Longtail comparison: Yuba Mundo, Kona Ute, and Surly Big Dummy

I’ve been drooling over longtail cargo bikes for more than a year now, and, with Sir close to outgrowing the IBert, the time has come.

Over the past few months, we’ve done our research, comparing the options and doing some limited test riding.  I created this table to aid in the comparison process.  We eliminated the Big Dummy fairly early on, given its sticker price and lower load capacity, hence the incomplete column.

Kona Ute

Yuba Mundo

Surly Big Dummy

Base price $1300 $1250 $2400-2600
Weight 35+ lbs 48 lbs
Max Hauling Cap. ??? 440 lbs (+rider) 400 lbs total
Bags X $129 (x2)
Toddler seat $230 $169
Fenders X X
Front-wheel stabilizer X X
Side loaders no X
Disc brakes X $100-$250
Kickstand X X

An “X” indicates that the feature is included in the base price of the bike.

The Ute comes in an 18″ and 20″ frame size.  At 6’2″, Matthew was comfortable on both.  I rode the 20″ MinUte and found it fairly comfortable, although I wondered if I would have felt a bit more stable on the 18″.

The rear wheel on the Ute is larger than that on other longtails, meaning that the load on the rear rack has a higher center of gravity.  I’ve read some complaints about this making the bicycle difficult to handle, particularly for shorter riders.

The Mundo frame is one-size-fits-all riders from 5′ to 6’5″.  I met a local Mundo family, but so far our efforts to set up a test ride haven’t worked (their bike needs a new wheel and some other work to be ride-able).  Unfortunately, there are not [yet] any Yuba dealers in St. Louis.  The closest dealer is two hours away in Columbia, MO, so we have yet to test ride a Mundo.

Since longtails are a rarity around here, our chances of finding a used one of any kind is practically zero.

Despite it feeling a bit like flying blind, since I’ve never ridden either the Ute or the Mundo (or any other longtail, for that matter), we’ve decided to take the plunge.  So, any guesses which bike we’re picking?

———————-

Read more longtail reviews (from people who’ve actually ridden them!) and check out some other cargo bike options at the links below:

Cargo bike pocket reviews
Loaner bike: Yuba Mundo v4
We ride: Our Fleet
Joe Bike — Cargo bikes

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7 Responses to Longtail comparison: Yuba Mundo, Kona Ute, and Surly Big Dummy

  1. dandeangeli says:

    I like the Sun Atlas. Half the cost of all listed. I got mine new for $650

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  5. ibikestl says:

    I’ve got a Big Dummy that you can probably try out sometime. There’s also the new Xtracycle EdgeRunner that looks very promising. One thing I really wish for is that the top tube was lower on my Dummy. With a couple of kids on the back, you’ve got a relatively heavy load (say, 100-150 pounds) pretty high up. That tends to get a bit tippy if you’re used to leaning your bike over to get your leg over the top tube. Swinging your leg behind the saddle isn’t an option unless you like kicking your kids in the face. I specifically went with the 18″ Dummy for the lower standover. Size wise, I could have easily gone with the 20, but the 18 works just fine since the top tube is relatively long for the frame size (Surly has all the specs published on their website, look for a size that has the “effective top tube” size closest to your favorite road bike size). The 18″ size gave me more standover which really translates into a lower step over which makes it far easier to mount/dismount loaded.

    One thing I really like about the Edgerunner design is that the deck is lower, so kids sit lower, which means you get a lower center of gravity which makes things less tippy, more stable, more fun, etc, etc.. And the standover (which again, is really the step over) is also way lower. I can tell you from experience that one of the key things with a cargo bike is to get the heavy stuff as low and forward as possible, that makes handling and mounting/dismounting much easier.

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