                > > > everything. Is it a deal breaker? Heck no! My X is the only bike I ride.
                > > > The other day I lashed a trailer tongue and a couple of cheapo wheels on a
                > > > 2x4 to a 6' length of 7" diameter log and towed it home with both kids on
                > > > bike. It's not a choice between bad and good, but a choice between good and
                > > > better.
                > > >
                > > > Brian, DCish
                > >
                >
              • Andrew
                I certainly prefer the ride of my V4 Mundo compared to the V1 Mundo I had a few years ago. I ve had 3 x Xtracycle conversions. The last one I really liked the
                Message 7 of 19 , Jun 1, 2013
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                  I certainly prefer the ride of my V4 Mundo compared to the V1 Mundo I had a few years ago.

                  I've had 3 x Xtracycle conversions. The last one I really liked the ride of and was happy commuting and shopping with daughter (8) aboard. Adding her cousin as well increased the flexiness from acceptable to not feeling so confident. Some folk don't mind the flex. The V4 Mundo definitely feels better with 2 children (around 80lbs each) than the Xtracycle did. I could commute and do other solo rides on V4 Mundo, but I have an ordinary bike and choose that, whereas I'd be happy to do those rides on the Xtracycle.

                  The Mundo doesn't take a lot of the Xtracycle accessories, but the Freeloaders work well on it.

                  With smaller kids the Bakfiets front box bikes are great, but I wouldn't want to ride one up down our local hills.

                  I took a 500 mile round trip to try a Mundo V4 and Big Dummy back to back. If I was looking to buy now I'd definitely want to try an Edgerunner to see how the ride compares.

                  Xtracycle, Big Dummy, Mundo V4 are all great options, it's about working out the best compromise for your own use.
                • David Dannenberg
                  Well, there you have it. Different amounts of experience and different opinions on ride quality. As Samdog wrote: all options are good. The ideal way to guess
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jun 1, 2013
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                    Well, there you have it. Different amounts of experience and different opinions on ride quality. 

                    As Samdog wrote: all options are good.

                    The ideal way to guess which option is best for you (cost aside) would be to try to find one or more of each--an X, a YM, and a BD--to actually ride both loaded and unloaded. 

                    As to the weight difference: YM weighs 53lbs (according to this review http://www.upadowna.org/gear/review/yuba-mundo-cargo-bike) and the BD 39.5 lbs. (according to this Dirt Rag article: http://www.dirtragmag.com/reviews/surly-big-dummy). That is a difference of over 13 lbs--around 25%. Whether that matters for your use of a cargo bike I cannot tell you; I think it would matter to me for my uses.  And the various accouterments and junk one carries changes the weight as well, as does the build. Weights above are for factory equipped models, not custom build-ups of factory frames.

                    David Dannenberg
                  • Lawrence
                    Free Radicals are like levers: bolt one to the frame of a bike and if there is any flex to be found its the perfect tool to find it. I built my FR on a Karate
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jun 3, 2013
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                      Free Radicals are like levers: bolt one to the frame of a bike and if there is any flex to be found its the perfect tool to find it. I built my FR on a Karate Monkey frame and it performs like a champ( this weekend I delivered an 80lb sapling with my sidecar, but I really have to hand it to anyone brave enough to cart two squirming kids around!) But it all adds up to $850 worth of tubes that took me awhile to mate -no chain stay bridge, rear fork connection that just barely fit, and then there is the every-funky front anchor on the FR that I filled and drilled with JR Weld to stop the bolt from sliding around. And forget the scrap of carpet they give you to put under the alloy clamp (mine melted!), my kink was to cut leather pads from a spare Velo Orange mudflap. In retrospect I would only go the FR route again if I had a suitable base bike gathering dust to start with (like a triple-triangle GT), otherwise it would be a BD or Edge Runner frame. Or something really seductive like the Vanilla frame circulating around a year ago.

                      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Dannenberg <ddannenberg@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Well, there you have it. Different amounts of experience and different opinions on ride quality.
                      >
                      > As Samdog wrote: all options are good.
                      >
                      > The ideal way to guess which option is best for you (cost aside) would be to try to find one or more of each--an X, a YM, and a BD--to actually ride both loaded and unloaded.
                      >
                      > As to the weight difference: YM weighs 53lbs (according to this review http://www.upadowna.org/gear/review/yuba-mundo-cargo-bike) and the BD 39.5 lbs. (according to this Dirt Rag article: http://www.dirtragmag.com/reviews/surly-big-dummy). That is a difference of over 13 lbs--around 25%. Whether that matters for your use of a cargo bike I cannot tell you; I think it would matter to me for my uses. And the various accouterments and junk one carries changes the weight as well, as does the build. Weights above are for factory equipped models, not custom build-ups of factory frames.
                      >
                      > David Dannenberg
                      >
                    • brad.lide
                      Rob, I have personally owned two Yuba Mundo s both vs. 3. Wouldn t fool with 1 s and 2 s. I have personally ridden 2 girls, one weighing 150+ and one
                      Message 10 of 19 , Aug 2, 2013
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                        Rob, I have personally owned two Yuba Mundo's both vs. 3. Wouldn't fool with 1's and 2's. I have personally ridden 2 girls, one weighing 150+ and one weighing 110 with bags and gears. We rode down through main street about 9:30 at night having a great time. I have also ridden my 170 lb son with no issues. The bike is a beast. I have hookworm tires and downhill tubes on it. Not real fast, but clips along at a leisurely 10-12 mph and gets up to 18 down hills. Very stable. I take it on trails, go off road, handles great on grass with the big tires. Very low geared and am able to go up pretty steep grades (very slowly). I am 56 and am pretty heavy myself so appreciate how stable and smooth this is. I find it easier to ride than my commuter.

