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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 06-11-10, 10:15 PM   #1
headset 
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Is this a possible xtracycle build?

Hi all,

First post in this forum and would like to get the wisdom of the group on a potential xtracycle build. I'm thinking about picking up a FreeRadical kit and do a budget build for the 'haul' bike.

Components available in the shed include:

24" Raleigh Super Course frame, straight gauge 531 (1968)
26" wheel with 1990's 8 speed Nexus hub with roller brake
27" front wheel, CR-18 rim

Questions for the group:

1. Has anyone built up a xtracycle with a 27" or 700c wheel in the front and a 26" wheel in the back? I'm thinking of running a Big Apple in the back and the widest possible tire on the front. Any thoughts on how the handling be affected? Crank arm clearance issues?

2. Is an early 70's road frame too whippy for the free radical kit? It's straight gauge tubing. I plan on a max load of around a 150 lbs. Rear spacing is only 126 mm however. I believe xtracycle sells a kit to address this.

3. Rear roller brake rear and Weinmann 666 front, am I asking for trouble? Trips will be around town with a few gradual hills.

4. I might be able to mount a 26" wheel on the front with a long reach caliper. is this a better option than a 27" wheel?

Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Old 06-12-10, 02:37 AM   #2
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I wouldn't worry about the front/back wheel ratio, especially if you're planning to make up for it with tire sizes.

I'd check with the xtra folks about the load your bike's able to bear. They've got fantastic, quick customer service.

And, of course, this thread is useless without pics.
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Old 06-12-10, 08:23 AM   #3
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I would try the build and see what happens, but, thats just my style. I think that if you are thinking of an Xtracycle build you will really like it.
I think, if I remember correctly, the Xtracycle freeradical specifies 135mm between the dropouts. I could be wrong, sometimes I am.
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Old 06-14-10, 07:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replys!

Taking a closer look at the Super Course frame I'm having second thoughts, it's in really good shape and using for utility bike might not be the best use for it.

I'm not in hurry, so the plan is to watch garage sales for a suitable mountain bike for the conversion.

Thanks again
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Old 06-14-10, 11:21 AM   #5
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In principle, when you decrease the size of the rear wheel, while leaving everything else the same, you will increase the trail. This will result in degraded low-speed handling, but will increase stability at speed.

With your suggested build, though, including a giant fat rear tire (assuming a normal tire on the front). there would probably be little net effect on trail and possibly zero detectable effect.
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Old 06-21-10, 04:52 AM   #6
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Not that it's important, but I'm using a cruiser frame for my xtra and I find it quite suitable. YMMV, etc. etc.
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