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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 05-19-09, 07:37 AM   #1
devildogmech
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True Cost of Xtracycle kit....

Hey all,

I really want a Big Dummy, but there is no way I can afford $2K+ for a bike (my wife would KILL me!). I figure the next best route is to 'upgrade' my Trek 750 Multitrack (mid 90's frame) with an Xtracycle Free Radical.

No I have a couple of questions for those of you who have put these on your bikes.

Is there anything extra that you have to get so the bike is ridable? I'm looking at a FreeRadical + Family Van kit. On-line from Xtracycle, it's supposed to cost $574 plus shipping. I figure another $100 for instillation....

Am I missing something? I just graduated from Nursing School, and really can't afford to have something stupid pop up and cost me an extra $100.

Now the Trek 750 is steel and has 700c wheels. Is that a problem? The Xtracycle website mentioned a 700c conversion kit (I take it that the kit is designed for 26" wheels?), but I have been unable to find this kit..... What am I missing?

TIA
Billy
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Old 05-19-09, 08:32 AM   #2
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One thing you'd need to consider is that if you plan on hauling heavy loads you may end up killing the rear wheel on your bike as it wasn't designed for cargo hauling. So there may be the cost of a stronger rear wheel you need to factor in, but you can start with your existing rear wheel and see what happens.

I'd make sure your current rear wheel is well tensioned to make it as strong as possible.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:20 PM   #3
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Right now I really don't have a need to haul heavy loads, unless you call a 4yo boy a heavy load

I have an 8yo boy who is up on his own bike, but have a 4yo and 2yo (boys!!!) who are trying to share a trailer... I want to put the 4yo up on the tail of the bike, and the 2yo in the trailer (when I have to take all three somewhere).

I figure the Family Van kit is just what I need (it has the footsies, deck and bags for carrying stuff). Time to call the shops to see how much to install.....

Thanks

Billy
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Old 05-19-09, 06:12 PM   #4
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I put a FreeRadical on a Giant Boulder SE mtb. The only surprise was that Giant used a short rear derailer with a proprietary adapter to turn it into a long derailer that didn't fit the FreeRadical (or any other bike with normal mounts), so I had to spring for a new derailer to use low gearing.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:25 PM   #5
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The 26" and 700C Freeradicals are different models. AFAIK you get one or the other, not a kit to convert one to the other.
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Old 05-19-09, 09:56 PM   #6
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Biketrailershop has the 700C kit with footsies and magic carpet with free shipping.

<!-- 365 -->700c Xtracycle Kit - w/Setup Options 700c Xtracycle Kit - w/Setup Options
- Kit Options & Special >LongTail Kit (aka FreeLoader Kit)
- Chain Size & Length >30" Chain - 6/7/8 speed
- WideLoaders >No WideLoaders
- LongLoaders >No LongLoaders
- Footsies >Add Pair of Footsies
- Ft. Attachment Plate >No Extras
- Disc Brake Kit >No Disc Brake Kit
- Tray Bien >No Tray Bien
- DryBag >No Dry Bag
- Rain Cover >No Rain Cover
- KickBack >No KickBack
- Magic Carpet >Add Magic Carpet Silver/Black
$568.00
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Old 05-20-09, 12:11 AM   #7
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if you have a suspension fork it could be an issue.

see "Big Dummy Spew"
http://www.surlybikes.com/spew19.html

specifically:


"One thing you need to consider before putting a suspension fork on your long bike is that your body weight is more centered between the front and rear wheels than on a standard-length bike. This effectively takes some weight off the rear wheel and puts it onto the front wheel. So if you weigh 180 lbs (82kg), a suspension fork on a standard bike registers approximately 56 lbs (25kg) of your total weight. Meanwhile, a suspension fork on a Big Dummy would register approximately 90 lbs (41kg), or half your total body weight. So you’ll need a suspension fork on which you can significantly increase the spring compression to compensate for the effective weight addition. Otherwise you’ll probably be bottoming out the fork and/or it’ll feel like you’re riding something very saggy."
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Old 05-20-09, 06:27 AM   #8
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I can't figure out Xtracycle's new site. They used to have the Freeradical in two flavors; 26" and 700cc now it is not stated. They also had a 700cc conversion kit which was just v-brakes with a long pad mounting area so they could reach 700cc rim from a 26" post. I don't see that as well. It would be worth while calling and see what's up, and what you might need.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:36 PM   #9
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Well, I called Xtracycle today. They said that they no longer make a 700c specific kit, is because the only difference was the location of the brakes. They said they have 30 or so 700c kits left in stock, so if you want one, you just need to call and order. To convert the 26" to 700c all you need is a bracket ($29) to move the brakes (or you can go with disk brakes).

In a couple of pay day's, I'm going to get one. My local shop said they would install it for $40. Not too bad.

Billy
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Old 05-21-09, 01:25 PM   #10
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Depends on the condition of the bike you are bolting the free radical on to. Related to my adventure of converting my early 90's mtn bike into an xtracycle, I got a bad case of upgrade disease.

My shifters were starting to slip, so I had to change those out. New shifters weren't going to work with the old cassette, so I had to upgrade that. Old hub wouldn't work with new cassette, so I got a new back wheel (hell, I found a good price on a set, so I upgraded both wheels). Of course old derailleur wouldn't work with either shifters or cassette, so I upgraded that. My old center pull brakes wouldn't work either, so upgraded those as well (just in the back, however got new kool stop pads for the front).

Oh, and the seat? Had to upgrade that as well, since I was riding a heck of a lot more than I used to, and the standard seat on there just wasn't cutting it. Then might as well throw on a new set of grips, new lights and some bar ends.

That lasted me about a year until the BB cut out on me, so as long as I was replacing that, I decided to replace the crank and front derailleur at the same time. I think the only thing I didn't end up replacing was the fork (which I wanted to do so I could put some disc brakes on there).

So......as long as you can commit to ONLY adding on the xtracycle and only the xtracycle, you'll be good to go. If you can't do that, might as well see if you can extend your student loan.
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Old 05-21-09, 09:30 PM   #11
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I just put one together... I got the Free Radical kit from BikeTrailerShop... Great place to deal with.. They have free shipping and discounts on some accessories if purchaed with the kit... Save me a few bucks..
I used a new Giant Sedona ST mountain bike I got from the LBS for under 30000.. It has a steel fram and 36 spoke 26 inch wheels.. Went together like it was designed for each other.. I have a couple hundred miles on it so far and it is doing great... Really like the set up..
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Old 05-22-09, 07:02 PM   #12
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You've got the right idea -- call xtra, make sure everything works. If you don't have any install problems, you should be fine; the kit really is fairly comprehensive.
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