How I Built Running Boards For My Yuba Mundo (and it cost next-to-nothing)

This is really a continuation (albeit almost two years late) of a post showing how I built a top deck for my v1 Mundo (click here to see that post). After building that top deck I had always intended on building sideboards but never got around to do it. The new v3 Mundo makes it easy because there are plenty of threaded screws on the sidebars for easy attachment (they are all over the bike actually...this is an awesome addition to this version). Unlike the v1, the v3 comes equipped with a top deck, which I love. And Yuba does sell running boards (click here to see them) and I've thought about purchasing them but am reluctant because there is nowhere to attach bungee cords once the sideboards are attached. They have made room for straps but no design will accommodate both (I tend to use bungees rather than straps, unless it's a super heavy load). I have to say this, though, that I'm sure the recycled plastic sideboards that Yuba offers will outlast my homemade ones which are made of 1/4" plywood...we'll see how they survive a harsh Buffalo winter.

The reason these cost almost nothing for me to make is that I already had the wood...still had a piece left from when I built the top deck. My only cost was a $2.99 can of spray paint and a couple hours of my own time. If I had to purchase the wood it would probably cost another $8.00. By adding these sideboards I figure I've at least doubled my load capacity and loading options. I would be interested in hearing from other Mundo owners, Xtracylers, and other cargo bikers on their thoughts and ways in which they've modified their bikes.

Anyhow, this is how I made them (click any photo for a larger view).

I stared by removing all of the screws from the sidebars.

Next I cut the piece of wood in half, and cut it in length a bit as well, to make it more manageable. Then I rested it on the sidebar and traced it's outline.

Next I cut the shape of the sidebar on the traced line, and repeated the process in revers for the other side. But on the right side of the bike I also had to cut a small section of the board to accommodate the derailleur.

One of the things that perplexed me was how I would line up the threaded holes for the screws with those that I drilled. This is what I did, and surprisingly it worked. Using a hammer I tapped it over the area where the screw hole was (I also placed a board scrap over the board--not pictured--to protect the future running board). What this did was leave an indentation on the underside of the board (see photo), which was basically a bull's eye for me to drill holes in which to attach the screws.

Next I used a bore attachment to a drill and, straddling the edge of the board, cut semi-circles, giving the board a sort of Swiss cheese appearance.

After this I sanded the boards and spray painted them on both sides. Having a matte black Mundo it was easy to find the correct color. I did consider staining them, like I did with the top deck on the v1 giving it a sleeker appearance, but then I liked the idea of them blending into the bike rather than standing out.

After the boards were nearly dry I attached them with the screws (which "mostly" fit good...with a little finagling), and them took the bike for a brief ride though the city to air dry them. They look almost store-bought, don't you think?


Dr C. said…
I used the exact same hammer and bullseye approach when I made the top deck for my Kona Africa Bike. When I did the Mundo deck I just followed the instructions on this blog, before realising that the V2 Yuba had a narrower rack and then starting again from scratch. Measure twice, cut once.
Mark Stosberg said…
Thanks for sharing these details
Andy in Germany said…
A very beautiful finish there. It make me wonder if I could do something similar with a spraydeck when the water finally gets under that nice logo.
John said…
Good stuff. Having aluminium footboards I had to build a little hole-finder- which I will document on my new blog.
I like the look of the aluminum, and its lightweight- does rattle a bit on bumps. Perhaps a little rubber gasket would help.
Anonymous said…
Swiss cheese running boards for the Swiss army knife of bicycling! They look great!
Anonymous said…
Great tips on doing this - I was thinking about cutting the running boards from 3/8" plywood. I'll offer some additional advice: (1) You could mark the screw holes on the underside of the boards by pressing a thin awl, nail, or brad up through the threaded hole; (2) To drill the "Swiss cheese" holes for the bungee cords, use a Forstner bit and a drill press if you have one (Forstner bits are much, much better for drilling on the edges of boards); (3) Before boring the "Swiss cheese" holes, use the board as a template for making additional boards with a router and flush trim bit - much easier and quicker! If you're worried about 1/4" plywood lasting, save the template for future use.