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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 01-07-08, 04:49 PM   #1
kemmer
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home built xtracycle...

So I'm going to build an xtracycle style rig out of two (maybe more) old mountain bikes and I have a few questions for xtracycle owners.

How far is it from the bottom bracket to the rear axle?
How far is it from the top of the snap deck to the rear axle?
How high is the bottom bracket with the kit installed?

I will eventually have an xtracycle at my disposal to take measurements from so that I can make it xtracycle accessory compatible, but I don't have it in front of me yet.
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Old 01-07-08, 05:56 PM   #2
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Try to find an old "full suspension" bike. That way you can use the rear triangle from that one as it is, wery easy. I made one and it works just fine. did not totally finish the "luggage carrying" part of it yet. Not sure if I want to pay somebody to weld it or try to think of a "no weld" solution. Decided to try it out first to see that it vorked fine as a bike before going ahead. I`we not yet learned how to post pix here, I`ll try soon, but search for "MAKE BLOG", and ten go to "Bicykles". You can find one there.
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Old 01-07-08, 10:09 PM   #3
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Mine will be a bit more custom than that, but I have thought of doing it that way. I think I have a rear triangle from a FS bike kicking around somewhere so I may revisit the idea.
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Old 01-08-08, 02:31 PM   #4
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Try to find an old "full suspension" bike. That way you can use the rear triangle from that one as it is, wery easy. I made one and it works just fine. did not totally finish the "luggage carrying" part of it yet. Not sure if I want to pay somebody to weld it or try to think of a "no weld" solution. Decided to try it out first to see that it vorked fine as a bike before going ahead. I`we not yet learned how to post pix here, I`ll try soon, but search for "MAKE BLOG", and ten go to "Bicykles". You can find one there.
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It is simple to post a photo, just click on the mountain and sun icon in the editing panel, and enter the URL of the photo in the popup window that appears.
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Old 01-08-08, 07:48 PM   #5
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Ok, Her we go. Got them on my computer, but think I did it right. They are mobile camera pix, so not sure about size and qual..
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Old 01-08-08, 08:28 PM   #6
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As you can see one "rack" on it now, used to be two similar ones. Was thinking of stiffening that system by adding some slim tubes, bamboo or aluminiumprofiles under the racks - all the way and fix it to the bike. (Maybe a skateboard or just a waterresist plywood thing ontop?) That way I can use 2 bags (panniers you call it?) on each side or make some big bags with straps like the real thing. Made this one partly becouse I feel sick if I do not have a project running all the time, and partly becouse I wanted to find ut if I need one (I know I want one..). Thinking of riding with my 25kg dog to find out if it is better than a trailer.

This one is working just fine, so if I decide to put some more work into it and pay for some welding (no welding project so far) I do not need to get a "real" one.

This bike has got vertical dropouts. I decided that this bike is for this project and used a Dremmel to make better room for the axel (bottom bracket?) from the added triangel.

You can see the two "legs" under the crank (as we call it) keeping the bike straight. Bought it cheap lokally. Wery good for this setup. Remowed the bolt on that one, and replaced with a longer one. Used it to also go trough and thereby lock the bar (square tubing from an old car roof rack) going from top of the rear triangle down to just behind the crank on the main bike.

This one is 27 gears.

Note the "albatross" like handlebars. Discovered them some few years ago in a local low price shop who`s got some bike gear. Then I was wondering what the h&%% was going on, but later I started to like...

Also there is a wery special "twisted spoke" pattern on the front wheel. Copied it from the Internet.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:39 PM   #7
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[IMG][/IMG] This was my first attempt at a "redneck extracycle" , I plan on making a better one soon.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:40 PM   #8
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Sorry bad post.
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Old 01-09-08, 03:51 PM   #9
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While we are on the subject of home built Xtracycles, here is one I am currently building. For the rack I am going to copy the Yuba Mundo's rack using plywood for the carrier portion and steel legs to mount it, the ones normally used on baskets. Should work pretty well.
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Old 01-09-08, 11:41 PM   #10
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That option is looking better and better, thanks for the pictures badmother and rough rider. The one on instructibles seemed more janky, but those actually look pretty good. My junk bike pile is covered in snow, but I'm pretty sure theres on in there somewhere and if not there was one at the thrift store down the street yesterday.

I used the another one of these FS wal mart bikes for the rear section of my swing bike:

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Old 01-10-08, 02:37 PM   #11
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can not see bbowfly`s extra

I like alot to watch other peopels cool bikes, but wery often I have problems getting the pictures on my computer. The problem is quite often on this forum, not on other sites. Anybody know why?? I am dying to see bbowfly`s "extra", but all I can see is a small black square with a small red Xinnside it. Sometimes (in other postings) Ican see nothing, but I understand from the txt that there is a picture.

