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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-23-08, 08:18 PM   #1
ok_commuter
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Salon.com Article Featuring the Xtracycle

I'm reading this now...
http://www.salon.com/mwt/good_life/2...ility_bicycle/
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Old 07-23-08, 08:36 PM   #2
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This is a really fun article, and the video is great too.

None of the usual "journalist tries bike commuting" whining about annoyances. This guy is day-in-day-out bike commuter, 4 miles each way for 3 yrs in Washington, DC. Nothing extravagant, just practical commuting.

So he gets an xtracycle and proceeds to have about as much fun as you can pushing the limits of bike transportation. He puts both his kids on the back, even the not-quite-3 yr old, and even fabs some parts the little one can hold on to. He makes using a bicycle seem fun, easy and hilarious. Makes me want to convert the old Kona Fire Mountain to an xtracycle (blender).

Enjoy.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:41 PM   #3
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I just submitted it to Digg:
My family car is an SUB and I love it
Go digg it if you have an account.

Awesome video. I've been wanting a Xtracycle for a long time, preferably the Surly steel frame one.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:45 PM   #4
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I have got to get one of those blender attachments.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:50 PM   #5
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I have got to get one of those blender attachments.
Hell yes, in New Orleans? They'd make you Grand Marshall!
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Old 07-23-08, 09:20 PM   #6
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I love it, but it annoys me that he calls it a "sport utility bike." Doesn't "utility cycling" sound sexy enough on it's own??
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Old 07-23-08, 09:47 PM   #7
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I love it, but it annoys me that he calls it a "sport utility bike." Doesn't "utility cycling" sound sexy enough on it's own??
Pretty sure that's a marketing line straight from Xtracycle.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:49 PM   #8
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Insufferable latecomer.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:50 PM   #9
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Insufferable latecomer.
Shut up and have a margarita.
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Old 07-23-08, 11:48 PM   #10
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The author has seen the light. Welcome to the light side, friend.
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Old 07-24-08, 07:22 AM   #11
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Shut up and have a margarita.
Sadly, I can't. But, I would like a nice tropical smoothie.
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Old 07-24-08, 07:26 AM   #12
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I want an xtracycle, I just need to find a good donor bike on craigslist, I can't afford the Big Dummy, WAAAY out of my price range, even the SUB kit is a little high for me, but I think I would get the use out of it.
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Old 07-24-08, 07:48 AM   #13
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I want an xtracycle, I just need to find a good donor bike on craigslist, I can't afford the Big Dummy, WAAAY out of my price range, even the SUB kit is a little high for me, but I think I would get the use out of it.
There is also the http://www.konaworld.com/08_ute_w.htm (not quite as versatile, but still a good utility bike for just a little more than the Xtracycle.)
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Old 07-24-08, 08:07 AM   #14
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I want an xtracycle, I just need to find a good donor bike on craigslist, I can't afford the Big Dummy, WAAAY out of my price range, even the SUB kit is a little high for me, but I think I would get the use out of it.
I was starting to scheme about converting my old hybrid. Then my wife read the Salon article and giggled all the way through. Afterward she said, "You could do that to MY bike!" Which I could - a mid-90s Novara Alight MTB now running 6" wide serfas street tires (OK, not really). It's already so heavy I can barely lift it, but once I lose the suspension fork on the front it'll be a little better.

Ah well... I guess I already got my bike this year.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:12 AM   #15
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Ah well... I guess I already got my bike this year.
It is a nice one too, I was admiring it on the thread you started about it. I have debated selling my jetski's to free up a little money to get an xtracycle, but boy I would miss them. Guess I can't have all the toys I want (it is tempting to buy one of everything though).
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Old 07-24-08, 09:09 AM   #16
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The xtracycle is an amazing thing... I'd love to get one set up using my old MTB as a donor. Ah, the possibilities!
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Old 07-24-08, 09:16 AM   #17
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I have an old mountain bike, but it is a low end full suspension, otherwise it would be converted already.
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Old 07-24-08, 09:25 AM   #18
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Hmmm..... I realy want a Surly BD, but WAYYYY out of my price range..... I have an old MTB sitting in the garage..... I wonder what the requirements are for the conversion...... time to do some research!!!!!
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Old 07-24-08, 09:30 AM   #19
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uh oh. Way too much press about the xtracycle. If they aren't careful, I won't be the only one in my neighborhood with one anymore.

