Bulletin: We now have the Bionx-powered elBoda in stock! It’s normally $2697, but it arrived with a few scratches, so it’s marked down by $150 to $2547. We’ve touched up the paint. Also, A front disc brake upgrade (around $200 for excellent Avid BB7) is highly recommended for any e-assist bike.
With the Mundo longtail, Yuba Bicycles set the standard for cargo bikes that can carry a bunch of kids or a bunch of concrete with equal parts serenity, stability, and aplomb. For carrying more than about 70 lbs., nothing else comes close. Now Yuba’s renowned design team gives us the Boda Boda cargo cruiser ($999), a patent-pending “midtail” that’s meant for apartment-dwellers, stair-climbers, and people who don’t quite need a full-scale cargobike but who still want to do most of their daily getting-around by bike. And though it’s considered lighter duty than the Mundo, the Boda Boda still has a 220 lb cargo capacity (in addition to the rider), which is exceptional given its 35 lb weight. That’s about the same as most commuter bikes. The Boda even has a hand-hold just for carrying the bike up stairs or onto a bus rack. The front wheel can be turned around to shorten the wheelbase so the bike will fit on a bus tray. And it will easily fit on an elevator. Outside Magazine named it “The Best $1,000 Utility Bike.”
Details and impressions:
*Unlike other light cargo bikes, the Boda Boda’s payload area is not an afterthought. Instead, it’s pretty much the basis for the frame as a whole, from design to construction and even to cargo-carriage accessories.
* Boda Boda comes in two sizes: a small (green or off-white) for people who are 4’10″ to about 6’0″, and a large (green only), for people 5’6″ and up.
* It appears that the Boda Boda is compatible with Trimet and Amtrak. But we haven’t tried taking it on any trains or mounting it to any bus racks. Here’s what you’d do–you’d turn the front wheel around like this:
* Includes cork grips, a chainguard to protect your pants, a single-leg kickstand with an optional centerstand, a bell, and a bamboo deck.
* Optional accessories: Baguette 30 cubic liter bags (rainproof, easily removed); bamboo running boards for those unique low-riding cargo tubes in back; passenger handlebars that mount to the seat post; Yuba’s Soft Spot seat cushions for passengers; the foot peg for passengers; the Peanut Shell seat for kids under 48 lbs.; the Bread Basket for front cargo that won’t affect steering; and various fenders.
* E-assist version is $2697. At this point, the e-assist Boda is available by special order.
* Technical details: Designed for ultrasimplicity and low maintenance, the Boda Boda features a simple, no-fuss SRAM X-3 8×1 drivetrain, 26″ wheels with wide cruiser tires, and beefy V-brakes. The fork has a disc tab, so you can install a front disc brake now or later. There’s no rear disc capability. You can have us install a double or triple chainring and derailleur up front, but then you might have to lose the chainguard. Or you (that is to say, we) might be able to install (we have to check compatability) a Patterson virtual two-speed crank and have no need for a chainguard anyhow. But we think the stock drivetrain will serve most riders in most places, including Portland, just fine. The bike was designed and developed in the Bay Area, after all. Frame: aluminum. Very thankfully, the townie-ish frame is not what we’d call crank-forward. The crank is exactly where it should be. We can provide a dynamo hub with excellent front and rear lighting, including automatic standing lights, braking lights, and even smart phone charging.
* Cargo and passenger capacity:
–The Peanut seat fits the Boda Boda, as you can see in the photo. There’s even room for the seat and the bags at the same time (and don’t forget the Bread Basket up front). We can mount the Peanut seat in the rear and also have a child sitting in front of the seat, using the Hold-On bars and the footpeg. Moreover, for children under 30-38 lbs., we can mount a mini seat (Bobike Mini, IBert, Yepp Mini) to the stem/handlebars.
–The oversized rear deck is topped with bamboo.