                        I am building an x with a Swobo Heywood and Imotion 9, although may go Nuvinci.
                        Am putting a Patterson 2 speed up front so all internal with disc. I have a great time with my grandson and by all means put a bell on the stoker bars.

                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich W" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Rob;
                        >
                        > Hi-Ten steel is always a cost consideration driven choice. It is NOT stiffer than chrome-moly FOR THE SAME WALL THICKNESS AND WEIGHT. In Steel the alloy has little effect on the modulus of elasticity. Effective stiffness is a matter of tube diameter and wall thickness.
                        >
                        > I am not sure about current production but I have read reports of some older Yuba Mundos that had some standard part/accessory mounting holes misaligned making assembly difficult.
                        >
                        > Rich Wood
                        >
                        > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "rdstreet" <rdstreet@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > I am impressed with the amount of response. Thanks to all.
                        > >
                        > > The more I read the more attracted I am to a Yuba Mondo. It has the highest weight rating, and costs much less than a Big Dummy. Odd to me that they use high tensile steel, though. Does anyone know if this is a cost or design consideration? I initially assumed it was cost, but I am now considering that it may be because high tensile steel is less flexy, which is a good thing in a cargo bike.
                        > >
                        > > I don't have the cash, but I don't have the cash for a fully outfitted FreeRadical either, so a manufactured longtail means saving a little longer, and probably avoiding another thread with "buyers regret" in the title.
                        > >
                        > > I am still considering the FreeRadical though, particularly for my wife's bike, which *I think* has conforming dropouts. Her load would be much less, as I have at least 80 pounds on her, and I will carry the heavier children.
                        > >
                        > > Rob
                        > >
                        >
                      • Brian Livelsberger
                        A pitch for nuvinci. The range is better in the 2nd gen hub, and it is smooth and solid. No regrets after 1 year of riding it on an X. I have occasion to get
                        Message 11 of 19 , Aug 3, 2013
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                          A pitch for nuvinci. The range is better in the 2nd gen hub, and it is smooth and solid. No regrets after 1 year of riding it on an X. I have occasion to get on a standard shift bike and an internal gear hub, and the biggest thing that I always miss is my nuvinci.

                          On Aug 3, 2013 1:19 AM, "brad.lide" <brad.lide@...> wrote:
                           

                          Rob, I have personally owned two Yuba Mundo's both vs. 3. Wouldn't fool with 1's and 2's. I have personally ridden 2 girls, one weighing 150+ and one weighing 110 with bags and gears. We rode down through main street about 9:30 at night having a great time. I have also ridden my 170 lb son with no issues. The bike is a beast. I have hookworm tires and downhill tubes on it. Not real fast, but clips along at a leisurely 10-12 mph and gets up to 18 down hills. Very stable. I take it on trails, go off road, handles great on grass with the big tires. Very low geared and am able to go up pretty steep grades (very slowly). I am 56 and am pretty heavy myself so appreciate how stable and smooth this is. I find it easier to ride than my commuter.

                          I am building an x with a Swobo Heywood and Imotion 9, although may go Nuvinci.
                          Am putting a Patterson 2 speed up front so all internal with disc. I have a great time with my grandson and by all means put a bell on the stoker bars.

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich W" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Rob;
                          >
                          > Hi-Ten steel is always a cost consideration driven choice. It is NOT stiffer than chrome-moly FOR THE SAME WALL THICKNESS AND WEIGHT. In Steel the alloy has little effect on the modulus of elasticity. Effective stiffness is a matter of tube diameter and wall thickness.
                          >
                          > I am not sure about current production but I have read reports of some older Yuba Mundos that had some standard part/accessory mounting holes misaligned making assembly difficult.
                          >
                          > Rich Wood
                          >
                          > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "rdstreet" <rdstreet@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > I am impressed with the amount of response. Thanks to all.
                          > >
                          > > The more I read the more attracted I am to a Yuba Mondo. It has the highest weight rating, and costs much less than a Big Dummy. Odd to me that they use high tensile steel, though. Does anyone know if this is a cost or design consideration? I initially assumed it was cost, but I am now considering that it may be because high tensile steel is less flexy, which is a good thing in a cargo bike.
                          > >
                          > > I don't have the cash, but I don't have the cash for a fully outfitted FreeRadical either, so a manufactured longtail means saving a little longer, and probably avoiding another thread with "buyers regret" in the title.
                          > >
                          > > I am still considering the FreeRadical though, particularly for my wife's bike, which *I think* has conforming dropouts. Her load would be much less, as I have at least 80 pounds on her, and I will carry the heavier children.
                          > >
                          > > Rob
                          > >
                          >

                        • David Dannenberg
                          For a lark recently I sat with my friend on the back of my Big Dummy while another friend pedaled it around. Very short ride, but did include hills. There were
                          Message 12 of 19 , Aug 3, 2013
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                            For a lark recently I sat with my friend on the back of my Big Dummy while another friend pedaled it around. Very short ride, but did include hills. There were absolutely no problems. Total weight: at least 500lbs plus bike. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that for every day--the Yuba is rated for a higher load--but for the BD ditto what Brad said about his Yuba regarding comfort and stability with and without loads and on grass, gravel, or even trails and if properly geared very very steep hills.

                            David
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