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Thoughts on my Yuba Mundo V4.3 Build

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I will start by saying that the Yuba Mundo version 4.3 came directly off the Yuba Bicycle van during the Powered Up Tour 2015’s stop in San Antonio. I’m not what you call a bicycle mechanic but I’ve rebuild a few cruisers/rat rod bicycles and I did help restore my V1 Mundo with the help of Hank from the Helotes Bicycle Shop. That restoration included replacing the head set which he let me do and just supervised. I’ve trued a few wheels in my day but I’m not a craftsmen wheel builder. I’d say that I’m an intermediate to beginner bicycle mechanic.

A few days after getting the Yuba Mundo V4.3 I was ready to unpack the bicycle and found a few surprises some good, some bad and some I am  indifferent about.

The start of the build.

The Good: 

I didn’t really have a choice on the Yuba Mundo specifics and options when it was offered to me.  I was wanting to upgrade for a while since my first born arrived and my meeting with Steve from Yuba lead to the purchase of a V4.3 and the opportunity to save on shipping. So the good point is that I was able to get a bike without dealing with Fed-Ex, UPS or other shipping hassles.

The bike Steve had was a black painted frame which I thought I wouldn’t like because I’ve always leaned a bit toward the blue or the orange framed bicycle, but the black has really grown on me.The bicycle also came with a bottle of touch up paint which matched perfectly. The bamboo deck on the V4.3 looks really good with the black matte finish.

Also upon unpacking I noticed the bike I got was the  “LUX” version which comes with disc breaks and a dynamo hub that powers a headlamp and break light.  This will be nice on night rides or commuting.

There is an obvious difference in weight compared to the version 1 Yuba Mundo that I already own. With this current production version I can put it on my Park Tool repair stand without any issue. The Version 1 would weigh too much to do this.

This newest Mundo is updated compared to my V1. It has a quick release front wheel and seat clamp. It also comes standard with the double kickstand which is a great stand for this bike so much that I welded one to my V1. This new frame will accept the Yepp Maxi child seat with an adapter from Yuba. Also, it has the ability to have the bread basket installed as well. I’m looking forward to getting both the child seat and the bread basket when finances allow.

Marc at Yuba Bicycles headquarters was very helpful during the build and he emailed me photos to help me visualize what needed to be done. He wrote step by step directions on wiring of the lights. He even included the electronic background to the system on the bike after reading that I was a  ham radio operator on my blog. This was all very thoughtful and shows personal care.

Wheel skirts are now integrated into the rear fender and come standard from Yuba. This is needed to prevent little ones from getting their feet caught in the rear wheel.

The Indifferent: 

As stated before, Steve offered the bike he had and he thought it was a V-Break version V4.3. I did notice that the box said disc breaks but Steve said that it was the correct one because it had a shipping label to the Arizona dealer. Apparently, according the Steve, this Yuba Mundo was shipped to a dealer but didn’t match what they ordered of the customer backed out or something.That didn’t matter to me because It was never ridden and not put together.

Well, I took Steve at his word that it was just mislabeled but a few days later when I got home and started to unpack it I realized that the sticker was correct. I had a disc break version of the bicycle. I remembered a conversation with Brent and Stacy of the blog A Simple Six about their frustration with the disc breaks while visiting with them a few summers back.  So on one hand I was ok with having disc breaks because it’s almost become the industry standard but on the other I know the frustration that Brent and Stacy had on theirs.

I also googled the Tektro breaks that come standard on the Mundo and almost all the threads on forums and reviews stated that this model of breaks is very fussy and needs adjustments frequently. Almost all sites I read recommended the Avid BB7’s over these Tektros.

The Bad: 

Keep in mind that the history of this Mundo is that is was a mis-shipped item to a dealer in Arizona, but one of the first things that I noticed was the back corner of the Bamboo deck was cracked and damaged. This isn’t a bid deal because they only cost $40 from Yuba but the bad thing is that the shipping is High +$20 for it. I will copy the pattern using Home Depot plywood for a faction of the cost, but it’s an added cost none the less.

Another quality control issue I had with the bike is that one of the front spokes’ nipple was cracked and the spoke was loose. I’m hoping that it’s just the small nipple part and not an issue with the rims. Either way this added to the build time and cost because it will need to be fixed. The wheel will need to be trued once it’s replaced. So now I’ve got to take the bike in to get it repaired since I don’t own a truing stand.

The Mundo build sheet is very limited in specifics and even the detailed manual doesn’t offer specific component info. In fact the build sheet is basically a cartoon with pictures of each step. One of the most frustrating parts of the build was trying to get the front beak caliper on without interfering with the support skewer of the front fender. I eventually got it all worked out after Marc sent me photos from Yuba HQ but it would have been nice to have more details in the build sheet. (which focused on the v-break version).

Did I mention the disc breaks. This is my first experience with disc breaks on a bicycle and after having to look up the spec sheet for the Tektro disc breaks on my own (because Yuba didn’t provide it). I tried adjusting them so they would not rub but I was unsuccessful after about 2 hours of fussing with it. Granted this is my first disc braked bike and I’m not an expert. But this lead to frustration and the realization that perhaps I need to take by bike in to get it serviced by someone with more experience. Which again will add to the cost.

I worry now about how frequently these Tektro breaks will need to be adjusted given all the reviews that I’ve read about the Tektro breaks being in need of constant adjusting. I almost wanted to order a set of Avid BB7’s off amazon.com but I thought I’ll give the Tektros a run for a while and see how they are. I’m hoping I will be surprised and all the things read about and heard from fellow cargo cyclists about the breaks will be false.

The mounting posts for v-breaks are included but have a cover or are painted over but their outside of the posts where really sharp and unfinished… it was like a flat disc on the top of the post. It was so sharp that I had to trim it with diagonal cutters to make sure it wouldn’t cut anyone.

As mentioned before I unpacked this bike to find a Lux Model instead of a V-Break model. So this meant that I needed to let Steve know and pay the difference, because I’m an honest person. Yet again another added costs.

Almost Done!

Closing

I would like to close by pointing out that even though the “bad” section was lengthier than the rest much of it is due to my limited skills as a bicycle mechanic and I must say that both Steve and Marc at Yuba where helpful with many of the issues. At the time that I’m writing this I have not rode my Yuba Mundo V4.3 yet because it’s at REI San Antonio and having the breaks adjusted and also having the front wheel fixed. I plan on doing a comparison between the V1 and the V4.3 in the near future on the site. I will say off the top of my head their is an obvious advantage toward the V4.3 frame at the moment because been engineered to be lighter and so parking it, loading it up on a bike rack and putting in it the Park Tool bicycle repair stand is much easier than my V1 Mundo.

Long tail cargo cyclists joke that the hardest part of owning a long tail is that it’s so dang hard to park but this one is much easier than it’s 1st generation older brother because it’s lighter!

I can’t wait to see how she rides!

– Matthew

(Written on  2/7/15… Edited 2/11/15)

Disclaimer: I got a discount on the Yuba Mundo Lux from Yuba, however I was not otherwise compensated for writing this post. The opinions above are my own and I will tell it like it is, the good the bad and the ugly.


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