25 September 2010

Cool mornings

Summer has slipped away, and we are putting on layers against the coolness in the morning air. The leaves are on the ground and we have after months of bone dry rides seen rain.

The orange Yuba has some nice brown Fat Frank kevlar laced tyres, and has lost its slow flat habit. The hole left by the shard of glass in the self healing inner tube was huge and couldn't bridge the gap with the latex sludge.
The Yubas get used so much that the car battery has lost its charge...

15 September 2010

Spiderman, chuckles and the pool

Great sunny day. Mrs Yuba dropped the girls at the pool 2.5 km away and it was my task to collect them on my Yuba taking Spiderman with me when the swiming lesson was over. Got smiles on the way and it was great to roll up and collect the girls as they came out without the hassle of parking. Lots of mums came over to look at the bike. Hope some will ride. If we 4 can anyone can.
What made my ride though, amongst the many smiles we got was the reaction of an old lady out on a walk who turned and chuckled when she saw us. You could feel that we had bought a ray of sunshine into her life. She wouldn't have seen our smiling faces in a SUV.

9 September 2010

Fastest in town

School is back in and we (Mrs Yuba) have been busy organizing out of school activities for the kids as two wheel adventures do not suffice. This morning I was informed that I had a RDVS on the other side of town 15 mins after the kids got out of school. Flamenco dance lessons for the girls in the municipal dance and music accademy. In a car at that time of day it was mission impossible...

Caught dismounting

Straight out of school (its across the road) and onto the back of the Yuba. Mouths dropped and others laughed as we raced off down the road towards town. We picked our way through the traffic and then the pedestrians in the centre. It has been a while since we have been 4 on the Yuba and people do gasp even more, the freak show effect is really strong. Although the remarks we get are more and more positive. Sara you are right, being an exrovert must help. I am not generally, and was just using the most effective mode of transport, sometimes you feel uncomfortable. But i just shrug my shoulders now and try and concentrate on the road.
We were the first to arrive, on time, and were not bothered by the traffic or the lack of parking. All the other parents looked
harassed and didn't stop moaning about the time slot.
Mrs Yuba joined us by bike half way through auditions and is planning to take the girls to swimming lessons on her orange Yuba.
More and more the Yuba's are getting non leisure usage and prove to be the best choice for us....

4 September 2010

Beep beep

Got honked at by some loser in a Benz on the way to the market. He didn't know how to drive and wanted me to pull over and stop. It ended in tyre spin, black exhaust smoke and a stupid close pass. 50 yards later he came to a stop because of a street protest. He probably spent 20 minutes sitting there. I resisted the pull of a face to face, and went my way. I was surprised how angry this idiot made me. We parked up the Yubas and I was told to sit and read the newspaper over a coffee while Mrs Yuba did the shopping, its usually me who does this so it makes a change. Some "me" time sans kids...

On the way back I noticed that the rear tyre was getting very squidgy and that my slow flat is no longer slow. At this point a bus starts honking at me. I thought the driver had spotted my soft looking tyre so I waved thanks and carried on. But he carried on honking and driving along side me. When I stopped the doors swung open and I braced myself for some abuse.

" Wow, really cool bike dude ! Where did you get it ?"

Amazed, I told him quickly, and watched as the traffic built up behind the halted bus and the driver tried to engage me in conversation. There were dozens of people nodding in the packed bus and a couple of them joined in talking. I tried to be engaging but we were blocking a main street in the town centre. I got the feeling that some of the passengers were in a hurry, and there was also the matter of my deflating tyre, and the fruit and veg warming up in the paniers.
I said bye and made it home without destroying the tyre. I am looking at some brown fat franks. Anyone know if these have kevlar in them like the black ones ?

You are never alone or bored on a Yuba Mundo....

30 August 2010

Beach run

We managed to make it to the beach. The last 2 runs failed for various reasons.

Here we are parked up on a village square for a drink stop.

We had quite a few people check the bikes out which was fun. Just watching their faces speaks for itself.

Yuba nap.

Done alot of shopping trips and errands with the summer sun. Its good to be out.
The orange yuba has a persistant slowflat. I have a shard of beer bottle that i pulled out that must have left a sliver that flats it over night despite the sludge goo no flat inner tube. Can't find it though. I might end up getting the same tyres for it as came standard with the green Yuba. Kevlar reinforced and no
problems in over a year.

