Spicy Curry FAQs

Maker: Yuba Bicycles in Petaluma, California.

Components

See Yuba’s documentation here.

Bike Operations

What are the electric assist’s technical specs?

Electric assist technical specs are here (bottom).

How many pounds is the Spicy Curry?

Spicy Curry Original: The basic bike, without accessories (but including the electric assist) is 55 lbs. Spicy Curry Bosch: Total weight is 63 lbs.

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

The bike can carry a total of 300 pounds, including the rider.

Can I carry an adult on the back rack? If so, is there a weight limit?

Yes. The bike can carry a total of 300 lbs, including all riders and passengers.

Can I install a kid’s seat on the back rack?

Yes. You can install two Yepp maxi seats and/or Monkey Bars, which can fit up to three kids.

How much weight can I carry in the front basket?

50 lbs.

 

Electric Assist

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

Spicy Curry Original: If you are starting the bike after not riding for five minutes, then you have a two step process:

  1. Press the power button on the right side of the battery. You will see the console flash letters.
  2. Press the power button on the controller mounted on the left side of the handlebars. You will see the screen flash on and count down from eight. Remember that the electric assist system will turn on to the level of assistance that you last used before turning off the bike. Check to make sure that you’re at a comfortable level of assistance before pedaling off.

If you have used the electric assist system in the last few minutes, then you only need to do step two above.

Spicy Curry Bosch: Press the power button on the console on your handlebars.

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. To turn it off manually, just press the power button on the controller mounted on the left side of the handlebars.

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

While it may be that there is something malfunctioning in the system (in which case, please schedule a maintenance appointment), more commonly the system has cut off because you are pedaling hard in a high gear, asking for more power than it can handle. To avoid this potential problem, shift down to an easier gear before you begin climbing steeper hills.

How do I turn the electric assist to zero?

Spicy Curry Original: Hold the power button (located on the controller mounted on the left side of the handlebars) down for a second and let go. Remember that you can do this at any point along the assistance continuum. For example, you can go from level three to zero, without having to shift down to two or one. Also please keep in mind that, when you press the + key, it will take you back up to the assistance level you last used. So continuing the earlier example, the + will take you directly back to three.

Spicy Curry Bosch: Press the – button until you reach Off.

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

Spicy Curry Original: Yes. Hold down the + and pages (bottom left) button on the console controller on your handlebars for about 10 seconds. When the screen changes you will see two numbers. Look at the number on the right. It can be set anywhere between -15 and 15. We usually set the system at 0. Use the + and/or – buttons to change the setting. The – button will make the system feel weaker. The + system will make it feel more powerful. Please be aware that if you set the system to a higher level, you will need to be even more vigilant about shifting down to avoid having the motor cut out while you’re riding because it’s getting too much load.

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

Spicy Curry Original: Use your battery key to unlock the battery. Then lift it up and through the middle bars of the bike to get it out. Please note that you do not have to disconnect any wires. To put it back in, hold it above the mounting bracket by going through the top of those same middle tubes of the frame. Angle it so that the rear of the battery is positioned to lock into the back of the mounting bracket, then click it in and down. It will automatically lock in place.

Does this bike have a power regeneration mode?

No.

Can I plug in a sound system?

No

 

Lights

How do I turn on the lights?

Spicy Curry Original: The photovoltaic sensor on the bike will automatically turn the lights on when it senses dark. To turn the lights on manually, go to level four of the electric assist system and hit the + button again. The console will backlight and the lights will turn on. To turn it off, hit the + button again.

Can I turn on the lights during the day?

Yes.

Spicy Curry Original: To turn the lights on manually, go to level four of the electric assist system and hit the + button again. The console will backlight and the lights will turn on. To turn it off, hit the + button again.

