Boda Boda FAQs

Maker: Yuba Bicycles in Petaluma, CA.

 

What are the specs of the bike?

See the Boda Boda v2 specs here and the Boda Boda v3 specs here. See the electric assist specs here.

How many pounds is the Boda Boda?

  • v2: 35 pounds without the electric assist, and stripped down of other accessories. 55 lbs with the e-assist system.
  • v3: 41 pounds without the electric assist, and stripped down of other accessories. 65 lbs with the e-assist system.

How long is the Boda Boda?

  • v2: 6’2″
  • v3: 6’1″

Is there a weight limit to how much the bike can carry?

The bikes can carry a total of 220 pounds, plus the rider.

Bike Operations

Electric Assist

How do I adjust the settings on my console?

BionX console1

See page 20 of the BionX manual.

How do you turn the electric assist system on and off?

Press the button on the upper right of the console mounted on your handlebars. You will hear the system beep as it turns on. Give the system a few seconds to calibrate and zero out before putting pressure on your pedals. Press the same button to turn it off; you will hear it beep as it turns off.

Do I need to turn the electric assist system off?

If you’d like. But the system will turn off by itself after a few minutes of being idle.

The electric assist cut out while I was riding. What happened?

If you were climbing a steep hill at full power for a long time, your system may have overheated and turned off to avoid further problems. Use “Mountain Mode” next time to avoid this problem.

If that was not what was happening, and assuming that your battery is charged (if not, charge your battery and try again!), check the connections in the BionX system:

  • Handlebar connection
  • Connection on the back wheel, left side – open up velcroed fabric to view.

If any of these connections are undone or loose, the system will not work. If you find that the connections are together but the power is still not working, schedule a maintenance visit.

What is the resistance mode, and when should I use it?

There are four bars to the left of the bike icon in the middle of your console. Use the – key to access them. You will see a G on the bottom left of your screen when you are using this section of the system. You will also feel resistance as you pedal. Go further left to add more resistance. This mode regenerates power to the battery as you pedal.

Please keep in mind that the brakes will override the resistance. If you are using resistance, use your brakes to come to a stop and then attempt to get going right away, you may have trouble getting started again. So be sure to move the system back into a neutral or positive assistance mode (four bars to the right of the bicycle symbol and an A on the bottom right of the screen) before you stop.

Can I adjust how strong/weak the power is on the electric assist?

Mountain Mode

While the overall settings of the bike’s assistance can’t be changed, you can make use of “Mountain Mode” for steep continuous climbs.

How do I take out the battery? Put it back in?

Use your battery key to unlock the battery. The key hole will pop out. Once it’s popped out, slide the battery back to remove. It may take some strong pulling. Note: you do NOT need to disconnect any cables. To replace the battery, position it on the rails and slide it straight back in place. Then press the keyhole until it clicks in. Your battery will be securely locked at that point. Gently test it to ensure that it’s in securely.

It seems like there’s a delay with the power kicking in. Why?

The power is set to turn on at .5 mph, the lowest speed setting that BionX allows. This setting is a protection designed to prolong the life of your BionX kit. Too much initial pressure on the system from cold stops has the potential to overload the system and wear it out.

Can I plug in a sound system?

No

 

Lights

How do I turn on the lights?

If you are using e-lights, look for the light icon on the top right of your BionX console. Hold that button down until the screen backlights and says “LIGHTS ON.” You should see both your front and rear light turned on.

The light isn’t working. What should I do?

First, double check the console to see that “LIGHTS ON” is indicated. If not, hold the light button down again for three seconds or until the “LIGHTS ON” message appears. If the console indicates lights are on but they are not functioning, schedule a maintenance appointment. We can check wiring and voltage output to ensure that the system is operating correctly.

Note, you may also be receiving an Error Code on the console. Error 60 is a battery error indicating an overcurrent condition at the accessory port. This port is typically used to connect integrated lighting. The error can mean a short circuit: loose, damaged, contaminated or corroded wiring/connectors, or the battery not being properly mounted. If you are seeing this alert, schedule a maintenance appointment.

 

Carrying Other Bikes

Can I tow a bike? How do I do it?

While the Boda Boda is not designed to tow a bike, a small child’s bike can be attached to the rear rack with straps. Bamboo boards offer a foundation for the front wheel of the child’s bike.  You need to be careful about strapping the bike to ensure nothing impedes the function of the rear wheel. User discretion advised.