11 August 2010

Reality check

Yesterday we used the car. Despite my vow to cut out driving after a recent trip to see family 100 miles away, which had found me at night on a motorway (6 lane highway) at 75mph facing a car coming head-on the wrong way. Yesterday the cat was very ill so we had to speed off to the vet, so that was that... We used the car all afternoon, went to the beach and a mall, sat in tourist traffic with the A/C on and couldn't find a place to park. Wasted alot of time doing miles and miles on highways that were not economical in their route from A to B... it was the cats fault... but it was still awful.

This morning we were having breakfast and listening to the news about the suffering following the horrific floods in Pakistan, and then the journalists wondering if this disaster might possibly have anything to do with global warming. What followed was pretty eye opening. My 6 year old who had been munching on her cornflakes asked if it was because we had used the car. My 9 year old confirmed that it was, and quoted global warming. I then asked them how we would go food shopping for the familly get-together tonight. My 9 year old said we would take the car (she obviously relished yesterday's aircon cooled effortless transport), and that is when my 6 year old told her,

"Well you say home and get a fat bum, we are going by bike."

My 4 year old broke out in giggles, and I asked my 9 year old why she wanted to go by car if it contributed to such a nasty thing.

" Whats the point ? Everybody else takes the car so it makes no difference..."

Thats when I pointed out that somebody has to start somewhere and that I didn't want to add to a horrible problem if I could avoid it. They munched on a little, thinking it over a bit, then they got up grabbed their helmets and the shopping bags and we headed for the Yuba. Truth from the mouths of babes yet again !

5 August 2010

Pump jinx

Started our ride today prizing a shard of glass out of the rear tyre on the orange yuba and watching it self seal when I pumped it back up (At home with my foot pump). All I had to do was spin the wheel and the hissing air was stopped by the goo in the inner tube in under a second. Still good after 20 kms loaded up. Fantastic.
Our objectif was the beach but after our park picnic break we came back to the bikes to find two flat tyres. Both the front ones on the kid's bikes. After thousands of miles of cycling over the couple of years this is the first time we had had a flat on a family outing and not the morning after. This time it was a rusty drawing pin (tack) and a nice big thorn. And guess what no pump... had patches though....

As we had been able to move along without using the pedals on the way out, literally pushed along by the wind, we decided to head back home, and I got to pull the two girls and their two bikes.... won't go out without a pump again. Infact I don't generally, but it just goes to show that when you forget. Bingo !

20 July 2010

Double vision

We now have got into the swing of things. Saturday morning is when we go down "en famille" to the town centre to the farmer's market to buy the weeks fresh food. Previously we had stopped biking, walked and hauled everything back on foot in the scorching sun. As although with one Yuba Mundo and various other bikes it was possible to go, we just felt in danger in busy angry Saturday morning stop start traffic. Constant shouting instructions at one or two slow distracted children on kiddy bikes over the sound of dozens of car engines, screeching tires, car stereos, and putting up with drivers with little awareness of anything else on the road just didn't make for a fun outing, or good blood pressure. Now with the two Yuba Mundos as a family of 5 we can zip down to the square in a couple of minutes, park up, potter around buying fruit and veg, have a coffee while the kids run around playing and having fun in a car free space. The only problems are the arguments between the children of who gets to ride on the new orange Yuba Mundo !

Often, with the food stowed in the fridge we zoom off to the beach with the beach gear and kid's bikes hanging from or pulled along behind the Yuba Mundos. That way if they want to ride they ride, if they want to be cargo they hook up and ride the Yuba.

The V3 Mundo is noticibly lighter, a great ride, and the lighter MTB wheels are still straight and true.

One of the problems with having two Yuba Mundos is the temptation to load and load with stuff that you don't need.

40 km in the day on her Yuba Mundo. Mrs Yuba is pleased and was not running empty.

1 July 2010

Hint hint

Wouldn't it be great if we could go down to the market with the kids on the two Yubas Saturday morning, and the beach on Sunday, Mrs Yuba mentioned at the breakfast table recently.

Today was too hot to go out, and I had my day so I was a man with a mission, finish the V3 Yuba before the end of the day. Rumbling through my parts bin I popped the BB7 cable pull brake on the front which as ever was easy to fit and mega powerful. On the back I put an Avid single digit 7 v-brake and levers which are capable of locking up the back wheel at speed. These too are excellent.