You xtracycle bandwagon jumpers listen up! The xtracycle is a terrible thing! Yeah, that's it. It rides like an elephant steering a blue whale and I believe it makes you impotent.

There, that should do it.
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Old 07-24-08, 09:39 AM   #20
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ddm, you can get the full skinny at the Xtracycle website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtracycle
The Free Radical frame has two sizes: the 26" and 700c; The only difference is in the location of the brake post mounts. The 26" style is for most mountain bikes, and the 700c will fit most road and cyclocross bikes. The maximum tire size is about 3" for MTB tires, and 37mm for road, cyclocross, and 29er tires.

Both sizes will accept disc brakes. They will not accept cantilever brakes - if you have cantilever brakes you will need to convert to a V-brake or disc brake arrangement. Bear in mind that a regular V-brake won't work correctly if you previously had cantilever or road caliper brakes on your bike. You will need a special BMX style V-brake or a regular V-brake plus a Travel Agent to correct the pull of the cable.

If your bike lacks a chainstay bridge, you will need an extra Front Attachment Plate to grab onto the frame.

If your rear dropouts flare out more than about 8mm, directly above the rear axle, they may interfere with the fit of the bike.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:08 AM   #21
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Not sure how widespread this issue has been, but a couple people over in the Utility forum have needed to send their FreeLoaders back for warranty replacement due to frame cracks.
Xtracyle breaks.

I love the idea of the XtraCycle, but I've always had my concerns about its ability (and the bike's) to handle my weight plus the added weight of heavy cargo. When Surly intro'd the BD, I started putting my pennies aside. Some day I'll be able to fully deck one out, but until then I'm going to stick with dragging around a trailer.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:36 AM   #22
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That sounds awesome. Modding you bike is the new modding you computer.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:37 AM   #23
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That sounds awesome. Modding you bike is the new modding you computer.
Now, if there were only some way I could get it to run Linux . . .
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Old 07-24-08, 12:51 PM   #24
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Not sure how widespread this issue has been, but a couple people over in the Utility forum have needed to send their FreeLoaders back for warranty replacement due to frame cracks.
Xtracyle breaks.

I love the idea of the XtraCycle, but I've always had my concerns about its ability (and the bike's) to handle my weight plus the added weight of heavy cargo. When Surly intro'd the BD, I started putting my pennies aside. Some day I'll be able to fully deck one out, but until then I'm going to stick with dragging around a trailer.
To ANYONE who has been hemming and hawing about ever getting an Xtracycle, GO FOR IT! I have many thousands of miles on my Xtracycle/Novara Safari, and have had NO problems... I have had over 800lbs loaded on the bike! (I weigh 325 all by my onesie) You will be amazed at how popular your bike becomes at the grocery store/gym/work etc... Yes the attatchment gets a little flexy at times under heavy load, but It has never slowed me down.
I purchased a pair of used battery powered computer speakers for $8, and used some velcro to put my
MP3 player on my handlebars. This bike is now a rolling party...
I take it into Golden Gate Park in SF, and tear up single-tracks, and the bike holds a line VERY well on DH...
I check the Xtracycle Chassis every now and again for cracks, but I have had no problems... Xtracycle sends you a few little cards that explain what the Xtracycle is/does etc... Due to popular demand, I asked Xtracycle for more cards, because I ran out in a week! They promptly sent me an envelope full, which has now been dispursed amongst to populace as well...
I have been living car-free for almost two years now, all thanks to the X...
Here's some pics of my last trip to SF for Tour De Fat...



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Old 07-24-08, 05:00 PM   #25
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ddm, you can get the full skinny at the Xtracycle website.
Direct from the Xtracycle website-

Free Radical Kit
Everything you need to take your bicycle lifestyle to the next level. Includes FreeRadical rame, bags, deck, racks, and build kit.

INVENTORY NOTE: All 26" and 700c kits are sold out - it's been a busy year! We expect to be restocked late August 2008. Place your name on a waiting list by sending an email with your contact info to freerad@xtracycle.com

Only $489 (regardless of the wheel size)... Not too bad! Much cheaper than the BD! And I already have the bike.... Of course I'd probably use my Trek frame...... But it doesn't take disk brakes..... Hmmmm....... Need more research!!!!
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