Yuba Spicy Curry Review

Yuba Spicy Curry Electric Bike Review
Yuba Spicy Curry
Yuba Spicy Curry Tranzx Currie Electrodrive Motor
Yuba Spicy Curry 48 Volt Lithium Battery Removable
Yuba Spicy Curry Ergonomic Grips Backlit Display Panel
Yuba Spicy Curry Bread Basket Rack Integrated Led Headlight
Yuba Spicy Curry Hydraulic Tektro Vela Disc Brakes
Yuba Spicy Curry Monkey Bars Soft Spot Rack Addon
Yuba Spicy Curry 8 Speed Shimano Altus Drivetrain
Yuba Spicy Curry Electric Bike Review
Yuba Spicy Curry
Yuba Spicy Curry Tranzx Currie Electrodrive Motor
Yuba Spicy Curry 48 Volt Lithium Battery Removable
Yuba Spicy Curry Ergonomic Grips Backlit Display Panel
Yuba Spicy Curry Bread Basket Rack Integrated Led Headlight
Yuba Spicy Curry Hydraulic Tektro Vela Disc Brakes
Yuba Spicy Curry Monkey Bars Soft Spot Rack Addon
Yuba Spicy Curry 8 Speed Shimano Altus Drivetrain

Summary

  • A smooth but powerful electric-assist cargo bike with optional boost button to make starting from standstill easier
  • Compatible with a wide assortment of accessories including child seats, cargo racks, running boards and even a frame mounted front basket
  • Integrated LED lights with an automatic light sensor on the display panel, reflective tire stripes for larger visual footprint and full length plastic fenders to keep you dry
  • No shift sensing on the drive system but the motor operates smoothly, higher price tag (especially when you start to add in accessories)

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Yuba

Model:

Spicy Curry

Price:

$4,200

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Cargo, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

62 lbs (28.12 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.1 lbs (2.76 kg)

Motor Weight:

9.5 lbs (4.3 kg)

Frame Material:

7000 Series Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

17" Seat Tube, 24" Stand Over Height, 23.5" Reach, 82" Length

Frame Types:

Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Avacado

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Chromoly Steel

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Frame Lock Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Altus, 11-32T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Lasco EB05, 48T Chainring with Alloy Guide

Pedals:

VP-565 Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

VP T501TM Semi-Integrated Ahead, 1.5" Diameter Steerer Tube, 7 Riser Stacks

Stem:

Forged Alloy 31.8 mm

Handlebar:

Zoom Aluminum Alloy, 31.8 mm Diameter, 620 mm x 38 mm Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Vela Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front and 160 mm Rear Rotors

Grips:

Velo Dual Density Anatomic with Lock Rings

Saddle:

Velo Urban

Seat Post:

Promax Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

470 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Weinmann HL32 Safety Line, Aluminum Alloy

Spokes:

Stainless Steel 13 Gauge

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Big Apple Plus Balloon 26" x 2.15" Front, 20" x 2.15" Back

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripe, Performance Line GreenGuard Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Deflopilator, Integrated LED Headlight, Integrated LED Backlight Lineo by Spanninga, Full Length Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps, Single Side Kickstand, Optional Oversized Double-Leg Kickstand, Shorter 370 mm Seat Post or Longer 470 mm Seat Post

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 2 Amp 2 Pound Charger, Payload Carrier Max 300 lbs (135 kg), Behind Axle Max 55 lbs (25 kg), Sideloaders Max 65 lbs (30 kg) Per Side, KMC X8 Chain

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Currie Electro-Drive® (TranzX), M07

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

400 watts

Motor Torque:

73 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung or LG

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.7 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Backlit Monochrome LCD with Adjustable Angle

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Capacity (5 Bars), Assist Level (0-4), Range Estimation

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Speed, Cadence and Torque, Optional Button Throttle)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Spicy Curry is a mid-drive powered electric cargo bike from Yuba! I’ve covered several of their earlier electric bicycle including the smaller elBoda Boda and very similar elMundo but prefer the Spicy Curry for several reasons. The primary benefit is efficiency and power because the drive system leverages the same eight speed drivetrain that you do as a rider! If you shift down, the motor can spin faster and work more efficiently to climb. If you shift up, the motor can help you reach and maintain higher speeds (up to 20 mph). This design also brings motor weight in towards the center of the bike improving balance and allowing the rear wheel to use a quick release skewer just like the front.

