One of my main concerns when I bought the Yuba Mundo back in 2009 was the V brakes. I am not really a fan of this type of brake (even back then). After buying the Yuba Mundo I promptly bought a new fork with disc brake tabs so I could be rid of the V brake at the front. I intended to replace the rear brake eventually too, although I still haven’t gotten around to this mainly because the rear brake contributes so little to overall braking power. That was almost two and a half years ago now.
If I was doing this again now, I might have chosen a 90mm Sturmey Archer drum brake hub, such as the XL-FD or XL-FDD, a Shimano roller brake such as the IM70 or some nice cantilever brakes. However, at that time I was unfamiliar with such things, which are generally ignored by the sport-centric UK cycle retail industry. I was also still unfamiliar with the process of wheel-building. Having owned an entirely inappropriate mountain bike for several years at this point, what I was familiar with was disc brakes.
My old mountain bike had cable-actuated disc brakes (Avid ‘BB7’) which are relatively easy to maintain. For the Yuba Mundo I decided to give in to my curiosity and try hydraulic disc brakes. I bought an Avid ‘Juicy 5.’ The brake came with the lever, hose and caliper as a complete sealed unit, plus a 185 mm disc rotor. I fitted the brake and have not had to do anything else to it since. Even the famously low-maintenance drum brakes have required a little maintenance, but not the hydraulic disc brake.
The brake has very good modulation and produces the most stopping power of all of the brakes I have owned. This is what I wanted and expected when I bought the brake, considering the amount of weight the Yuba Mundo can carry. What has surprised me is that it has turned out to be particlarly durable and low maintenance too. With no cable to stretch over time and a design which accounts for and automatically corrects pad wear, the ‘Juicy 5’ has been a surprisingly good choice for a utility bike, even if it probably wasn’t designed with this type of bike in mind.