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.

home built xtracycle...

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Old 01-07-08, 04:49 PM
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kemmer
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home built xtracycle...

So I'm going to build an xtracycle style rig out of two (maybe more) old mountain bikes and I have a few questions for xtracycle owners.

How far is it from the bottom bracket to the rear axle?
How far is it from the top of the snap deck to the rear axle?
How high is the bottom bracket with the kit installed?

I will eventually have an xtracycle at my disposal to take measurements from so that I can make it xtracycle accessory compatible, but I don't have it in front of me yet.
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Old 01-07-08, 10:09 PM
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Mine will be a bit more custom than that, but I have thought of doing it that way. I think I have a rear triangle from a FS bike kicking around somewhere so I may revisit the idea.
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Old 01-08-08, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by badmother View Post
Try to find an old "full suspension" bike. That way you can use the rear triangle from that one as it is, wery easy. I made one and it works just fine. did not totally finish the "luggage carrying" part of it yet. Not sure if I want to pay somebody to weld it or try to think of a "no weld" solution. Decided to try it out first to see that it vorked fine as a bike before going ahead. I`we not yet learned how to post pix here, I`ll try soon, but search for "MAKE BLOG", and ten go to "Bicykles". You can find one there.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:39 PM
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[IMG][/IMG] This was my first attempt at a "redneck extracycle" , I plan on making a better one soon.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:40 PM
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Sorry bad post.
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Old 01-09-08, 03:51 PM
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While we are on the subject of home built Xtracycles, here is one I am currently building. For the rack I am going to copy the Yuba Mundo's rack using plywood for the carrier portion and steel legs to mount it, the ones normally used on baskets. Should work pretty well.
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Old 01-09-08, 11:41 PM
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That option is looking better and better, thanks for the pictures badmother and rough rider. The one on instructibles seemed more janky, but those actually look pretty good. My junk bike pile is covered in snow, but I'm pretty sure theres on in there somewhere and if not there was one at the thrift store down the street yesterday.

I used the another one of these FS wal mart bikes for the rear section of my swing bike:

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Old 01-10-08, 04:47 PM
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I've got a junky old Huffy tandem that's destined for cargo use if things work out- my version of a home-made xtracycle. The "Xtrahuffy" as it were.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:38 PM
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Hey fellers, there's some really nice work in this thread! It seems to me that we have a real collection of utility DIY'ers here. I love the design ideas coming out here, like using a rear suspension triangle to extend a frame. Good stuff!

Considering the relative complexity of building a good frame, the popularity of the xtracycle concept, and the additional challenges posed by the longer wheelbase, the information in this thread is a very valuable resource and therefore I want to nominate it as a sticky.

I must admit that I've never been as big a fan of the xtracycle as some here, but this thread has really warmed me up to the idea. So much so that I have a couple of donor frames ready to go for my own version of the xtracycle..... or maybe it's just an excuse for another DIY project either way I'll hopefully have something usefull to contribute in the coming weeks. In the meantime I would encourage everyone to keep adding progress photos and information of your projects as they develop, especially tricky/fiddly stuff like cable routing, setting up rear brakes, drivetrain issues, chainline, ect.

Roughrider504, I love your work on that frame and really looking forward to seeing how your project turns out. Did you do the welding yourself? please tell us more about it as I think there may be some here that are interested in giving welding a go.

Kemmer, how on God's green earth do you ride that thing! seriously, is there a video on youtube? my head is going into meltdown thinking about it ...and speaking of wonky frames, how did y'all line everything up when building your frames? (assuming you don't have your own frame alignment jig)

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Old 01-10-08, 07:04 PM
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Swingbike video here:
http://www.americasbikecompany.com/A.../301-01-02.htm

Looks cool, but looks like it would get old in a hurry. And you look considerably less cool if you fall off.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:17 PM
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Let's make this a sticky so we can keep up with everyone's progress.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:20 PM
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Roughrider504, I love your work on that frame and really looking forward to seeing how your project turns out. Did you do the welding yourself? please tell us more about it as I think there may be some here that are interested in giving welding a go.
Thanks! Actually there is no welding. The pipe bolts directly up to where the shock did and my 200lbs keeps the end of the tube firmly against the bottom bracket, no problems whatsoever [I had a mock up rideable for a while]. Yes the tube is bolted onto the frame at the bottom bracket but that is only so I can pick it up.
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Old 01-10-08, 10:00 PM
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I was not able to upload my pics because they are too big and I don,t know how to resize them. Mine is set up very similiar to roughrider504,s except my top tube connects with the seatpost. It is welded but could be attached by bolts also. If anyone knows how to resize photos feel free to private message me and I,ll email them to you.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by roughrider504 View Post
While we are on the subject of home built Xtracycles, here is one I am currently building. For the rack I am going to copy the Yuba Mundo's rack using plywood for the carrier portion and steel legs to mount it, the ones normally used on baskets. Should work pretty well.
I like that...
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Old 01-11-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bbwolfy View Post
I was not able to upload my pics because they are too big and I don,t know how to resize them. Mine is set up very similiar to roughrider504,s except my top tube connects with the seatpost. It is welded but could be attached by bolts also. If anyone knows how to resize photos feel free to private message me and I,ll email them to you.
It's not too tough to resize pics -- one easy way is to open the pic with Microsoft Paint, go to Image ->Resize/Skew, and use the menu to reduce the size.

Google's Picasa will also do it, but it's a bit more complicated.
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Old 01-11-08, 03:39 PM
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Here is an update on mine, it should be completed Sunday since I can pick up the rest of the parts at the co-op tomorrow. I still need to build the rack and I am thinking of using 2x2s for it. You can see how I am going to mount the rack, its pretty simple. It is a coaster brake since New Orleans is completely flat I won't need the gears. Don't have to buy expensive tandem cables neither. The hub is a Torpedo laced 4x to an Araya rim so it should be just fine for strength. Soon enough I'll build another 4x for the front. If only I could find a Mafac Racer for the front brake at the co-op. *crosses fingers*

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Old 01-12-08, 05:19 AM
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I rescued this 26" out of a dumpster a while back, it's my size so I hung on to it although it wasn't rideable. The wheels were taco'd, the bb bearings were unuseable, and a few sundry bits were missing. The lack of suspension fork and the rather beefy (heavy) steel frame makes it a good candidate for my first xtracycle-type conversion.



I have this girl's 24" bike that I also pulled from a dumpster. This thing is an x-mart piece of crapola but it's brand new! I swear it can't have more that a few miles on it, if that. Some of the components still had packing grease on them. Since nobody I know can use it I decided to use its components and rear triangle for my xtracycle project. Here you can see it layed out on the garage floor during one of my late night brainstorming sessions.



Of course this means that the final bike will have a 26" fron wheel and a 24" rear wheel..... I can live with that, I just have to remember to keep 2 different size spare innertubes in its repair kit.

Anyhow, I stripped them down and cut the rear triangle from the girl's bike. I cold set the rear triangle on the main frame so that the dropouts snugged up against the bottom bracket of the rear triangle.







That's where I'm at so far. At this stage I'm thinking of using some 1" square tubing to join the top of each of the seat posts to complete the triangulation of the frame, rather that from the bottom bracket of the main frame to the top of the rear triangle as is usually the case. You can see a piece of tube in roughly the position it will go.

I'm just a little concerned with the seat stay on the main frame interfering with the chain when in granny gear. If it is a problem I could just replace the stays with a single piece of square tube, but I think the stays would be a bit tortionally stiffer.
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Old 01-12-08, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by roughrider504 View Post
While we are on the subject of home built Xtracycles, here is one I am currently building. For the rack I am going to copy the Yuba Mundo's rack using plywood for the carrier portion and steel legs to mount it, the ones normally used on baskets. Should work pretty well.