Both the motor and battery are positioned at the middle of the frame and while I love the protection this offers for the battery it does make it more difficult to reach for charging and especially removing. Furthermore, because this battery has to be powered on and off independently from the display console, you have to reach down every time you want to go for a ride and that’s a drag… it might also lead to confusion at times when you wonder why the primary display isn’t turning on. But hey, maybe that will also confuse a thief or bystander at a rack who decides to mess with your display ;) I like the display well enough and appreciate that it swivels to reduce glare but feel that it takes too long to turn on. You have to hold the power button near the left grip for several seconds (after activating the battery) and once the signal is received the display does a seven second countdown. In a time when you can find similar e-cargo bikes with removable displays and USB charging ports on something like the Xtracycle it feels a bit outdated. But hey, that bike costs $800 more and given the integrated lights on the Spicy Curry maybe there’s less need for an accessory power outlet.

The display console is large, easy to read and feature rich with a dynamic range estimator to help you select the appropriate power level (to make it home with some juice left) and I like the small 2 amp charger that you get with the bike, small and light enough to bring along and charge on-location. Some quick tips with the display panel and button pad near the left grip… Hold the up button for a couple of seconds to force the lights on and hold the box icon towards the bottom to switch from mph to km/h. At first when I was testing the Spicy Curry I thought you were always stuck in pedal assist 1-4 (and thus, the motor would activate any time you pedaled) and this means you’d use the battery more quickly and couldn’t just run the lights and the display like a cycle computer. Eventually I discovered that if you arrow down to assist level 1 then hold the power button on the button pad for a couple of seconds it will switch to zero.

The Yuba Spicy Currie does value pretty well but it’s not cheap by any means, especially when you add racks, the upgraded two-leg kickstand and possibly a front basket… why get a cargo bike without the racks after all? The color is nice, the tires are premium with reflective sidewalls and best of all the mid-step frame is easy to mount and accommodates shorter riders. It’s a solid platform and nearly everyone who hops on has a great time. I was impressed with the frame stiffness and noticed some gusseting where the downtube meets the head tube. I love that the optional “Bread Basket” rack that connects to the frame vs. the fork and appreciate the “deflopilator” spring that keeps the front wheel straight for loading. For now there’s only one frame size and color but it’s a nice unisex light green they call “avacado” – this limited selection keeps the price low. Areas where I feel like they put extra emphasis into the bike include the larger 13 gauge spokes front and rear for increased strength and carrying capacity, clear stickers where the chain bounces into the right stay tube, a bell for signaling fellow riders and hydraulic disc brakes (with a larger front rotor for improved stopping power). One other quick tidbit about the smaller rear wheel is that it’s easier to turn than a large one and thus, better for hauling weight and climbing.

The motor operates smoothly and quietly (especially in the middle and high gears) and behaved more like a cadence sensing drive unit than torque sensing. Apparently the sensors used measure rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque and I did notice an increase in power output when I pushed down hard on the pedals but it almost always felt like the motor was helping out… even if I was slacking off and just pedaling lightly. Frankly, I love this! It does mean the battery will drain quicker and that’s got to be why Yuba lists the range as 16+ miles vs. 20+ but it will save your knees in the long run and makes riding more enjoyable. For those who want throttle power, there is an optional accessory called a boost button that can be wired in and held down to make the motor go without pedaling. It will change the class rating from Class 1 to Class 2 possibly limiting where the bike is allowed and I found that it was difficult to reach from the right grip and not very fun to hold for long periods… but at least it’s an option. All things considered, I enjoyed the Spicy Curry quite a bit and while I’d love to pay less for the base unit so I could spend more on accessories, the two year battery warranty, lifetime frame and one year “other” goes a long way creating value as with Yuba’s longstanding reputation in the cargo bicycle space.

