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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 04-14-08, 09:54 PM   #1
DogBoy
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My xtra-cycle utility bike

I've been going through a series of commuting, going past the store, having a realization that I needed something, and picking it up after going home, coming back with the trailer etc. I decided it was time to go xtra, so I could have the capacity to add a gallon of milk or ice and bread etc. anytime I'm out.

Total cost was $450 incl tax for the free-radical kit, plus the extra chain and housing I had to buy because I cut the first one too short. I also used the derailleur housing for the brake, so I ended up having to buy housing for both the brake and derailleur cable.

Anyway, I got the kit, put the bike in the stand and went to work. Not counting time going to the bike store and back, it took me about 3 hours to get everything the way I want it.

Here are some pictures. They are not works of art like some of the ones I've seen on here, but they show what I've done.

Here are some highlights:
Pic 1: view of the finished product.
Pic 2: close-up of my lock carrier. This is a length of PVC pipe painted black and zip-tied/velcroed to the bike.
Pic 3: Here is a close-up of my front fender attachment technique...zip ties. You can also see that I used some old innertube on the v-racks to keep the water out. I can't remember where I read about that, but it might have been here...anyway, whoever it was, good advice. And its not in the instruction booklet.
Pic 4: This is the view from the rear. This represents 4 blinkies, 2 reflective red bits from the bags, and 2 reflective velcro ankle bands. I figure they help me to be seen, and if I ever find I need one, A spare will be on the bike.
Pic 5: This is a really bad shot of my headlight/front reflector set-up. Dinotte 5W spot. Its good enough for me.
Pic 6: My solution to the rearview mirror...mirror is designed for road bars, but taped onto the bar-end with the wide bars I find I can see almost as well as I can on my motorcycle.
Pic 7: This is what I carry in case my CO2 misfires. You can also see my campus style pedals with spd/platform.

Tomorrow is the first commute on the new beast. Wish me luck. I'll be carrying a few extra tools just in case...including the cell phone

So, what did I miss in this setup?
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Old 04-14-08, 10:07 PM   #2
Old_Fart
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My preference is for wheels with fatter tires and more spokes but we've all heard that argument enough.
It looks to me like you got it all together just fine. You're going to love how handy it is. Six bags of groceries on the way home? No problem!
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Old 04-15-08, 02:37 AM   #3
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I looked for what you had missed, its a trick question yeah? Then i thought what would i do...... I'd put the mirror on the other side of the bars! its really nice looking ride, I like the brake pivot caps and the lock position. Is that your trailer next to the wall? Im regularly running out of room in my massive grocery panniers which measure 400 by 360 by 250 mm I dont want a trailer so im going to go long. I think you have done a good job of keeping the bike looking good.
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Old 04-15-08, 09:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
I also used the derailleur housing for the brake, so I ended up having to buy housing for both the brake and derailleur cable.
I don' t know if I read this properly, but using a derailler housing for your brakes is not a good idea.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cables.html#housing

Other than that it looks good. I like your solution for mounting the fender in the front up high.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:03 AM   #5
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I don' t know if I read this properly, but using a derailler housing for your brakes is not a good idea.
That's why I had to buy more housing . I messed it up the first time, so got extra housing to do it right.

As to the wheel question...yeah, I'm not sure about the wheels either. I do have a set of 36 spoke wheels, so if these don't work for me, I'll switch. My loads are going to be light by xtra-cycle standards I think, so we'll see how it goes.
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Old 04-15-08, 09:45 PM   #6
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Nice bike! But I'm biased. I've got a '97 Fisher Nirvana too!

Cheers,
Mark O.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:09 PM   #7
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That's why I had to buy more housing . I messed it up the first time, so got extra housing to do it right.
Which is why I always buy at least twice as much as I think I'll need. If I don't, I WILL screw up the first try and not have enough to finish the job.
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Old 04-16-08, 05:20 AM   #8
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Very nice bike!
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Old 04-16-08, 10:37 PM   #9
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You'll love the X. I put my wideloaders on and I don't think I'll be taking them off. I also had to get some Schwalbe Big Apples to smooth out my ride. I loved them so much on my 29er, I had to get some 2.35" for my Xtracycle bike. You might want some reflective material so you can be seen from the side, which is why I like the reflective sides of my Big Apples. Make sure your kickstand is tight, mine managed to work loose after some heavy loads (probably from me sitting on the deck with the kickstand down).
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Old 04-17-08, 11:17 AM   #10
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
As to the wheel question...yeah, I'm not sure about the wheels either. I do have a set of 36 spoke wheels, so if these don't work for me, I'll switch. My loads are going to be light by xtra-cycle standards I think, so we'll see how it goes.
Yeah you think that right now... Just wait until your friends decide they want a ride. The xtracycle has a way of expanding to fill all possible tasks once you get the hang of it. Beefy wheels esp. in the back are a big plus. Don't wait (like I did) until you taco a wheel to upgrade!
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