Solution anyone? I think maybe as much as half of the pix`s is missing. Is there a program or two I need to install or is the security on my computer to strict? Hoping to get some help..
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Old 01-10-08, 02:43 PM   #12
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Any more "extra`s" out there?

Kemmer`s bike and roughrider 504`s bike I can see and I do enjoy . Any more "extra`s" out there?
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Old 01-10-08, 04:47 PM   #13
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I've got a junky old Huffy tandem that's destined for cargo use if things work out- my version of a home-made xtracycle. The "Xtrahuffy" as it were.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:38 PM   #14
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Hey fellers, there's some really nice work in this thread! It seems to me that we have a real collection of utility DIY'ers here. I love the design ideas coming out here, like using a rear suspension triangle to extend a frame. Good stuff!

Considering the relative complexity of building a good frame, the popularity of the xtracycle concept, and the additional challenges posed by the longer wheelbase, the information in this thread is a very valuable resource and therefore I want to nominate it as a sticky.

I must admit that I've never been as big a fan of the xtracycle as some here, but this thread has really warmed me up to the idea. So much so that I have a couple of donor frames ready to go for my own version of the xtracycle..... or maybe it's just an excuse for another DIY project either way I'll hopefully have something usefull to contribute in the coming weeks. In the meantime I would encourage everyone to keep adding progress photos and information of your projects as they develop, especially tricky/fiddly stuff like cable routing, setting up rear brakes, drivetrain issues, chainline, ect.

Roughrider504, I love your work on that frame and really looking forward to seeing how your project turns out. Did you do the welding yourself? please tell us more about it as I think there may be some here that are interested in giving welding a go.

Kemmer, how on God's green earth do you ride that thing! seriously, is there a video on youtube? my head is going into meltdown thinking about it ...and speaking of wonky frames, how did y'all line everything up when building your frames? (assuming you don't have your own frame alignment jig)

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Old 01-10-08, 07:04 PM   #15
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Swingbike video here:
http://www.americasbikecompany.com/A.../301-01-02.htm

Looks cool, but looks like it would get old in a hurry. And you look considerably less cool if you fall off.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:17 PM   #16
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Let's make this a sticky so we can keep up with everyone's progress.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:20 PM   #17
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Roughrider504, I love your work on that frame and really looking forward to seeing how your project turns out. Did you do the welding yourself? please tell us more about it as I think there may be some here that are interested in giving welding a go.
Thanks! Actually there is no welding. The pipe bolts directly up to where the shock did and my 200lbs keeps the end of the tube firmly against the bottom bracket, no problems whatsoever [I had a mock up rideable for a while]. Yes the tube is bolted onto the frame at the bottom bracket but that is only so I can pick it up.
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Old 01-10-08, 10:00 PM   #18
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I was not able to upload my pics because they are too big and I don,t know how to resize them. Mine is set up very similiar to roughrider504,s except my top tube connects with the seatpost. It is welded but could be attached by bolts also. If anyone knows how to resize photos feel free to private message me and I,ll email them to you.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:12 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by roughrider504 View Post
While we are on the subject of home built Xtracycles, here is one I am currently building. For the rack I am going to copy the Yuba Mundo's rack using plywood for the carrier portion and steel legs to mount it, the ones normally used on baskets. Should work pretty well.
I like that...
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Old 01-11-08, 01:33 PM   #20
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I was not able to upload my pics because they are too big and I don,t know how to resize them. Mine is set up very similiar to roughrider504,s except my top tube connects with the seatpost. It is welded but could be attached by bolts also. If anyone knows how to resize photos feel free to private message me and I,ll email them to you.
It's not too tough to resize pics -- one easy way is to open the pic with Microsoft Paint, go to Image ->Resize/Skew, and use the menu to reduce the size.

Google's Picasa will also do it, but it's a bit more complicated.
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Old 01-11-08, 03:39 PM   #21
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Here is an update on mine, it should be completed Sunday since I can pick up the rest of the parts at the co-op tomorrow. I still need to build the rack and I am thinking of using 2x2s for it. You can see how I am going to mount the rack, its pretty simple. It is a coaster brake since New Orleans is completely flat I won't need the gears. Don't have to buy expensive tandem cables neither. The hub is a Torpedo laced 4x to an Araya rim so it should be just fine for strength. Soon enough I'll build another 4x for the front. If only I could find a Mafac Racer for the front brake at the co-op. *crosses fingers*

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Old 01-11-08, 09:04 PM   #22
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Yes, lets keep this for some time! Like alot to see the different ways of doing it! I am thinking of maybe going for the "plywood solution also after seeing it. Good thinking!

