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Old 06-21-11, 03:59 AM   #1
wiiiim
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bike truck

I believe they are called bike trucks. Here's an example: http://civiacycles.com/bikes/halsted...d_kit_1/#build
and another: http://www.ahearnecycles.com/cycle-truck-intro/
and homemade: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_NTjlyrQrB3...ycle+truck.jpg

Has anyone toured on one of these? They look awesome! They could be the perfect bike for travelling with a pet companion too (with a little creativity)
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Old 06-21-11, 04:14 AM   #2
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How cool, the weight over the front wheel seems unusual to me and i worry that it would affect steering/braking/manouverability.
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Old 06-21-11, 04:28 AM   #3
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Those are commonly called Butcher Bikes, because they used to be used for local shop deliveries and such back in the 40's and 50's. The platform is actually attached to the frame, it doesn't turn with the front wheel, and it's much more stable than it looks. The only downside is that they're kind of heavy, but not any heavier than any other cargo bike. You could tour on one, but it would need to have the right gearing and such.
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Old 06-21-11, 07:01 AM   #4
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i would love to put my big trekking bag on the front, both practical for extra luggage and doing short treks while on a big tour
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Old 06-21-11, 07:51 AM   #5
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The only downside is that they're kind of heavy, but not any heavier than any other cargo bike.
That plus the non-standard front-wheel. You'll have to carry two different sizes of spare tube, two different spare tires (if you carry spare tires), and if you need a replacement tire in the middle of nowhere your choices may be limited. Looks to me like these bikes are a solution in search of a problem...
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Old 06-21-11, 08:33 AM   #6
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That plus the non-standard front-wheel. You'll have to carry two different sizes of spare tube, two different spare tires (if you carry spare tires), and if you need a replacement tire in the middle of nowhere your choices may be limited. Looks to me like these bikes are a solution in search of a problem...
Non-standard to a conventional bike rider, but pretty standard 20/406 front and 26/559 rear to the recumbent community. I've checked out the bike shops I've passed so far on my tour and I've seen no problem getting either size. Now the local WalMart or sports shop, on the other hand, might be a problem. Actually, I have seen a more limited choice of tire replacement out here on the road when dealing with the 16" b*o*b trailer.
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Old 06-21-11, 08:50 AM   #7
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Another option , a bakfiets, [Dutch=boxbike] the wheelbase in front is longer,
for the box..
Harry vs Larry , Danish, made a light aluminum design, they are sold in the US
shipped in from Taiwan contract factory .

CAT/HPM & CETMA in Eugene, hand welded steel ones, are more customizable.

406, 20" is a common size, #2 behind 559, 26".. world wide.

Schwalbe makes premium tires, marathon plus, etc. for both sizes..

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Old 06-21-11, 09:28 AM   #8
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yeah, i would expect that a 20" wheel is not so hard to find even in remote places, for children's bikes

a 'bakfiets' is pretty awesome too, especially for families, but i probably wouldn't dare doing a remote tour with it, i can't imagine myself riding rocky dirt roads with the long wheelbase, and there's just too much added complexity (even the gears are different)

a 'butcher bike' is still pretty 'standard' to me (normal gears/brakes/steering), it could work :-)
i'd love to try one out :-)

on a side note, i found this cool website about a very creative person creating custom bikes made from scrap; worth a look! http://www.tomscargobikes.com/Home_Page.php
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Old 06-21-11, 09:34 AM   #9
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FWIW, the drive trains are quite conventional
on the Eugene made ones I mentioned..

& H v L use Alfine IGH..

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Old 06-21-11, 02:06 PM   #10
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That plus the non-standard front-wheel. You'll have to carry two different sizes of spare tube, two different spare tires (if you carry spare tires), and if you need a replacement tire in the middle of nowhere your choices may be limited. Looks to me like these bikes are a solution in search of a problem...
Those are the two most common tire sizes in North America. Not hard to find parts for the cycletrucks at all, the 559/406 wheel combo is easy to find tubes and tires for, they sell them at almost every store with sporting goods. I'd use one, no question. These are good for delivery people who need to keep an eye on their cargo, or have wide things that don't work well on a traditional rack.
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Old 06-22-11, 09:42 AM   #11
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Those are the two most common tire sizes in North America. Not hard to find parts for the cycletrucks at all, the 559/406 wheel combo is easy to find tubes and tires for, they sell them at almost every store with sporting goods.
They probably sell 20" tires for kids bikes at most sporting goods stores. Are they doing to sell a tire suitable for a full-size, fully-loaded touring bike? I can't remember seeing any Schwalbe tires the last time I walked through the "bike" department at Wal-mart...
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Old 06-22-11, 10:00 AM   #12
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They probably sell 20" tires for kids bikes at most sporting goods stores. Are they doing to sell a tire suitable for a full-size, fully-loaded touring bike? I can't remember seeing any Schwalbe tires the last time I walked through the "bike" department at Wal-mart...
In an emergency anything that holds air and rolls is good. If you start a tour with good quality tires and watch where and what you are rolling over they normally will last the entire distance.

