Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Just joined the Xtracycle club

    Before Xtracycle


    After Xtracycle



    Our Xtracycle was ordered by calling the 800 number on the website and arrived within 2 weeks. Putting it together took longer than I expected mainly due to cable routing and adjustments - I even had a bike friend come over to help (he builds his own mountain bikes using Santa Cruz frames and custom components).

    The Brodie is a small frame which makes the setup very strong. I have to say that the whole unit feels more solid than I expected. It's strong, stable, fun with a voracious capacity for cargo. I intend to switch to Schwalbe Big Apples 2.35 tires in a week or two. Have not need to install the rollamajig that comes with the Xtracycle yet. I installed a shorter stem and a riser bar then re-used the original Brodie stem and handlebar as the stoker unit. That way both my wife and child can hold on to the bars when we go out together.

    The front basket which I bought for $20 is easily detachable. I also have a front saddle bag which mounts to the handlebars too. But for short trips and the rides around the neighborhood and to the corner store, the basket's simplicity and ease of access is unbeatable.
    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 06-04-08 at 12:02 PM.

  2. #2
    BAH
    BAH is offline
    Senior Member BAH's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Centralia, WA
    My Bikes
    xtracycle
    Posts
    552
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Awesome man, welcome! Looks like a great setup. The little one will be a lot more comfy back there I'm sure

  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,237
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nicely done. Seems like you avoided the Xtracycle shortage that is going on at the moment. I hope you get many enjoyable miles out of your new rig.
    Last edited by vik; 06-04-08 at 05:56 PM.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    vik, your canuck blog was one of the reasons I stepped up and did the deal. Thanks for sharing and I still read your blogs!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    75
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice rig.

    So how do those compact frames work with regular racks? I'll be buying used but how would I estimate what size frame would be right for me? I'm 6'0" so I imagine I'd be "L" for frames sized like that.

    The very low standover is a huge attraction as I have long arms and shortish legs for my height. I've been cruising the local pawn shops and some of the steel bikes that might be in my size seem to have this geometry pretty often.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    moore.sean,

    The sloping top tube makes for a stronger triangulated frame and makes mounting and dismounting easier on a full load with stoker bars. It also lowers the centre of gravity just a tad. Depending on the length of your stoker bars, it may not be easy to swing the leg over the seat as we are accustomed to.

    The long wheel base created by the Free Radical really smooths out the riding experience. The bike also feels very stable although my trail is unchanged (I attribute that to the wheelbase repositioned CG of the bike). I currently have Kenda 26 x 1.5 Kevlar tires and have ordered Schawlbe Big Apples 26 x 2.35 and will experiment with the tire pressures. Your idea of using a steel frame is a good choice given the load you intend to carry. I highly recommend ensuring your front fork on the donor bike will fit a 2.35 tire. The Free Radical subframe should have no issues with 2.35 tires.

    Once you find the frame that has the characteristics you want, plan on changing handle bars, stems and seat tweaks to fine tune your fit. Many have found a more upright position to be well suited to this type of riding. Your mileage may vary.

    I typically carry my wife and daughter and with that load, I find I do not need the large chainring at all. In fact due to the flat nature of my immediate riding area, I don't even need the granny (small) chainring either unless I venture off road in which case, I would simply manually move the chain to the granny chainring.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,331
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Puppy,
    What brand and model is that front basket? I use a Wald 933, but yours looks a bit bigger. Nice job on the Xtra, I have been considering one, just can't decide on which bike to convert

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    75
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, puppypilgrim. Your advice is exactly in line with what I've been thinking. I want a high BB for the variable terrain I ride over in my utility cycling (smacked the pedal on my wife's comfort bike the other night testing her new saddle) so a MTB is the way to go for me.

    I now have yet another consideration when shopping for my donor bike: The small triangle. I'm set on steel because I know the material and can fix it in a pinch.

    I still need to know though: Do normal Wald style racks fit on those small triangle bikes without much extra work? I notice you have a rack of some sort your daughter is sitting on in the first pic. Immediately after getting my new cargo bike I'm getting Schwalb tires, fenders, a chain guard, Dutch-style bars, an upright saddle, and some sort of front basket plus a rack/folding metal panniers from Wald. The free radical will have to wait awhile.

    Be sure to check out the Fat Frank tires Schwalb is offering now. They say the FF is technically the same as the Big Apple but it has a different look. They come in cream color too but for your bike black would look better, IMO.

    Oh yeah, the grin on your face is measurably wider post-xtracycle!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just took the family out on 1/2 hour ride tonight. Heading out to our friend's house, we rode into a stiff cold wind and it was hard work. I'm about 170lbs, wife is 135 lbs, daughter is 42 lbs and bike is about 40 lbs. You do the math. On the way home however, we flew!!!

    Wahoonc, I don't know the name and model of the black basket. It is detachable with two handles that you can hold like a shopping basket in a grocery store. I zip-tied the handles down to reduce rattling.

