Longtail cargo bikes: Kona Ute vs Yuba Kombi

  • This topic has 56 replies, 22 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by  benp1.
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  • Longtail cargo bikes: Kona Ute vs Yuba Kombi
  • t3ap0t
    Member

    As someone said above, anyone considering the Cargo Node might want to have a read of the last 100 or so posts of this thread:

    https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/1061112-expanded-tern-recall-14.html

    Premier Icon spev
    Subscriber

    TiRed “Admirable, but mine were pedalling the kiddyback tandem at 4yo and the eldest completed London to Oxford at 6yo”

    Sorry TiRed I thought the OP wanted advice and experience about cargo bikes, but it’s obviously a oneupmanship exercise in who’s children can ride the furthest at the youngest age. Hey Ho whatever floats your boat I suppose.

    I’ve seen somewhere a tandem converted to cargo use, might be worth a look as you’ll be able to convert it back and pull a trailer with it?

    (edited to add quote)

    Olly
    Member

    had an Urban arrow, which was amazing, but the OH wouldn’t ride it. It was quite the yacht.

    replaced it with a second hand Yuba El mundo which is great.
    Its a heavy thing, but with the electric assist it whips along, and its not so heavy your stuffed if you get a flat battery.
    Bit annoying to have to have pannier to use it as a shopping trolley. The UA you could just throw bags for life in it and go. I would get a Bullit next i think. Backfiets, but much less of a tank than the UA

    TiRed
    Member

    I’ve seen somewhere a tandem converted to cargo use, might be worth a look as you’ll be able to convert it back and pull a trailer with it?

    Yes I linked to it – Circe. My point was why limit yourself to a cargo bike, when a tandem will provide a better long-term investment with which you can enjoy cycling with your children as they grow. I bought a kiddyback as soon as my eldest was 4. It’s still in use in the family 18 years later to travel with my nieces.

    If you are travelling by bike with 8 year olds, a cargo bike is not the solution.

    Premier Icon spev
    Subscriber

    I think your passive agresive statement speaks for itself. If you have children who are both able and like cycliung then yes maybe a tandem is the best solution. If that’s not the case then a cargo bike makes a lot of sense, I’ve not told you why my nieces are on the cargo bike at that age and you didn’t ask before telling me how wonderful your own children are at cycling in comparison. The OP also has no idea whether his children will enjoy cycling in the future.
    Personally I think a cargo bike is a great idea (and a tandem later on) as it has a multitude of use’s.

    TiRed
    Member

    I think your passive agresive statement speaks for itself. If you have children who are both able and like cycliung then yes maybe a tandem is the best solution.

    Wasn’t meant as such. BTW are you familiar with Charlotte’s Tandems? You don’t have to be able or like cycling. If the Circe was available when mine were born, I’d have bought it in a heartbeat. The conversion from cargo to tandem is excellent. But from age 4 onwards children can ride a kiddyback tandem and there are some great options available now. We started with a baby seat on the back of the tandem, and then added a tagalong when the youngest grew. It’s still in use on the school run.

    Premier Icon spev
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    Ah fair enough TiRed, I’m having a shit day ( humans are quite annoying) and its not your fault 🙂 (unless your one of the humans thats been in to annoy me today)
    I have a mate who’s used Charlotte’s Tandems in the past. I have a Tandem of my own so it’s not something we’ve looked into other than on his behalf.
    I think my brothers plan is to try a triplet at some point and see how that goes, as it is the cargo bike gets used daily and the twins love it (and my brother gets more exercise as he works from home)

    ^ wow had forgotten all about the Circe Helios. Superb and well-designed looking bike

    TiRed
    Member

    I think my brothers plan is to try a triplet at some point

    I did consider the Thorn triplet, but decided that ultimately a tag-along plus kiddyback was a better option (I had the Burley rack mount one). This proved more flexible as the kids grew up. the older one wanted to ride his own bike more. I rode the Anythony Nolan Cotswold ride a few times on the tandem/tagalong. Oh my god it was hard on the hills! Mine are three years apart. For twins, I think the triplet make more sense (you can make the Circe a triplet or go Bike Friday)

    If you like the Helios, then you’ll like the Morpheus 🙂 . I always wanted a Bilenky Counterpoint Opus, lighter and faster than a Haze Pino, but I think Circe really have nailed it with kid transport.

    I’m not anti-cargo btw, I love the Bakfiets for example, but I think that people often hesitate on the bike purchase and then time passes and the “window of justification” closes. My advice is just buy it – it will become the most ridden bike with young kids. Bakfiets or Circe from about three months and go from there.

