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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 06-02-07, 02:07 AM   #1
Inthe10ring
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Xtracycle = Greatest bike ever...

Put together my Xtracycle project yesterday, and wow, just wow... I get all kinds of attention and questions from people about it... I put it on an old Madwagon MTB frame from the mid-90's... I had universal cycles build me up the bomb-proof wheelset as follows...

Salsa Gordo triple box/wall hoops. 40 spoke front wheel, 48 Spoke rear wheel
Brass Nipples
Shimano Tandem bike hubs
DT Swiss super comp spokes
Continental Town/country tires


Few people can say that they have overloaded their xtracycle to the breaking point. The most common faliure is the rear wheel.( understandably) Xtracycle undersells their product with a max load of 350lbs... I shattered that tonight. My buddy Ryan was "surfing" the snapdeck on back, and we took a little tour of downtown. I'm 325, and he's 215... Add to that the 45lbs of cargo already in the freeloaders... Yeah, more than a quarter ton of weight... (creeping up on 600lbs! ) Gave rides to two drunk chicks(I work at a brewery/pub) on the first night I had it! (Got one phone number ) Our xtracycle hijinks were visible by quite a few people at their dinner tables, and it created quite a stir in the resteraunt. Everybody got a kick out of it, and we were cheered on by nearly every pedestrian we passed...
Anybody who has thought about these should definetly follow through. It handles great, and is a breeze to load up even the most akward crap... RIDE ON!!!
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Old 06-02-07, 05:14 AM   #2
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Sounds like a blast, and you ain't kidding about bombproof wheels. Holy crap, that's over-engineered perfection

I'm at a point now where I don't ever use my hybrid, which is just a rigid suspensionless mountain bike with skinny slicks on it anyways. If I could afford to find a FreeRadical kit to toss onto it, I'd probably go for it.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:15 AM   #3
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I want an xtracycle to bad I can taste it.
I'm trying to decide
1. Put it on my Cannondale f500 that I've set up with an extra set of skinny tire wheels, but then not have a mountain bike any more
2. Put it on my old Cannondale Black Lightning road bike but then not have front suspension or really low gears, and would I like it on 700c wheels?
3. Sell the road bike and put the money toward getting a pre-built Novara xtracycle (but do I REALLY want a Norvara....)
Anyway, congrats on your way-cool bike. Post photos!!!!
Mostly I'd commute and go grocery shopping with it.
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Old 06-02-07, 10:13 AM   #4
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Holy crap, a quarter ton gets you MAJOR bragging rights in my book!

I am ordering an Xtracycle kit, and I think I'll put it on a Norco Katmandu frame I found in the shed (heh). I'll have the bike shop look over the wheels, because I hadn't thought of that factor. Thanks for posting your specs!

(Over-engineering is good, says the Girl Guide leader - Be Prepared!)
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Old 06-02-07, 03:01 PM   #5
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awesome. Post some pics of your ride!
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Old 06-02-07, 06:13 PM   #6
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This bike is no speed demon, but it isn't nearly as piggy as I imagined it to be... I would not recommend putting it on 700cm wheels, as the ride quality deteriorates as the load goes up. I think that Mtn bikes are best suited out of the box, as they are overbuilt frame/componentry wise compared to a road/touring bike... I'm not saying that a heavy duty 700 xtracycle isn't possible, by no means. I think that you are just ahead of the game going torwards the heavy duty aspects/duties of the bike. Cant recommend it enough! Overall, I have about a grand into the bike start to finish. This includes the *gulp* $400 wheelset, and $400 FreeRadical kit. I have replaced brakes, levers, shifter, pedals, saddle, chain, wheels, tires, tubes, grips, cables/housings. The bike runs great, and should do so for a long time... It's now my daily commuter. I am able to now retire my Novara Safari to touring/weekend ride duty. RIDE ON!
Ryan



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Old 06-02-07, 06:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Inthe10ring
This bike is no speed demon, but it isn't nearly as piggy as I imagined it to be... I would not recommend putting it on 700cm wheels, as the ride quality deteriorates as the load goes up. I think that Mtn bikes are best suited out of the box, as they are overbuilt frame/componentry wise compared to a road/touring bike... I'm not saying that a heavy duty 700 xtracycle isn't possible, by no means. I think that you are just ahead of the game going torwards the heavy duty aspects/duties of the bike. Cant recommend it enough! Overall, I have about a grand into the bike start to finish. This includes the *gulp* $400 wheelset, and $400 FreeRadical kit. I have replaced brakes, levers, shifter, pedals, saddle, chain, wheels, tires, tubes, grips, cables/housings. The bike runs great, and should do so for a long time... It's now my daily commuter. I am able to now retire my Novara Safari to touring/weekend ride duty. RIDE ON!
Ryan



great pictures and bike -- thanks for posting

enjoy
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Old 06-02-07, 07:00 PM   #8
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That just seems so cool. I'd never have to drive to work again! (I do now only when I carry a bunch of stuff)

How does it feel going up hill with a load, or even a big big load? Do you die, or just go slower and it's OK?
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Old 06-02-07, 07:17 PM   #9
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Can you put those on an electric bicycle? I imagine it would be easy if the electric motor drove the front wheel hey? That would be the ultimate combo for hauling monster loads, getting some assist from an electric motor.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:29 PM   #10
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Can you put those on an electric bicycle? I imagine it would be easy if the electric motor drove the front wheel hey? That would be the ultimate combo for hauling monster loads, getting some assist from an electric motor.
Yep, you sure can. I did it HERE
There is also an electric kit called the Stoke Monkey that will let you retrofit any frame.
The rear wheel is the one that carries the most weight under load and the better wheel to power.

