Yuba Spicy Curry review

Conquer hills and Ikea with the Yuba Spicy Curry electric cargo bike

Yuba's Spicy Curry is a fun and practical way to navigate the urban jungle.
Yuba's Spicy Curry is a fun and practical way to navigate the urban jungle.
Yuba's Spicy Curry is a fun and practical way to navigate the urban jungle.

Highs

  • Sturdy, quality construction
  • Well-balanced, smooth, and easy to ride
  • Easily overcomes most hills
  • You still get a good workout
  • Powerful motor and great city range

Lows

  • Large size makes storage difficult
  • Could user a smoother transition to electric power
  • Can’t activate the motor from the handlebar controls

With a population approaching 2 million, the borough of Manhattan is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. That makes getting around difficult. The expense of cabs and parking make getting around by car a luxury, yet some buses average slower than walking speeds. Most locals head underground to take advantage of the largest subway system on the planet, but others have turned to two-wheeled transportation for everything from daily commutes to shopping.

The city is taking steps to make it easier. Bike lanes are becoming more common, and ride sharing has made the transition to two wheels with the Citi Bike program.

A bike can ease your daily commuting woes, but what if you need to carry stuff? Sure, you can add some cargo accessories to haul a few groceries and knick knacks, but there’s a limit. That’s where the Yuba Spicy Curry comes in. It has both a large cargo capacity, and an electric motor to help carry whatever you load it down with. Pedal assist means you still have to move yourself, but the motor makes it easier.

The Spicy Curry gets its name from Currie Technologies, which produces a propulsion system used on bikes from Diamondback, IZIP, and Raleigh, as well as Yuba. In this iteration, the 350W motor is paired with a 48-volt lithium-ion battery. Full charge time from depletion takes about 5 hours.

You should expect 25 to 45 miles of range, depending on the level of assist and how you ride. Standard features include an 8-speed rear derailleur, large hydraulic disc brakes, fenders, and integrated front and rear LED lights.

The Spicy Curry is no lightweight at 55 lbs., but getting it moving on a flat surface without electrical assistance was easy enough, and it provided a stable and smooth ride. The bike feels as substantial as it looks, and I did not detect any squeaks or rattles. I spent some time getting used to its dynamics under my own power and was pleased with its handling and comfort level.

Pedal assist means you still have to move yourself, but the motor makes it easier.

On hills, the bike’s bulk makes itself apparent. Without proper momentum, steep slopes were difficult to conquer. But once I started down the other side, those brakes proved their worth, with excellent stopping power and feel.

It was time for some electricity. To activate the motor, you press a button on the battery, then switch on the LCD display, which shows speed, mileage, current distance travelled, range, and level of assist from one to four.

With the assist on max, getting the bike rolling from a stop produces a small jolt, which takes some getting used to. One of this bike’s strong points is its hill climbing ability, which I can attest to. I won’t say that it takes no effort, but it’s certainly easier.

I took the bike for a spin through Central Park, where I shared the paths with other riders, joggers, inline skaters, and sometimes cars. State laws limit the bike’s motor to 20 mph, but beyond that, you’re on your own. By dialing up the assist to level 4 and pedaling hard, I was able to break 30 mph, passing cyclists on rigs that weighed less than a third of mine. When I had to stop or slow down, it took just a slight squeeze on the brake levers.

That said, this is a cargo bike, and given its bulk, it should be used as one. Throughout my time with the Spicy Curry, I loaded it with groceries, small furniture, full boxes … and people. The bike’s max payload is 300 lbs. including the rider, and I was able to approach this weight with the addition of a passenger, who sat on the accessory seat behind me and held onto the optional handlebars (this tandem configuration did not entail full tandem functionality — passengers cannot pedal or steer). I kept the pedal assist on level four and was able to move along at a good pace, though I avoided all but the gentlest slopes.

Yuba Spicy Curry
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

I don’t think too many Spicy Curry owners are going to be ferrying around an adult on a regular basis. When I added a more manageable and realistic 50 to 75 lbs. of cargo, the bike’s practicality shone through. Large flat boxes were easily transportable, and bulky furniture was manageable when properly secured.

I was able to break 30 mph, passing cyclists on rigs that weighed less than a third of mine.

The bike makes an excellent grocery getter. A few of my favorite markets are some distance from my apartment, and carrying a bunch of bags is inconvenient enough without having to lug everything onto a crowded train. With the Spicy Curry, I was able to pack enough food to provide weeks of meals. My average range during these runs was 35 miles.

My bike came with an optional center stand, which adds confidence whether you need to adjust a gear, remove a wheel, or simply park. The “Deflopilator” does exactly what the name implies, keeping the front wheel steady and straight when the bike is up on the stand. The rear handlebars, side boards, and padded seat made it easy to ride two-up. On longer rides, I kept my phone, wallet and keys safely stowed in the weatherproof cargo bags.

The Spicy Curry’s size is a consequence of its usefulness as a hauler. No matter how I rolled it in, it didn’t fit in my building’s elevator. I had to brace the rear wheel and stand it up on its haunches to get it up to my apartment. On the street, I had to be constantly aware of how much bike there was behind the rear seat to avoid clipping pedestrians when taking a sharp turn.

The Spicy Curry is useful if you don’t have a car, yet it can be difficult to live with if you don’t have a garage. Getting it up the stairs is difficult; you would need access to a large elevator. Of course, you can lock it up on the sidewalk and take the removable battery inside, but would you feel comfortable leaving a bright green $4,200 electric bicycle outside overnight?

Warranty information

The Spicy Curry frame comes with a lifetime warranty, and the electric system has a two-year warranty.

Conclusion

For anyone who hauls stuff around on a regular basis, this bike is like having a small pickup truck. If you have the room, funds, and need, the Spicy Curry is the way to go. Just don’t be surprised when friends ask you to help them move.

Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Deals

Save big on these Braun electric razors and women’s epilators

Amazon and Walmart are currently offering limited-time deals for Braun electric razors and women's epilators. If you plan to make your way through all the festive parties this year with fresh smooth these tools will help.
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.