I had a rear Shimano SLX derailleur,

two SRAM chains an old set of cranks. The toughest part was fitting the bottom bracket (a wide one !) to the frame threads which were full of paint overspray and crap. But most of the frames I have come across are like this... Once that was on it all fitted together nicely.

I have not fitted a front derailleur as I dont have one, and I think 9 speeds is great for now.

All this done I took her out for a spin by the river. The headset creaked as did the crankset, so I tightened them up. The main difference was from the tires I felt. I had a set of Maxxis Larsen TT tires which zip along and hum on the road, but are quite hard compared with my V2's ballon tires. The bike feels longer too, but that is because of the stem which is longer and that I will have to swop out. The brakes are tighter and the 9 speed drive is a dream. I put the H bars on the back too, they don't seem as wide as on the V2 and are slightly swept back. Look good though and went on really easily. Lighter bike too...

28 June 2010

Mobile Music

Pedal powered fairground ride !

Well I have been busy running around working so I have got behind with my blogging. Not too long ago we went down to the Saturday morning farmer's market and ran across the yearly bicycle awareness ride which I had forgotten about. A sort of townhall sponsored (this year !) "Critical Mass". Previously it was all unauthorized and critical of townhall's lack of intrest in everything bike related. What with the massive green vote recently things are changing. This year it was pretty organised and there were a loads of bike "events".

Leading the ride !

There was the local bike shop selling bikes on site, and the local bicycle association that had all sorts of odd bikes on show and a mechanic to give advice (who I asked about my previous blog post front wheel doubts and he said it would be ok as long as I didn't load too much).

Flower power

When they saw me they asked me to park up the Yuba Mundo on the show stand and I spent part of the morning answering questions and giving couples rides on the back around the square which was really fun. Then a jazz band turned up in all sorts of pedalcars, and a Bakfiet three wheeler bike that came in at around 60kg the guy said.

Here I am giving a musician a lift and answering questions about the Yuba Mundo

Then off we went around town playing jazz and spreading the good word about bikes. We didn't go un noticed or unheard ! I had one of my kids and a brass player without transport on the back of the Yuba.

Mobile music

Shade break

A great day out again and we got a load of smiles.

10 June 2010

9mm QR or 10mm bolt through

This was fun. (Ok, I was bored in bed with a cold)

As it was raining and this is what I had been thinking about all morning, I went out to the garage, got my Vernier Callipers out and got measuring. Not something you think or talk about generally, but may be of interest to some people in my situation. Keep in mind that my Vernier Calliper is a cheap and nasty item so these measurements may be "slightly" off.

1. Rockshox Tora 289 disc fork had a perfect 9.00mm slot for axles on one side and 9.10 on the other. Oooh ! Probably paint and muck.

2. Steel MTB non-disc V brake fork had a 9.75mm slots for the 9mm QR axle supplied. Ahhhh ! (I must have done 1000 miles on this fork, often loaded like a donkey.) Looked OK.

3. Yuba Mundo V3 disc fork had a 10.10mm slot and a perfect 10mm on the other leg. Cooorr ! Probably paint again making for the difference.

4. My "standard" 9mm QR axle came in at 8,82mm in diameter... argh !

5. My original V2 Yuba Mundo front axle came in at 9.52mm diameter... ( I could see a slight gap between it and the drop out.) Looked OK.

My questions;

Is it Ok to run a standard 9mm QR in a 10.10ish slot with brake discs ? I get the feeling some people are going to do this without seeing an issue.

Or do I need a special 9,52mm axle disc hub up front ?

Looking at the numbers and fitted it looks really sloppy, it would probably work for a ride around the block, but discs do load axles, so I am faffing around on the internet trying to find somebody with THE knowledge. The Yuba is such a pick and mix of fun industry standards that it is quite unique and not always easy to follow on the best of days

My worry since I first popped a wheel in these forks is that the gap between the 9mm axle and the larger fork drop out slot edge would allow flex/axle movement/slip under load, over stress the skewer and/or make the brakes/forks judder. Or even lead to wheel loss.

I hope that this will be a simple general knowledge question, and that the cough medecine will wear off soon and my mind will clear.

I will probably learn that each manufacturer is slightly off the industry standard anyway depending on the day of the week or whats on the radio, that bike manufacturing is not aerospace manufacturing. But this is a bit off for me. I want to keep my teeth and avoid front wheel loss incidents...

Aren't home builds fun... there is always something that you don't know for sure... and this must be my 20th something bike build !

Opinions and knowledge welcome !