Pros:

  • Smaller diameter rear wheel brings the cargo deck down making it easier to load and handle while riding, the mid-mounted motor and battery stay completely out of the way
  • High emphasis on safety with this ebike, you get integrated LED lights (though the headlight is a little dim) and reflective sidewall tape on the tires
  • The Schwalbe Balloon tires are large and comfortable (especially if you run them a bit under the max PSI) and they incorporate GreenGuard to stymie punctures and flats
  • Highly adjustable seat hight thanks to an extra long 18.5″ seat post (optional 14.5″ post for shorter riders) the stem is also raised up with seven spacers and I love the swept-back “gull wing” handlebars and ergonomic grips
  • Integrated cables keep the frame looking beautiful and reduce snags, I love that the Spicy Curry comes stock with full length fenders because it could be wasteful to get two different sizes on your own (having to buy two separate sets then mix)
  • Solid grippy pedals with plenty of room to stand and balance, the optional double-legged metal kickstand keeps the bike upright when loading with gear (and the deflopilator keeps the front wheel straight)
  • Lots of options for adding a passenger seat and bars at the back, running board “side loaders” and cargo platforms, a front basket or a Yepp! child seat because the tubing is compatible with all of Yuba’s existing kit
  • The mid-drive motor is powerful (offering up to 73 Newton meters of torque!) but operates smoothly and quietly in the mid and high gears, even though it doesn’t offer shift sensing it felt smooth – possibly due to the longer chain
  • Yuba did a great job with the chainring, it’s relatively large with 48 teeth to balance out the smaller rear wheel and includes an Aluminum alloy chain guide that also functions as a chain guard for the sprocket and your pant leg (reducing snags and grease stains)
  • Both wheels offer quick release so you can take them off quickly and easily to true wheels, replace flat tubes or work on the derailleur, cassette, etc.

Cons:

  • I love that the battery pack is removable but feel that it’s difficult to unlock and actually remove because it’s surrounded by tubing
  • As with many of the TranzX Currie Electro-Drive systems the battery has to be powered on and off independent from the main display, so it’s a two step process and the main button pad takes a long time to initiate (like three seconds of holding)
  • I love the display backlight and automatic light-sensors but sometimes would like to make the display completely dark so it’s not distracting at night
  • No bottle cage bosses on the frame but plenty of other mounting points, the display is fixed and non-removable but it does swivel to reduce glare
  • Especially for a large heavy cargo bike it would be nice to have a throttle to get going from standstill but at least with the Yuba Spicy Curry you can get a boost button that acts as a throttle and I believe it’s priced under $50
  • Be careful bringing the bike down off of the kickstand or even walking with it if you get the running boards as shown in the video review above as they can scrape the back of your legs, I also noticed they can collide with curbs and other low obstacles since they hang down (this is an issue with all cargo bike platforms not just Yuba)

Resources:

More Yuba Reviews

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Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch Review

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Comments (11) YouTube Comments

Mark Dale
3 years ago

Court, Is it possible to compare and contrast this bike with a V4 or V5 Mundo equipped with a Bionx D series? I understand that, theoretically, center drive makes far more sense for a cargo bike but given that the Currie/TranzX is ‘not quite a Bosch’ and that the Bionx D series is an improvement over the 350W systems that you reviewed in the past, I was curious how far apart these bikes might be.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Mark! I really like the D-Series from BionX because it’s quiet, super powerful and offers a throttle! Since you can add the “Boost Button” to the Spicy Curry here that last point is somewhat negated. Downsides for the mid-drive are noise and increased wear on the drivetrain but they allow for a smaller 20″ diameter rear wheel which brings your cargo closer to the ground and improves balance. You don’t get regenerative braking (which would save your pads a bit) but only offers ~10% efficiency from what I’ve been told by techs at these different companies. I personally like the way the Spicy Curry looks vs. the V5 Mundo but might opt for the D-Series if my commute was shorter and I wasn’t as concerned about the height of my cargo. With the mid-drive you get more power and torque if you’re in a low gear but what if you’re not? The instantaneous power of the hub motor is going to win in that scenario so my guess is that you’d be shifting a lot more on the Spicy Curry and that in combination with the no-torque sensing will mean more chain, sprocket and derailleur wear… it’s fine just a trade off. I do really like the new BionX display and button ring too, very polished. I’d say it’s the winner if it also had the small wheel in the back but this becomes a closer call since it does not. Other considerations and upsides are that the tires and tubes will match for easier replacement, it might ride more comfortably (smaller wheels can be jarring) and the chain is higher off the ground but smaller wheels also tend to be sturdier.

