need ebike for urban hauling of lots of kit, often with a trailer (London, occasional hill)

percymon

Active Member
Those Yuba bikes look just the job - not too long for storage / manouevering, hefty rack and plenty of load capacity.
 

chasg

Member
I am sure Bolton does not ship bikes to the UK. Also, their bikes are not in compliance with UK regulations and speed limitations.
Yeah, this 250W European regulation kinda sucks.

You looked good on your bike in that misplaced reply, btw. I can't wait until I have a reason to smile like that too!
 

chasg

Member
they're definitely in the "to be considered" column, though from their website photos, I can't see if the rear axle is suitable to attach my trailer. Happily, there is a dealer here in London that I can check out (not sure how many models they have for test-drives yet).
Those Yuba bikes look just the job - not too long for storage / manouevering, hefty rack and plenty of load capacity.
 

percymon

Active Member
they're definitely in the "to be considered" column, though from their website photos, I can't see if the rear axle is suitable to attach my trailer. Happily, there is a dealer here in London that I can check out (not sure how many models they have for test-drives yet).

Yes, a trip to the Cambridge dealer is probably a no-no at the moment. You may not need the trailer with the Yuba, dependent upon how your camera gear is packaged. I'm sure you could find a handy local carpenter or fabrication company to build you some hard boxes if that suited you better, or something to mount Peli or similar cases ?
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
@chasg Contemplating your needs and where you live and work, I don't know London but I presume security and potential theft can be an issue as it is in most urban centers. Thinking about that factor, you would likely be better off with a purpose built bike to hold all your kit in large panniers or in integrated cargo box rather than towing a trailer around. The trailer itself will draw more attention and will be problematic to secure in a reliable fashion. You would probably need a separate/dedicated u-lock or heavy duty chain and lock just for the trailer. If you could do it all with a bike like the Yuba Mundo or Spicy Curry or the Riese & Muller Multicharger, it would be far less complicated.
 

chasg

Member
Yes, a trip to the Cambridge dealer is probably a no-no at the moment. You may not need the trailer with the Yuba, dependent upon how your camera gear is packaged. I'm sure you could find a handy local carpenter or fabrication company to build you some hard boxes if that suited you better, or something to mount Peli or similar cases ?
Well...I'm kinda married to the trailer, because I'm married to the woman who gave it to me for a birthday present! If I were to get a bike that didn't work with the trailer, I'd run a genuine risk of hurting her feelings (as she did a lot of work to choose the right one, and then manage to actually buy one here when they couldn't be found anywhere). Besides, with the weight of the kit I plan to put in the trailer, the lower centre of gravity makes a lot of sense.

And yeah, Cambridge would require both Tube and mainline train, something I'd rather avoid at the moment (my aforementioned wife is a microbiologist by profession, and I'm a biologist by training, so we're particularly aware of the risks and the precautions we want to take, plus we have elderly relatives etc etc). Unfortunately, the Yuba dealer is across London from us, so visiting them is still a risk in and of itself (if I had a bike, I could just cycle there, but... ;-)
 

chasg

Member
@chasg Contemplating your needs and where you live and work, I don't know London but I presume security and potential theft can be an issue as it is in most urban centers. Thinking about that factor, you would likely be better off with a purpose built bike to hold all your kit in large panniers or in integrated cargo box rather than towing a trailer around. The trailer itself will draw more attention and will be problematic to secure in a reliable fashion. You would probably need a separate/dedicated u-lock or heavy duty chain and lock just for the trailer. If you could do it all with a bike like the Yuba Mundo or Spicy Curry or the Riese & Muller Multicharger, it would be far less complicated.
This is definitely true (London is a massive hotspot for bike theft), and the visibility of a locked trailer is something I'm concerned about. Part of my calculations for total weight include three D-locks and a really hefty chain, for locking on site. I am still worried about losing any electronic displays that any bike might have, and theft of batteries is still a problem too. I may have to invest in a second trailer to haul a huge steel cage in which to store everything when I go out on jobs ;-)

