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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 04-07-08, 10:57 PM   #1
kayakdiver
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Ordered my Xtracycle online because.....

I wanted to order my Extracycle from my LBS. I explained to them what I wanted to do and what I wanted. They said they didn't really know what I was talking about.

I let them know that if they could purchase it from Extracycle and make a few bucks off me that was fine with me. I'm trying to support these yahooooos. Said they would check into it and give me a call back... never happened... Next time I went into the shop I got the song and dance about how they couldn't find the website and such... forget it!

In the past I purchased a Burley Nomad from the bike trailer shop and was treated great so..... back to them again. Living in a place with one bike shop and a bad one at that doesn't leave me much choice.

Anyways... After that fiasco I got ahold of the bike trailer shop and got my new Extracycle kit ordered!! I'm damn excited about getting this thing put together and up and running. I ordered the 700C kit. I like big wheels.

So after the $399 for the kit with freeloaders... wideloaders another $80 and the disc setup $60ish.... my debit card feels the pain but............................... I think it is going to be money well spent.

I've never even seen an Extracycle in person where I live much less another daily commuter.. Live on an island with view of the puget sound all around and nope..... not a soul commutes or even tries to live a somewhat car free lifestyle from what I can see.

Anyways..... I've read a ton of posts on here about all your conversions and love what I see and read on this site. Love the skateboard idea!!

This kit will be going on my 04 ish.. Specialized Sirrus Disc. I chose this for the hybrid bars and disc brakes from when I'm loading the crap out of it. Between the Extracycle and a fully loaded Burley Nomad it should be quite something in a good way.

Anyways... If there is another Whidbey Islander with an Extracycle.... Let me know..

Best,

Kyakdiver
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Old 04-08-08, 04:24 AM   #2
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Too bad that your local LBS was clueless, but congrats on the new kit, Kyakdiver. Keep us posted with pictures if you can.
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Old 04-08-08, 06:28 AM   #3
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I didn't even bother with the shops near me. The one I went to for long cables for the dummy -- they asked me "what the hell for" when I told them I needed an 8ft length and a 2 ft length of housing. All I said was "my bike is long" because based on everything else in their store (very expensive ovalized tube racing bikes) I figured they wouldn't get it even if I tried to explain it to them. The other store is not much better.

So I am going to start my own shop, and focus on utility cycling. I'm sick of office work so why not? So far, I have two possible names... the first is Utility Bike Hounds. My mascot will be our 3 year old beagle basset mix. The other idea I had was Cosmic Cycles. This was inspired by this craigslist post:
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/phx/578467547.html
I'd love to have something like that on the roof of the shop.

I'll carry and perform installations of xtracycle. I'd like to be a surly and breezer dealer (probably the only 2 "new" bikes I'd carry, and mostly on special order). Focus will be useful parts as well as refurbishing old bikes, making sure they have lights, fenders, bell, racks/baskets -- everything you need to utilize a bike in everyday life. Plus daily rentals and long term seasonal leases where you lease a bike for the summer instead of owning one. Return it at the end and don't worry if the gears stopped working right. Bonus for me is I would get to "Sell" the same bike year after year. Mostly I want to get MORE PEOPLE ON BIKES and get them using them for more things!

Anyone have any other ideas for a store name?
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Old 04-08-08, 06:47 AM   #4
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Nothing fires me up like bicycles.

Second to that is the idea of opening a bike shop because you're passionate about bicycles (I've heard that no one really goes into it for the money).

I've been tempted to open a shop on and off for years. Helped create an identity system for a new family-oriented shop a couple years ago and it's nice to see that guy turning a good coin from month to month, even in winter.

If you're serious about pursuing this, Larry, I'd be happy to help with the identity/logo system. If so, PM me and I'll send you samples of my work.

Regardless of whether you need my help or not, I really hope you pursue this. Exciting stuff, man!
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Old 04-08-08, 07:18 AM   #5
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Should be fun. In this city, ther eis no shop downtown. There is one on either end of the downtown, but they are pretty far out. Storefronts in the core are reasonably priced because we are just starting an upturn in the areas I'm looking in. Budding coffee shop scene and arts scene... perfect time to get in there with some bike culture wares. Car Free = Care Free!
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Old 04-08-08, 07:28 AM   #6
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I've considered getting a shop going just so I have a bicycle shop with customer service..... Customer service is something I appreciate.

I have two online stores for bicycle stuff that I frequent... both are top notch and have great customer service.... to me the service is the key..

I really just wish they gave a hoot and I could feel good about spending my money with them.... The feeling I have is that if they went out of business.... What difference would if make? Very little.. maybe another one would open up with service in mind.

who knows... kind of a rant but.....

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Old 04-08-08, 08:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
I wanted to order my Extracycle from my LBS. I explained to them what I wanted to do and what I wanted. They said they didn't really know what I was talking about.

I let them know that if they could purchase it from Extracycle and make a few bucks off me that was fine with me. I'm trying to support these yahooooos. Said they would check into it and give me a call back... never happened... Next time I went into the shop I got the song and dance about how they couldn't find the website and such... forget it....

....snip...

Best,

Kyakdiver
I'm glad you worked out a way to get an Xtra. Post something about how easy/hard you found the install and your first impressions when it arrives.

I have two decent LBS that I go to. I tend to buy my basic bike parts from them. They are nice and fairly helpful, but several of my bikes are in the weird/unusual category. It isn't that they don't want to help me out with them, but the process can be so painful and they often get things wrong. I tend to go direct to the source or to a specialty online shop in those cases.
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Old 04-08-08, 10:08 AM   #8
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The whole process has been a little spooky.... Not because I don't love the idea of the Extracycle but because I always want to ride something before I spend money on a new bike. Well in this case it wasn't possible so... I'm taking a leap of faith on this one and also have read so many posts from this forum. I did also look on Ebay to see what they are selling for... In the unlikely event that it just doesn't work for me. It seems that on Ebay they are selling for a little less than retail so if worse came to worse..... .......... I don't think this will happen but it's nice to know that I wont have to take a beating if it doesn't work out.

I've got some Planet Bike fenders I'm hoping I can install on it... They are the ones that I use on the bike. They are the normal install full fenders. Not the quick connect ones. I'm hoping that this goes smooth.. Can't live without fenders nor am I willing to.

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Old 04-08-08, 02:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
The whole process has been a little spooky.... Not because I don't love the idea of the Extracycle but because I always want to ride something before I spend money on a new bike. Well in this case it wasn't possible so... I'm taking a leap of faith on this one and also have read so many posts from this forum.
Yeah, I see where you're coming from. I've been thinking of going for a Surly ever since I've heard all the Surly-love on Bikeforums.net, and I've been thinking about the features of my bike that I wish I could change, and they're features Surly seems to have taken into account, but the only bike shop around that I know "carries" Surlys, really just "sells" them. They don't keep them in stock. When/if I buy one, I may go the internet route, too. I'm all for supporting the LBS, but one of the biggest things I value is being able to see and try this stuff out ahead of time. I'm willing to pay their mark-up for that benefit, but without that benefit I might as well get the best deal I can.
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Old 04-08-08, 03:56 PM   #10
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Yeah, I see where you're coming from. I've been thinking of going for a Surly ever since I've heard all the Surly-love on Bikeforums.net, and I've been thinking about the features of my bike that I wish I could change, and they're features Surly seems to have taken into account, but the only bike shop around that I know "carries" Surlys, really just "sells" them. They don't keep them in stock. When/if I buy one, I may go the internet route, too. I'm all for supporting the LBS, but one of the biggest things I value is being able to see and try this stuff out ahead of time. I'm willing to pay their mark-up for that benefit, but without that benefit I might as well get the best deal I can.
I was at first even considering a Kona Ute..... I figured since they sold them that they would be maybe ordering one. When I asked them about this they again didn't really act like they knew what I was talking about. I then asked if they may be getting one in stock so I could ride it and see if it was something I could purchase if I liked it.... Well...

Unless I was willing to purchase it they did not want to order it.... This was my first attempt at purchasing my first new bike from this shop. I for the most part purchase used but was not going to find a used UTE.

So I wish it where different.... For those of you with a first class cycle shop... Feel fortunate.

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Old 04-08-08, 09:42 PM   #11
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Wow, I feel pretty lucky. My favorite LBS is one of the biggest Xtracycle sellers around. When I asked, he estimated they had sold about 30 of them here in Seattle. That number doesn't surprise me at all, I seem to see at least one every time I bike commute or go for a long ride. I walked past my other LBS this morning going to get coffee and that one had a new Kona Ute in the front window. Both of the shops are very commuter and utility bike friendly.

Kyakdiver, you should try to come to Seattle on Memorial day for the next cargo bike jamboree. Info here.
I know it's a bit of a haul but it could be fun to meet and get a bit of inspiration from a bunch of other bike geeks.
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Old 04-08-08, 10:15 PM   #12
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OF, That does look like a ton of fun. I have to see what my schedule looks like for that weekend..... but it sure does look like good fun. Now to figure out how to get my bike there..... how about an Oak Harbor to Clinton to Mukilteo to Seattle run on the Extra to get warmed up .... Now that is an idea I think might work.

So a warm up of about 70 miles... followed by fun with other crazy people followed by a return ride back towards the island.... May just have to make this happen!!

2 days until the package arrives...

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Old 04-10-08, 04:14 PM   #13
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oh boy!! I'm at work and it's sitting on the porch!! I'm so hating work right now!!

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Old 04-11-08, 08:06 AM   #14
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My kit is going together very well.... one question though. In the packet of stuff I have some plastic knobbed bolts that I can't for the life of me figure out what they go to.... any ideas?

Kind of like when I was a kid and ended up with extra pieces.... Where do they go....

thanx,

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Old 04-11-08, 08:28 AM   #15
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I might be wrong but could they be the risers for the v racks on the 700c kit?

Goodluck on building up the xtracycle!!

I bet you will love it.
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Old 04-11-08, 08:31 AM   #16
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I'm not sure.... The instructions don't show the knobs going anywhere that I can see. If they went on the risers I haven't been able to figure out where.

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Old 04-11-08, 08:50 AM   #17
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I'm not sure.... The instructions don't show the knobs going anywhere that I can see. If they went on the risers I haven't been able to figure out where.

kyakdiver
The instructions were probably written back before those knobs were born. That's why they're not mentioned.

I don't have the 700c version, but my impression is that they sit underneath the vracks inside the upright tubes on the freeradical frame. They serve to boost the racks, and likewise the snapdeck, and afford a little more clearance for the wheel.
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Old 04-11-08, 09:08 AM   #18
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My kit is going together very well.... one question though. In the packet of stuff I have some plastic knobbed bolts that I can't for the life of me figure out what they go to.... any ideas?

Kind of like when I was a kid and ended up with extra pieces.... Where do they go....

thanx,

kyakdiver


If they look like the pic above then they are indeed the 700c risers as others have suggested.
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Old 04-11-08, 10:04 AM   #19
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Vik,

That is them..... thanks for the help and everyone else. I've noticed on the Extracycle site that it says only up to around 38's will fit. Looking at the kit mounted on the bike last night without the wheels on yet it looks to me like a lot larger tire can fit. Maybe I'm missing something here. What part gets in the way that I'm missing?

Best,

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Old 04-11-08, 10:52 AM   #20
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congrats! i'm hoping to get one sometime in the future. You must post a pic with your kayak on it! best wishes!
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Old 08-19-08, 08:51 AM   #21
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Regardless of whether you need my help or not, I really hope you pursue this. Exciting stuff, man!
Thanks! Hey, I know it's been a while but I am getting underway - and blogging my progress. I have some back-blogs to load up to bring it up to date. I ahve a space and am renovating it now.

Check it:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...28#post7301528

(or go direct to http://www.bikehounds.ca/)
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Old 08-19-08, 11:37 AM   #22
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Maybe your LBS couldn't find the site because you were spelling it with an "E"? it's "Xtracycle" no E.

Enjoy your new S.U.B.!
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