Can I attach a trail-a-bike?

This is not a plug and play option. However, you may be able to find a professional machinist who will weld a trail-a-bike to the back rack. This solution only works for trail-a-bikes that attach to the back rack (not the seatpost).

Can I attach a trailer?

  • BionX electric assist setups with axle mounted trailer: In most cases, no. Axle mounted trailer systems use quick release skewers and the BionX hub motor is sensitive to torque measurements on the axle. We can’t advise hooking up a trailer to the BionX motor for this reason. That said, if you have a M10 axle mount bracket for your trailer and the ability to torque the axle nut to 40 nm, you could attach a trailer to the Boda Boda rear hub. User discretion advised.
  • No electric assist setup: If you have a non-assisted rear hub or frame mounting trailer adapter, there is no reason you could not attach a trailer to the bike as you would any conventional setup.

 

Locking

Where’s the safest place to lock the bike?

In a well-lit location where there are lots of responsible eyes on the bike. So, in front of a busy all-day cafe is more likely to be safe than a deserted alley. If you’re in San Francisco, check out the bike theft heat map for hot spots to avoid.

How can I make the quick release wheels harder to steal?

Add Pitlocks to your wheels and/or seat. These amazingly tough stainless steel locks make it impossible to remove parts without a special key specific to the Pitlock.

 

Seat

How do I adjust the position of my seat to be more comfortable?

Unlock your seat lock and undo the quick release. Then lift your seat straight up until it comes out of the frame. Turn the seat over and notice the large bolt right in the middle. Use a size 6 mm Allen Key to loosen the bolt. Once it’s loose, you can slide the seat forward or backward along the rail (just never go past the marked limits). You can also click the seat up and down to adjust the angle of the saddle. Once you have the seat where you want it, tighten the bolt again and place it back in the frame.

 

Bell

How do I position my bell to make it easier for me to ring it while riding normally?

Boda Boda’s come standard with a Yuba bell. There is limited adjustability of this bell, but you can make basic positioning adjustments by loosening the Phillip-head screws and adjusting appropriately. After you move the bell to where you want it, be sure to tighten the Phillips-head screws again.

If you have an Incredible Bells bell, which are much more flexible, you can easily adjust it by loosening the Allen bolt/Phillips-head screw and moving the bell to your desired position. Note the bell lever will rotate as well and can be positioned to the side to make it easier to reach. Bell placement is going to be most accessible on the left side due to the lack of throttle control (placed on right side), effectively lessening your distance from the grip to the bell.

 

Basket

How much weight can the front basket take?

The Yuba Bread Basket it rated to 50 lbs. You will find that the basket starts to feel wobbly as you ride as you approach that upper limit.

 

Seats

How do I take the Yepp seat on and off the bike?

Check out this helpful, short video from Yepp.

Can the bike fit a front Yepp Mini or Bobike Mini seat?

Yes for the Boda Boda v2, though we strongly advise that you test this setup out first before purchasing. While this setup works for some people, many find that they do not have enough room to ride and get on and off comfortably and/or that their baby can’t be stopped from playing with the electric assist controls. Please note that the Bobike Mini is the best option for this setup because it gives the rider more clearance. Please also note that this setup is not compatible with a front basket.

How do I adjust the Monkey Bars (v3 only)?

Use a 4 mm Allen Key to loosen the bolts on the bars of the Monkey Bars. Move the bars over the holes of the new position you’d like to have, re-insert the bolts and tighten them with the Allen Key.

 

Maintenance

 

I hear a scraping sound when I brake. Is that normal?

Yes and no. Disc brakes are essentially metal pads that come into contact with a metal rotor. The friction of these two metals create sounds. You may hear some sound when braking at low speeds. While some noise can be expected and normal, contaminants or damaged pads can impact your brakes and lead to concerning sounds. Note, even simple oils from your fingers can contaminate the system. Never touch rotors with your hands, especially after riding the bike, due to heat. Contaminants, dirt and oil can build up over time on the rotors and pads during normal use. These need to be removed as part of regular maintenance. If your bike is making sounds it may be time to clean your brakes system and inspect pads for damage and or excessive wear.