Last edited by Allen; 06-02-07 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:44 PM   #11
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Cool Allen! Thanks for the links.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cccorlew
That just seems so cool. I'd never have to drive to work again! (I do now only when I carry a bunch of stuff)

How does it feel going up hill with a load, or even a big big load? Do you die, or just go slower and it's OK?
No real problems, just gear it down. That's my next project actually. I have a 44t chainring in the front, and a nine speed cassette in back. My largest in the rear is big (at 34t), but It's not low enough for me to grunt a 180lbs drinking buddy up one of the hills between my house and downtown. Probably going to just go down to about a 34-36t in the front...
It's so much fun to load up with crap! You just start packing it on, and when you go to unload it, you are suprised to see that you just hauled 80lbs of laundry and groceries, and you hardly felt it.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:51 PM   #13
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Heh, do the stoke monkey+ Xtracycle conversion on one of the new Schwinns that drive the front hub w/electrics, that would be some serious horsepower for a bicycle

http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/...ail.php?id=892
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Old 06-02-07, 09:23 PM   #14
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Varnish that snapdeck, my friend. Varnish it ASAP, as in yesterday.

Be careful, that bike will change your life. Don't take all the awesome in at once, spread it out.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:48 PM   #15
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awesome...glad you love your xtracycle....i think it has changed my life....i'm a photographer and i regularly carry between 100-150lbs of gear with it...here's my rig with some advertising





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Old 06-02-07, 09:55 PM   #16
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Haha! Mine looks so ghetto compared to yours! The snapdeck is coming undone, the freerads are faded, one of the buckles is broken and it's partner is taped.

Yeah, mine's abused.

But it takes the abuse like a Nike sweatshop worker!
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Old 06-02-07, 10:12 PM   #17
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Putting one together has been on my list since a buddy of mine did a 2 week bike tour with his. And now Surly went and made their new Big Dummie frame. I've been a Surly freak since I got my LHT to build up, but the new frame is a wee bit out of my price range.
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Old 06-02-07, 10:47 PM   #18
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Putting one together has been on my list since a buddy of mine did a 2 week bike tour with his. And now Surly went and made their new Big Dummie frame. I've been a Surly freak since I got my LHT to build up, but the new frame is a wee bit out of my price range.
What are the "Big dummy" frames set to be going for?
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Old 06-02-07, 10:55 PM   #19
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It's so much fun to load up with crap!
No doubt, before too long, you'll be loading stuff up, just to see if it can be done. It's a great conversation starter


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Old 06-02-07, 11:38 PM   #20
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No doubt, before too long, you'll be loading stuff up, just to see if it can be done. It's a great conversation starter


Some photoshop fun?
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Old 06-02-07, 11:54 PM   #21
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I've been thinking about getting a freeradical to add to my commuter (old mountain bike, pretty standard setup for freeradical). But here's the thing - as it stands now, about 90% of my riding is commuting back and forth to work with a single pannier of clothes. I generally don't use my bike to haul stuff around (though I suppose I might in the future).

So, for those of you have have one, is the xtracycle setup much of a hassle when it's unloaded (slow, heavy, etc.).
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Old 06-03-07, 01:05 AM   #22
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I've been thinking about getting a freeradical to add to my commuter (old mountain bike, pretty standard setup for freeradical). But here's the thing - as it stands now, about 90% of my riding is commuting back and forth to work with a single pannier of clothes. I generally don't use my bike to haul stuff around (though I suppose I might in the future).

So, for those of you have have one, is the xtracycle setup much of a hassle when it's unloaded (slow, heavy, etc.).
Actually much quicker than I anticipated. I'm not saying that you are going to average 20mph, but I am cruising at a very comfortable 13-15 MPH as pictured above. About 10-12mph with a 150lbs+ load. (Not accounting for hills )
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Old 06-03-07, 02:37 AM   #23
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Some photoshop fun?
No, man. That's how you load the Xtra.
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Old 06-03-07, 03:21 AM   #24
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What are the "Big dummy" frames set to be going for?
Upwards of $800 (http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=FM3068)

I'm so looking forward to pretending to get one, all the fun of specing out components, imagining the things I'd do with it.
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Old 06-03-07, 04:39 AM   #25
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Upwards of $800 (http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=FM3068)

I'm so looking forward to pretending to get one, all the fun of specing out components, imagining the things I'd do with it.
That's about the place I'm at. Since it showed up on the blog I wanted one and then saw the $$. Maybe in a year or two since I just finished grad school and the lenders want their money back
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