I have only had to buy one tire in an emergency situation in over 40 years of riding.

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Old 06-22-11, 10:41 AM   #13
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They probably sell 20" tires for kids bikes at most sporting goods stores. Are they doing to sell a tire suitable for a full-size, fully-loaded touring bike? I can't remember seeing any Schwalbe tires the last time I walked through the "bike" department at Wal-mart...

this is simply ridiculous. if you need your particular schwalbes, youre likely going to mail order them anyway.

otherwise, as the above poster said, anything that holds air and rolls is good. 20" tires come in everything from knobbies to slicks, garbage to gold...

incidentally, i DO need my particular schwalbes, which i mail order. They last for a couple years.
its a non issue.
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Old 06-22-11, 10:05 PM   #14
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this is simply ridiculous. if you need your particular schwalbes, youre likely going to mail order them anyway.
If you're touring on one of these bike trucks and tear a front tire in the middle of nowhere, having to mail-order a new one would seem to be a significant disadvantage... as I originally stated.

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otherwise, as the above poster said, anything that holds air and rolls is good. 20" tires come in everything from knobbies to slicks, garbage to gold... .
And what type of 20" tire do you expect to find if you need to buy a replacement in a random small-town sporting goods store? I'm guessing it'll be a knobbie from the "garbage" side of the spectrum. That last time I bought a no-name tire from a sporting goods store, it was showing significant wear after 50-75 miles of riding... on an unloaded bike!

Really: can you honestly say you'd prefer to tour on a bike with one 20" wheel and one 26" or 700c wheel?!? If not, then I stand by my statement: having two different wheel sizes is a disadvantage of this type of bike.
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Old 06-23-11, 03:05 AM   #15
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If you're touring on one of these bike trucks and tear a front tire in the middle of nowhere, having to mail-order a new one would seem to be a significant disadvantage... as I originally stated.



And what type of 20" tire do you expect to find if you need to buy a replacement in a random small-town sporting goods store? I'm guessing it'll be a knobbie from the "garbage" side of the spectrum. That last time I bought a no-name tire from a sporting goods store, it was showing significant wear after 50-75 miles of riding... on an unloaded bike!

Really: can you honestly say you'd prefer to tour on a bike with one 20" wheel and one 26" or 700c wheel?!? If not, then I stand by my statement: having two different wheel sizes is a disadvantage of this type of bike.
While there is a slight disadvantage to having 2 different wheel sizes on the same tour bike, your arguments don't really address that issue. You'd still need to mail-order any "special" tire if you're picky, regardless of size. It's not like Walmart is stocking schwalbes in 559, but not 406.

Similarly, the "random small-town sporting goods store" is, as you said, likely to be stocking cheap and yucky tires in 20", but the same is true for their 26" stock. So, while it might be inconvenient to need 2 sizes of spare tubes and 2 different spare tires (if you carry spare tires on tour), the 2 different wheel size thing is not really a disadvantage to those who are more likely to try to buy replacement tires on the road somewhere. And, while boyscout-style preparedness is a virtue cherished by the touring set, let's be honest: quality tires rarely die unexpectedly in the middle of a tour. Many tourists carry spare tubes, but not spare tires.

I think i'd be reluctant to tour on most cycletrucks due to the riding position(kinda cruiserish) and the fact that baskets are not waterproof and big waterproof boxes are definitely not aerodynamic.

-rob
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Old 06-23-11, 12:51 PM   #16
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And what type of 20" tire do you expect to find if you need to buy a replacement in a random small-town sporting goods store? I'm guessing it'll be a knobbie from the "garbage" side of the spectrum. That last time I bought a no-name tire from a sporting goods store, it was showing significant wear after 50-75 miles of riding... on an unloaded bike!

