Archive for January, 2010


January 27, 2010

Heres a link to some pics of some home made Mundo accessories

I will be making my own top deck and running boards which should attach easily to the V3 Mundo as it has lots of screw attachments all over it.

I will be transporting 2 young boys age 3 and 7 and I’m a bit worried they might get a foot in the spokes so I might make side panels as well.

I would like to make all this from Bamboo but can’t seem to find anywhere in Sydney to source Bamboo plywood so it might be normal plywood.

From Yuba have 1 “go getter” bag and did order a Top Deck but shipping from the US to Aussie had delayed it for 2 months, so I’m getting 2 “softspot”  seats instead, they should be here soon.



January 25, 2010

Wheels are Spinergy Xyclone Discs, downhill mountain bike wheels. Expensive but I was convinced by the light weight and the fibre spoke technology. Also I was quoted a similar price for my local shop to build up some wheels from lesser components and with a heavier weight.

Of course all the strength iin the Spinergys is designed for 10 foot drops on the way down a mountain not 2 young boys 1 bloke and cargo on the way to school. I guess I hope the impact strength will translate into static strength.

Problems? These ones are disc only no vbrake track if i need to down grade at some point.

They have a very narrow rim (about 20mms) and are not really suited to the 2.35″ wide balloon tyres (Fat Franks) I plan to run. My concerns here are likely unfounded as after pumping up to 30psi and wheeling the bike around my garage with my 2 boys aboard they felt stable enough.

In fact I was amazed how stable the whole rig was to wheel around with all the weight, no seat, no handlebars and no pedals! It seems like the geometry of the Mundo frame just soaks up weight.

Lastly I still have the rear dropout issue referred to in previous posts. But thanks to Dave ( for the inside running I am on the trail of a 10mm thru axle conversion and might save the mundo from the welder yet!

Big is not beautiful.

January 24, 2010

So I’ve heard back from Ben at Yuba and it seems the adapter plate only works with a 185mm disc.

Ok I guess a 203mm rear disc is ridiculous overkill but I bought it on order from overseas and its not very practical to exchange it. It’s just annoying that Yuba say they have disc tabs and provide zero information to me about any size limit. Especially considering I ordered a frame not a complete bike.

I suppose its to do with the angle the tabs are mounted at. I wonder if not conforming to the IS standard had any negative effect on the brake performance?

Rant over.

**** EDIT UPDATE: it seems it is not that uncommon for forks and frames to have trouble with larger disk sizes.  So apologies to Yuba. – thanks Dave for the research on this*****

For my US readers this looks a bargain! But they don’t come in orange and they won’t ship to Australia.


January 22, 2010

I received a reply from Yuba (below) regarding the problem with my rear disc brake. It seems a weird idea that only one brand of brake has a problem with these mounts but Ok I guess thats life building bikes. It does make the idea of IS or international standard mounting point a bit obsolete.

“Hello Mark,

For the BB7 there’s a need for a special caliper adapter, something that helps position the caliper in the proper position. We have some here at the warehouse shop we would be happy to send you a pair ($30).
We are still looking for a courier to Australia, however we could try to send the Utility Deck with the caliper adapters.

I will let you know later today.


**** EDIT UPDATE: it seems it is not that uncommon for forks and frames to have trouble with larger disk sizes.  So apologies to Yuba. – thanks Dave for the research on this*****

BTW the utility deck has been on the way for 2 months so I’m thinking of just making my own.


January 21, 2010

grip of the quick release nut does not look great

Ok so the mundo frame. I could have got the whole bike, in all its version 3 glory, and many a night, chasing esoteric bike parts on the net, I wished I had! But where’s the fun in that. Also I was pretty sure I would upgrade all the bits on the bike so why pay for them?

My frame is orange and is a great colour (I’ve got a bit of an orange thing going at the moment..). It feels heavy to pickup all on it own and I’m glad I’ve got the new lighter design. The paint work looks Ok and the design with the oval frames looks different to other bikes and needs to be seen to be appreciated. I’ve not found a photo on the web that really shows how it looks in the flesh especially from the riders point of view.

The paint colour is good but it has been applied very thickly and sometimes bits like brazeons and threads are full of paint, making attaching things like deraillers and mudguards (fenders) annoyingly difficult. As mentioned elsewhere on the web, the welds look pretty chunky and have a few holes here and there. Ok for the price I guess (not counting the fairly stiff shipping fee to Australia!)

