First Impression: Yuba Boda Boda


Editor’s note: Here at Bicycle Times we are as mindful of price as you are. So we gathered together a group of six very diverse bikes to showcase what you can find right now at the $1,000 price point. See our introduction here.

There’s no doubt about it: this is a quirky bike with a quirky name. The second Yuba model after the widely acclaimed Mundo long-tail, the Boda Boda is designed as a “half-tail”, a bike that falls somewhere in between the 18-wheeler Mundo and a regular car. If we keep rolling with the analogy, the Boda Boda is a minivan—plenty of room for kids and stuff, but not so big that you won’t be able to park it.

There are two models available: a small/medium step-through and a medium/large step over, which is what’s pictured here. At six-foot-two I’m pushing the limits of the seatpost, but otherwise the bike fits great. The handlebars are nice and wide, and the riding position is upright and relaxed. If you’ve ridden a Dutch-style opafiets, you’re going to feel right at home.


Behind that seatpost is where things get interesting though. The wheelbase is extended to allow for the extra cargo space created by the integrated rear rack. Yuba offers a ton of accessories for hauling kids or cargo, but to squeak under the $1,000 limit we had to go without. Now, normal panniers do attach just fine, but you’re really missing out on the versatility of the bike without them. The extra-huge Yuba Baguette panniers are $89 each.


If you’re wondering, the black panels over the rear wheel are skirt guards to keep kids toes or—or your skirt—from getting caught up in the spokes. They are easily removable if you’re more of a pants-person.


So far I’ve taken the Boda Boda on a few leisurely rides and it has a great casual vibe to it. It’s certainly a bike you could ride as an everyday commuter without feeling like you’re a piloting a cargo ship. Watch for my full, long-term review in an upcoming issue of the magazine. Subscribe today and you won’t miss it.



Amputee uses Xtracycle to help others with phantom limb pain


One night in 2004, Stephen Sumner was returning home on his motorcycle from eating pizza with friends in Tuscany, Italy, when he was struck by a car and left for dead. He lost his left leg from above the knee but was lucky to be alive. For years after, he suffered terrible bouts of phantom limb pain, which is when an amputee continues to have feeling—mostly painful—in the limbs they no longer have.

He finally broke free of the pain with a remedy known as Mirror Therapy, and it involves using a simple mirror reflect the intact limb in place of the phantom limb, thereby giving a visual sensation of its presence. Though how it works is not entirely understood, the practice is effective for most amputees, 50 to 80 precent of whom suffer from such pain.

He was so inspired by his recovery that he travels the world to areas in conflict or are otherwise impoverished to help those in need deal with their suffering. They include places such as Cambodia, where thousands of children and adults have been injured—if not killed—by unexploded land mines. He keeps a website called Me and My Mirror where he documents his travels and describes her personal experience with phantom limb pain.

An avid cyclist before the accident, Sumner uses an Xtracycle long-tail cargo bike to travel from village to village to help folks deal with their pain by distributing mirrors and teaching people how to use them.

Learn more

You can read more about Sumner and his travels at Me and My Mirror as well as in this excellent article from Mosaic, a web magazine about science and biology. Also, if you know of anyone else who uses an Xtracycle to do inspiring work, let Xtracycle know at



This Just In: Bike Friday Haul-A-Day


The Haul-A-Day haulin’ gear for a product photo shoot.

Bike Friday is perhaps best known for its line of folding bikes, including the New World Tourist I reviewed a few years back, but it also makes some excellent tandem and cargo bikes.

The Haul-A-Day is a new model for the Eugene, Oregon, based company, which designs and builds all its products in the Beaver State. The Eugene Safe Routes to School program co-ordinator though it would be great to have a cargo bike for class leaders to lead their fleet of Bike Fridays, and company founder Alan Scholz took the idea from concept to reality.


While it does sport 20-inch wheels and a one-size-fits-most geometry, it does not fold. The main boom can be extended (or in this case retracted from its current setting) and the handlebars and saddle obviously adjust quite a bit.


The cargo area is not quite as long as that of an Xtracycle, but it is still plenty room for groceries, kids, or whatever you’re hauling. An additional bonus is the ability to clip traditional panniers to the bed rails for more versatile carrying options.


The basket out front mounts directly to the frame so it doesn’t turn with the handlebars, which is a bit odd at first but greatly benefits the stability of the steering.


Bike Friday says it wasn’t looking for outright cargo capacity when it designed the Haul-A-Day, rather it wanted something that was slightly smaller, more maneuverable, more manageable for women and smaller riders, and can fit a wide variety of users. I think they’ve checked all those boxes, as it fills the void nicely between a normal city bike and my massive Surly Big Dummy. Think of it as a two-thirds-sized long-tail. The 20-inch wheels are super strong and keep the weight down low. Being able to step through the frame is also a lot easier than swinging a leg over when it’s loaded down.


There are a bunch of cool mounts as well, including a little flag holder, as well as mounts for a stand that can lift the rear wheel to be connected to a power-generating device.


Each Bike Friday is built to order, so you the kit you see here isn’t “standard,” but all these accessories pictured here are available. A base model with a rear disc brake, V-brake in the front, rear rack, dual bags, kickstand, straight handlebar and pedals starts at $1,498.

Watch for our long-term review in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times. Order a subscription now and you’ll be sure not to miss it.



Review: Xtracycle EdgeRunner


Xtracycle is largely responsible for the blossoming of the longtail cargo bike market in the United States. In the late 1990s, Xtracycle was thinking big thoughts about what widespread acceptance of the cargo bike could do for American transportation infrastructure. This led to the FreeRadical, a bolt-on rear frame extension that turned many an unused bike into an incredibly practical cargo bike. Since then, the longtail has been in continuous development, with a handful of companies using the Xtracycle LT open standard as the basis for complete cargo bikes. 

The idea of a complete bike has always been part of the plan at Xtracycle, but until the EdgeRunner, all complete Xtracycles just used the bolt-on FreeRadical extension. But a purpose-built, one-piece frame is really the best way to go for a heavy-duty cargo bike. While Xtracycle wasn’t quick to come to market with one, the EdgeRunner was worth the wait.

Read our full review here.

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