    Premier Icon spev
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    yeah that Circe is lovely, I also saw a converted “conventional” tandem, longer rack and big bags type of thing, dunno if it would be strong enough to carry two child seats though, i’ll see if I can dig it up

    ctk
    Member

    My youngest (just turned 7) has cerebal palsy and goes along fine on a Burley Tag Along. I quite fancy a tandem to drag him and his older brother (9 but not massive keen on cycling) on some epic rides!

    EDIT my youngest has mild to moderate CP and is pretty able and active, just weaker on his left side.

    Premier Icon benp1
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    My original plan was a Tern GSD, just looks like a super practical bike. But they’re expensive, and while I was mulling it over a Big Dummy came up that and I’ve always wanted one. So that’s now what I have

    I don’t have the big cage/frame around the top as having to lift the kids over that, or them having to climb over it, didn’t sound appealing

    I have the Xtracycle rear deck, plus the panniers (which are excellent), plus stoker bars for rear passengers. I have the a baby seat ready to fit on for my youngest (actually have two, but both slightly different) but my older two just sit there. They LOVE it, annoyingly they’ve named the bike Colin, so Colin now takes us on all our local errands. They’ve also dropped their friends home from local things. I’ve had tons of interesting conversations with strangers about the bike, generates lots of interest

    The accessories are important – mudguards, proper double leg stand, steering stabiliser to stop the flop when parked on the stand, panniers, lights etc. I use it instead of a 2nd car. Does kids runs and shopping. Did a big charity shop run on Saturday. It’s ace!

    Premier Icon downshep
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    Have had a Kona Ute for years and used it mostly for shopping and as a child carrier. I sold the single long pannier and bought a pair of big sling over panniers as these fit easily in a shopping trolley and can be fitted quickly, even with a child on board. It’s currently set up with a stoker bar, padded seat with backrest for a child up to about 5′ tall / age 10, complete with BMX stunt pegs. Could carry both children no bother when they were younger. I live in a new town with lots of shared use paths and really enjoyed the social aspect of tootling along together.

    Took it on Center Parcs type holidays a few times as well. Fits fine on an Avenir Roma tandem rack and even with various child carrying mods, still weighs under 50lbs. 700 x 47mm trekking tyres are fine for forestry roads too. Also used it when doing Pedal for Scotland in case the wife (a non-cyclist) bailed and needed a backie to Edinburgh.

    Plus points. It’s just a LWB hybrid so parts are standard except for the longer rear cables and chain. Cheaper to buy and run than most cargo bikes. The riding position is dead comfy and controls are entirely normal. Kids are tucked in behind you out of the weather. It’s very light for a cargo bike and rides like any other hybrid when unladen. Fits through kissing gates on Sustrans / NCN routes. Easy to store in a narrow hut or standard bike rack. Steering stabiliser to stop flip flopping.

    Minus Points. It is tall and narrow! Care is needed when moving off with passengers due to the height they are sitting at. Fine once moving (and it does put their vital organs well above bumper height if the worst happens!) but it isn’t as stable as a bakfiets design at very slow speed. The centre stand is also quite narrow, you need to keep hold of the bike when loading a child! It gets noodly when stamping on the pedals (cruises well though). Avid BB5 brakes are fine on the flat but wouldn’t cope on a long downhill with dad +2 kids on board.

    It’s been great fun but the ‘weans’ are 17 & 13 (both 5′ 9″) now so it is gathering dust!

    Would recommend a cargo bike to anyone who has the storage space and safe infrastructure to use it.

    Premier Icon nixie
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    benp1 makes a good point about the cage. Even with the big double kickstand its not stable enough for the kids to climb in themselves. I have to lift them in. Not so bad for the 3yo at 15kg but the 8yo is hard work.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    Just remember, the reason your kids don’t like going on the bike with you may not be what you think…

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    I forgot to mention something that I really value, U tubes (or whatever they’re called). They a parallel to the ground and plug into the sides to create footboards. It makes it a helluva lot easier for the kids to get on and off, and they also then have somewhere to put their feet. It makes it wider but it just fits through the chicane style gate on the cut through near me, allows me to ride a safer, quieter through the park with the kids. The other benefit is being able to get those steel tubes to carry the weight of the shopping etc, get the weight lower down and then the extracycle panniers stop the stuff from falling off

    I can get a whole shallow shopping trolley in the panniers alone allowing me to take a passenger (with their feet placed delicately around the shopping). I could get a deep one on if I had a way of rigging box on the top but CBA. Personal best is 3 children home from a playdate, could barely hear over the laughter, giggles and screams of joy. Will cherish those memories!

    Another one I forgot about… I can carry someone and “bag and drag” one (or two I suppose) bikes. I went to the London Freecycle and was able to help my daughter get around when she got tired.

    Is it obvious that I’m a huge advocate? The main downside is weight, it’s blooming heavy (and mine has a draggy hub gear). Planning to electrify mine at some point, plus is 7 ft long so takes up a lot of space in the garage

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