It'd be very simple if I could choose a bike with a huge cargo box that would take 100Kg (one of those with the box in front), but they are just too wide for London traffic (plus I can't get one through my house for safe parking at night). I've seen them out on smaller, less crowded, roads here in London, but you have to take the arteries to get anywhere in good time (London's smaller roads were never laid out for rapid movement through the city: the average speed limit of about 12Km/h hasn't changed here for literally centuries!).
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Well...I'm kinda married to the trailer, because I'm married to the woman who gave it to me for a birthday present! If I were to get a bike that didn't work with the trailer, I'd run a genuine risk of hurting her feelings (as she did a lot of work to choose the right one, and then manage to actually buy one here when they couldn't be found anywhere). Besides, with the weight of the kit I plan to put in the trailer, the lower centre of gravity makes a lot of sense.

And yeah, Cambridge would require both Tube and mainline train, something I'd rather avoid at the moment (my aforementioned wife is a microbiologist by profession, and I'm a biologist by training, so we're particularly aware of the risks and the precautions we want to take, plus we have elderly relatives etc etc). Unfortunately, the Yuba dealer is across London from us, so visiting them is still a risk in and of itself (if I had a bike, I could just cycle there, but... ;-)
Understood. Trailer it is! Given that what you really need is a good sturdy bike that can handle your weight and pull the bike. Not sure how the weight of the trailer factors into the frames total capacity but I think that is should be but a fraction of the actual weight which is being bourn by it's own frame and wheels. Just focus on a bike with better brakes, drive train components and a comfortable fit. As to motors for your purpose, it would be hard to improve on the Bosch CX. They are real work horses with very few problems or failures. There are also many shops that can service them, which is a real plus. They have even been know to replace motors after warranty has expired. All these things obviously come with a cost but as a countryman of yours in the 19th century observed:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." - John Ruskin
 

chasg

Member
Understood. Trailer it is! Given that what you really need is a good sturdy bike that can handle your weight and pull the bike. Not sure how the weight of the trailer factors into the frames total capacity but I think that is should be but a fraction of the actual weight which is being bourn by it's own frame and wheels. Just focus on a bike with better brakes, drive train components and a comfortable fit. As to motors for your purpose, it would be hard to improve on the Bosch CX. They are real work horses with very few problems or failures. There are also many shops that can service them, which is a real plus. They have even been know to replace motors after warranty has expired. All these things obviously come with a cost but as a countryman of yours in the 19th century observed:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." - John Ruskin
Ah, by quoting the immortal John Ruskin, you reveal yourself to be a gentleman and a scholar! Wise words indeed (and it's this train of thought that has brought me from my initial "I should be able to get what I need for around £1000" up to, well, up to considering a Riese and Muller...maybe).

Given all the advice and info I've received here, a Bosch CX motor is looking the most likely, if only for its torque (its ubiquity certainly helps, from a servicing point of view). And you're right, the trailer and cargo are only going to be a strain on the pulling power of the bike (and me), the frame won't have to bear that weight.

So, at the moment, my web browser window with all the tabs for "most likely" choices is full of cargo bikes (though that Riese and Muller Multicharger is certainly attractive...if not way out of my price range, ha ha).
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
"Ah, by quoting the immortal John Ruskin, you reveal yourself to be a gentleman and a scholar! Wise words indeed (and it's this train of thought that has brought me from my initial "I should be able to get what I need for around £1000" up to, well, up to considering a Riese and Muller...maybe)."
As to gentlemanliness and scholarship, even on the cusp of 70 those are still goals to which I continue to strive. Truth be told, my lovely wife would be a far better judge as regards my progress on the former, while given the volume, scope and depth of my readings, I would gainsay that my status as an autodidact if not a scholar is firmly established ;)
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
The footplates/pannier support flanges on the yubabike snap on, snap off. So off, won't interfere with the trailer.
 

TrevorB

Active Member
Checkout eMTB magazine and Downtown sister magazine both free online mags. Have review of cargo bikes.

