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Old 02-16-08, 01:37 PM   #1
divingbiker
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The Xtracycle is done!

Today I rode my "new" Xtracycle home from the LBS. This is the 1991 Bridgestone MB-4 that I found on Craigslist for $60 last month (when a bunch of us had a run of buying old rigid MTBs).



I added albatross bars, bar end shifters, and a Brooks saddle. After tweaking the fit a bit, I think I'm going to have fun with this bike. It's definitely a conversation piece--I stopped for lunch on the way home, and a woman started talking to me about it and came outside to check it out.
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Old 02-16-08, 01:42 PM   #2
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Today I rode my "new" Xtracycle home from the LBS. This is the 1991 Bridgestone MB-4 that I found on Craigslist for $60 last month (when a bunch of us had a run of buying old rigid MTBs).



I added albatross bars, bar end shifters, and a Brooks saddle. After tweaking the fit a bit, I think I'm going to have fun with this bike. It's definitely a conversation piece--I stopped for lunch on the way home, and a woman started talking to me about it and came outside to check it out.
Very cool. You can pack a lot of pie in that back compartment, can't you?
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Old 02-16-08, 01:43 PM   #3
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Just think how that thing will go offroad downhill- The long wheelbase will make it so stable and the weight with the box filled up will make it go through anything.


Not a bike for a Century ride- I would have thought- but what a sag wagon for the Group rides. Just about get a complete bike in the back- along with every tool you could possibly need. Just don't put a seat in it- or DG will never get any training in.

Seriously-----That looks like a bike built for a purpose. So how does it handle- what is involved in the transformation and how much???
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Old 02-16-08, 01:43 PM   #4
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How does it handle? Any differences steering, for instance? Does it feel balanced front to back? Any adjustments you have to make as the rider?
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Old 02-16-08, 02:27 PM   #5
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Seriously-----That looks like a bike built for a purpose. So how does it handle- what is involved in the transformation and how much???
It seems to handle fine, after a few minutes of getting used to it. The hardest part was trying to maneuver the bike when I was stopped--the back end doesn't follow the front like a regular bike does, but instead seems to lag a bit.

To turn it into an Xtracycle, you buy a kit that moves the back wheel back 15 inches. The kit costs $400, and the LBS charged $50 to install it. (Of course I bought the other parts and paid for their installation also.)

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How does it handle? Any differences steering, for instance? Does it feel balanced front to back? Any adjustments you have to make as the rider?
It rides just fine. The steering is the same as on my commuting bike that's set up with the same bars and shifters. It feels different because I haven't got the saddle and bars set up just right yet, but I rode it 13 miles and felt fine afterwards, so there's nothing major wrong with it.

I was hauling the old parts from the bike (bars, brakes, saddle, etc), an empty saddle box, a bag of stuff (frame pump, repair kit, cellphone, palm, etc) and it felt great. I do think I'll have a bit of a challenge hauling heavy loads up the big hill that I face every time I go anywhere (I live at the top of a hill between two creeks) but it's got pretty low gearing so I'm hopeful that I'll make it.

I may test it out on Tuesday on my commute, since I have to take a cake into the office, and the Snapdeck is perfect for bungeeing a cake pan!
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Old 02-16-08, 06:31 PM   #6
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Awesome bike.

You know, if you own a pickup, suddenly everyone you know needs you to help move things. Wonder if the same thing happens with an Xtracycle.
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Old 02-16-08, 07:25 PM   #7
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That is so cool!!!!! I love it!

I don't have one.
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Old 02-16-08, 07:29 PM   #8
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That looks like a fold out bed/cot over the rear wheel. Ride a while and then take a nap. What a novel idea!!!
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Old 02-16-08, 07:33 PM   #9
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Too cool! I've been wanting a Surly Big Dummy ever since I heard about them. I'm not really sure what I would do with it, but I still want it.

But if there's anything cooler than Surly's pre-built Xtracycle, it's one made from a Bridgestone. WTG!
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Old 02-16-08, 08:46 PM   #10
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I don't have one.
Well, that's easily remedied! Surely one of your dozen bikes is a candidate for an Xtracycle?
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Old 02-16-08, 09:00 PM   #11
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I was thinking of which one!... except what I would want is room for a dog on the bike. Those look like there are 2 narrow compartments on each side of the wheel, so my dogs wouldn't fit. I have a really nice bike cart that does the trick, so I have absolutely no excuse to get one. Not even one feeble, half-formed excuse. Dang!
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Old 02-16-08, 09:48 PM   #12
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Looks cool. What is the turning radius?
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Old 02-17-08, 06:21 AM   #13
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I was thinking of which one!... except what I would want is room for a dog on the bike. Those look like there are 2 narrow compartments on each side of the wheel, so my dogs wouldn't fit. I have a really nice bike cart that does the trick, so I have absolutely no excuse to get one. Not even one feeble, half-formed excuse. Dang!
Not to be an enabler or anything, and if I remember, your dogs are on the large side, so this might not work for you, but...there's an attachment called a Wideloader that allows you to attach dog crates, etc to the Xtracycle. I'm thinking about finding a crate that will work to take my 30 pound dog to the vet on the bike.

