Cycling in Melbourne Australia
I've just posted this review in the reviews section but since it is about a utility bike I'd thought I'd also add it here.
This is a review for the Zietbikes Lugger. I've had it for a few months now so I thought that since there is still one left for sale at cargocycles.com.au I'd write about it to give any potential buyers some points to ponder.
- It is a ready to roll, working, cargo bike for only $699. This includes a stand, a deck on the back, bags that can carry a weeks worth of shopping and mud guards.
- I've been carrying shopping, friends and anything else I can think of and neither the bike nor my knees has lodged a complaint. I'm not sure what it's load limit is but I know that I've not been near it.
- Haven ridden racers for the past 10 years I am really enjoying the upright riding position. I now pay more attention to the scenery instead of the act of riding.
- A good gear range that has never left me unable to tackle a hill with a load. I don't tackle many hills but when I do I'm able to drop down to the granny gears and just spin my way up.
- It is extremely well balanced when loaded and rolling. Once you get going you really don't notice what is back there. Of course you are aware of it and when you hit a hill you'll need to put in a bit more effort, but there is no flex, twist or sway like when I rode with loaded panniers on my old bike.
- Nice strong 48 spoke wheels.
- The bell has the loudest and clearest ring that I've ever heard.
- It is a $699 bike. Gary at cargocycles was completely honest about this and if you are going to buy it then you have to be honest with yourself as well. There will always be little faults and it will require more of your attention to keep in good adjustment.
- The chain knocks against the frame from above and the kick stand from underneath. It is a long chain and so there is a bit of movement in it.
- Rear gears are hard to tune. The gears are shimano but far from the best. I frequently adjust them but they have never been free of skipping. To counter this when riding I tend to just move through the three gears of the front derailer and change the back when I need to.
- This bike is heavy. Especially with the wings on the back. I've taken them off and have found that this has made a huge difference. I also didn't like commuting with them on as I was afraid of accidently scratching a car. The bags that come with the bike require the wings to support them. Without the wings these bags will not work properly as the load will just hang low and flap about. I've got two Yuba Mundo go-getter bags that I use and I would recommend getting some if you don't want to come up with your own solution for carrying things without the wings.
- The mudguards are not long enough so water sprays up and soaks your feet as you pedal.
- I've found the seat to be very uncomfortable.
This bike has completely replaced my racer with panniers and trailer hitch. I have made the compromise of leaving a little bit earlier in order to easily carry whatever I need in a comfortable way. However I don't feel like I'm losing a lot of time on my commute from Coburg to the city. I can't tell you the difference but it feels to be about 5-7 minutes. Of the above cons that I've listed most of them can be overcome with a little bit of work. It isn't going to be hard for me to extend the mudguards using a bit of rubber and I intend to update the drive train in the future so the issues with the gears and chain-line won't exist forever. I've always intended to spend more time working with and learning about bicycles and this bike has forced me to pull out the spanners and see how it all works so for me the enforced fiddling is actually a bonus.
In summary I think that for the price the Lugger is a fantastic buy for $699. The pros of owning a utility bike outweigh the cons of the basic components. I would be very surprised if I don't get at least 10 years out of this frame and that is where the value is in this bike. I'm 30 and I've never needed to own a car. This bike has made it even easier to live without one.
I'd also very happily get another bike from Gary at cargocycles.com.au. His honesty about his product and his enthusiasm for practical and affordable cargo cycling are traits that I think can only be good for cycling.
I forgot to add a link to the bikes webpage.
Thanks for your honest review.
The offer stands to take a look at the driveline now it's had some use. I'd be happy to resolve it for you if you can swing by the warehouse at any stage. My wife rides one around and the change is smooth. It may be you have a stiff cable or something that I can easily fix.
The Alivio system is a reasonable quality unit so it shouldn't cause you that trouble.
You can have a test ride of the Yuba Mundo V4 while you are here if you like. They arrived today!
The main reason that I took the gearing difficulty to be the norm is that other people have noted the same difficulty with bikes that have long chain lines. I've seen it commented on about the Yuba, the Rans Hammer Truck and some xtra-cycles so it didn't irk me. But as I was attempting to give a review I thought I'd throw it in. If I still can't solve it myself using all the advice that has been given to me I'll drop by.