    Sean.moore, the "normal" mountain bike racks by Blackburn can fit but will not be level on such a small frame. I think my Brodie is about a 15" frame. The reason the rack looks level in the first pic is that I modified the mount by zip tying it to the seatpot and under the saddle rails.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BIG TIP IN MOUNTING XTRACYCLE

    You will need to re-cable your rear brake and rear derailer. Decide what you are going to mount on the handle bars as a carrier whether it be a handle bag, basket, rack with carrier or what have you. Mount your preferred carrier in place on the front before cutting the cables and routing the cables!!

    You will need enough slack so you can comfortably turn your handlebars (important if you are changing handlebars) in both directions for tight turns. If you don't mount your carrier in place prior to re-cabling, you may not have the right cable position to fine tune the derailer and brake adjustments making it difficult to recalibrate your rear derailer.

  11. #11
    Beer-fueled
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    My Bikes
    Giant Rincon (199x), 2005 Trek 1000, 19?? "Apollo Sport 10" by Kuwahara
    Posts
    155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    moore.sean: I've got a Surly Instigator and FreeRadical combo, it works excellent. Dismounting isn't as difficult as a straight TT frame, but probably not as easy as a compact. They seem to be durable as all get-out, are steel, have a higher BB shell once Xtra'd. Mine's as awesome as can be.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    wahoonc I have tried to find the exact name and model of the basket but cannot locate it online. I bought it from my LBS. The style of basket is a "lift off bicycle basket." I have attached another view of the setup.



    moore.sean, I second the Surly Instigator recommendation. Surly frames are all 4130 cro-mo steel and are built to have comfortable geometries and flexible accessories. They are well thought out.

    Surly Instigator (beefy and strong anyway you measure it)
    http://surlybikes.com/instigator.html

    If you regularly go off road and want the agility that a good MTB provides with larger wheels for better traction with a short wheelbase, you should also consider the Surly Karate Monkey with 29" wheels.

    Surly Karate Monkey

    http://surlybikes.com/karatemonkey.html

  13. #13
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,237
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Thumbs up

    Very cute.... Glad you guys are having fun with your Xtracycle.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Please don't laugh, but I think my next project will be a Cruzbike conversion + Xtracycle!!!!!!!

    C'mon Vik, lead the way!

  15. #15
    Beer-fueled
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    My Bikes
    Giant Rincon (199x), 2005 Trek 1000, 19?? "Apollo Sport 10" by Kuwahara
    Posts
    155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just measured the Instigator's BB drop and chainring-to-ground clearance. Keeping in mind that it rolls on 2.1" Conti Town & Country gumballs and a Surly Instigator fork (rigid, suspension-corrected):
    8.5" to the bottom of a 42-tooth chainring
    11.5" to the bottom of the BB shell (12" to center)

    I have also heard that you can mount a 29" wheel/tire combo to the fork as long as you use disc brakes. I wouldn't doubt this, as there is a *ton* of clearance from the fork crown to the tire. Mind you, it would change the front-end geometry quite a bit and you'd have two differently-sized tires. The tires thing isn't such a big deal - you just added five pounds, what's a few more ounces for a tube - but the front-end geometry could be a bigger deal. I don't have the vocabulary or knowledge of interactions to try to predict what would happen, but perhaps someone else here does.

  16. #16
    Seņor Member dwnptrl_777's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Midwest USA
    My Bikes
    Ti Fatback
    Posts
    550
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome to the cult, I mean club, puppypilgrim!
    ......_ .
    O/---\/O

  17. #17
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,237
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
    Please don't laugh, but I think my next project will be a Cruzbike conversion + Xtracycle!!!!!!!

    C'mon Vik, lead the way!
    Hahahaha....I actually would be interested in adding an Xtracycle to my Thorn Sherpa touring bike and see how it rides compared to my Big Dummy. Maybe I'll do that in 2009.....I've used up my cargo bike budget this year on my BD + Rohloff..........

    I've seen pics of Xtracycle+CRuz Bike conversions and they look cool. I don't want another recumbent right now, but I can see why that would be an interesting project.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One thing I am learning about the Xtracycle is how much I appreciate the additional straightline stability the longer wheelbase delivers. It is a different cycling experience from a normal bicycle. I also love the fact that I can stop at a store without needing to plan ahead as I will sufficient space for anything I happen to pickup (within reason of course).

    I just found out about the Cruzbike and am fascinated by the idea. I love the thought of recycling\re-purposing a forgotten bicycle into a more useful mode of transportation and enjoyment. Both the Xtracycle and Cruzbike do that. I also want the flat terrain speed that a recumbent can deliver and will most certainly mount a fairing on the recumbent.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    173
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Corcis View Post

    I have also heard that you can mount a 29" wheel/tire combo to the fork as long as you use disc brakes. I wouldn't doubt this, as there is a *ton* of clearance from the fork crown to the tire.
    Surly bikes have absurd clearance. A friend of mine just stuffed 29x2.1 tires into his 1x1, which has less clearance than an instigator. The 69er setup would result in slower handling, could be good or bad. Also, you might run into a little toe overlap, depending how close your toes get now.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just added white and red LED lights for night riding in the city (more for cars to see you since the streets are lit). Those single LEDs are wickedly bright!

