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Cycletruck or similar as a good heavy load bike?

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Cycletruck or similar as a good heavy load bike?

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Old 02-24-08, 02:59 PM
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int19
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Cycletruck or similar as a good heavy load bike?

Hi all,

One of my backburner plans has been to build a bicycle suitable for carrying 50lb large animal food bags like chicken feed, dog food, etc. The rack I have on the back of my touring bike is only good to about 35lbs of top load (only place to strap the large bags) before it starts wobbling in a disconcerting way.

I have the opportunity to pick up an old cycletruck like the one pictured below for cheap locally. Will this serve my needs? Thanks!

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Old 02-24-08, 03:46 PM
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50 lbs? No problem...

http://www.sandsmachine.com/a_syc_r1.htm

Joel Metz seems to think that a front racked bike can easily handle 80lbs... so your 45-50lbs should be fine. YMMV.

I've put ~35lbs of groceries on the front (fixed) rack of my Azor Oma with my 35lb kid behind me in a BoBike Maxi seat, and I experienced some frame sway/wobble when pedaling hard or cornering. It forced me to make my pedal stroke VERY smooth (not really a bad thing, just had to be quite mindful) and slow my speed a bit. Granted the OMA is a step through frame and a trad triangle frame might have had less flex. Once again YMMV. With the smaller front wheel, it might take care of some of the wobble. The difference between what Joel uses (a non-fixed rack) and what your truck bike and my oma have (fixed rack) may make the difference. Still it may be comparing apples to oranges b/c of the 29" wheels on my Oma, the 20" or 24" wheels on the front of the truck bike and the 700c wheels on Joel's Sycip.

Is the bike in running condition? Could you give it a test ride with a 50lb sack of sand to try it out?
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Old 02-24-08, 04:14 PM
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http://worksman.com

But if it's in good working order that looks like it'll do you just fine
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Old 02-24-08, 04:18 PM
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Yep, looks the same with brackets mounted to the frame tubes so the basket doesn't turn when the bike does...

Thanks

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Old 02-24-08, 04:21 PM
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Oh and AllenG,

Thanks for all of your reviews about the Nuvinci Hub. If the cycletruck happens, a NuVinci is definitely in the works as an upgrade for it...

Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
http://worksman.com

But if it's in good working order that looks like it'll do you just fine
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Old 02-24-08, 05:31 PM
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If it's cheap, pick it up. Those things go for some big bucks. If it's got the original basket and isn't too torn up, it might be worth what a new Worksman would cost you.

"Cycletruck" was specifically a Schwinn product, as far as I know. Raleigh, Worksman, Pashley and others have called these "Low Gravity" bikes or "Deli" bikes or just the generic Delivery Bike.

I've got an Arpan (Indian-made) bike. I can't say about the strength specifically, but let's just say it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. I've got a Worksman Industrial Bike and it is pretty well made, and I wouldn't have any doubt about the Worksman Low-Gravity bike.

From just riding my Arpan up and down the street once, I'd say don't expect a lot of speed out of these things- it's great to trundle along a couple of miles to pick up stuff, but not what you want to ride 20 miles on.
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Old 02-24-08, 06:38 PM
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I see Worksman trikes and their QuadMovers carry some amazing loads on a daily basis. FWIW the Quad Mover is rated to 500# and I can promise you that is a lot more than I would want to move by pedal power.

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Old 02-24-08, 06:57 PM
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By the way, as far as I know, the standard Cycle Truck had a wire basket, just like the normal bike baskets only bigger. It may have had a plywood bottom. Anyway, it was different from the one pictured in that regard.

The Worksman LG model has a bar-basket. The normal Raleigh-type LG bikes have a basket frame, intended to carry a large wicker basket.

As far as I know, these were intended for delivery purposes, such as carrying mail or delivering groceries and stuff like that. (I remember seeing a while back where some post office in the US had been using a bunch of Worksman bikes for that reason). The Worksman Quads and industrial trikes are made more for moving stuff around a factory floor, which is mostly going to be flat and short distances. I would not expect that the LG or Cycle Truck bikes were made for carrying 500 lbs or anything.

You also get a one-size fits all frame with these things. If you're "average" size, no problem. If you're 6'-7", you probably need to have Pashley custom-make one for you.
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Old 02-24-08, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by int19 View Post
Yep, looks the same with brackets mounted to the frame tubes so the basket doesn't turn when the bike does...

Thanks
More than welcome. Pad what rattles on the bike; one of my favorite things about the NuVinci is that it coasts silently.
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Old 02-24-08, 10:04 PM
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I think what you're looking for is called a "porteur bike". Kogswell is apparently quite successful with their modern interpretation of it, here.