Could someone maybe make a suggestion on what to call the different parts? Easyer to explain if we all use the same names. Picture with some names written on? Not sure how to do this, plus somebody with Englis as a main language should do it.

Chainline: I had a problem with choosing the wrong lenght on the first "support pipe" (from top of rear triangel to chainstay). That way the second crank (rear crank) was to high off the ground, and therefor the chain would severely rub the second crank axel in some of the gears.

My firs attempt was using a Shimano 7 gearhub, hoping the chainline issue would be easy. Also this way I could get two brakes on the rear wheel, one hub break and one v-brake on the rim. Useful for heavy loads downhill. Think my rear hub was not ok, so i swapped to "normal gearing".

I discovered this one is better for riding with my dog. He is a Border Collie with strong hurding instincts, and sometimes he just forgets that we are out biking and I can see that he wants to "go for" something on the bikes left side. Shortest way then is "trough" the frontwheel in his opinion, since he can not see the mowing spokes. Solution is to shout "Hi!" quite loud and he`ll "wake up", and wery quickly jump 0,5 mtrs to the right . Works fine, but I must watch him closely. With this bike i tie him to the bike further back, and he therefor is running just to the right of me and therefor he newer tryed it . Made this bike to be able to ride with him also on the bike instead of in a trailer like now on long rides, but also thinking campingtrips.

Made it without a tandem gearwire, but discovered some normal gearwires is longer than others. Had a long one in stock, but had to take absolute "shortest route" from handlebar to rear shifter. Has to do some rewiring after putting the albatross bars. Things are a bit stretched at he moment. Wanted to try it first.

More "ekstra`s" anyone? Lokking forward to seing the one speed one soon!
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Old 01-12-08, 05:19 AM   #23
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I rescued this 26" out of a dumpster a while back, it's my size so I hung on to it although it wasn't rideable. The wheels were taco'd, the bb bearings were unuseable, and a few sundry bits were missing. The lack of suspension fork and the rather beefy (heavy) steel frame makes it a good candidate for my first xtracycle-type conversion.



I have this girl's 24" bike that I also pulled from a dumpster. This thing is an x-mart piece of crapola but it's brand new! I swear it can't have more that a few miles on it, if that. Some of the components still had packing grease on them. Since nobody I know can use it I decided to use its components and rear triangle for my xtracycle project. Here you can see it layed out on the garage floor during one of my late night brainstorming sessions.



Of course this means that the final bike will have a 26" fron wheel and a 24" rear wheel..... I can live with that, I just have to remember to keep 2 different size spare innertubes in its repair kit.

Anyhow, I stripped them down and cut the rear triangle from the girl's bike. I cold set the rear triangle on the main frame so that the dropouts snugged up against the bottom bracket of the rear triangle.







That's where I'm at so far. At this stage I'm thinking of using some 1" square tubing to join the top of each of the seat posts to complete the triangulation of the frame, rather that from the bottom bracket of the main frame to the top of the rear triangle as is usually the case. You can see a piece of tube in roughly the position it will go.

I'm just a little concerned with the seat stay on the main frame interfering with the chain when in granny gear. If it is a problem I could just replace the stays with a single piece of square tube, but I think the stays would be a bit tortionally stiffer.
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Old 01-12-08, 06:53 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by roughrider504 View Post
While we are on the subject of home built Xtracycles, here is one I am currently building. For the rack I am going to copy the Yuba Mundo's rack using plywood for the carrier portion and steel legs to mount it, the ones normally used on baskets. Should work pretty well.

This is a great looking bike. Can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 01-12-08, 08:57 AM   #25
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Cyclaholic, are you going to raise the second rear triangle any? If you don't the frame geometry will be off and you'll probably need shorter cranks. I have the same sized wheels and I had to raise mine to get the top tube back level. I don't think the 24'' rear wheel is a good idea since its normally a good idea to get as much BB height as you safely can for these extended bikes. Whenever I had the bike mocked up, I used 26'' wheels [frame meant for 27''] with 170mm cranks [165mm now], and that was enough to give me some problems with striking.

EDIT: One solution to your seatstay problem could be somehow using an axle that goes through your bottom bracket to mount the second rear triangle. You can probably find some large washers that fits right in the cups or something like that.

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