–Low-rider outboard tubing, which is not just welded to the frame but is actually part of it, distinguishes the Boda Boda from the other compact cargo bikes. The low riders let you load the bike with lots of weight that rests down low, at or below the level of the axle, while keeping the top (center) rack open for carrying other things. Bamboo running boards are available, and these serve as cargo decks or as footrests for passengers. The photo below shows how useful the wide-loader tubing is.
–Yuba has had custom, oversized panniers, called the Baguette, made just for this model. At 30 cubic liters, they’re less than half the size of the Go-Getter bag, but they’re still roomier than most panniers on the market.
–Compatible with Yuba’s Soft Spot pads, Peanut Shell seats, Leg-Up foot pegs, and Hold-On handlebars for passengers.
–Front cargo: Yuba’s optional Bread Basket mounts directly to the frame, not to the fork, allowing you to toss another 40-50 lbs. of stuff in the front without affecting handling or stability. In fact, we find that frame-mounted baskets enhance stability under load. (We’ll post a photo of the BB with the BB as soon as we can.) Aside from the Mundo (and, of course, cycle trucks such as the Civia Halsted), no other cargo bike we know of, except for a few esoteric and extremely heavy European bikes, has this feature.
–A very sturdy dual kickstand is available (an oversized single-leg stand is standard). The dual stand is based on the Mundo centerstand, which is about as stable as they get.
WARNING: Obligatory photo of cool people in 3, 2–
NOOOOO! Too late. There’s even a cute little dog so that you cannot reasonably dislike what you see.
* Things we wondered about:
–The rear deck looks higher than it should be, but that’s because it’s designed to accept an e-assist battery underneath it. That is the cargo area’s lone compromise. We were concerned this might affect stability, but a couple of hundred people riding their kids and partners around with ease proved us to be worrywarts. And yes, an e-assist version is available (around $2700). Any ordinary Boda can be converted to e-assist.
Front-mounted aluminum Bread Basket, $129
Soft Spot padded seat for passengers, $30
Hold-On stem and handlebars for passengers (mounts to seatpost), $60
Baguette oversized pannier, $79
Bamboo running boards, $69 a pair
Wide double-leg kickstand (recommended), $69
Peanut Shell child seat (for kids 19-48 lbs.), $169
Deflopilator (a steering stabilizer for when the bike is parked; not necessary with the single-leg kickstand), $22
Yuba-branded cam straps, very strong buckled straps for tying stuff down, $19.50 pair
Fenders: Planet Bike Grasshopper bamboo fenders would look stunning on this bike. $145.
Fenders: Axiom Rainrunner fenders are very smart-looking, strong, and have a reflective stripe running down the middle. Our most popular fender. $60.
To book yours or if you have any questions, call us at 503 954-2039 or shoot us an email via our Contact form.
Oh, and here’s more from Yuba:
Yuba’s Boda Boda Cargo Cruiser elevates utility cycling to a new level of elegance and comfort. The integrated rear rack and love handles make it easy to pick up a friend, a flat of strawberries, or power tools. Green accents, such as cork grips, bamboo back decks and optional running boards insure that this bike will turn heads as you spin around town.
Apartment dwellers will appreciate that the Boda Boda weighs a mere 35 pounds, and features a hand hold for carrying the bike up stairs. Shorter cargo bike riders will appreciate that the bike is available in step-thru and step-over versions to make it easier to get on under load. Its stable handling and easy-shifting, eight speed urban derailleur system will get you there and back, even in hilly San Francisco.
Accessories make it easy to configure the bike to exactly match your lifestyle.
And yet more information!
- Comfortable: The Boda Boda Cargo Cruiser rides like a European townie bike – upright and casual.
- Low top tube: The low top tube makes it easy for people of all heights to get on the bike, even when loaded up.
- Geared up: The SRAM X-3 drivetrain flattens hills and makes peddling easy.
- Lightweight: Despite its hauling capacity, this bike weighs about the same as other city bikes.
- Urban: Designed for urban living, this bike is comfortable picking up groceries and passengers, and still gets you to work looking fresh.
- Spandex-free: The casual frame and resin pedals mean that you can wear whatever you want while riding this bike.