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

Spicy Curry Original: First, check to see if the wires are connected connected properly. It is easiest to remove the gray faceplate from the front of the light to do this. Use a small Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the two small screws found at the top of the plate. Next, turn on the lights and check the wires. Note: do not remove both wires simultaneously. Instead remove one wire at a time to keep polarity (+/-) straight. After removing one wire, take a moment to look at the wire and see how it is designed. Note the insulation around the terminal (metal part that will connect to the light). It can be challenging to align the wire properly so that it connects with the terminal within the light itself. To reconnect the wire, insert the wire slowly into the bottom of the light and onto the male prong. Look for the light to flicker on before pushing it all the way into the light. Note the light may not flicker on because the other side is not properly connected. After setting the second wire, if it did not fix the problem, return to the first side and try again. If you have issues connecting wires properly or feel the light itself is broken contact Vie to schedule a maintenance appointment.

 

Carrying Other Bikes

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

Yes. Place the wheel in the Cargo-2-Go bag and use the bag straps to secure the wheel through the wheel and frame of the towed bike. We recommend securing the frame to the bike with an additional strap to secure it safely.

Can I attach a trail-a-bike?

This is not a plug and play option. However, you may 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?

Yes. While quick release trailers can be attached to the Spicy Curry, be certain that the axle is pulled all the way back into the dropout and that the quick release skewer is properly tightened. Note that the wheel should be aligned properly before tightening the skewer so that shifting is crisp and the rotor does not rub disc pads when spinning freely. How tight should the trailer be attached? It should take ample force to close the quick release, enough to leave a red imprint in the palm of your hand for a moment. But not so much that you need two friends or a crowbar to open it.

Why is this important? The motor puts a lot of tension on the axle, essentially pulling the drive side forward with rotational force; while trailers create a similar effect by pulling back on the non-drive side. So the skewer must be tight so that the wheel does not slip from its proper position. You will know if the skewer has slipped due to poor shifting performance and or brake noise due to a misaligned disc rotor. Stop riding if you experience this and check the wheel alignment. Attach the trailer once you confirm that the wheel is centered.

 

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?

You can make adjustments with the saddle attached to your bike or if easier for you, you can remove the saddle to make adjustments. 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 6 mm Allen Key to loosen the bolt on the underside of the saddle. Once it’s loose, you can slide the seat forwards or backwards along the rail (just never go past the marked limits). You can also rotate the clamp, and click the seat up and down, to adjust the angle of the saddle. Once you have the seat where you want it, hold it firmly in place and 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?

You can use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the bell so you can rotate or move it appropriately. Whether on the right side or left, you may need to rotate the bell to get the desired ring lever position that you prefer. Tighten the screw after you find the best position for you.

If you have smaller hands and/or simply feel you are reaching for the bell, we suggest upgrading to Incredibell brand bell (or other bell with longer ring lever) which will allow you not only to rotate the bell around the handlebar, but rotate the lever around the bell allowing you to bring it closer to the grips, making easier to reach. Incredibell fits nicely on the left side, allowing you to conveniently position the lever just over the console.

 

Yepp Seat

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

Check out this helpful, brief video from Yepp. Be careful of the cables running along the bike as you take the seat(s) on and off; lift the bottom of the seat over the cables to avoid knocking them off. Please note that there are two locations to mount a Yepp Maxi Easyfit on the Spicy Curry’s back rack. If you are using the Mini Monkey Bars, you will only be able to mount one Yepp seat, in the back mounting area of the rack. Please note that if you are using the Cargo-2-Go bags, you will need to lift the sides of the seat around the top of the bag to get the seat on and off. You may find that you need to pull the bag straight once you have the seat(s) mostly on.

 

Soft Spot Seating Pads

How do I put on/take off the soft spot seating pad?

Just loop the velcro around the top tube of the long tail/back rack. If you are using the Mini Monkey Bars with two pads, you’ll need to loop the straps in front of and behind the rear mounts of the Monkey Bars instead of the frame if you want the pads to lay flat in the middle.

 

Monkey Bars

How do I adjust the setup of my bars?

