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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 12-14-10, 08:30 PM   #1
Chris_in_Miami
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Sun cargo bike

I picked up a 2011 Sun Bicycles catalog from the LBS a few weeks ago and never bothered to look through it completely until today. It looks like Trek/Fisher won't be the only company debuting a new cargo bike in 2011!

This one is 4130 chromoly, has disc tabs, and takes Xtracycle bags. I couldn't find much about it on the internets except for some pics from Interbike, and Sun doesn't list it on their website.

This one is supposed to retail around $550, which makes me wonder if it has any name-brand components on it at all. The catalog doesn't name names, so I suppose I answered my own question there...

I'm going to call the LBS where I picked up the catalog and find out when it will be available.

From the catalog:





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Old 12-14-10, 08:36 PM   #2
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Surly is getting competition in the longtail bike market! Its still the standard to beat but its good to see consumers are going to get more for their cargo bike dollars now.
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Old 12-15-10, 12:48 PM   #3
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My guess is that it probably has sram or shimano 21 speed components similar to what you find on a department store schwinn, which are also found on lower end LBS mountain bikes. I do like that the price is lower than most other bikes in this catagory.
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Old 12-15-10, 01:20 PM   #4
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I have actually test ridden one of these (just around a parking lot, with no load), and it looks well designed and built. As expected, the components are the most basic level available, but the frame looks strong, feels solid, and the handling is excellent, especially at low speeds. It took me a moment to figure out where to grab it to pick it up, but there is a good grip point close to the center of gravity, which helps.
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Old 12-15-10, 01:46 PM   #5
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I wouldn't mind buying it as a frame set and build it up
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Old 12-15-10, 02:06 PM   #6
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Heck, at that price, that's basically what you're doing - except that you can ride this frameset while you decide what upgrades to make.
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Old 12-15-10, 03:29 PM   #7
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True, also if you look at it this way- a basic xtracycle kit is 240bucks i priced one today with options and it came to 520 before shipping. I think i may look into this.
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Old 12-16-10, 05:59 AM   #8
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I have had a couple of Sun bikes & they all were well built, for their price.
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Old 12-18-10, 07:16 AM   #9
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Anybody seen one of these available yet? I asked my LBS, but they can't find it listed anywhere....

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Old 12-20-10, 12:16 PM   #10
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I'm suspicious of the price, too good to be true. I wonder how much the frame itself would be. How's the quality of the frame compared to Surly's? And how heavy is it? Makes me think twice about dropping $900 on a Big Dummy frame. I never heard of Sun bikes, is this the same company that makes rims?

Edit: I've found their website, but this bike is not there yet. Most of their bikes are made of high tensile steel though, chro-mo is more expensive, that's why I find the price for a complete bike unusually low.

http://www.sunbicycles.com/

Ah, found another picture of this bike.

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Old 12-20-10, 12:59 PM   #11
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Its unfortunate that I believe Sun only retails in the U.S., it would be nice to see one here in Canada. I've worked on some of Sun's recumbents before - lower end components and materials, but the construction is just fine.

I should add that while they do make some bikes with 4130 and aluminum as well as your usual recycled washing machine steel, its almost all in the recumbent section. They seem to focus their higher end efforts in there.

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Old 12-20-10, 01:24 PM   #12
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Very intriguing. I've been searching the web, but no more info on this bike is available. I like the looks of the BD better but for the price I'd give this a shot.
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Old 12-20-10, 01:50 PM   #13
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I like the twin top tube, that frame does look pretty strong, probably is really heavy but weight isn't a big concern form me, i gotta find out if i can get one locally, i wanna test ride one.
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Old 12-20-10, 01:57 PM   #14
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I found a dealer in Manhattan, close to my commute route, two blocks detour. I'll pass by tonight. It can't be as heavy as Yuba Mundo though, probably somewhere in between Mundo and BD. If they don't sell frames only I indeed could buy the whole bike and just change the parts. Sell some of that stuff on eBay, may even get a hundred bucks back. I also wonder if it comes in "one size fits all" size, which is what I don't like about the Yuba Mundo. Oh, and I hope this is a standard 1 1/8" threadless headset, not threaded, another thing I don't like about the Mundo.
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Old 12-20-10, 02:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
I'm suspicious of the price, too good to be true. I wonder how much the frame itself would be. How's the quality of the frame compared to Surly's? And how heavy is it? Makes me think twice about dropping $900 on a Big Dummy frame. I never heard of Sun bikes, is this the same company that makes rims?

Edit: I've found their website, but this bike is not there yet. Most of their bikes are made of high tensile steel though, chro-mo is more expensive, that's why I find the price for a complete bike unusually low.

http://www.sunbicycles.com/

Ah, found another picture of this bike.
Thanks for that link. I've seen the same Interbike photo, but the caption from Dirtrag also has the price at $679, which seems a bit more likely.

Sun is a Miami company that has been around for a while, mostly in the cruiser and industrial markets. I've seen plenty of them around, but the only Sun product that I owned was a 6-foot tall unicycle that I bought in the mid 80's.

