Yuba Bicycles was launched in 2006 by Benjamin Sarrazin after his travels around the world showed him a need for “practical bicycles that can be used for carrying loads and getting work done.”
Based in Petaluma, Calif., Yuba now offers a range of such rides — called cargo bikes — and has a mission to provide consumers with bikes that can replace cars for errands.
A new model, the elMundo V5 BionX, accomplishes this with an electric-assist motor. The company markets the bike for “carrying large objects or passengers greater distances than possible on a regular bike.”
Said founder Sarrazin, “The BionX is really helpful when in traffic or setting out from a red light because it gets you up to cruising speed quickly.” He added: “If you live atop a hill it allows you to pedal up with a full load while barely breaking a sweat.”
The steel-frame bike has an extra long wheel base and 21 speeds. The integrated rear rack lets you load on gear, groceries, or children needing a lift.
Its 500-watt motor can be turned off and on. It provides a boost to each pedal stroke, though this is no moped — you do need to pedal to go.
Cost to charge? Let’s just say it’s way less than gas. Yuba cites the El Mundo’s rechargeable battery lasts from 20 to nearly 40 miles depending on the terrain, and its battery costs just a few cents to recharge.
The bike costs $4,500, but for that price you get a ride that can truly replace a car for many around-town errands. Getting groceries has never been so fun.