8 June 2010

Slow progress

I have been pretty busy recently, but I managed to fit the headset and forks this afternoon as I was off ill. Yes I should have been in bed, I know, but prefered to sweat it out in the garage. I had not fitted a threaded fork in a long time I realised. Still have the special spanner though.

For some reason I thought I had the right quill stem. Here is proof that a 1 inch one will not fit the Yuba Mundo' headset, which is a 1 1/8th inch threaded one if I remember correctly. Also I had the wrong seat clamp, I think it needs to be the bigger 34.9mm one. I say "I think" because I can't see the info anywhere on the web. I had the 31.8mm version, which is also the seat post dia but not much help otherwise. A quick internet trawl sorted that problem with some secondhand items for not alot...

V2 (Green) and V3 (Orange) seat tube external diameter. Thicker paint on the V2 ? Or rather perhaps I need to get a new vernier calliper...

Found a nice new SRAM 9 speed gear shifter to go on the handlebars, some grips. A new SLX rear mech and two SRAM chains in my parts bin. ( A sports shop went bust last year here and I picked up some bargains).
We were planning to go for a ride tomorrow but every one says storms are on their way, so maby not...

24 May 2010

Right of way.... and bad manners

We decided to take the mother in law with us to the beach as the sun is out finally. We loaded up the inflatable sharks, beach tent, giant styrofoam tube clubs for play fights in the sea (bought in a flea market second hand), buckets, spades etc etc. Number 1 child was in a sulk and wanted to play on her DS at home and refused to cycle, so she joined Number 3 child on the back of the Yuba Mundo. Quite the load.

We were soon on the cyclepath and after a couple of km we ran into a fleamarket that had run over and where everyone had used the cyclepath as a parking space. Obviously because it was a waste of space... We had to ride around this mess through endless cars attempting to find parking space and found our way on the other side. Then after 500 metres, on a corner, a man jumped out infront of us and shouted "Stop ! Its the marathon you can't ride here." Number 2 child ran into the back of the Yuba Mundo with a crash of handlebars and I looked down the cycle path to see 2 or 3 runners and a couple of huge motorbikes escorting them on the cyclepath. I asked him what I was supposed to do and he told me to watch or go home. The path runs through fields and there are no other road options. I looked around, there were no posters warning of the event, no barriers, and very few runners. I told him to "have a nice day" and carried on down the cyclepath as usual. We came across several other cyclists coming the other way looking very unhappy, one of them wishing us "good luck", and every now and then a sole runner. One or two of the runners insulted us and even changed sides of the cyclepath at the last moment to stop us head on to show that we had no right to be there ( A great way to make a child fall off a bike). After a couple of km I came across a couple of cops who were regulating cars where the cyclepath crossed a road and I asked them why the marathon was not being run on the road, like most marathons. It was a registered marathon route I was told. So I replied that I could see where the priorities lay with townhall. The cop didn't like that, and replied that pedestrians do indeed have priority over cyclists. (But not over cars apparently). Which I thought was a strange thing to say. Are marathon runners pedestrians ? LOL, I suppose a cop always has to have the last say and be in the right, whatever the case. He told me to wait while 3 runners and a huge motorbike went past and told me that I could carry on down the cycle path now that it was free. ( He didn't try and tell me to get off the path though, funny that...) so I told him to "have a nice day" and pushed off down the empty path... A minute later while I was thinking over the strange reply and barely hidden anticyclist sentiment of the cop, a runner swore at me in very strong language infront of my children. Fuming I asked a lone bystander what the route was and discovered that we were going to be abused like this for the next 10 km along our normal route. So we hooked a left as soon as we could and took a 10 km detour on another cyclepath to the east and north to avoid them. The mother in law (worried by the extra distance and the risk of not reaching the beach as a result) wanted to carry on with the runners as there were very few and we could share the path which is very wide. Sure, but I told her it would end in manslaughter by bicycle pump if another goon in lykra tried to push us off the path into the bushes, or swore at me in front of the children. I spent the next half hour calming down, fuming at the organisers of the marathon and the impossibility of people to share living space. Although I am sure I am wrong to catagorise runners as I did at that moment in time (I know some long distance runners and they are great people). This is the same kind selfishness that pushes people to drive cars so that they can be seperated from everyone in a bubble of polluting priviledge and comfort at the expense of others, the kind of people I take the cycle path to avoid...... To me this is another frustrating example of individualism and how cyclists are barely tolerated by "normal" people and how much crap we have to put up with in general.

