Spicy Curry Review

Cargo bikes are a ton of fun and incredibly useful for getting your people and stuff around town. Some models boast a hefty weight capacity which sounds great until you are pushing off from a dead stop or facing a hill. Thankfully, models like the Spicy Curry by Yuba Bicycles have electric assist built in.



This longtail cargo bike is a collaboration of Yuba Bicycles and Currie Technologies. Yuba designed the bike with a mid-drive motor in mind. Asa long time electric motor maker, Currie provides the power with their 48v 417wh system.

I was able to take a test ride one Saturday afternoon. Hopefully, a long term test is in the future. So here are my thoughts on this cool cargo bike.

Retail Price: $4,200.00

Pros:                                                   Cons:
Configurable rear deck                        Slightly cramped cockpit
Low CG w/ Yepp ready deck               Single kickstand lack stability    
Clear detailed LCD display                  Rough shifting under power
Nimble handling
Light weight



First off I found this bike to be surprisingly light weight given it's three hundred pound hauling capacity. A beefy ridged aluminum frame is what affords the Spicy Curry such a nice balance between it's weight and hauling capabilities.

The unit I tested was equipped with one Yepp child seat and there are built in brackets to accommodate a second seat. If you have an older child, add a seat pad and stoker bars behind the seat post. 




While we are talking about the working end of this longtail, check out what Yuba did with the foot step mounts. They can serve double duty. You can take the tarditionally lower mounted foot stepps and move them to the upper holes provided you remove the child seat. Now the Spicy Curry is a flatbed delivery vehicle.


Photo by Yuba Bicycles
A pair of U shaped bars can be added as well to give the flatbed side walls. Though I didn't have the opportunity to load it up with hids or cargo, it is clearly and easy task given the low deck height. 

Both the side steps and U-bars for side walls come as additional cost accessories.

Hauling

Carrying stuff is by bike is why you are here right? The Spicy curry does it well. Frame design and a 20" rear wheel allow for a low center of gravity. This helps to maintain stability under load. Small fee are protected from moving rear spokes by plastic mesh shielding the rear wheel.

Yuba engineered this ride to haul up to 300 lbs. in addition to a rider. Keeping yourself and cargo clean is easy with included front and rear fenders.

The Mid-drive Movement


Yuba is leading frame specific mid-drive trend with others such as  theXtracycle electic Edgerunner and Felt Bruhaul. The Spicy Curry takes a unique path by teaming up with Currie Technologies. These frames are designed around a motor that directly drives the crank. Combined with low battery placement rider confidence should be very high. 

Currie Tech's system is assist only, there is no throttle. You can control the level of assist the electric motor provides based on your needs. Crank up the assist for heavy loads or steep terrain and they melt away. Another benefit to is that you have a full rear cassette for a range of gear options.

While the electronic controls functioned well and have a quality feel there was one rough spot. Shifting gears while the electric assist motor is running sounds harsh. It make you wonder if long term damage to the drive train will come prematurely. The best way to avoid the jolt and bang is to time your shifts to occur when you are not under electric power.

Ride quality / Handling

The south end of Santa Monica just off Main St. has some good hills for testing power. Right from the beginning the power comes on smoothly. There was no sensation of pulling extra bicycle behind me. Turns were sharp. I felt under control while making quick moves. You always have to be ready to dodge a door or other urban road hazard.

As most people come interested in cargo bikes to haul small children, I would recommend adding a double kickstand. The standard issue single leg stand didn't feel stable enough for loading wiggly children or top heavy loads.

Electronics

Controls on the Spicy Curry are refined. There is a big bright LCD screen to tell you exactly what is happening. Stats like speed, distance, odometer and battery range are easy to read. You can also see how much assist you have dialed in.

 

 

Controlling the motor and flipping through menus is a snap. The controller on the left has only four buttons. On/Off, display view, and plus or minus for the level of e-assist.


Included as standard equipment are front and rear lights. These run off the battery. They are activated from the controller. Lights can also be set to come on automatically in low light. 


The 48v, 8.7 A/h Li-on battery produces 417wh giving you an estimated range of 25 to 45 miles and a max speed of 20 mph.



The battery is removable via the lock on the bottom right. There is a power switch above the lock. The port on the top left allows for charging when mounted if you don't want to remove the battery for each charge.

Braking and Shifting



Stopping power is managed by front and rear disc brakes. Thought I was only hauling my 175 lb. frame I was very happy with the brakes. The brake levers are easy to grip with only two fingers. Hopefully that translates to ease of use for women and those with smaller hands in general.


Tire selection is the Schwable Fat Apple Plus

The rear cassette has eight gears. Shifting through them is accomplished with a Shimano thumb and index finger levers. By the way, the Spicy Curry grips are wide and very comfortable.


Summary

The partnership between Yuba and Curry Tech delivers a quality product in the Spicy Curry. At $4,200 it would be nice to have included a duel kickstand and foot rests included. The level of refinement and performance of the electronics makes operation a breeze. Power from the mid-drive system is enough to and your stuff off the line or up the hill. 

If a longtail is in your future the Spicy Curry should be on your short list.