I've carry 20-30kg on hardtail rear rack occasionally, not something I'd recommend on daily basis. Anymore than 20kg you need cargo bike. For middrive motors 60-80nm, I own new Bosch performance line 65nm and old CX 75nm both eat hills. Old small chainring motors can be dongled, latest ones with fullsize chainring can't.
Brakes, 2 pot Deore or MT4 are good starting point ideally 4pots if towing heavy load, easy and cheap to upgrade. I get +3000km out of standard shimano 11spd chain on CX drive dongle, running costs aren't that expensive if you do your own maintence and buy online. Expect to break a few spokes on rear wheel if it not cargo bikes, they come with overbuilt wheels.

FS is waste time unless its R&M Delite, Homage or Load. On most FS mtb rear rack and cargo doesn't benefit from rear suspension.
 

chasg

Member
Checkout eMTB magazine and Downtown sister magazine both free online mags. Have review of cargo bikes.

I've carry 20-30kg on hardtail rear rack occasionally, not something I'd recommend on daily basis. Anymore than 20kg you need cargo bike. For middrive motors 60-80nm, I own new Bosch performance line 65nm and old CX 75nm both eat hills. Old small chainring motors can be dongled, latest ones with fullsize chainring can't.
Brakes, 2 pot Deore or MT4 are good starting point ideally 4pots if towing heavy load, easy and cheap to upgrade. I get +3000km out of standard shimano 11spd chain on CX drive dongle, running costs aren't that expensive if you do your own maintence and buy online. Expect to break a few spokes on rear wheel if it not cargo bikes, they come with overbuilt wheels.

FS is waste time unless its R&M Delite, Homage or Load. On most FS mtb rear rack and cargo doesn't benefit from rear suspension.
@TrevorB thanks for all that info, I really appreciate it.

In this 3 page discussion, I've had a ton of excellent help, and I'm now almost sure I'll need a cargo bike (and pay accordingly!). Frankly, I was hoping just to get an electric version of my last bike, a commuter hybrid, which survived my 120Kg plus a 40Kg backpack, so taking the weight off my back and putting it in a trailer on an equivalent ebike should be the obvious choice, right? Hmm, doesn't look like it. So cargo bike it will be.

Posts like yours have also made me realise that a high torque motor, like a Bosch CX, is going to be needed. That narrows down things a bit, as most of the CX bikes are very expensive, barring the Kona Electric UTE (I've found a 2019 version that isn't too dear). Standard chain, instead of belt drive, so my (very rusty!) bike mechanic skills are going to come in handy.

A second bike I'm considering, for a bit more than the Kona, is a Tern HSD S8i, mainly for the belt drive.

You mentioned "dongled". I went to a site that sells many dongles (including ones that supposedly deal with anti-dongle measures in gen 4 motors), but I can't see an obvious winner. Any suggestions?

Upgrading disc brakes isn't something I had been thinking about, thanks for the suggestion.

Does "FS" mean front shocks? If so, thanks for the advice, I wasn't too fussed about getting shocks (front or rear), but we do have some pretty dire potholes round about here in London, so maybe I'll rethink that. If "FS" doesn't mean front shocks, what does it mean? :)

Thanks again for all the info, very much appreciated. Now I'm off to those two magazines you mentioned, to read more about cargo bikes.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
The only FS Bosch powered cargo bike I am aware of is the Riese & Muller Load. It is a very expensive bike but built to last, a superb bike to ride by any standard and has a multitude of top level components. It can be ordered with a secure, lockable metal cargo box. I know it is way above budget, but if there is a way you can make it happen, you will have no regrets.

Check out this video about a photographer in Norway and the impact his R&M load has had on him.

Also I am the moderator for the Reise & Muller Facebook group where prospective owners are welcome to seek out and dialog with owners of bikes that interest them. https://www.facebook.com/groups/rieseandmuller/
 

TrevorB

Active Member
Kona has old CX motor which you can dongle, it has larger rack than Tern HSD and considerably more power. 9spd drive train is cheap to maintain but does require occasional lube an chain clean. Tern's 8spd hub is useful around town, being able to change gear after sudden stop at lights is useful, also easier to transport and store (vertical).