  Reply
Shonda Murphy
3 years ago

Did the Spicy Curry actually have the boost button installed on the bike? I was told by my local bike shop that the boost button could not be installed on my Spicy Curry, b/c it didn’t have the port in the frame. I would love to have one installed on my Spicy Curry. Thanks

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hmm, I was told by reps at the Accell Group (when I visited) that the button pad would work with the Spicy Curry but they were moving at the time so things were busy and I did not test it out myself. Sometimes I get misinformation, even directly from companies, and my contact there is out right now so I can’t check for you. It sounds like your dealer is knowledgeable because the port on the frame is exactly how the button would be installed (it’s actually a wire that comes out near the other wires on the downtube, perhaps it slipped back into the tube?) you could poke around yourself and watch some of the other IZIP and Raleigh reviews I did recently which do show the button. Sorry I can’t help much more at the moment, I’d love to hear what you find out!

  Reply
Shonda Murphy
3 years ago

Thanks for getting back to me. I emailed Yuba directly and they also said the throttle could be installed but I’m asking for clarification b/c I don’t see a third wire to connect the throttle. Maybe it did just slip back down the tube.? I’ll keep you updated to see if I can actually get this done.

Green79
3 years ago

Hey, I also got a boost button for a Spicy Curry and also wasn’t able to connect it. Any luck?

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Ouch, that’s a huge bummer! I hope I’m not misleading people… sometimes I get misinformation directly from dealers and in this case I was at the Currie Tech headquarters but maybe they don’t know Yuba as well or just made a mistake! Please chime in if you get it working and again OR if you find out for sure that it won’t work :(

Shonda Murphy
3 years ago

I did try to get a boost button and it didn’t work for my bike. They are now saying it’s b/c the first of the Spicy Curries were made with an in-line 3 connector not a round connecter, or something along those lines. Yuba was willing to send new programing for my bike to take the boost button but I was told I could add a variable throttle without changing the programing. So the new goal is to get a variable throttle added in the next few weeks. My bike had already been in the shop for about 10 days (they replaced the quick release on the back tire so it would not fall off anymore) so I was just ready to get it back home instead of waiting for the parts to get here. I’ll update when it gets added or we find out something else.

mac
3 years ago

i have my spicy curry about three months and i have mixed feelings about it. For the past month or so the back wheel has been slipping forward and causing the gears to change erratically which is dangerous whilst on a hill with a small person on the back. i brought this to my bike guy and after a few trips back and forth he replace the lock/lever that goes through the back wheel with one that i can tighten with an allen key. For me this is frustrating as its only been a few months with an expensive bike and already having to replace parts. The other problem I’ve had is that the battery has been cutting in and out and now no matter how long i plug the battery in won’t charge completely. Again a bit frustrated and now reluctant to take the bike out with child on board as I’ve been caught on hills with the battery not working which is a bit dangerous. Any ideas as to why this is happening? Cheers

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Mac! That’s not the kind of feedback I like to see at all… what a bummer! I wish I had noticed the wheel issues you’re describing or had the chance to ride it more and notice the battery challenges (if they are widespread). Currie Technologies has a good customer support center where you can actually call in and get help and even replacement parts. I know they worked hard on this with Yuba for this bike and were very proud of it. I have seen it at the Ebike Expo events and am sure it has taken some abuse there so maybe these are isolated or known and being addressed? In any case, thank you for sharing and I hope these thoughts guide you towards solutions that make the bike feel safer for you and your child :(

  Reply

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