We managed to have a great time any way and stopped in a beautiful poppy field for a rest.

Parked up at a new beach with a kiddy park, picnic, fruit from the local market, a drop of cool Sangria from a market stall to calm the nerves. The afternoon on the beach and playing in the sea was fantastic. Mrs Yuba joined us after work (Yes on a Sunday...) by car (she had to deliver stuff today, she normally travels by bike), and the mother in law was taken back in a car as she wasn't up to the return journey.

Round trip 44 km loaded up like a truck ! Was not planning on the extra 10 km but hey, was not a big deal for me anyway.

7 May 2010

V3 Build

Time to get down to work. The aim here is to build up this frame with parts from another bike that my better half finds too tall, and bits from my parts bin.

A better shot of the (frame turned upsidedown) gusset on the downtube. All the tubes are different ftom V2 and the frame seems lighter. The welding is nothing to write home about, much like the V2, lets say functional rather than pretty. The paint job seems (could be the colour) thiner in places than my V2, with perhaps less lacquer. Still cool though.

Bought this back from Shanghai 2 years ago, all the bikes there have this, and it has sat in the parts bin ever since. I wouldn't leave my bike out of sight with this as you can still drag the bike away and shove it into a van. But sometimes when you stop at a café or for a rest etc, it is a pain to lock up your bike. With this I can sip my coffee and leave it insight on its stand without having to keep a constant eye on it. I have a second one for my V2 Yuba too.

Here you can see the alu spacer that takes the frame dropout from the Yuba Mundo 14mm to the standard 10 or 9mm (can't remember) size for a wheel axel. I see this being the weakest point in this "lite" (read cheap) setup. As the bicycle wheel is one of the strongest structures known to man I don't see the wheel folding. Now the two girls are mobile, I doubt that Mrs Yuba is going to load enough to bust this anyway, especially with two Yuba Mundos to spread the load on outings. This standard MTB wheel has seen serious abuse pulling overloaded trailors and packed racks, children on child seats, sometimes all at the same time. If the axle bends I will look at another solution. This will be an interesting test in a family use context, afterall Mrs Yuba won't be hauling sacks of grain in the bush, or three kids for 40km like me.
Also dropping the wheel into the drop outs was easy, no grunting or effort involved. That is a big change from the V2 which was agricultural to say the least. For that I had to put one foot pushing on a chainstay and pull on the other with a hand whilst trying to waggle in the axle...
Have not tried fitting the dreaded H bars as yet !

Sans headset.

First problem. The Rock Shox Tora fork in the parts bin has been cut too short, which is a shame because they look seriously tough. The headtube on the Yuba is quite long, and even without a headset fitted there is just not enough space to fit a aheadset stem. ( I will have to check that the Yuba Mundo can take a aheadset too, or if I am limited to threaded setups only.) So this bit of parts recycling isn't going to happen... will have to look at other fork solutions.


The fork is also quite laid back due to their length, changing the headtube angle, so that might change the great Yuba stearing. Also it puts a slope off the back of the flatbed, although with rider sag it might all pan out flat.

Ran out of build time, end of part one.


A man came to the door with a rather large box today. I signed it off and opened it up. The cat jumped straight into the box, strange animal, and wouldn't get out.

Very orange.

I am often frustrated by the lack of photos on posts so here are some shots of what sprang to my eyes as being new on the V3.

Still very orange.

If you look carefully there is a new reinforcement gusset (plate) on the underside of the toptube straight off the head tube. This is a traditional stress point on bikes, nice touch. Not sure what the threaded holes in the top and down tubes are for though...

New arrangement here. Beefed up, nice thick kickstand plate I see.

More threaded holes, loop and I like the way the light mounting plate has been moved back out of harms way.

Two more threaded holes and a loop just below them on the underside of the "load area" tube just behind the seat. There are also two threaded holes for a waterbottle holder on the top of the down tube, which is a nice choice to have.

Disc brake tabs, ooooh.

Can't wait to build this up. I have a set of Rock Shox Tora 289 forks in the shed and I am wondering if they would be up to the job at the front. They are MTB forks, and it will be the missus who will be riding this as a Yuba Lite setup... any comments folks ? I will have to look at the BB7 stuff I have in my parts bucket to see if I can peg them on this. I will check on the blogs of the kind people who have already posted on this subject.

I will keep you posted. Hopefully we will have the makings of a family Yuba Convoy here before soon.