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Old 09-04-10, 04:59 PM   #1
drmweaver2
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Xtracycle Free Radical? Anyone here toured with it?

As the title asks, has anyone here toured with an Xtracycle Free Radical?
http://www.xtracycle.com/cargo-bicyc...o-bicycle.html

Is it even feasible considering the length of the wheelbase and resulting difference in weight distribution? It would seem totally impractical for off-road touring but possible for on-road only touring.

I've seen pics of people touring with a Big Dummy, but not a Free Radical.
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Old 09-04-10, 05:10 PM   #2
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the long tail cargo bike is an amazing platform
yes, I've done some touring with on a Cannondale XtraCycle convert
at the moment I'm using a Surly Big Dummy which I've had for over 2 years.

here's a couple of links:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=519016
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=391518

at the moment a buddy and I are here in Monterey, getting ready to finish up our trip Eureka, Ca and south.

we just finished going thru the Lost Coast, Kings Range and Sinkyone Wilderness... about 125 miles of dirt, then a bunch of pave from Ft. Bragg, Ca and south.
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Old 09-04-10, 06:20 PM   #3
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the long tail cargo bike is an amazing platform
yes, I've done some touring with on a Cannondale XtraCycle convert
at the moment I'm using a Surly Big Dummy which I've had for over 2 years.
It looks very interesting as a concept. Interesting reading too.
How different are the 2 "long bikes"? I mean, the Big Dummy is designed to be long/handle the heavy load while the Free Radical kit relies on the existing wheel. Did you have to make any significant equipment adjustments with the Cannondale conversion? Like a wider tire, stronger wheel?
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Old 09-04-10, 06:30 PM   #4
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It looks very interesting as a concept. Interesting reading too.
How different are the 2 "long bikes"? I mean, the Big Dummy is designed to be long/handle the heavy load while the Free Radical kit relies on the existing wheel. Did you have to make any significant equipment adjustments with the Cannondale conversion? Like a wider tire, stronger wheel?
cargo bikes lend themselves to loading up large and heavy cargo
I'm on my 3rd wheelset, I should have just started out with a DH wheelset, and saved myself the hassle.

the Big Dummy is a 1 piece frame
the xtracycle is a bolt on

the differences are as infinite as the possible combos of what bike could potentially be converted to a cargo bike with a FreeRadical
that being said, with the Cannondale F700 that I had used, i rode it for about 2 years. it was pretty cool.
however, I really do like The Big Dummy a lot more than the convert job I used to ride.

conversions are great, in that it provides an opportunity to experience a long tail cargo bike
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Old 09-07-10, 01:21 AM   #5
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it is just too heavy... i toured for 10 days and am selling to complete another 2 years
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Old 09-07-10, 12:17 PM   #6
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it is just too heavy... i toured for 10 days and am selling to complete another 2 years
Agree, Xtra Cycle is serious overkill for the normal tour, if you are smart you avoid that much weight, but I guess they don't call it a "Big Dummy" for nothing!
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Old 09-07-10, 01:52 PM   #7
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my rigid mtb with free radical, long travel kit, and snapdeck weighs 40 lbs. i don't think it is much heavier than racks and panniers. it does shift the weight towards the rear quite a bit, which makes it difficult for me to get my bike into my workstand (seatpost clamp) when the clamp is at its normal angle.

i got a couple questions, which hopefully don't derail this thread too much:
to those who have owned both free radicals and xtracycle platform bikes such as the big dummy, what is it about the big dummy/ute/radish/etc that you prefer over the conversion?
one of my concerns is security while shopping or otherwise leaving my bike unattended. i think it would be too easy for someone to pop off my snapdeck, undo the long travel kit straps, and take the long travel kit, flight deck, and cargo. how do you folks lock up your x?
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Old 09-07-10, 09:59 PM   #8
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my rigid mtb with free radical, long travel kit, and snapdeck weighs 40 lbs. i don't think it is much heavier than racks and panniers. it does shift the weight towards the rear quite a bit, which makes it difficult for me to get my bike into my workstand (seatpost clamp) when the clamp is at its normal angle.

i got a couple questions, which hopefully don't derail this thread too much:
to those who have owned both free radicals and xtracycle platform bikes such as the big dummy, what is it about the big dummy/ute/radish/etc that you prefer over the conversion?
one of my concerns is security while shopping or otherwise leaving my bike unattended. i think it would be too easy for someone to pop off my snapdeck, undo the long travel kit straps, and take the long travel kit, flight deck, and cargo. how do you folks lock up your x?
I use my Big Dummy as a commuter in San Francisco and so far nobody has ever tried to steal any of the Xtracycle components. My guess is that bike thieves come in two different types around here - the "crackheads" and the "professionals". The crackheads have no idea what an Xtracycle is so they ignore it and steal somebody's unlocked wheel instead. The professionals know what it is, but they go for the easier to sell bikes. If you are worried about it, adding "watchamacollar" clamps to the V-racks would slow somebody down and prevent them from just lifting the rack off.

I had a conversion a few years ago. The Big Dummy is more solid and doesn't flex as much as the conversion. It also handles a little bit better.
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Old 09-07-10, 11:43 PM   #9
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As I'm considering going car-free, the conversion idea is intriguing. The flex-issue is of a bit of a concern should I take it out touring - I'm a bit of a Clydesdale. Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 09-08-10, 08:27 PM   #10
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I just returned from a tour, eureka Ca to Morro Bay, Ca. using my big dummy
along the way, a buddy and i rode thru The Lost Coast, Kings Range, and Sinkyone Wilderness before getting back on HWY 1 north of Ft. Bragg.

I'm car free... The Dummy is capable of a lot of various duties.
its super versatile

I'll be posting some pics, write up, etc...
on this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ghlight=eureka

Last edited by AsanaCycles; 09-08-10 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 09-08-10, 08:52 PM   #11
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several years ago met some one toured the coast, singer songwriter folkie type . She had Guitar case [ light foam] strapped on one side ..
and a pair of panniers on the front, and the rest on the other rear side ..
seemed to have some wheel troubles.. other than that , the Music tour on Bike continued..
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Old 09-08-10, 09:12 PM   #12
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I'm car free... The Dummy is capable of a lot of various duties.
its super versatile
YEs, and you are much more of a mechanic than I can hope to be (compliment, not sarcasm). My hat's off to you for what you've done. Me, I'm just trying to save some money and perhaps do something a bit differently than those around me. I don't think I've ever seen a long-cycle in this State.
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Old 09-08-10, 10:33 PM   #13
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YEs, and you are much more of a mechanic than I can hope to be (compliment, not sarcasm). My hat's off to you for what you've done. Me, I'm just trying to save some money and perhaps do something a bit differently than those around me. I don't think I've ever seen a long-cycle in this State.
bicycles are pretty easy
and quite honestly, I've been seriously obsessed with The Bicycle Lifestyle since I was a kid, so the progressions are nothing short of Natural (to me).

I grew up with my vietnam hippy dad in a 1958 Ford Stepside van, living in the parks, hotels at times, friends driveways, etc...
fundamentally the bicycle has always been a "means" for me.

you can pretty much do anything with a bike (meant as encouragement)
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Old 09-09-10, 03:50 AM   #14
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bicycles are pretty easy...you can pretty much do anything with a bike (meant as encouragement)
Yep, so people with mechanical aptitude tell me. I've always been more a digital computer nerd; analog computers drive me crazy (if you don't get the reference, it's the difference between index shifting and the other kind [forgot the word as I wrote this]). Anyway, just kinda exploring the idea.
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Old 09-09-10, 08:23 AM   #15
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