Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Igor Karni
Yuba is a relatively small but growing bike and e-bike company based in Cotati, California. This location is, more or less, central to the brand’s name as nearby Yuba is also the name of a popular kayak destination in the said state. The owner himself has stated that it’s one of his favorite kayaking places.
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French-born Ben Sarrazin sowed the seeds of the company when he launched the Mundo cargo bike in 2006, but back then, he was only a part of an e-bike company known as Xtracycle. As a child, he already showed a deep love for bike riding, specifically cargo bikes, which undoubtedly served to fuel his later decision to venture into the biking industry.
After his time at Xtracycle, Sarrazin chose to start his own company, and, thus, Yuba as most US riders know it, was born. The company began to manufacture its own electric models with a clear focus on cargo varieties. The main reason for this stems from Sarrazin’s extensive knowledge and experience in designing cargo models, thanks to his long-time employment with Xtracycle.
Yuba e-Bikes Review: Model Lines
|Boda Boda||Cargo, City|
Yuba: A Bonafide Cargo E-Bike Specialist
If there’s one aspect that instantly stands out in Yuba’s cargo e-bikes, it’s the sheer variety of its catalog. A total of 5 e-bike lines are available, all of which fall under the cargo category with the slight exception of the city-cargo hybrid Boda Boda. Each model follows a certain cargo variation seen in various locales around the world.
Some adhere to the capacious longtail design while others pay tribute to European styles like, for example, the Dutch front-loader style of the Supermarché. The same can be said for the African bike-taxi-inspired Boda Boda. The brand says it outright that most of its popular models follow a minivan design.
Expect most Yuba models to have decent to above-average carrying capacities, powerful Bosch and adaptable Shimano motors, satisfactory riding ranges, top-notch safety standards, and wieldy cargo designs that make comfort a priority to both the rider and passenger.
Yuba Kombi E5 Model Line
A fresh face in the e-bike market, the Kombi E5 is the electric version of the Kombi bike. When it was launched, one of the main things that made it earn the spotlight was its competitively low price tag, which isn’t exactly commonplace among cargo e-bikes in the market. It’s one of the most affordable units in the catalog, that much is certain.
That’s not all that makes it the standout e-bike that it is, though. We like its overall compactness, which allows the unit to keep its weight down yet still manage to support as much as 440 pounds (200 kg) when fully loaded. As much as 40 miles (65 km) of range can be expected from a single charge, thanks to the pedal-assist feature and the 418Wh battery, which is decent for the price.
The mid-drive Shimano motor with 20mph (32 km/h) top speed is good for an e-bike that’s clearly designed for running errands on a day-to-day basis. It’s the best example of a solid entry-level cargo e-bike, with all the right accessories like the heavy-duty rack, adjustable stem, LED front and rear lights, with a kickstand thrown in the mix.
Yuba Boda Boda Model Line
As a city e-bike, the Boda Boda is definitely larger than most but this is immediately offset by the comfortable riding experience it guarantees as well as the fact that it doubles as a reliable grocery-hauling or toddler-carrying unit. We can safely say that the Shimano-run variant of this model is infinitely better than the previous non-electric incarnation due to its quad-torturing bulk alone.
It’s a model made to replace a car for the usual grocery runs or school commutes, effectively making it a cargo e-bike for parents and families. It exhibits the trademark wieldy-ness Yuba models are praised for and is nothing short of a triumph in design.
The Shimano Steps motor is a perfect fit for its intuitive assist and weatherproof capabilities as evidenced by the inclusion of high-quality fenders and chain guards. It can achieve top speeds of 20mph (32 km/h) with relative ease even when loaded.
The powerful Tektro hydraulic brakes give justice to its lofty price tag. While its loading capacity of 200 pounds (90 kg) may be lower than most, it makes up for this in riding range, which can balloon to 70 miles (110 km) in most cases.
Puncture-resistant tires, the automatic engine shut-off feature, and bright brake lights boost safety and only serve as the cherry on top.
Yuba Spicy Curry Model Line
The Spicy Curry has been praised for its well-thought-out design, and we can’t agree more based on its components and design. For one, the rack is integrated and set securely in place to ensure the safety of the passengers. Without a doubt, that also adds to the model’s ability to carry up to 300 pounds (135 kg) of added weight.
