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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 04-06-08, 04:45 PM   #1
politicalgeek
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Xtracycle thoughts?

I currently have a Bianchi (mid 90s by my estimate) Advantage on 700x35C wheels that will be my primary commuting/utility/car free bike. I keep going back and forth on an Xtracycle, but feel that it will be the best fit for me. Everything I have read thus far has shows the back wheel is the crucial part, so I will have a new one built up. I'm looking at different wheel options, but something with 40/42H. I had thought of using an internal gear hub, but I haven't found anything over 36H. I like the idea of doing a 1x9 gearing on the Xtracycle. I find I am using pretty much the same 3-4 gears as I go along and really only my rear shifter. The 1x9 seems to be a decent idea.

Any other thoughts?

(Maybe there should be one xtracycle sticky here, rather than the numerous posts that all seem to run together...)
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Old 04-06-08, 04:53 PM   #2
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I too have considered the extracycle. My family is looking at a possible move to Rome for three years and we would be carfree...

I don't know the topography in your area, but if I am going to haul enough stuff (or a passenger) to justify an extracycle you bettah believe I'm going to have a second and maybe even a granny up front. If you're in a really flat area the 1X8 could be fine. But if I am hauling 50-100 (or up to the spec'ed capacity) I would want the extra rings.

If you get one be sure to post some pics of the set up.

Oh, and I second the extracycle/Big Dummy/Free Radical Conversion Sticky.I do understand the wisdom of the mods to keep the number of stickies under control.
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Old 04-06-08, 04:57 PM   #3
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I understand their wisdom, but a general sounding board for those looking at Xtracycles and building them up would be great. Mine won't come till summer. Need to save up. I also will have a period of about 2-3 weeks then where I can't use the bike, so perfect time to send it off to a local shop to have what I want done.

Columbus is fairly flat, very little in the way of monster hills. I plan on getting some local opinions and work with whoever helps piece all this together.
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Old 04-07-08, 09:16 AM   #4
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I have the 1x9 setup and it works great. I have a few hills but nothing on a regular basis. I have 38tooth up front with a standard MTB cassette in the rear.
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Old 04-07-08, 08:05 PM   #5
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I had thought of using an internal gear hub, but I haven't found anything over 36H.
Don't forget, most Internal gear hubs have little or no dish, thus are stronger than an equivalent derailleur wheel.
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Old 04-07-08, 08:27 PM   #6
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That is true. Since this will be essentially replacing my car, I want it as over-engineered and reliable as possible.
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Old 04-07-08, 08:34 PM   #7
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I had thought of using an internal gear hub, but I haven't found anything over 36H.
Source

"When the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 is built up into a 32 spoke wheel, it is considerably more robust than the common 36 spoke wheels. The stability is approx. the same as a 48 spoke tandem wheel."

From the Rohloff website.
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Old 04-07-08, 08:58 PM   #8
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That's the other thing: cost. I love the Rolhoff idea, but its way out there.
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Old 04-07-08, 09:03 PM   #9
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True, but the non-dished thing holds with other IGHs.
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Old 04-07-08, 09:27 PM   #10
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I was looking at the nexus line with a roller brake as a possibility, along with a Velocity Dyad rim.

The current manufacturers I know of with IGHs are Shimano, SRAM, S-A and Rolhoff, any others?
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Old 04-07-08, 09:41 PM   #11
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NuVinci, it may be the most robust of them all.
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Old 04-07-08, 10:19 PM   #12
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I think a lot of this project will come off of ebay scrounging. I am already finding some good deals. If I only had the cash now.
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Old 04-08-08, 10:14 AM   #13
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I ride my SUB like a lot of cagers drive their SUV. I rarely really load it up and even though I have a triple crankset, I've yet to take it off the middle ring since I built it up.

I wonder if I should feel guilty for only hauling some clothes and my lunch?
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Old 04-08-08, 02:46 PM   #14
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Another thing to think about with your wheel is that the Xtracycle stretches your bike out for better weight distribution, so you may find that a 36h wheel will be sufficiently "over-engineered" for your needs. Not to talk you into anything, but if you really like the idea of an IGH, it seems like there really may not be much of a sacrifice as far as sturdiness goes. You might see what others are using and how their bikes are holding up.
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Old 04-08-08, 03:31 PM   #15
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For an urban bike I LOVE the idea of a modern IGH. I just have concerns on weight and loads. I'll find a wheel builder who can also attach the free radical and discuss how best to achieve what I want out of it.
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Old 04-11-08, 03:56 PM   #16
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One more question:

What bikes make the best donors for an xtracycle conversion? Mountain, Road, Touring? Any particular makes/models that seem well suited?

I want to have at least a 2 bike garage with an xtracycle as my all around and a 2nd as a backup/ campus beater/coffee shop bike. The Advantage would probably fit either role well, but if I could snag a good frame at a cheap price off ebay for the xtracycle...
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Old 04-11-08, 05:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
One more question:

What bikes make the best donors for an xtracycle conversion? Mountain, Road, Touring? Any particular makes/models that seem well suited?

I want to have at least a 2 bike garage with an xtracycle as my all around and a 2nd as a backup/ campus beater/coffee shop bike. The Advantage would probably fit either role well, but if I could snag a good frame at a cheap price off ebay for the xtracycle...


If I was building up an Xtracycle I probably start with a Surly Instigator so I'd have a strong stiff frame to attach my Xtra to.

Someone posted an uber sweet Instigator+Xtracycle rig in this forum not too long ago...
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Old 04-11-08, 05:27 PM   #18
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Here it is - very nice...
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Old 04-11-08, 05:50 PM   #19
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Wow...beautiful
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