This is a great looking bike. Can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 01-12-08, 08:57 AM
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Cyclaholic, are you going to raise the second rear triangle any? If you don't the frame geometry will be off and you'll probably need shorter cranks. I have the same sized wheels and I had to raise mine to get the top tube back level. I don't think the 24'' rear wheel is a good idea since its normally a good idea to get as much BB height as you safely can for these extended bikes. Whenever I had the bike mocked up, I used 26'' wheels [frame meant for 27''] with 170mm cranks [165mm now], and that was enough to give me some problems with striking.

EDIT: One solution to your seatstay problem could be somehow using an axle that goes through your bottom bracket to mount the second rear triangle. You can probably find some large washers that fits right in the cups or something like that.

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Old 01-12-08, 12:18 PM
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A little update, I built the rack today. It is not completely done, I still need to cut out the sheet metal support that goes from the front of the rack and bolts up to the rear brake hole, and fabricate some bag supports - much like a regular rack. After it is done I can shellac it to make it look sweet. But you can see how a messenger bag can clip on and such, its pretty cool.


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Old 01-12-08, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by roughrider504 View Post
Cyclaholic, are you going to raise the second rear triangle any? If you don't the frame geometry will be off and you'll probably need shorter cranks. I have the same sized wheels and I had to raise mine to get the top tube back level. I don't think the 24'' rear wheel is a good idea since its normally a good idea to get as much BB height as you safely can for these extended bikes. Whenever I had the bike mocked up, I used 26'' wheels [frame meant for 27''] with 170mm cranks [165mm now], and that was enough to give me some problems with striking.

EDIT: One solution to your seatstay problem could be somehow using an axle that goes through your bottom bracket to mount the second rear triangle. You can probably find some large washers that fits right in the cups or something like that.
Yeah, I don't want to lose any bb clearance and I've been thinking about just how to best address the geometry question. I also confirmed my suspicion that the stays on the main frame interfere with the chainline and it's worse than I first thought, so they have to go.

The upside is that by replacing the seatstays and chainstays of the main frame with tubing I'm free to position the extra triangle wherever I please. I'm free to arrange the frame geometry to accomodate the 24" rear wheel and give the bb as much clearance as it needs. It just means a bit more work than first anticipated.


Originally Posted by badmother View Post
Cyclaholic- what about using a 26" wheel and some "road brakes" if that can be found? You can buy some special brakes that can be used for two diff sizes of wheels, but hallf the fun is to make it low cost.. Maybe make some sort of extension to the brake arms? Then ofcourse there is the hub breake posibility.

I am lucky, there is a unlimited access to dumpster bikes in the area. I pull them out and give them to the refugees in the area, and I find all I need for my projects. Also wheelchairvheels for trailers.

Do you think your rear triangel would be stronger if you put a seattube innside again? Maybe the top of that seat tube could help you find a way to connect to the main frame, especially if you need to go "weld free".
I'm fortunate that welding is not a problem. However, I'm a bit more limited in my choice of dumpster bikes and a good find here is a rare find so I want to use what I have at hand. Unfortunately I don't have a spare 26" rear wheel, only that 24" which is in perfet conition. like you said, half the fun is keeping it low cost.

I like your idea of extending the brake arms, I hadn't thought of that! It's the rear rear brake so I'd be willing to give it a try. They're V-brakes made of pressed steel so cutting and welding in an extension on the arms shouldn't be too difficult. I'll put this one away in the memory bank i/when the opportunity arises to onvert it over to a 26" rear wheel.
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Old 01-13-08, 07:25 AM
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How do you attach the downer(sp) bikes BB to the main bikes rear dropouts??

And the support bar that goes to the primary bikes BB.
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Old 01-13-08, 07:43 AM
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I made some progress on the frame today, all but one of the new structural members tacked in place. I drew in the missing piece just to see how it looks...



The BB is about 1" above its original height.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:20 AM
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That looks really nice! With the 24'' rear wheel you can mount your rack lower, lowering the center of gravity at the same time. It should work really well.
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Old 01-13-08, 12:59 PM
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Here is the final update for my XtraSomething. It rides so great! The handling of a long bike is slightly different than a regular bicycle and very fun at the same time.


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