How do I know if my brakes are in good shape?

The best way to know if your brakes are in good shape is to remove the pads and inspect them for damage and or excessive wear. If you do not know how to do this, schedule a maintenance appointment. Want to try it on your own? See below.

My brakes are squealing. Should I be worried?

Yes. While squealing brakes are most commonly an effect of contaminated pads and/or rotor it can also be caused by misaligned rotor, loose bolts or damaged pads. Squealing brakes should be addressed as soon as possible. Please schedule a maintenance appointment.

What can I do at home to keep my brakes in good shape?

With some basic tools and mechanical knowledge you can maintain your brakes at home. This is a good practice that will keep your bike and braking system operating safely. If not confident of your skill set, please schedule a maintenance appointment or email Karl with your questions.

Keeping your pads and rotors clean and regularly inspecting pads for damage and/or excessive wear is important and can be done at home. The following is a simple overview of the process.

  1. Remove the wheel. While the wheel is off you should take the opportunity to check torque on rotor bolts and clean the brake caliper.
  2. Remove pads and inspect them for damage and/or wear. You can clean your pads and rotors with denatured alcohol or various products which are sold at bike shops for this purpose. Install clean and or new pads if needed. Clean your rotor and inspect for damage.
  3. Re-install your wheel. Be sure to properly seat the wheel so the rotor is aligned and take caution not to damage pads when installing the wheel. Properly tension the quick release and check for rotor alignment by spinning the wheel. If installed properly you should not have any sounds and pads should be no more than 1 mm from the rotor. At this time, check the brake line for any damage and check for proper function of lever. Pads should come into contact with rotor simultaneously. Note, if new pads were installed you will need to complete a bed-in process.

I hear and feel feedback when I pedal the bike. Is that normal?

BionX rear hubs can make noise when spoke tension loosens. A little feedback when applying a lot of force may happen but the system should be silent. If you experience a vibration sound or scraping sound from the rear of the bike (assuming you are not braking), this is most likely due to harmonic vibration of the wheel. We can upgrade software or make manual adjustments to spoke tension to address the issue. We recommend you schedule a maintenance appointment.

My console is giving an error code. What does it mean?

Error codes indicate a problem in the system. Sometimes turning the system off and removing the battery for 15 minutes can reset the system and solve the issue. For specifics regarding a given error, you can look up the error code and identify the issue, and potentially adjust. For example “PORT ERROR” for instance means the power supply is interrupted or in other words a loose connection in wiring. You could check the cables to ensure they are fully engaged and tight at home.

BionX Error Messages

 

The throttle stopped working.

First check that the DC wire connector is connected. After checking the connection try the throttle again. Second, look at the console and ensure that it is not in “G” mode or regenerative braking. It is possible the lever sensor could be affected and the bike is in regenerative braking which would cut off the throttle. Follow the short wire from the throttle to the brake lever where the sensor is mounted. There should only be about 2-3 mm between the sensor (on the brake body) and the white magnet on the brake lever. If all of these are fine, you may want to check the throttle calibration.

To check the throttle calibration on the G2 Console:

  1. Ensure the wire running from the back of the throttle is connected to the console.
  2. Turn on your BionX and watch it count to zero.
  3. Press the “ON” and “-” buttons at the same time until a countdown starts.
  4. Press the red button on the throttle all the way down and release it. The bar graph that filled up when you press the throttle should go to zero afterwards.
  5. Allow the countdown to complete and turn off your BionX.
  6. All done!

What do I need to know to pump up my tires? How often should I pump?

You should check for the recommended air pressure called PSI (Pound Per Square Inch) on the sidewall of the tire. You must keep the air pressure within this range. We recommend checking air pressure regularly (at least once a week). Note, while there is conventional wisdom that says lower air pressure is a softer ride; riding cargo bikes with heavy loads on low air pressure can lead to pinch flats.

We recommend that you keep your Boda Boda at 50 – 55  psi.

I have a flat tire. How do I fix it myself?

With a tire lever, tube/patch kit and a little elbow grease, anything is possible! Or at least you can change a tube and fix a flat tire. Start by assessing how you will stabilize the bike while taking the wheel off and how the bike will balance with no wheel. You may need to lie the bike down and turn it upside down. If you have one, simply put your bike up on your bike stand. The key to successfully getting your wheel back in working order is knowing what caused the flat. So take time to assess this and follow logical steps before removing the tube and placing in the new tube so it doesn’t simply go flat again in a few blocks.