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Looks cool. What is the turning radius?
Not as wide as you'd think. I don't know exactly, but the trail I rode home yesterday has a lot of tight turns, and I don't recall having any trouble negotiating them. I did take them a bit wider than usual, but I only remember one time that I had to stop and start over.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:46 AM   #14
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Too cool! I've been wanting a Surly Big Dummy ever since I heard about them. I'm not really sure what I would do with it, but I still want it.

But if there's anything cooler than Surly's pre-built Xtracycle, it's one made from a Bridgestone. WTG!
You know, I really wanted a Big Dummy, too, but I couldn't get past the price. The Big Dummy frame alone costs more than my whole bike! I think if I were car-free, I could justify the Big Dummy, but not for weekend grocery runs, hauling cakes to work, and the occasional trip on the C&O Canal.
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Old 02-17-08, 09:58 AM   #15
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Not to be an enabler or anything, and if I remember, your dogs are on the large side, so this might not work for you, but...there's an attachment called a Wideloader that allows you to attach dog crates, etc to the Xtracycle. I'm thinking about finding a crate that will work to take my 30 pound dog to the vet on the bike.
I couldn't find a photo of an actual crate on the bike... does it sit on that skinny little rack? They say it will hold a 50 lb dog, so it's too small for me, but I think even my 30 lb puppy's crate would make the bike very tippy. Those crates are wide, and you'd have to bolt them down somehow to make it stable. If it slips, the dog will panic and you could get thrown off balance.

I sure like it, though. I'm also an admirer of the Big Dummy. I'm amazed at how many people are. If we get a huge number buying them, then in about 5 years there will be quite a few available second hand as people will be even less likely to keep them if they don't use them as often as they thought. They take up a lot of storage space!

Tell us a little about how much weight you can carry, if there's any problem stopping with it, etc. as you ride it more. And take lots* of photos!

I'm really partial to your bike. It's second place only to Uncle Duke!

PS: I'm dying to know if your pogies fit on your albatross bars.
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Old 02-17-08, 12:40 PM   #16
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Okay, I confess, I want one. I've got an old Stumpjumper rigid that is sitting in my shop, waiting for a purpose in life. It would be perfect for conversion. The only problem is, what would I do with it? I can't think of a reason I need it, other than I want it. Darn. I guess I better save my money for motel rooms, pancakes, and train fare for my summer tour.
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Old 02-17-08, 01:33 PM   #17
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Very cool! Would this type of configuration work for touring? Or is it just for short trips to the store and to work?
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Old 02-17-08, 04:28 PM   #18
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Very cool! Would this type of configuration work for touring? Or is it just for short trips to the store and to work?
I just did a quick search and found several articles on the web about people who have used Xtracycles for self-supported touring. I can't imagine that it's any heavier than towing a trailer, and it would be much easier to maneuver. I think it would be overkill for credit card touring though; panniers would work fine.
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Old 02-17-08, 04:30 PM   #19
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Okay, I confess, I want one. I can't think of a reason I need it, other than I want it. Darn.
Since when does "need" ever enter into a bike decision?? I didn't need it either; I can drive my car to the grocery store. But I wanted it, so I got it.
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Old 02-17-08, 04:39 PM   #20
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Since when does "need" ever enter into a bike decision?? I didn't need it either; I can drive my car to the grocery store. But I wanted it, so I got it.
Exactly.
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Old 02-17-08, 05:17 PM   #21
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I wanted it, so I got it.

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Old 03-04-08, 06:51 PM   #22
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first commute on the xtracycle

What fun! Tomorrow is my office's annual chili cookoff, so I rode the Xtracycle in to work today to take everything in (I'm the organizer). I bungeed a milk crate onto the skateboard top, so I could keep the cake pan flat, and loaded other stuff into the side bags. I had a bit of a wobble since I was too top-heavy, but I was running late and didn't have time to figure out the best way to load everything, and my bungee cords were too long so that added to the wobble effect. Still learning how to best use this baby.

It was raining on the way home, and it handled great.

Here's what I hauled:

crockpot
gallon of chili, frozen
blueberry coffee cake
banana bread
container of chocolate chip cookies
box of saltines
box of oatmeal
Ortlieb pannier with my clothes, lunch etc
pump and repair kit

Here's what it looked like:



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Old 03-04-08, 06:59 PM   #23
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Me like.
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