Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: So Cal
Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Comp w/FreeRadical
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I'm very happy with my Xtracycle Free Radical. I use it for just about everything including as a work pickup in the citrus groves I manage for a university. Here are a couple of simple mods that made it more versatile for me.
Disc Brake Caliper Protector: I didn't even have a second thought about the Free Radical for $400, but a disc rotor and caliper protector for $65 just rubbed me wrong. I bought a Hayes 203mm rotor for $25 at JensonUSA, and made a caliper protector from one of those hooks used to hang tools or bikes in the garage available at any hardware store. I cut the hook part off just below the screw holes, then made a precision adjustment to the hole spacing (I squeezed the ends) until they lined up with the caliper mounting bolts.
Trailer Hitch: Occasionally I have to haul things in the field that are just easier done with a trailer. I have an ActionBent trailer with a very nice hitch that locks onto two balls on the ends of a rear wheel skewer. The trailer tracks perfectly over all terrain and at any speed I feel comfortable on a bare bike. However with the Free Radical in place, there is no way to attach to a skewer. The solution was a dummy "skewer" threaded through the "No Step" bar on the extended frame. The skewer wasn't long enough, so I just faked one with 5/16" threaded rod, PVC 1/2" end caps, washers, nuts and nylon insert lock nuts. Works great. The forces on the Xtracycle are small and the trailer still tracks beautifully. The whole thing slides right out after removing the nuts on one side if you have Wide Loaders to mount.
I think lots of other hitch schemes described in this forum could be adapted to that rear bar including the simple expedient of wrapping a piece of bike tire around it with a bolt to attach to the trailer and spacers to keep it centered like some do for a seat post hitch.
Last edited by EricJ; 04-11-08 at 04:36 PM.