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Old 07-08-13, 04:13 PM   #1
squirtdad
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Practical Advocacy.....use your bike Wall Street Journal on utility bikes

I think that we often miss out on the best advocacy being people riding and using their bikes, especially for errands etc

I cross posted this in utility also... but not a bad article

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...343756542.html
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Old 07-08-13, 06:30 PM   #2
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I liked the Xtracycle concept when I first saw it in MBA, years ago. I actually HAD a hardtail frame that would have served well for it -- just never DID it.

Looked HARD at the Yuba Mondo last year, but I'm a little suspicious of the componentry -- I saw 18-speed drivetrains, which translates in my mind to old-school freewheels. Uh-uh.

The Kona Ute is half the price of the Surly BD, and NOBODY is gonna tell me that Surly makes twice the bike of Kona. So, my cargo bike choice, when I'm ready to buy, is the Ute.
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Old 07-08-13, 06:50 PM   #3
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http://www.bicyclingforlouisville.org/node/91
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Old 07-08-13, 08:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
. . . Looked HARD at the Yuba Mondo last year, but I'm a little suspicious of the componentry -- I saw 18-speed drivetrains, which translates in my mind to old-school freewheels. Uh-uh. . . .
I own a Yuba Mondo and although I certainly wouldn't call the components top of the line but they aren't Walmart trash or anything like that.

Anyway, the main point I wanted to make is the reason it uses an old style freewheel instead of a modern cassette is because the rear wheel hub is a hybrid custom hub that uses a BMX stunt jumping bike solid high tensile 14mm axle and heavy-duty bearing set to take the extra cargo load. Some people have bought that bike and swapped out the rear hub for a "modern" cassette hub or built up from a Yuba Mondo frame set using a "modern" cassette rear hub only to have it fail under a full cargo load later on (especially the case with hollow quick release axles). Obviously when building a custom hybrid hub with the heavier axle and bearings its easier and cheaper just to thread it for an old style freewheel.

So long story short, that is the "Why" on that. If you really want a modern cassette rear hub that is just as strong from what I have been told (haven't actually tried it myself) there are a few $$$ rear tandem hubs that are strong enough to be comparable to the custom hybrid rear hub that bike comes with.

Personally the only problem I have with the old style freewheels is that I find them a nightmare to unscrew since I seem to tighten them down really, really good by the time they are worn out enough to replace.

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Old 07-08-13, 10:26 PM   #5
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DH/freeride hubs would handle the loads, as well; I know where I can have a wheelset built for a reasonable price, should I feel the need. Right now, though, Kona is still first.
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Old 07-09-13, 07:24 AM   #6
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What I want to know is how did this get past Dorothy Rabinowitz? Her rants against "the all powerful bike lobby" on WSJ Live have become legend. Perhaps the management is throwing out an olive branch, or better yet, throwing her into therapy.

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Old 07-09-13, 08:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post

Personally the only problem I have with the old style freewheels is that I find them a nightmare to unscrew since I seem to tighten them down really, really good by the time they are worn out enough to replace.
I will no longer use freewheels on my commuter bikes due to their short life span under my commuting onslaught. The first sign is the gradual inability to keep the rear index shifter in alignment as the freewheel's bearing begins to wear. My touring wheel set is the best of both worlds, with having load capacity and at it's ability to retain shifter alignment
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Old 07-09-13, 05:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
I liked the Xtracycle concept when I first saw it in MBA, years ago. I actually HAD a hardtail frame that would have served well for it -- just never DID it.
I own a Big Dummy. I've had two Xtracycle conversions come into my clinic. The Xtracycle is just like a 'universal' rack;some bikes it goes straight on,some need fiddling. The one I worked on was a MTB conversion and the guy couldn't use his small ring because the front derailleur would contact the Xtracycle mount. Also,conversions are only so strong since the donor bike isn't always a heavy use bike and you're bolting things together in the middle. Would recommend a purpose-built frame like the Big Dummy over a conversion.

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The Kona Ute is half the price of the Surly BD, and NOBODY is gonna tell me that Surly makes twice the bike of Kona. So, my cargo bike choice, when I'm ready to buy, is the Ute.
I will. Check your specs:
http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=ute#2
http://surlybikes.com/bikes/big_dummy/bike_specs

Every part on the BD except the rear der is higher end than the Ute. And the Ute is all alloy. Before I got the BD I was checking out the Trek cargo bike(too lazy to look up the name),but didn't like the fact it was all alloy with 'skinny' tires(1.5" to BD's 2"). Now that I have the BD,I'm glad I went with it. Longtail bikes aren't like regular bikes;that extended back end gives bumps extra leverage. Instead of bump-bump like a regular bike,it's bump...BUMP. The rear axle isn't just behind you,it's way back there. I've ridden my BD through torn up streets that were bad enough that the snap deck jettisoned itself twice(early model,I've since upgraded to the current alloy hooks). It was bad enough with all that steel and Big Apple tires. Alloy and skinny 40mm's? That would've gotten my CT flaring. Also note:the BD comes in more sizes,and there's already aftermarket support for Xtracycle bits.
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Old 07-09-13, 09:37 PM   #9
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Boy, I just LOVE it when some yahoo thinks his limited personal experience trumps 13 years of wrenching for a living....
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Old 07-10-13, 04:31 PM   #10
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Please advise as to what I got wrong. Also note;I'm speaking from the experience of owning a BD for 3yrs and working on two Xtracycle conversions.
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