They're also the company behind Origin8 and they've done a few models aluminum and CF as well. Interestingly, they've dropped the Origin8 Cykel 3-speeds from the 2011 catalog. That's a shame, I thought it was a pretty sensible design.
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Old 12-20-10, 03:10 PM   #16
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But they're not the same company that makes Sun rims, I guess.
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Old 12-20-10, 03:30 PM   #17
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I still want to check one out, im really new to the long tail world i haven't even finished my DIY xtracycle but i was riding it around this weekend as a single speed and the long wheel base rides sooo nice, i dont know maybe ill have to make this homebuilt bike of mine a more permanent build, that is until i can outright afford something proper
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Old 12-20-10, 07:20 PM   #18
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But they're not the same company that makes Sun rims, I guess.
Nope the rims are Sun-Ringle.

I have seen a few of the Sun Cruisers being used at an industrial plant, they seemed to be standing up pretty well after 4-5 years of pretty heavy use. The bulk of the bikes on that plant are Worksman with some Caloi and other odd stuff thrown in for good measure. I believe there are close to 200 bikes on that site.

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Old 12-20-10, 07:48 PM   #19
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I didn't find that bike shop. Sun had the right address but wrong location on the map. I went by the location on the map without checking if it matches the address, duh Since traffic was mad in that area and getting worse plus VERY dense pedestrian presence I gave up. I'll try again tomorrow.

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Nope the rims are Sun-Ringle.

I have seen a few of the Sun Cruisers being used at an industrial plant, they seemed to be standing up pretty well after 4-5 years of pretty heavy use. The bulk of the bikes on that plant are Worksman with some Caloi and other odd stuff thrown in for good measure. I believe there are close to 200 bikes on that site.

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Intriguing. If they're known for building tough and reliable bikes this could make a dent in Surly's sales. I would certainly consider this frame unless it has some showstopping deficiency compared to Big Dummy. I mean just the frame, I know the components are inexpensive. I'm not crazy about the looks but if it is a solid frame, then this would be a heck of a deal, in particular if the frameset is available for like $400.

I was seriously considering the Yuba Mundo for a while, despite its weight. But two things made me look somewhere else: "one size fits all" and the strange threaded headset.

I like competition

BTW, I can see few minor issues with this frame: the seat is a little too far back compared to most bikes, not sure how that will affect the ride and there are no bottle attachment points in the normal places since there is no main triangle, there is just one in the front that doesn't look like it'll fit an oversized (long) bottle. Nitpicking, I know, but I've been wanting an Xtracycle for a while and I'm a little obsessed I should have bought the last year's Big Dummy frame when it was priced at closeout prices under $600

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Old 12-20-10, 08:16 PM   #20
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Sun also made a line of CF bikes and recumbents.
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Old 12-20-10, 09:50 PM   #21
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Regarding the seat angle, I think it's in a good spot for a bicycle of this design. A more upright riding position and subsequently fatter saddle work better when the saddle is placed further back in order to reduce saddle interference between the rider and crankset.

This really isn't an extreme example of slack angles, either. If you wanted to be further forward, the saddle shown in picture is set quite back on its rails, and a setback seatpost is also used. It would be very easy on this bicycle to place the saddle much further forward than it is shown in this photograph by simply setting the saddle forward on the rails, or even using a zero setback post if desired.

Again, I personally think you'd probably find that too little setback could be uncomfortable given the positioning of the bike, but it could certainly be done. If you were to change over to a more aggressive bar / stem / saddle, it would be easy to move the saddle forward quite a bit.

As for water bottles, handlebar / seatpost mount?

What i'd like to know exactly, is really how many Xtracycle accessories it is fully compatible with? From what I can gather, it certainly wouldn't work with the old freeloaders, but would with the 2010 ones that can snap on to the rack instead of being slid on. The deck appears to be welded to both sides of the rack, nothing that has to slide on will work.

So it should work with the new 2010 freeloaders, and the hoodie i'd presume. I see there are horizontal plugs, will they work with the Xtracycle's horizontal accessories, or will Sun make their own? Hmm..

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Old 12-21-10, 05:46 AM   #22
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Those were really minor complaints. Yeah, you're right about the saddle, Abneycat. And yeah, I'd like to set it up in more aggressive position. I like to have the handlebars at the same height as the saddle. That's most comfortable for me (for now, at least), even for longer rides.

It looks like it doesn't need a snap deck because of that too. And good point about the freeloaders. I wouldn't mind if Sun made their own accessories in matching colors
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Old 12-23-10, 08:39 PM   #23
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I like the frame design!
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Old 12-23-10, 09:36 PM   #24
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I like the frame design!
Tom, what do you think: would it have any advantages over a Big Dummy frame?
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Old 12-24-10, 07:24 AM   #25
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Tom, what do you think: would it have any advantages over a Big Dummy frame?
OK, good question. I just looked at pictures of the two frames, side by side. No, I don't think the Sun is better except in one way: it has a built in rack. All the triangles formed by frame tubes are nice and small, making for good stiffness. This is on both bikes.

The Sun's price is probably going to be irresistible.

It looks like it has fittings for disk brakes. Clearly, it has bosses for V or cantilever brakes.
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