Cargo bikes are generally the workhorses of the bike world, so I take special delight in finding models that are as fun to ride as they are utilitarian. Yuba makes this two-fer look easy with the brand-new Sweet Curry—a human-powered take on the beloved electric Yuba Spicy Curry.
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The Sweet Curry shares the same geometry and good looks as its more savory e-sibling, as well as a sturdy aluminum frame and a 20-inch rear wheel that gives the rider extra control under load. It was designed for two distinct types of riders: those who loved the Spicy Curry but didn’t want the electric assist, and those who loved the Spicy Curry but wanted to add their own motor. The bike is designed to adapt to any mid-drive motor for riders who fall into the latter category.
Ridden with only pedal power, the bike is immediately easy to handle and takes turns well, especially given its size. Without a load, the 2x9 Shimano gearing—with a 50/34 chainring and 11-32t cassette—makes it easy to climb; even with a human passenger on the back, a long uphill still feels doable and more of a fun challenge than a Herculean task that makes you miss your old pickup truck. Plus, thanks to the bike’s disc brakes (BB7 180mm rotors front and rear), bombing downhill into gravel invokes confidence instead of terror in both the rider and any potential human cargo, based on my testing experience.
The bike also adds a sturdy front basket to the Spicy Curry that’s capable of holding 50 pounds—or “a full-grown pit bull,” according to the folks at Yuba. (Note: It was not tested under these conditions.) The extended rear rack can haul 300 pounds in addition to a rider, so approximately six well-behaved pit bulls, by Yuba’s metric. The Sweet Curry comes with a front basket, full-coverage fenders, and an extended rear rack with wood footrests.
If you haven’t tried a full-size cargo bike before and are uncertain as to whether they’ll feel awkward or unwieldy, the Sweet Curry is a great place to jump right in and grow your confidence. Unloaded, it doesn’t handle that differently from an ordinary commuter bike. The only difference is how many groceries—or moving boxes, or building supplies, or kids, or maybe even pit bulls—you can safely and easily tote across town with it.
Look for this $2,199 bright-orange dream machine in February 2017. We don't have sizing information yet, but expect it to be similar to the Spicy Curry, where suggested rider height range is 5’0” to 6’5”.