Note to Self:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

v3 Mundo: Preliminary Comments

I've ridden the new Mundo for a couple of days and feel I am in a unique position for comments and comparison in that I originally owned a v1 and now a v3. My overall first impressions are that I love this bike. It will without doubt become my new "everyday bike," something the v1 couldn't do because of sheer weight and overall clunkyness (is that a word?). While this bike is essentially the same size as the v1 it is streamlined and refined, not to mention lighter. As best I can figure the v1 weighed about 62lbs while the v3 is about 50lbs. I deduced these numbers by first standing on a bathroom scale by myself, noting the weight, then standing on the scale again only this time holding the Mundo (which is no easy feat). Anyhow, here's a few initial thoughts.

The first is purely superficial in that I love the flat black color with white logo. I'm not sure why but I've always liked my bikes black. Now that I've sold the v1 and the trike my (shrinking) fleet is once again black.

One thing about the new bike that pleasantly surprised me was the extra long heavy duty kickstand (this is a lot of bike to hold up with a single kickstand). While I plan on purchasing a stand alone double kickstand when it becomes available, I am surprised how well this one works. But the problem I have with it is that it leans the bike like a normal kickstand and would not be suitable for loading heavy loads. Nonetheless, it works surprisingly well and will be fine until the stand alone kickstand is available.

I love the extra gears. They shift great and work well. I rode through a park today and went up a hill at about a 60 percent grade and didn't even have to stand up...just put it in 1st gear and pedaled slowly.


This brings me to a couple things that I miss, or at least are not too keen on the new bike. One is that I miss the full chain-guard that was on the v1. While my pants will not get caught in the chain they did rub against it as I pedaled. This will necessitate wearing something around my ankle if wearing dress pants or anything other than jeans. Also, when the chain is on the two lower gears of the front sprocket it sags because of its length, causing it to occasionally bounce annoyingly against the frame. The last thing is that there are no eyelets on the front fork, making it difficult to mount a front rack. I overcame this with the aid of a couple copper pipe clamps. These really are the only few things I have to say in a negative context about the bike...more good stuff below.










Speaking of threaded eyelets...there are tons of them all over the rest of the bike, making it ready for personal customization (why none on the fork I wonder?). One of the best, and smartest I think, that were included on this bike are the eyelets for mounting a water bottle cage...prior I had to bungee a bottle onto the back rack.

Another thing I really like about this new bike are the new handlebars and fully adjustable stem. The handlebars are slightly narrower...I know this doesn't sound like much but it really makes a difference in your position (and yes, that is a cup holder on the handlebars...gotta have coffee). But what really makes a big difference is the adjustable stem. I moved the handlebars slightly back and upward which offers a perfectly upright riding position. I didn't think it was possible, but this bike is even more comfortable to ride than the v1. With it's lighter weight, streamlined frame, more gears, and better components, this bike is not for only shorter trips like the v1...I rode for about 10 miles today and it was smooth and nearly effortless.


I haven't used the bike for any really big hauls yet, but when I do I'll be looking forward to using the strap-slots that are located around the upper and lower rear carriers...no more slipped straps and shifting loads.


The real crown piece of this bike still remains, only more refined: the rear carrier. Measuring a full thirty-two inches long this thing can carry stuff. It's refined in that the framework seems to be slightly thinner and it comes with a plastic top deck, which screws down tight with corresponding eyelets.

All-in-all I couldn't be happier with this bike. I look forward to it not just as my everyday mode of transport, but also a couple longer excursions as well. Undoubtedly I will make small customizations...I'll keep you posted.

4 comments:

Mr Colostomy said...

The new Mundo looks good, but just out of curiousity, why do you want the front rack anyway? Surely the rear rack is enough for anyone?

Joe said...

MR. Colostomy,

You are correct that the front rack is large enough, in fact as you know the entire bike is over-kill...rarely do I use the bike to its full capabilities. The front rack as mostly ascetics...I simply like how it looks and I have them on a few of my bikes. But they are handy when you have smaller items, such as a dvd for example, that you can slip on the front rack and keep an eye on it as you pedal.

I enjoy your blog, by the way. Interestingly I've heard heard comparisons between Manchester and Buffalo...sister cities from a bygone industrial era I suppose.

Anyhow thanks for reading and commenting.

Cheers.

Joe

jim said...

Congrats on your new ride! I just couldn't warm up to the blue color on the V1, but the matte black on the V3 rocks. Your gonna just love your expanded gear range. Up here in Niagara County, we have tons of great flat riding, but the elephant in the room is the Niagara escarpment. It's at least a 60% grade depending on where you climb it and the distance ranges from a mile here in Lewiston to 2-3 miles in the eastern part of the county. I can climb 'em all with the wide range gearing on my Big Dummy and I'm sure you'll be able to as well. This expanded gearing truly does make it possible to use these long bikes as daily drivers and they work wonderfully at it. Enjoy your new bike, Joe, and keep us posted!

Mr Colostomy said...

I see, makes sense. I was half-wondering if it was because you wanted to use standard panniers on it. The V2 and V3 rear rack can just about take the Rixen and Kaul hooks found on many pannier bags (I recommend the Altura Arran on the Yuba). I imagine the V1 would have been more of an issue for these hooks.

It can be quite fun riding with 6 pannier bags on your rear rack, plus they can be used on more conventional bikes when needed.

Anyway, thanks for the reply, and for taking a peek at my blog too, if you look at the pics you might notice a (much cruder) version of the top deck you described how to make on this very blog. Thanks for that.