Really: can you honestly say you'd prefer to tour on a bike with one 20" wheel and one 26" or 700c wheel?!? If not, then I stand by my statement: having two different wheel sizes is a disadvantage of this type of bike.
http://www.walmart.com/search/search...h_constraint=0

for the sake of discussion, lets say all you have access to out in BFE is a walmart..;

20, 24 and 26 inch tires. All from the same manufacturer.

As I said before, if you want something particular, you'll need to mail-order and bring it anyway.

incidentally, ill point out the lack of any 700c tires...
Ill also point out that buying good tires to begin with and starting off on a long trip with newish tires makes this whole discussion pointless...
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Old 06-23-11, 05:37 PM   #17
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While there is a slight disadvantage to having 2 different wheel sizes on the same tour bike, your arguments don't really address that issue. You'd still need to mail-order any "special" tire if you're picky, regardless of size. It's not like Walmart is stocking schwalbes in 559, but not 406.
Exactly. Saying you won't use 20/26's because you can't find good ones on the road is ridiculous. You're not going to find any good tires unless you run across a quality bike shop.

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I think i'd be reluctant to tour on most cycletrucks due to the riding position(kinda cruiserish) and the fact that baskets are not waterproof and big waterproof boxes are definitely not aerodynamic.

-rob
This would be the primary reason: speed and aerodynamics, not tire size. If set up correctly, they could be perfectly comfy.

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Really: can you honestly say you'd prefer to tour on a bike with one 20" wheel and one 26" or 700c wheel?!? If not, then I stand by my statement: having two different wheel sizes is a disadvantage of this type of bike.
I would tour on a 20/26" combo before 700C any day. Nothing wrong with 700's but if I tore one out in the middle of nowhere, I wouldn't be going anywhere for a few days.
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Old 06-23-11, 10:19 PM   #18
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for the sake of discussion, lets say all you have access to out in BFE is a walmart..;

20, 24 and 26 inch tires. All from the same manufacturer.
OK, I'll play along: you have a choice of one 20" tire, one 24" tire, and 3X as many 26" tires. At my local Wal-mart, the website says the 20" and 24" tires are out of stock. Two of the three 26" tires are available, including the 26" slick that most bicycle tourists would likely purchase.

Thanks for proving my point! I think you've aptly illustrated how 20" tires are a bigger liability than 26" tires...

Quote:
Ill also point out that buying good tires to begin with and starting off on a long trip with newish tires makes this whole discussion pointless...
Hardly. Ever buy a tire, install it, and have the bead separate from the carcass after 400-500 miles? Thanks to Continental, I have. Ever ride off-road and gash your sidewall to the point where the tire couldn't be booted? I have (though, admittedly, not on a tour).

Traveling with a spare tire, or being able to find one easily should it be needed seems like a prudent idea. Just ask the guy I ran into while riding down the Pacific coast: he somehow managed to destroy the brand-new 16-inch tire on his brand-new trailer, spent a day hitching back to civilization, and even then he had the devil of a time finding a shop with a suitable tire. IIRC, a customer at the 3rd or 4th bike shop he visited owned a similar trailer, took pity, and gave him a tire...
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Old 06-24-11, 03:41 AM   #19
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OK, I'll play along: you have a choice of one 20" tire, one 24" tire, and 3X as many 26" tires. At my local Wal-mart, the website says the 20" and 24" tires are out of stock. Two of the three 26" tires are available, including the 26" slick that most bicycle tourists would likely purchase.

Thanks for proving my point! I think you've aptly illustrated how 20" tires are a bigger liability than 26" tires...
Sorry, but there are many of us out here now touring with a 20/26 tire set. Add a 16 to the mix for me since I also have a b*o*b trailer. Having different tire sizes is NOT a liability. Not taking care of your tires and not watching where you are going are liabilities. Starting with good quality touring tires is important. But as previous posters stated, any tire that hold air and rolls is good enough to get me down the road to where I can get another quality tire.