With a 4 mm Allen key, you can loosen and remove the end bolts of the inner rails. These rails can be moved in or out based on your preference. SImply align the rails to the desired position (bolt holes) and re-insert the bolts and tighten. Be sure to check all bolts a final time to ensure all fasteners are properly tightened.  

You can also move the rear cross bar up to the mid-point of the rails. This will allow your little one to have a back rest at the front of the seating area, and or allow you to install a Yepp seat in the rear. To do this you will need to remove the inner long rails, then the rear cross bar. Move the cross bar up to the mid section and re-insert the bolts and tighten loosely. Install the provided short inner rails to desired position and insert the bolts at the ends. Tighten these bolts. Return to the rear crossbar and tighten these bolts down. Be sure to check all bolts a final time to ensure all fasteners are properly tightened.

 

Maintenance

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

Yes and no. Disc brakes are essentially metal/resin pads that come into contact with a metal rotor. The friction of these two materials can create sounds. In particular you may hear some sound when braking at low speeds. While some noise can be expected and normal, contaminates or damaged pads can impact your brakes and lead to more concerning sounds. Note, even simple oils from your fingers can contaminate the system. Never touch rotors with your hands, especially after riding the bike, the heat build up from braking makes the rotors extremely hot. These 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, you can schedule a maintenance appointment with Vie. Want to try it on your own? See below.

My brakes make a (non-squealing) noise when I use them. Is this normal?

The key question is do your brakes still stop your bike with relative ease? While noise can be annoying, it isn’t always a safety issue. Disc brakes get dirty and make noise. And if you have the Large Family Package, please note that the ceramic disc pads are more likely to be noisy for a time. You can avoid some noise by braking firmly in the center of the levers, not lightly at the tips. We also recommend that you release and reapply the brakes if you start to hear noise. Releasing will help prevent a negative use pattern developing on your rotors.

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. You can schedule a maintenance appointment with Vie.

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 with Vie 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 torq 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.

The gears stopped working properly, and I feel resistance when I pedal. What happened?

Many things can lead to shifting problems, from a misaligned wheel to damaged or worn cable and housing. The first thing to do is check that your wheel is aligned properly and that the wheel has not slipped due to loss of tension in the quick release (when climbing on or off the bike, little feet can sometimes interfere with the quick release lever and offset the quick release and the rear hub). Damage to the derailleur or a simple need for a tune up could be issues as well. But if you are experiencing resistance when pedalling it is most likely a misaligned wheel.

To re-align the rear wheel first try to shift into the highest gear (smallest cog in the cassette/furthest to the right). This will put the least amount of tension onto the wheel. Fully open the quick release and properly align the wheel into the dropouts so it is as far back as possible. If you remove the wheel completely in the process, be careful not to damage the brake pads as you re-install the wheel. The rotor must be carefully aligned before pulling the hub back into the dropout. After properly installing the wheel ensure proper tension in the quick release. Again, inspect that the rotor is aligned in the center of the brake caliper/pads by rotating the rear wheel. It should spin freely and no sound should come from the brakes. If you have access to a bike stand, run through the gears while pedalling the bike with your hand. It should be smooth and crisp. Do a final test by riding the bike without the electric assist on and run through the gears. Again, shifting should be smooth and crisp.

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. It is recommended to check 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.

The Spicy Curry is spec’d with Schwalbe Big Apple Plus tires that require 30 – 55 PSI. We recommend keeping PSI at 50 to optimize electric assist efficiency and avoid pinch flats.

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. Pending which wheel, and your kickstand style, you may need to turn it upside down; or simply put it in a bike stand at home. As for the repair itself, the key is to know what caused the flat. So take time to assess this and follow logical steps before removing tube and placing in new tube which may simply go flat 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 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 based on the nail, glass you found earlier. If not, you may need to pump air into the tire and listen and/or feel for 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 (facing the rim), you most likely were riding on a wheel with too low of air pressure. Either way, inspect the rim to see if something is there that 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 onto 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 to proper PSI.

How often should I oil 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.