The rear dropouts. Well this is covered pretty well elsewhere on the web but briefly they are 14mm instead of a more common 10mm to allow a stronger axle to be fitted. I have fitted a 10 mm downhill wheel set with the Yuba 14mm adaptors and its seems Ok except I am nervous that there is not enough diameter in the quick release mechanism to bite into the side of the dropouts and hold it securely.

SO… I think I’m going to have the dropouts modified to suit 10mm. Might save a few headaches in the future if I need to change wheels. I can’t imagine this would be too expensive but it will be a drama to find somewhere to do it and get time to take it there and get it done.

In any case I think I’m going to need to find someone to do some welding, anyway as I’m now having a problem with the rear disc brake mount tabs. I have some dinner plate sized Avid BB7 203mm discs to fit (yes I think I did just get them because they look better…) and they are a great fit on the front fork. However, the back disc mount tab seems to be mounted too far back to allow the disc to slot into the caliper. Before you ask, yes I have got the correct adaptor and I have tired every combination I could think of.

The thing is if I mount the caliper further forward using only the front mount hole it lines up perfectly; so it seems someone at the factory had his/her welding jig upside down or something….annoying. But I guess one of the risks in getting lower production volume less mainstream frame.

**** EDIT UPDATE: it seems it is not that uncommon for forks and frames to have trouble with larger disk sizes.  So apologies to Yuba. – thanks Dave for the research on this*****

I’ve written to Yuba about this today and await a reply.

Other things to consider? Well it uses a threaded headset and stem which are not that easy to source and an oversized seatpost (man that seat post sizing thing is a minefield!). My seat post tube seemed to have had a knock or something and the seat post raises and lowers a bit unevenly. In the end I took it to my local bike shop (thanks Nick at Cheeky Transport in Newtown!) to have the headset stem and seat post fitted just to save the hassle of ordering the wrong size over the net.

So I guess tonight, with these little issues slowing down my build I am a little dark on the mundo but never fear it will be finished.

In fact I did have a deadline of next week when my boys start school to have the bike up running but I guess I’m back in my old car for a few more weeks.


January 20, 2010

I ordered the elation kit a few weeks before I had the mundo frame
delivered. My worry then was that the oval shaped frame was too wide for the elation mount. At least is was according to my measurements and the elation website. However this week I finally received the elation kit and it just and I mean just seems to fit!

might need to add a link or 2 to the chain link straps so the bolts reach the nylock in the nuts

More will follow but a test fit was pretty encouraging.

Next dealing with some of the mundos frame issues!

Why do I want a cargo bike?

January 20, 2010

Early 2009 I purchased a greenewheels electric bike through ebay which I used 3 days a week all year for dropping my 6yo at school (2kms) and proceeding to work (about another 3-7Kms one way).

I bought this bike after a lot of research and it worked well for many months. It probably needs a blog of its own however suffice to say it had a few problems which I have dealt with along the way and it is still working fine but is in need of a new battery.

About 3 months ago I was riding home with my 6 yo son in his usual position, perched on the cross bar in from of me with his feet up on the fork tops. I had thought about the safety aspect of this long and hard comparing it to other options like a trailgator bike but decided this was as safe, comfortable and practical as any other option. Anyway the local police didn’t agree and pulled me over to suggest this was not safe. Not big deal, no heavy handedness, no fines, just their opinion.

The law on passengers on bikes in NSW is that you can only have the number of passengers the bike is designed to take. This looks pretty open to interpretation if you ask me.  All the same this situation along with the need to take 2 boys with my 3 yo starting preschool this year  leads me to the Cargo bike and the Mundo!

With a cargo bike like a Mundo I could carry 2 kids plus luggage.  Also, I am hooked on the electric bike concept and wearing ordinary clothes while riding and so I have purchased an Elation motor kit to boost me along hopefully just like my other electric bike. All be it limited to the 200Watt Australian power limit.

Why build it myself? Cost? Maybee.  More likely my often painful self-sufficient streak and the enjoyment I get from building things. You may find a ready to buy option would suit you better. However such is the state of the Ebike market that an ability to repair and maintain your bike yourself is almost essential.

Mundo Yuba Cargo Bike?

January 20, 2010

I’m right in the middle of building up a cargo bike using a Mundo Yuba frameset. I intend to blog some details and pics…but the road to hell is paved with such intentions too.

Mainly I want to pick the brains of the world to help me with problems and maybe allow others to learn from my mistakes. Of which there are a few at the moment.

So if you have helpful comments or questions comment away. Anti bike diatribes, negative input? Use the back button!