Edit: That's apparently an older page, currently unlinked on their site. Here's a more current page that's fully linked-in. /edit

I first heard of them in this article about the Dock Porters of Mackinac Island. The really good pics start halfway down, past the pics of boats and tourist rental bikes. Those guys put some serious loads on their bikes!

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Old 02-24-08, 11:26 PM
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Yeah, a porteur was what I was thinking about initially, but the idea of a low gravity bike with a basket which doesn't turn with the steering sounds interesting to try... Plus who can resist a vintage schwinn!

I saw that OYBD article a while ago on the iBOB list and I'm still totally captivated with Mackinac Island. All I have to do is convince my wife to move there...

Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I think what you're looking for is called a "porteur bike". Kogswell is apparently quite successful with their modern interpretation of it, here.

Edit: That's apparently an older page, currently unlinked on their site. Here's a more current page that's fully linked-in. /edit

I first heard of them in this article about the Dock Porters of Mackinac Island. The really good pics start halfway down, past the pics of boats and tourist rental bikes. Those guys put some serious loads on their bikes!
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Old 02-25-08, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by int19 View Post
Hi all,

One of my backburner plans has been to build a bicycle suitable for carrying 50lb large animal food bags like chicken feed, dog food, etc. The rack I have on the back of my touring bike is only good to about 35lbs of top load (only place to strap the large bags) before it starts wobbling in a disconcerting way.

I have the opportunity to pick up an old cycletruck like the one pictured below for cheap locally. Will this serve my needs? Thanks!

My vote is for a good Trike. A Schwinn Town in Country comes to mind..
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Old 02-25-08, 02:17 PM
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Sounds to me like your needs would make you a prime candidate for a trailer.
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Old 02-25-08, 02:41 PM
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Trailers have to be stored. Trikes take up too much room. I've been looking for a bike like the one in the picture and couldn't find one, so I built my own from a design by Alex Wilson in Chicago. The most I have carried in the front was 65# with 40# in the rear. http://www.ericvey.com/Workhorse/IMG00001-1.JPG
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Old 02-25-08, 11:55 PM
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One of the bikes in those pictures is a Schwinn. I don't know the full history, but apparently Schwinn had industrial bikes similar to the current Worksman models. One here, for example: http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/584920951.html

I've seen on one of the websites they mention that somebody else built these for Schwinn, maybe after the Pacific buy-out.

I think Pashley makes some models with the normal size front wheel, but the non-rotating basket. I haven't really studied the geometry, but the low-gravity design, in addition to getting the load lower, may keep it over the wheel better as well.
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Old 02-26-08, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
One of the bikes in those pictures is a Schwinn. I don't know the full history, but apparently Schwinn had industrial bikes similar to the current Worksman models. One here, for example: http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/584920951.html

I've seen on one of the websites they mention that somebody else built these for Schwinn, maybe after the Pacific buy-out.

I think Pashley makes some models with the normal size front wheel, but the non-rotating basket. I haven't really studied the geometry, but the low-gravity design, in addition to getting the load lower, may keep it over the wheel better as well.
The Scwhinn Heavy Duty was built by Schwinn in their Chicago plant, and IIRC they had a semi custom delivery cycles works at the same location. I believe that they did move production of the Heavy Duty to MS at the very end. The bike in the Craigslist ad, was probably one of the last few built by Schwinn. Those were some seriously tough bikes. I delivered a 70+ newspaper route, 7 days a week on one of those for over 4 years, then traded the bike in on a brand new Schwinn Sprint

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Old 02-26-08, 06:21 AM
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I hauled bags of dog food in my homemade "sleigh" trailer. It got a mean case of speed wobbles but it worked really well for me. The trailer was built for a Christmas ride, but it served double duty for about a month during the build process.





I believe a bag of dogfood could be caried by a CETMA style rack as well. Here is my homebrew version but you could order one from CETMA or build the bolt-together version found @ http://www.instructables.com/id/CETM...ont-Bike-Rack/





For loads of 40lbs or more, I prefer a trailer though.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Juggler2 View Post
Sounds to me like your needs would make you a prime candidate for a trailer.

I agree. A trailer will add loads of verstility to any bike.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 03-05-08, 01:20 PM
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What about an Xtracycle?
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Old 03-05-08, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
What about an Xtracycle?
I ended buying the cycletruck (well, its not a Schwinn Cycletruck, but a roadmaster equivalent). I'm designing a front rack for it now. An Xtracycle would be a future possible upgrade to it too.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:39 PM
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Cool, let's see some pictures of it!
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Old 03-06-08, 12:16 PM
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Here's one currently on Craig's List- and looks like a pretty good deal if you're in Phoenix- which I'm not-
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/bik/597204656.html
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