Also, it’s designed to make passenger-mounting easier as evidenced by its low position or small overall height. The frame also feels sturdy and secure, to say the least, to the point that it’s easy to dispel any doubts you might have about its carrying capacity.
The unit uses a notable Bosch CX 250 mid-mounted motor, which only ups its power. This makes most inclines and bumps far less of a hassle to overcome, and the Turbo mode only seals the deal.
The rear wheels have their own special cover to protect the feet and legs of passengers. We also praise the inclusion of the Shimano hydraulic brakes, which is basically a safety tag for cargo e-bikes. The 400Wh battery provides a maximum of 45 miles (70 km) of the range which is acceptable, considering its load capacity.
Yuba Mundo Electric Model Line
Having been a consistent inclusion in a lot of best cargo e-bike lists at present, the Mundo, safe to say, is arguably Yuba’s most acclaimed model since its founding. And it’s not really hard to see why with its ability to replace a car for hauling things and children.
Like the Spicy Curry, the Mundo adopts a longtail design with special seats readily included in the expansive rear rack. Passengers can comfortably place their feet on the equally lengthy integrated footrest. The bike manages up to 550 pounds (250 kg), which isn’t a facet to be shrugged off in our book. At best, it’s a bonafide behemoth for that loading capacity alone.
The other eye-catching pro is the fact that it’s still easy to ride despite its sizable weight. We attribute this to the dynamic e8000 Shimano Steps motor, which is pretty much a go-to component of many an eMTB out there.
The 504Wh battery can be removed easily for convenient charging and assures as much as 40 miles (65 km) based on total load and other riding factors. The Magura hydraulic disc brakes do well to deliver the right amount of stopping power for heavily laden cargo e-bikes. The heavy-duty kickstand can support all that extra weight excellently. And who can possibly ignore the plethora of hauling add-ons and accessories you can integrate it with, like bamboo utility decks, bread baskets, and a go-getter bag, to cite a few?
On the whole, it performs equally well in two fundamental departments in this type of e-bike: riding comfort and utility. That’s a combination that’s tough to beat.
Yuba Electric Supermarché Model Line
This unit’s European style is not without its own appeal in the general American riding public, but it’s quite possibly the least popular model in the Yuba catalog. It’s probably because it lacks the ease in maneuverability than its counterparts possess. It’s also the most expensive in the entire lineup.
Nonetheless, it’s still a competently designed cargo e-bike that’s responsive to the rider and passenger’s needs. It, for one, incorporates a notably sturdy step-through frame for easy mounting and heightened durability. The Dutch-inspired passenger compartment or rack can be more comfortable for passengers on most occasions since they can lean on its sides.
Considering the price, it’s good that Yuba went to the limit to use a mid-mounted Bosch Performance Line motor for this model. Besides the lower center of gravity perk that’s ideal for supporting the extra weight, the rider/s can rely on its power to successfully negotiate even the steepest inclines despite the said added weight.
The riding range is comparatively higher, too, with users reporting that they can get up to 60 miles (95 km) out of it. Add to this the Magura hydraulic disc brakes, high-visibility reflective tires, superior fenders, and bright LED lights, and you pretty much get a good combination of power and safety.
Overall, it’s a worthy front-loading offering from Yuba and should never be overlooked despite its flaws.
What Do Riders Love About Yuba E-Bikes?
They love the fact that they know what to deliver in a cargo e-bike. They also like that the brand makes the effort to provide them with variety in their options, not only in the features that they want but also in meeting their budget requirements.
It’s a brand that typifies the adage that it’s better to concentrate on one thing and get better at it — at least, to that effect. In the case of Yuba, it’s almost already a surety that they can offer the best cargo e-bike offerings due to that fact alone.
What Countries Does Yuba Ship To?
Besides its main US arm, Yuba also has a European subsidiary in the form of Yuba Europe. That being said, Yuba caters to most customers in North America – the US (including Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada both, besides offering international shipping to most countries as well.
In Europe, almost all countries within the continent are supported since the brand is open to working with forwarding agencies.
Read also: Check out the most popular e-bike brands.
Take a look at this quick video introduction of Yuba Komni E5 Compact Cargo e-bike: