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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 04-11-08, 01:53 PM   #1
EricJ
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Xtracycle Mods

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.

Eric
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File Type: jpg Xtracycle_caliper_protector_LR.jpg (75.4 KB, 126 views)
File Type: jpg Xtracycle_trailer_LR.jpg (90.5 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg Xtracycle_hitch_LR.jpg (98.3 KB, 110 views)

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Old 04-11-08, 02:05 PM   #2
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Eric, you seem to suffer from overt industriousness.
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Old 04-11-08, 04:44 PM   #3
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Eric, you seem to suffer from overt industriousness.
It sometimes appears that way.

Eric
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Old 04-11-08, 05:17 PM   #4
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Just as an FYI - I looked into what the disc caliper protector costs by itself. In Canada they are selling for $17.00.

BTW - I'd love to see a pic of your Xtracycle and trailer - must be quite a long rig...=-)
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Old 04-29-08, 12:11 PM   #5
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what happens if you step on no step?
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Old 04-29-08, 12:48 PM   #6
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what happens if you step on no step?
You don't. Got it?
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Old 04-30-08, 02:24 PM   #7
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Would it be like stepping on a rake??! Flip, WHACK! Ow...
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Old 04-30-08, 02:48 PM   #8
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Would it be like stepping on a rake??! Flip, WHACK! Ow...
Kind of. There is a good likelihood of getting whacked, possibly by the owner.
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Old 04-30-08, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricJ View Post

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.
Good thinking and tinkering, Eric. Thanks for sharing this.
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