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  1. #1
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Can I turn my MTB into an Xtracycle?

    Hopefully this is the right board for this question.

    I got a good look at an Xtracycle today while visiting an LBS. Two of them actually. One looked like it was made from a vintage road bike with modern brakes added, and the other was made from an older Trek. I've been wanting to get a closer look at one of those for awhile.

    Anyway, I have my old Huffy Jackal MTB here that's still very much in rideable condition. The downside is that the frame might now be too small for me, but everything still works. The frame measures around 18.5" and the tires are 26". It has 21 speeds and cantilever brakes. I don't want to use my old Schwinn like this as it might be too big.

    Would this make a good Xtracycle conversion? It's the only bike that I would call an extra bike, even though we take it out on trails sometimes. I may upgrade my MTB soon. Bad or good, it could be awhile before I actually got to do this due to the cost of doing it right.

    I've been out thrift store shopping to see if I could find a cheap used MTB or hybrid for this purpose, but ain't found squat yet. Next places to go are the pawnshops, but I'm not too optimistic. Craigslist rarely has alot of bikes around here. I've never seen used bikes at an LBS except for one that seems dedicated to that sort of thing, and he rarely has MTBs.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    -Bill

  2. #2
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamK1974
    Hopefully this is the right board for this question.

    I got a good look at an Xtracycle today while visiting an LBS. Two of them actually. One looked like it was made from a vintage road bike with modern brakes added, and the other was made from an older Trek. I've been wanting to get a closer look at one of those for awhile.

    Anyway, I have my old Huffy Jackal MTB here that's still very much in rideable condition. The downside is that the frame might now be too small for me, but everything still works. The frame measures around 18.5" and the tires are 26". It has 21 speeds and cantilever brakes. I don't want to use my old Schwinn like this as it might be too big.

    Would this make a good Xtracycle conversion? It's the only bike that I would call an extra bike, even though we take it out on trails sometimes. I may upgrade my MTB soon. Bad or good, it could be awhile before I actually got to do this due to the cost of doing it right.

    I've been out thrift store shopping to see if I could find a cheap used MTB or hybrid for this purpose, but ain't found squat yet. Next places to go are the pawnshops, but I'm not too optimistic. Craigslist rarely has alot of bikes around here. I've never seen used bikes at an LBS except for one that seems dedicated to that sort of thing, and he rarely has MTBs.
    It is most likely _possible_ to install an Xtracycle on your Huffy, but probably a Bad Idea.

    Generally, the reason for using an Xtracycle is to carry heavy loads, and the flimsy wheels on most Huffys (Huffies?) are not likely to be up to the task.

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  3. #3
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    You really want a better bike to attach the investment of an extracycle to.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
    Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

    I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    I didn't know about the wheel issue with Huffy bikes, as mine seem to have held up pretty well. But I thought that the Huffy might not be up to the task, in part because the Xtracycle seems to have pretty stiff brake requirements. Mine seem to work well, but they're just stopping me and the bike.

    Unless I can find an inexpensive suitable bike, it might be more cost effective just to buy one of their complete bikes. That would be even further into the future for me. No big deal, but you know how it can be when you see something that looks really good and useful. Seeing it up close just reinforced my beliefs that this was a product that would be great to own.

  5. #5
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Bill, you've been around here long enough to know that the 'H" word and "bicycle" should never be used in the same sentence. Tisk, tisk, tisk.

  6. #6
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    What's a Xtracycle? Sounds like a giant economy size ice cream bar.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  7. #7
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    You might try a homebuilt version of an extracycle as shown at this link.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/ECY4...BBBXU?ALLSTEPS
    Building your own this way is so easy it's almost scary! Granted, it wont be as slick and well designed as a real extracycle but doing one this way allows you to find out if a real extracycle is really what you want.
    I built one from cheap thrift store MTB bikes and as soon as I finished and rode it around a person wanted it so bad I sold it on the spot and was taken home by that same person.

  9. #9
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    Bill, you've been around here long enough to know that the 'H" word and "bicycle" should never be used in the same sentence. Tisk, tisk, tisk.

    I can't help it. It's nearly 13 years old and just won't quit. When someone starts running them down, I ask them how old their's is. I can understand one of the newer ones being bad. If it's an older one, I ask them what they did to it or if they ever did any maintenance on it. Most of the time, they've done little maintenance and did some kind of jump that would have broken just about any other bike. When I bought it, I intended to take it down rough trails, and have done just that. But I knew better than to try to turn it into some kind of airborne stunt bike

  10. #10
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamK1974

    I can't help it. It's nearly 13 years old and just won't quit. When someone starts running them down, I ask them how old their's is. I can understand one of the newer ones being bad. If it's an older one, I ask them what they did to it or if they ever did any maintenance on it. Most of the time, they've done little maintenance and did some kind of jump that would have broken just about any other bike. When I bought it, I intended to take it down rough trails, and have done just that. But I knew better than to try to turn it into some kind of airborne stunt bike


    I like that instrucables link above. Might be a worthy project to see if it's for you and the bike.

  11. #11
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    You might try a homebuilt version of an extracycle as shown at this link.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/ECY4...BBBXU?ALLSTEPS
    Building your own this way is so easy it's almost scary! Granted, it wont be as slick and well designed as a real extracycle but doing one this way allows you to find out if a real extracycle is really what you want.
    I built one from cheap thrift store MTB bikes and as soon as I finished and rode it around a person wanted it so bad I sold it on the spot and was taken home by that same person.
    That *is* cool.

    If I were to do this, I might ask you for more detailed pictures of the steel support tube that you added in, and maybe some pics of whatever loading system you put together for it. Some of the attraction of an Xtracycle-like bike is that it will carry alot, and it does so with a low center of gravity.

    But it still comes down to having two bikes I can modify, which I haven't been able to find yet :sigh: I'm going to drive myself nuts over this if I'm not careful.

  12. #12
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    One word Bill ~ Salvation Army. The home of the $10 bike.

  13. #13
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    One word Bill ~ Salvation Army. The home of the $10 bike.
    This may come as a surprise, but the Salvation Army here didn't have *any* bikes. In fact, what they had otherwise looked almost like it could have been rejected by the other thrift stores. I was surprised and disappointed. There are two Goodwill stores here, and the one I've been able to visit had one small child's bike. Their other inventory looked pretty picked-over as well. There are a couple of other thrift stores in town that might have bikes that I'll visit next week, but I'm not expecting much.

    My brother got his Canadian-made Peugeot at a yard sale a few months ago for $30, but that's the exception rather than the rule. Yard-sales are an avenue which I haven't been able to explore because of their unpredictability. The few I've seen near my home haven't had any bikes beyond the small children's bikes.

    I'm jealous of those of you who live in places where your thrift stores and craigslist are overflowing with this sort of bounty. I don't understand why ours isn't better. My speculation is that there's a small, urban oriented core of people near the center of town that are into non-hunting outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. But I don't want to leave the area just yet.

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