11 April 2010

Yuba Mundo brakes

I was thinking about my weeks riding this morning over my toast and coffee, and one thing kept standing out - the outstanding performance of the Yuba Mundo brakes. My green V2 Yuba Mundo's brakes work very well, which is just as well. Riding loaded with two little girls zigging and zagging around me on the cycle path, at 14 km an hour, our kiddie cruise speed, I can stop almost instantly. The extra long armed V brakes (tandem ones I suspect) are really powerful. I also had a 5 year old boy randomly wobble into my path head on too and I came to a stop on a dime. At several places I found myself on steep slopes, loaded up, rolling slowly downwards, controlling perfectly and with ease with two fingers on the levers. I have not touched my set up in about a thousand miles too....
I have put in an order for a V3 frame which I will be building up for my wife (Ok, for me too) with lighter parts, and I will be putting Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes on it. It will be interesting to see who can stop faster. Another positive point I discovered yesterday was when I was being pushed off the cyclepath at a low speed by a car (who shouldn't be there) and jammed the front wheel in a hole by the side of the path, you don't go over the handlebars. The big ballon tires absorb the shock, the rest of the bike is tough enough and heavy at the back enough to stay put. Always a bonus !


  1. Here in the UK the 160 mm BB7s cost around 80 percent of the price of the 185 mm Avid Juicy Fives. I put one of them on the front of my V2 Mundo and they are incredible. they also come with a brake lever pre-bled so they are just set and forget. The main advantage however is that both the pads move inwards onto the rotor when you brake, on the BB7s only one pad moves, the other is fixed. the other good thing about both pads moving is that their position relative to the rotor in the "off" state remains the same even as the pads wear. They were a really good buy. Mine were from www.evanscycles.co.uk and they do deliver internationally. They sell them OE which basically is like buying OEM software, it is cheaper and geared towards bike builders. Also the euro to pound exchange rate is favourable at the moment.

  2. Before you buy discs for your V3, do your homework on compatibility. Check out keller74.wordpress.com for an idea about the kind of rabbit hole others have ended up in getting a rear brake mounted. Seems the ones that work are 160mm on the back. I'd try to get compatibility info from Yuba directly and run one of their recommended setups. The BB7 is a great brake, super easy to work on with normal bike tools. I haven't used the Juicys, but have heard great things about them. Personally, I hate bleeding hydraulics. It will be worth going to discs in any case, if only because you can use DH rims without brake tracks, much wider and stronger at a similar weight.

  3. I'd forgotten about the rear wheel. I'm not sure I'd bother with discs on the back, maybe a 160 mm but I wouldn't spend a lot on it, the front is where the action is after all. What I would really love for the back of the Yuba is a hub brake (and internal gears would be good if they could cope with the rated load). For the back of the bike where a continuous slowing effect is more desirable than extreme stopping power they would be great. Sadly they dont do a hub with enough spoke holes for the Yuba. If it were coupled with internal gears and they were built for the sort of loads the Yuba is, fewer spokes could be justified by the reduced wheel dish. Maybe Sturmey Archer is reading and will release a 48 h brake hub which can take a 8/9 speed cassette. Whilst we are at it, throw a dynamo in there too.

  4. Excellent stuff, Jim. We all knew you couldn't resist! I think you will like the V3. I am very impressed with the fit and finish on the V3- no complaints whatsoever.
    As for brakes, I wondered why Kona took so much heat from critics having Vee brakes on the back of their Ute- the disc on the front is awesome and the vees work well. After riding a Ute through one west coast Canadian winter I found the biggest downfall of the vee brakes was grit grime and muck getting on the rim and degrading braking performance, making a mess, and grinding away with a horrible noise. The discs, being higher, stay clean- especially if you ride off of the pavement at all.
    I am interested in hearing your hub/wheel selection.
    I set up a stoker bar on the rear using Keller74's trick- The 31.8 mm, 120mm 0 degree stem flipped around and a shim for the handlebars. About $20 from Jenson. (plus shipping)

  5. I think it's down to the speed your doing a bit. Because I have a motor I tend to cruise at 28-30kph a lot and having discs allows a lot of stopping control without locking the wheels. If I was going 14-15kph I might just stick with the Vs. V Brakes are lighter too!

  6. Thanks for all the comments. I am going to pinch all the bits off another bike (when the frame arrives !) and see how all fits together.

  7. I have just been testing out a Sturmey Archer drum brake/dynamo on my non-Yuba bike and I think it is quite impressive. Maybe not quite front wheel impressive, but would be ideal for a Yuba back wheel. The dynamo is useful too - I can charge my phone with it. I am thinking of getting a disc/dynamo hub for the Yuba eventually. Check out my latest post for details

  8. awesome write up!