After removing the wheel, inspect the tire for what caused the flat. Nail? Glass? Etc. Make note of it but don’t remove it yet, you don’t want to assume it’s the only issue. Remove one side of tire using a tire iron (we highly recommend Pedro tire levers, they’re yellow/pink/orange levers sold at most stores.) No need to remove the whole tire. Pull the tube from the tire but do not remove the valve from the rim yet. Inspect the tube for where the leak is. You may know where it is based on the nail, glass, etc. you found earlier. If not, you may need to pump air into the tire and listen and/or feel for the air leak. When you find the leak, line the tube back up to the tire and re-inspect the tire on the inside and outside to ensure the object is removed. If the leak is on the inside of the tube, you most likely were riding on a wheel with too low of air pressure. Either way, inspect the rim to see if something there caused the flat.

At this time remove the tube and take a new tube out. Get ready to install the new tube by filling  the new tube with just enough air to give it shape and swiping the inside of the tire with your fingers to ensure there is no additional glass, little wires, or other things that could damage a new tube. Now you’re ready to install the tube.

To install a new tube, place the rim in front of you with the valve opening at the top. Pull the tire back and insert the valve into the rim and fill the tire with the tube. Use your hands to position the tube well inside of the tire and rim moving all the way around the tire methodically. Now pull on the valve firmly and ensure it is perpendicular to the rim. Start installing the tire on the rim with your hands. Follow the bead around the rim and try to seat the tire on the rim with just your hands if possible. If necessary to use the tire lever, be careful not to pinch the tube and cause another flat (this is why we give the tube shape with a little air and take the time to stuff it all the way into the tire and over the rim.) Once tire is on, inflate it to the proper PSI.

How often should I grease my chain? How do I do it?

It all depends on how often and in what conditions you ride. A good rule of thumb is that you should check your chain as often as you check air pressure. To check your chain all you need to do it pinch it. How did it feel? The chain should be slightly tacky. Not too dry. Not too oily. It should be its original color (gray, silver or brown). It should not be black with grime or rusty and dry for that matter. Pending how often you ride and in what conditions you may only need to oil the chain every couple months. If you ride often in wet and/or dirty conditions this may be much more frequent.

To oil use a clean rag and an oil designed for bike chains. There are endless options. Tri Flow is a popular choice. To start you want to apply oil to a clean chain. If necessary clean chain with a degreaser first and then dry the chain. When ready to apply oil think minimal. Apply a drop of oil to each link of the chain. After applying the oil, pedal the bike (while in place) to allow the links to move around the cassette which encourages the oil into the links. After 20 or 40 seconds of pedaling you can stop. Final step is to wipe all the excess oil from the chain with a rag. Be certain to also wipe excess oil off the bike and or components.   

The chain fell off and it’s hard to put back on with the chain guard. Any tips or tricks?

Start by shifting the rear derailleur into the lowest gear. If the chain has fallen off on the inside of the crank simply lift the chain with your right hand and start to install the chain on the top and rear of the chainring. You will need to hold the crank steady so it does not back pedal on its own due to the tension in the system. It may help to use your left hand to push the derailleur forward to lessen the tension on the chain and allow you to mount or install the chain on the chain ring with your right hand.

If your chain has fallen off to the outside of the chain, you will want to use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove or loosen the chain guard so that you can fit the chain back onto to the front chain ring.

My kickstand feels loose. What do I do?

We highly recommend that if you hear or suspect that something is loose on the bottom of your bike, stop riding and contact Vie to either schedule a maintenance appointment or get advice on next steps. If you feel mechanically inclined you can check the kickstand fasteners behind the bottom bracket. Inspect both the kickstand and retaining mechanics (springs and fasteners) for wear or damage.

How worried should I be about bumpy pavement? Will riding on bumps mess up my bike?

While bumps in life are most likely unavoidable, we do want to avoid them when possible. The constant jarring of urban riding is tough on bikes, little ones and us. The constant jarring impacts wheels as well as general fasteners. Is it bad? Yes. Is it always avoidable? No. The most important thing is to ride safely when navigating rough roads and check your bike often to ensure all is well.