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First look at Yuba’s new ‘Boda Boda cargo cruiser’

Posted by on June 23rd, 2012 at 12:19 pm

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Portlanders got a sneak peek at Yuba’s new Boda Boda last weekend.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)


Yuba has a new offering in the growing cargo bike market. The California-based company that has built a strong reputation with their no-nonsense and extremely capable Mundo cargo bike (which was also launched in 2008), unveiled their new Boda Boda model in Portland last weekend.

The bike was on display at the Disaster Relief Trials on Sunday and two Yuba employees rode them in the World Naked Bike Ride the night before (sorry, I’ve promised to not share those photos).

New Yuba Boda Boda cargo bike-2
Yuba Marketing Director
Kaytea Petro.

Yuba’s Marketing Director Kaytea Petro (who looks great in leopard print, sorry Kaytea) calls the new bike a “cargo cruiser” and the name comes from the common African taxis known as Boda-bodas. The bike’s design was also inspired by the African boda-boda, which are standard bicycles (or motorcycles) with a large and padded rear rack designed for hauling people.

Petro says the rear rack on the Boda Boda has a 220 pound weight capacity, which makes it, “Perfect for a kid or a date.”

The first thing I noticed about the bike was its swooping lines. The aluminum tubes of the step-through front end swoop down toward the seat tube and then head skyward again as they turn into the supports for the rear rack. The rear rack is the entire rear end of the bike. The large deck features a bamboo inlay and an opening made for hands. There are also sideboards for your feet.

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New Yuba Boda Boda cargo bike-1
New Yuba Boda Boda cargo bike-3
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Petro said all the company’s accessories for the Mundo will also work on the Boda Boda (including the massive, frame-mounted front rack). They’ve also made some new accessories just for the Boda Boda like a sharp new pannier bag. The drivetrain is a standard, 8-speed SRAM rear derailleur (not internal).

The feel of the bike is definitely cruiser. The wide bars, large tires and the gentle geometry make this bike feel very laid-back. It’s an interesting departure from Yuba’s much more serious cargo/utility background, which may be yet another sign that cargo bikes are entering the mainstream. The ride is as predictable and relaxed as you’d expect. Petro claims a total bike weight of just 35 pounds.

The Boda Boda will definitely be a contender in the growing “midtail” market. Xtracycle proved to the bike industry (including Yuba, whose Mundo was inspired by it) that there’s a huge market for longtails. But now there’s a realization that not everyone wants the full commitment of such a long rear end. Kona has recognized this as well with the introduction of the Minute last year (a smaller version of their Ute longtail) and there’s a Portland-made bike in the works that is also based on the midtail concept (more details on that soon).

The Boda Boda comes in green and white and will retail for about $1,000 with availability starting at the end of July. Portland’s Joe Bike is the largest Yuba dealer on the planet (seriously) and they’re taking pre-orders now.

For more details and impressions about the Boda Boda, check out this post on Joe Bike’s blog.

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Comments
  • Will Vanlue (Contributor) June 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Wait a sec…I thought I had the one-and-only Cargo Cruiser! ;)

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    • Lindsay June 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      that’s a lovely bike there!

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Lindsay June 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Loving this bike- we hope to add one to the stable- two Yubas will be a fun and functional for our family.

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  • tim June 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    The rear dropouts being welded to the middle of unsupported small-diameter horizontal aluminum tubes several inches long, right under the load, looks like maybe a weak point? What’s warranty?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bill June 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    220 pound capacity? I’m 205, so does that mean I can only carry 15 lbs. of stuff?

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  • Sunny June 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    The ability to fit on Trimet bus racks and MAX? If so, this could be an alternative to families with trailers(prohibited on Trimet) traveling great distances without fear of inability to pedal home.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Robert Rowe June 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Now I can ditch the car! (Main reason I still have it, is because there are times when I pick my partner up. With a Boda Boda, she gets to ride on the rack.)

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Paul Smith June 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I had a chance to ride it last weekend. Smooth ride and easy on the eyes. Though looking at the Kona Minute Jonathan linked, it’s got a higher capacity, disk brakes and comes with two cargo bags. Same price. The Boda Boda is perhaps sexier and more versatile in what it accepts though :)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Smith June 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Reading Joe’s review and the MinUte’s review, the Boda Boda sounds lots better.

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  • Hugh Johnson June 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

    That’s great and all but where are these made? Are snobby Portlanders willing to pony up for another bike made in China?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • spare_wheel June 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      hiten steel and a 7 speed drive train?

      sorry for the rant but there is absolutely no way i would ride this block of steel 30-40 miles to a suburban mall. would someone please make a 30 lb cargo bike with a modern drive train. PLEASE!!!!

      if they can do this with tandems there is absolutely no reason not to do this is a cargo bike. seriously, what is up with all the straight gauge non-butted hiten steel being used in this style of bike? my 1994 mountain bike beats the pants of this bike in terms of technology.

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      • dr2chase June 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        Big Dummy is 4130 CrMo, double-butted main triangle. Drive train can be pretty much whatever you want (people use derailers, Nuvinci’s, Rohloffs whatever). Still doesn’t weigh 30 lbs, I think because it is designed to be used with a little less care than that 30lb tandem you have in mind.

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      • Lindsay June 24, 2012 at 10:47 pm

        It’s not steel, it’s actually aluminum;)

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Sunny June 25, 2012 at 12:04 am

        Just get a heavy duty rack(or make one yourself) and call it a day.

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      • Kristen June 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

        30-40 miles to a suburban mall? Where do you live, Battle Ground? I did a quick Google maps search, it’s 29.5 miles from downtown Battle Ground to Clackamas Town Center.

        Most places in Portland, it’s way less than that to get to a Suburban Mall– by which I think you mean Clackamas Town Center or Washington Square. Lloyd Center and Pioneer Place aren’t suburban.

        Anyway. I think it’s a great bike, and if I had the funds I’d investigate getting one– one main reason for not getting rid of my car is my need to transport an 80-pound, 13-year old black lab mix with bad knees and a poor attitude on wheeled transport.

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        • spare_wheel June 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

          my route to clackamas is 14.9 miles one way.

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  • dude June 24, 2012 at 9:44 am

    The person on the back looks uncormfortable. I would guess this is better suited for a smaller passenger?

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  • Jim Lee June 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Sunny:

    Please do not try to put this on a TriMet bus rack!

    The handle bars alone will smash a bike in the other slot to bits.

    I have perfected the bus-specific bike, should anyone care, after years of accumulated research.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Sunny June 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      JoeBike site says it’s Trimet compatible. We need photographic confirmation and there’s a Trimet rack at Community Cycling Center.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • TonyH June 25, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Well, not the most flattering picture of my wife! Suzi said that she was comfortable, but felt odd, at first, being a passive passenger. The picture was taken just as we were taking off for our spin around the parking lot, and Suzi was reflexively searching for the pedals. We actually liked the bike a lot, and have been discussing getting a cargo bike (we’re a bike trailer family) for those quick dashes to the market.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • woogie June 25, 2012 at 7:33 am

    As a people carrier I’d like to see some barrier between the passenger and the wheels.

    Little kids might not be able to get their feet onto the rails, and I’d hate to see their feet pulled into the spokes.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • CaptainKarma June 25, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Looks like a dumpster on the front handlebars.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Craig Harlow July 31, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I’m wondering why the rear rack is set so high above the wheel, at 5.5 inches clearance? I don’t know the engineering lingo, but I assume that the lower the load, the more stable–it’s one of the reasons I like my Yuba Mundo so much. Guess I’ll ask the Yuba folks.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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