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Converting frame to cycle truck

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Converting frame to cycle truck

Old 05-18-21, 07:31 AM
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sdimattia
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Converting frame to cycle truck

I would love to have a cycle truck at some point. However, I am short (5'1" / 155cm) and most of the pre-existing cycle trucks (Soma, Bombtrack, Ahearne, etc) seem way to big for me, just looking purely at specs and geo.

I saw a picture on the internet; some guy named Nihls took a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame and converted the front end with a rack and a 20" wheel. On a 42cm LHT frame that takes 26" tires, how feasible would it be to do this? Cost for the conversion? Anybody in NYC who could do this or someone that I could ship the frame to? What might some potential problems be doing this kind of conversion?

Disclaimer: I know nothing about framebuilding but do have a general understanding of geometry numbers and whatnot. Appreciate everybody's input, thank you in advance.

This is what I'd like to achieve in the end.
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Old 05-18-21, 08:07 AM
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I like that, seems doable. I think I would triangulate that head tube extension back to the downtube. I would ask Porter Cycles to see if he's up to it https://www.portercycles.com/
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Old 05-18-21, 09:42 AM
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Looks like they turned down that head tube extension to fit like a headset and then bolted the support to DT. Interesting idea. For a simpler project you should check out the Crust Clydesdale fork. https://crustbikes.com/collections/f...ale-cargo-fork
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Old 05-18-21, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
Looks like they turned down that head tube extension to fit like a headset and then bolted the support to DT. Interesting idea. For a simpler project you should check out the Crust Clydesdale fork. https://crustbikes.com/collections/f...ale-cargo-fork
That actually might almost be perfect (and cheaper). Thanks! Is there any benefit to the wheel turning independently of the rack?

I would like a slightly larger platform as I plan to load my 18LB dog in it 95% of the time with groceries taking up the other 5%. I did also email Porter Cycles to see if they were interested in the project. The Crust fork is definitely more straightforward though.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by sdimattia View Post
That actually might almost be perfect (and cheaper). Thanks! Is there any benefit to the wheel turning independently of the rack?

I would like a slightly larger platform as I plan to load my 18LB dog in it 95% of the time with groceries taking up the other 5%. I did also email Porter Cycles to see if they were interested in the project. The Crust fork is definitely more straightforward though.
You nailed the primary difference, the load attached to the frame or fork. It can make a difference, depending on how you ride and what you carry. If your pooch moves around a bunch then the rack being attached to the frame could make more sense. The crust fork allows you to add a larger platform. Here is a decent write up and photos (with dog) about the crust option. https://theradavist.com/2020/05/just...fuji-sundance/
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Old 05-18-21, 11:41 AM
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for heavy loads, a main frame mounted rack is far superior. OTOH, it's a lot more difficult modification
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Old 05-18-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
You nailed the primary difference, the load attached to the frame or fork. It can make a difference, depending on how you ride and what you carry. If your pooch moves around a bunch then the rack being attached to the frame could make more sense. The crust fork allows you to add a larger platform. Here is a decent write up and photos (with dog) about the crust option. https://theradavist.com/2020/05/just...fuji-sundance/
Not too worried about him moving around, he's quite happy being carted around and usually just sits and enjoys the breeze. The guy from the link you sent doesn't seem to have too much issue with handling. That being said, I've only ever carried stuff on a rear rack because I don't like how front racks affect handling (it could also be that it was mounted to a twitchy road frame . . . ) I think a rack mounted to the frame instead of the fork would be more ideal for me but cost depending, the Crust will do just fine.

I must say I do love the clean transition from fork to frame on the retrofit. The Crust looks a little goofy albeit just as practical.
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Old 05-18-21, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I like that, seems doable. I think I would triangulate that head tube extension back to the downtube. I would ask Porter Cycles to see if he's up to it https://www.portercycles.com/
I agree, if you are already modifying the frame, one might as well weld a cross member between the head tube and downtube.

Without any vertical diagonal support to the rack, it will need to be made strong, and still will be weight limited.
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Old 05-18-21, 02:17 PM
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For rear rack cargo bikes for small stature people (or even shared between different heights of people), the Bike Friday Haul A Day is popular, and very adjustable.

The company is a small semi-custom fabricator here in Eugene, Oregon, and are always willing to talk to customers.

https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-b...day-cargo-bike
https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/tag/haul-a-day

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Old 05-18-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
For rear rack cargo bikes for small stature people (or even shared between different heights of people), the Bike Friday Haul A Day is popular, and very adjustable.

The company is a small semi-custom fabricator here in Eugene, Oregon, and are always willing to talk to customers.

https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-b...day-cargo-bike
https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/tag/haul-a-day
Those look awesome, I actually lived outside Springfield for 2 years but moved back to NYC 3 years ago unfortunately. The only kids I'd stick in the back would probably be goats though . . .

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I agree, if you are already modifying the frame, one might as well weld a cross member between the head tube and downtube.

Without any vertical diagonal support to the rack, it will need to be made strong, and still will be weight limited.
Pardon my lack of dimension, perspective or scale in this drawing but, would a cross member from the headtube to the DT be the thing I drew an arrow pointing to? So essentially, there'd be three bars, two going from the rack to the DT, and one in the middle going from HT to DT?
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