For the OP: It is your tour, do what the heck YOU want to do. You are not touring to make someone else happy, you're doing it to make YOU happy. There will be nay sayers for every single piece of equipment/route/clothes/weight choice that you make. My only recommendation is research you choices wisely, test everything you can before hand and get what you like best.
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Old 06-24-11, 08:04 AM   #20
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Old 06-24-11, 08:44 AM   #21
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It all boils down to...if it's the only thing that rolls, and you want to go somewhere, you'll use it. I was 15 on my first tour, riding through the Fraser Canyon, which had all manner of terrain, including nasty grades, and no bike shops. I used a very old, heavy, first world war man's single speed 28".
I would change the front sprocket and chain length (with quick links) if I wanted to ride up long hills. I carried spare crank pins, bearings for wheels, crank shaft, and pedals, and lots of glue and patches with a big old tire pump. Didn't know enough to use panniers, so carried everything on my back in a canvas pack, and rode with denim jeans. Even though there was a lot of shoulder and butt pain, and numerous stopping's to make repairs, my Buddy and I had a fantastic cycling and camping adventure. Although I tour now with light modern equipment designed for durability and comfort, if I could roll the clock back, I would happily do it again, and would have loved to be able to use the "bike truck", you bet!
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Old 06-24-11, 09:00 AM   #22
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It all boils down to...if it's the only thing that rolls, and you want to go somewhere, you'll use it. I was 15 on my first tour, riding through the Fraser Canyon, which had all manner of terrain, including nasty grades, and no bike shops. I used a very old, heavy, first world war man's single speed 28".
I would change the front sprocket and chain length (with quick links) if I wanted to ride up long hills. I carried spare crank pins, bearings for wheels, crank shaft, and pedals, and lots of glue and patches with a big old tire pump. Didn't know enough to use panniers, so carried everything on my back in a canvas pack, and rode with denim jeans. Even though there was a lot of shoulder and butt pain, and numerous stopping's to make repairs, my Buddy and I had a fantastic cycling and camping adventure. Although I tour now with light modern equipment designed for durability and comfort, if I could roll the clock back, I would happily do it again, and would have loved to be able to use the "bike truck", you bet!
respect! thats awesome, do you have any pictures to share?
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Old 06-24-11, 03:40 PM   #23
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It all boils down to...if it's the only thing that rolls, and you want to go somewhere, you'll use it. I was 15 on my first tour, riding through the Fraser Canyon, which had all manner of terrain, including nasty grades, and no bike shops. I used a very old, heavy, first world war man's single speed 28".
I would change the front sprocket and chain length (with quick links) if I wanted to ride up long hills. I carried spare crank pins, bearings for wheels, crank shaft, and pedals, and lots of glue and patches with a big old tire pump. Didn't know enough to use panniers, so carried everything on my back in a canvas pack, and rode with denim jeans. Even though there was a lot of shoulder and butt pain, and numerous stopping's to make repairs, my Buddy and I had a fantastic cycling and camping adventure. Although I tour now with light modern equipment designed for durability and comfort, if I could roll the clock back, I would happily do it again, and would have loved to be able to use the "bike truck", you bet!
When I was a boy, we went cycle-tourin' on reptilian mules, which we called donkasaurus. We didn't have bike shops; they weren't invented yet, so we stopped at the general store, which we called Fast Freddy's. We had to tour all year in the snow, b/c we had an ice-age on, and if your mule lost a shoe, it took the wells-fargo wagon 6 weeks to send a replacement in from New Amsterdam!

In all seriousness, Lew, yours is a cool story, but it also reminded me of the ol' cliche about granpa chiding the whippersnappers about how easy they have it...

-rob
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Old 06-24-11, 04:57 PM   #24
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I bet the truck bike would be a good ride for the occasional short trip or general utility work. As far as it being suitable for a long self supported tour I dint see it happening for me. The thought of descending or fighting a headwind with that silly huge rack out front turns me off. As far as walmart tires go I limped back the last leg of a fully loaded 3 state tour on a 700c and it did fine. I have seen all sorts of folks on tour riding all sorts of mounts and I have to say that the majority of what I see is 700c and 26" slicks. The truck bike would be fun to have and I can think of lots of uses for it but just not for a tour in my eyes.
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Old 06-24-11, 05:05 PM   #25
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The most maddening problem with the very early single-geared bikes was the tapered pin used to attach the peddle arm to the main shaft. Because you had no gears, you stood up and pumped as hard as you could to make a grade, which chewed them up quickly. We were always re-tightening or replacing them.
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