    I also added Zefal Toe Cups. These are similar to strapless toe clips but fit like a cup over the toe of your shoe. Easy to get in, easy to get out. Especially important on a cargo bike to prevent tipping over. I can pull up with these yet be able to shift my foot for comfort while cycling. Makes for a smoother cadence without the feet bouncing off the pedals under exertion. Very, very happy with the Zefal toe cups. Previously I was considering a dual strap toe clip setup that would not have looked as tidy and would have been more expensive than the Zefal. There are lower priced imitations of the Zefal that are made with cheap plastic. These do NOT provide the strength and climbing ability of the Zefal. Get the Zefal ones if you intend to try toe cups.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just thought I would keep adding to the thread and use it to document my build and mods.

    When I got the kit, I improvised a bike stand for assembly using a music stand and two cinder blocks. It worked well enough.


    Next was an exciting moment once everything was bolted together before putting on the chain. Mockups with the basket carrier. Note the long wheelbase which makes for a pleasant and surprisingly stable ride. It also smooths out the bumps on the bike.


    I added Zefal Toe cups aka strapless toe clips. These allow me to pull up on the pedals and it also means my feet don't bounce when I am exerting climbing force on the pedals. With the long wheelbase and cruiser bars, standing up out of the saddle isn't comfortable if you are carrying passengers or a lot of cargo. The bike wiggles a lot if you stand on the pedals when carrying passengers or cargo. I only stand on pedals if I am alone on the bike with no cargo. The way to climb is to shift into an appropriate gear, sit in the saddle and pedal! The Zefal toe cups are cheap, work well and allow me to shift my foot for comfort while detaching quickly when I come to stops (especially important when carrying passengers and heavy cargo!)


  22. #22
    Senior Member EmersonHart13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    My Bikes
    A Huffy
    Posts
    80
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice photos, that must be a workout! Hats off to you!

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This weekend, I replaced the crappy shimano index shifter with friction grips and recabled. Very happy now!! This friction shifter also clicks when you move the lever. My clicking friction shifter works far better than my index shifter ever did with less need for adjustments!!

    I also installed a longer stem for the stoker bar and cruiser, swept-back handlebars so my passengers could ride more upright instead of leaning forward. I wrapped this handlebar with red bar tape. A few days earlier, I also installed MTB bar ends as foot-pegs for my 4.5 year old daughter whose feet aren't long enough to reach the footsies. This way, my wife can rest on the footsies.

    A new shimano rear V-brake was also installed along with a new rear view mirror.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
    Posts
    789
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It is not an exaggeration to say that the Xtracycle has changed my family's life. We now use it for small shopping trips, visiting friends and going to dinner at the mall or Subway sandwich shops.

    After my initial Xtracycle setup, I modified it to add rider and passenger comfort.




    Details:

    - red Xtracycle stickers on the front fork and all over bike

    - Schwalbe Big Apples 26 x 2.0 balloon tires running at 36 psi rear
    and 30 psi front. Super comfy with built-in reflectors for safety. I
    cannot emphasize how well these Big Apples work for urban riding. At
    the pressures I run them, I really don't need suspension.

    - rear view mirror on the leftside of handle bar. Expensive ($25), but works very well.

    - grey air horn\bell on the left upright of Xtracycle frame by daughter's leg.

    - longer stoker (rear passenger) stem with cruiser-style handlebars. This allows the passengers to have a more vertical, hence, natural posture for comfort. Previously, the recycled stem I used was too short and the straight MTB handle bar made the passenger hunch forward too much.

    - aluminium mountain-bike bar ends used as foot pegs for daughter. This allows her to sit more comfortably by bracing herself.

    - Detachable\liftoff Axiom basket used for easy access to cellphone, snacks, repair kit.

    - Index shifters replaced with friction shifters.

    - Front and rear Planet Bike fenders.

    - Zefal strapless toe cups.

    I have not mounted the lights I use for night riding in this picture. But I use easily removable LED strobes for the front and rear. The strobes are very bright and conspicuous.

    For night riding, my wife would wear an orange safety vest with broad yellow reflectors while I wear reflective pant saver bands. There are also 3M reflective strips taped to the front and back of our helmets.

    I think I need to fashion some reinforcement on the FAP tongue of the Xtracycle as it creaks badly under any type of high cadence load.

  25. #25
    BAH
    BAH is offline
    Senior Member BAH's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Centralia, WA
    My Bikes
    xtracycle
    Posts
    552
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice! I'll look forward to updates

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •