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  1. #1
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    Can you tow a tag-along with a crank forward bike, e.g. Rans fusion?

    I'm pretty bent on getting one of these semi-recumbent / comfort / crank-forward bikes. I've been loving my mountain bike, but hating the neck strain, wrist-mashing, etc.

    I'm also about to ditch my burley solo trailer, which I've dearly loved, in favor of a pedal trailer or tag-along, now that my 4 1/2-year-old son has finally revolted against the "cartwheel" as he calls it.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to haul a tag-along like a Piccolo (if I can find one) or an Adams or a
    Trek Mt. Train with one of these crank-forward-type bikes? Would the unusually diagonal (as opposed to vertical) position of the crank forward seat post prevent the Adams or Trek tag-alongs from attaching? Would a rack-attaching tag-along like the Piccolo be the only way to go, or would there be a whole different problem with that?

    What about the fact that the most "relaxed" of these bkes, like the Rans Fusion (which I'm heavily leaning toward), do not allow you to stand on the pedals while going uphill? Will the extra weight of my son -- 45 lbs plus the weight of the tag-along itself -- have me walking up those hills? Yikes!

    And incidentally, what wheel size would you recommend on the tag-along (20" vs 24"), if the tractor bike will have 26" wheels, as do the Rans fusions? Does it matter?

    These are pretty make-or-break questions for me as far as the choice of tractor bike and the choice of trailer bike go. That's how often I plan to have my son with me.

    Any advice you could give me about this brave new world of biking would be hugely appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Woodlark's Avatar
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    Take a look at this thread on the Crank forward forum:http://pub23.bravenet.com/forum/1970022224/show/622027. The original poster is trying to deal with just this issue. For a short time, RANS had a hitch adapter on their website, but they took it off because of liability issues.
    Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    There's also this post from the same guy: http://pub23.bravenet.com/forum/1970022224/show/625046

    Woodlark pretty much said it all. If you're worried about standing up, go with the Dynamic. I have both a Cruz, (similar to the Fusion) and a Dynamik and I've found the Dynamik (at least for me) to be a more versatile bike. If I were you Id spend some time on that forum asking questions. Then after you get your CF, come back here and help me convert these people!


  4. #4
    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    http://www.crankforward.com/

    BTW - I'm "Dan" on the front page...

  5. #5
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    You people are great! I should have guessed that others had sloshed around in this very same boat, but I would never have known where to look. In fact, I had previously searched this site in vain for a crank forward forum, and now you've given me the secret password. Thanks Woodlark and I Bike.

    BTW, I think I may have found a burley piccolo on Craigslist (fingers crossed). I'm supposed to pick it up this weekend. And I'm heading up to Basically Bicycles in northern MA either this or next week to (hopefully) pick up my Rans, whichever flavor that turns out to be. (And thanks for the Cruz vs. Dynamic advice, I Bike, that's exactly what I wanted to know! Too bad those Cruz's look SOOOOO cool!)

    So here's my next question: can one attach a moose rack (what the burley piccolo attaches to) to a Rans fusion/dynamic/cruz, etc? I've heard those moose racks require "threaded eyelets in rear dropout of lead bike", whatever that means... Guess I'll find out. But if anyone has any input on this beforehand, I sure would be grateful!

    Thanks again

    Genevieve

    PS: nice photos, Dan! Very inspiring...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Woodlark's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what a "moose rack" is, but if it mounts like a standard pannier rack, there are threaded holes near the rear dropout (the slot the wheel mounts in) of the Fusion for mounting racks and fenders.
    Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

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  7. #7
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    Woodlark -- yes, it sounds like this is just the thing! Hurray! Thanks a million! Of course, I'll verify it with the Rans dealer, but at least now I'm reasonably sure I'm on the right track with the piccolo. Whew!

    I Bike -- For what it's worth, I was despairing of ever finding a piccolo until one suddenly jumped out of the woodwork yesterday (on one of my kazillion local Craigslists...), so don't give up just yet.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Woodlark's Avatar
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    I looked up "moose rack" and it does mount like any other pannier rack so should work fine on the Fusion. You may have to get a little creative on the front attachment point (probably the seat post), but it shouldn't be too difficult; I mounted a Topeak rack on mine.
    Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodlark
    I'm not sure what a "moose rack" is, but if it mounts like a standard pannier rack, there are threaded holes near the rear dropout (the slot the wheel mounts in) of the Fusion for mounting racks and fenders.

    Moose Rack = Burley rack made to pull a Piccolo. It looks and fits much like any other pannier rack, but has the fifth wheel style connection needed to attach a Piccolo.
    Only mad dogs, Englishmen, and triathletes go out in the mid day sun.

  10. #10
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    Woodlark -- I just bought my fusion and I already feel like it's one of the best things I ever did! Non-stop grin! However, the dealer, Dave, of Basically Bicycles in northern Mass guy is A-1, BTW...) confirmed what you said about the front attachment for the moose rack requiring some sort of add-on to make up the extra distance to the seat post. I'm picking up the moose racks and the piccolo tomorrow. Not sure how -- or whom -- I'll need to get this customized hitch-thing accomplished... guess I'll just take it one step at a time. Wish me luck! And thanks again!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Woodlark's Avatar
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    Best of luck. Post pictures when you get it done!
    Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

    Rans Fusion
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    Bacchetta Cafe'
    Trek 7200 (For Sale)

  12. #12
    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genevieve
    Woodlark -- I just bought my fusion and I already feel like it's one of the best things I ever did! Non-stop grin! However, the dealer, Dave, of Basically Bicycles in northern Mass guy is A-1, BTW...) confirmed what you said about the front attachment for the moose rack requiring some sort of add-on to make up the extra distance to the seat post. I'm picking up the moose racks and the piccolo tomorrow. Not sure how -- or whom -- I'll need to get this customized hitch-thing accomplished... guess I'll just take it one step at a time. Wish me luck! And thanks again!
    Genevieve,

    Congratulations! Glad to hear youve joined the club - I still grin every time I get on my CF. Keep us posted on how things work out.

    Dan

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genevieve
    Woodlark -- I just bought my fusion and I already feel like it's one of the best things I ever did! Non-stop grin! However, the dealer, Dave, of Basically Bicycles in northern Mass guy is A-1, BTW...) confirmed what you said about the front attachment for the moose rack requiring some sort of add-on to make up the extra distance to the seat post. I'm picking up the moose racks and the piccolo tomorrow. Not sure how -- or whom -- I'll need to get this customized hitch-thing accomplished... guess I'll just take it one step at a time. Wish me luck! And thanks again!
    Burley sends a number of little straps with a Piccolo. You may need to bolt a couple of them together if there is a long distance to the seatpost.
    Only mad dogs, Englishmen, and triathletes go out in the mid day sun.

  14. #14
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    Thanks, everybody. I picked up my new-used piccolo two days ago -- still can't believe I found one, and so fairly priced, and from such nice people... Somebody up there must be smiling on this whole endeavor...

    But I'm not out of the woods yet! It turns out the piccolo DOES come with these extendable metal "straps," FormerFF, which extend from either side of the moose rack's front end. (To reiterate, the moose rack is what connects this particular type of trailercycle to the lead bike, unlike most trailercycles which attach exclusively to the lead bike's seatpost. The moose rack sits over the rear wheel with solid vertical braces that screw into the eyelets of the rear dropout. But apparently it requires some secondary attachment to the seatpost, and therein lies the rub...) Each of these "straps" is made up of two or three long, flat loops, kind of like the back side of a hair barette. They can be shortened or lengthened by sliding them up and down like a trombone and then tightening them with the attached screws. (Sorry for my lack of basic terminology; I'm not a handy gal...).

    The problem is that when fully extended, these straps do not reach any part of my Fusion's frame, because of the elongated "crank forward" geometry. However, they DO reach that hex-screw-bolt thing that runs through the top of my seat post, where the seat connects.

    My question: could I remove that hex-screw-bolt thing, get a longer one of the same gauge and material, and use it to attach the moose rack straps to either side of the seat post? Of course, this would make it impossible to raise or lower the seat without adjusting the length of those moose rack straps as well -- easy enough to do, but not without a few minutues and a pair of pliers. Are there any other problems you can foresee with this approach?

    I'm grateful to anyone who managed to plow through my clumsy description of the problem... to anyone who can help me solve it, I'm indebted for life!

    -- Genevieve

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