For someone used to obsessing over wattage, heartrate and how many grams I can shave from my bike, a 60-pound bike capable of hauling two kids and/or 300-pounds of cargo sounded like the last thing I would want to pedal. After-all, cycling is about going fast.
I’ve done a lot of amazing road riding over the past year. I climbed the going to the sun road in Glacier National Park. I looked out over a hundred miles of beautiful country on the Sandia Crest. But, the happiest riding experience of the year was undoubtedly a slow, meandering cruise through Denver riding from park to park with my daughter on-board.
Enter the Yuba Spicy Curry, a bike built to replace the family station wagon. The bike combines the stable, versatile cargo capacity that Yuba has been honing for years and adds a best-in-class Bosch Performance Line CX motor system. The electronic assist feature is easy to learn, press the pedals and it kicks in, reach the 20mph speed limit and the assist drop off. Pedaling up hills or into the wind is a breeze.
The Spicy Curry will carry multiple kids or loads, you can haul up to 300 lbs. of cargo (precious or not) in addition to the rider. The low-rider cargo rack in the back and compact 20-inch rear wheel makes it easy to get kids on and off and keep the center of gravity low for confident riding, even with cargo on board. The whole bike is robust, sturdy and safe feeling. The bike also comes equipped with LED lights, fenders, kickstand and wheelskirts to keep kid feet and cargo from meeting spokes. There’s a bell too.
Like other bikes in this category, the Spicy Curry is designed to be a car replacement and it removes any excuse to ride. The massive built-in cargo rack out back is incredibly versatile and comes with a huge ecosystem of custom accessories from Yuba so you can customize the bike to fit your needs.
How Does It Ride
The Spicy Curry is a cargo bike. The wheelbase is very long and it’s undeniably a huge and heavy bike. Once you start pedaling, though, it feels a lot smaller than it looks. A big part of that is how stable it feels. You expect the bike to drive like a semi-truck, but with the electric assist churning and the center of gravity as low as it is, the bike feels stable and nimble enough to get around and even have fun on the way. The Bosch Performance Line CX motor provides plenty of go, even when being pushed to the limits. The CX variant of the motor was a great choice here. Even pointed uphill the bike gets going from a standstill without breaking a sweat. The motor definitely adds some confidence in riding among traffic, you don’t feel like you’re at quite the speed disadvantage as you’d be pedaling a 60-pound behemoth with additional cargo.
As for that cargo, you can hardly tell it’s there. Whether loaded up with my kiddo, or another bike, or nothing at all I couldn’t tell that the bike rode any different. So what does the cargo think of the ride? My daughter, a rather discerning individual in terms of creature comforts, had no complaints. In fact, she never stopped smiling. The Yepp Maxi Seat she rode in was both incredibly easy to install and very comfortable for her. It’s quite the improvement over the hard plastic death cradles I sat in as a kid.
What I like about the Spicy Curry
- The Bosch Performance Line CX pedal assist mid-drive electric motor works seamlessly. You dial in how much assist you want (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo) on the computer and start pedaling. It’s all super intuitive and just works.
- The low read deck over a 20-inch wheel is an amazing feature. Kids are easily to load and unload and they feel safer since they’re not 5-feet in the air.
- Transportation accessories are standard. You get fenders, hard-wired lights, a bell, and wheelskirts.
- There are tons of available family and cargo hauling accessories available.
- The bike has 10 gears and strong hydraulic brakes.
What I don’t like about the Spicy Curry
- The Spicy Curry’s cockpit was a little small for me. At 6′ 1″, I was definitely a bit cramped on the bike.
- For shorted riders the cockpit feels aggressive
- The steerer is 1.5″, which means finding different stems is difficult and I am not aware of an extender in that size that would raise the handlebars significantly.
Why It’s Special
I’ve ridden a few different cargo bikes over the years, the combination of the 20-inch rear and 26-inch front wheels on the Spicy Curry really make this bike special. The bike successfully does it all. It has a huge cargo capacity without sacrificing stability. It rides naturally whether you have a kid on-board or some other cargo strapped on. The low center of gravity makes the giant bike feel very manageable.
With the unparalleled range of accessories ready to be strapped onto the bike, it’s easy to tailor the fit and layout to your needs. I swapped the bike from carrying a single kid, to carrying my road bike in a matter of minutes. You could easily carry a couple of kids and the groceries without breaking a sweat.
The Yuba Spicy Curry changed my riding for the three weeks I had it. As I rode around town with my daughter, we talked. About her day at school, about what we saw, about the bear hiding in the cave (underpass), and about where we should go. Time melted away and riding became about simply getting around and having fun. People waved at us and we waved back. Drivers even slowed down and passed us with care.
It was a very different experience than kitting up and jumping on the road bike.
Could the Spicy Curry replace a car? Easily, the electric assist makes getting around a breeze and keeps you from sweating through work clothes and the accessory options allow for endless customization.