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xtracycle in traffic???

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Old 02-04-09, 01:59 PM
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TheatreME
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xtracycle in traffic???

Hello everyone,

My current ride is an old early-ish 90s Iron horse AT-50 ridgid fram MTB. It is currently setup as a winter commuter, milk crate grocery getter do it all bike. My regular commute is about 5-15 mi one way with about 3-4 in downtown DC traffic. Right now, even with knobbies, she does fantastic. I have a 9 speed drive train with barends and moustache bars and she handles great, excepting when the milk crate gets overloaded.

I really want to get an xtracycle to increase my hauling abilities, but I have 2 questions. Does an xtracycle slow you down considerably so that navigating in traffic becomes significantly more difficult? secondly how much do they weigh since I might possibly have to haul it up a couple of flights of stairs each night in the near future.

Thanks
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Old 02-04-09, 02:42 PM
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Val
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I've been riding an Xtracycle in traffic for seven years now, and THEY RULE. There will be some tight spots and nimble maneuvers that you will learn to avoid, but in general the handling is quite similar to the bike you're on now. The advantage is that the larger bike attracts much more attention from the drivers, and they tend to give it much more room. This will not be true for all drivers, but most seem to have more respect for the X than they do for a "regular" bike. The longer wheelbase also adds stability in panic situations, and all the extra structure can actually protect you in case of a rear end collision. It doesn't make you invulnerable, but I have been hit from behind by a pickup truck which immediately propelled me and the bike forward ten feet, but did no damage to either of us (me & the bike, that is - the truck took off, so I have no idea how it fared). As for the weight, it will depend on your setup; I think you can get away with 15 lbs over the weight of your current bike for a fully equipped X. It's definitely noticeable, but not too bad on most stairs. There is a nice grip point above and behind the bottom bracket that allows you to carry the bike nicely balanced under one arm. As long as the stairs don't have any sharp turns, it's not hard at all.
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Old 02-04-09, 04:25 PM
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Kimmitt 
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I had essentially the same very positive experience as Val.
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Old 02-04-09, 05:27 PM
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Allen
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Val sums it up quite well.
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Old 02-17-09, 03:38 PM
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bikinpolitico
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I agree with what's been stated. Out of all the cargo bikes I've ridden, only the Xtracycle handles like a standard bike unloaded (heavily loaded, it handles like most cargo bikes, stable but you notice the weight.)

As for carrying it up stairs, I'm not so sure about that. I hang mine on the wall from its front wheel which involves lifting it up a bit. I would not want to haul that up a flight of stairs regularly. Still, you could always do cyclocross:
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Old 03-21-09, 11:03 AM
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Doconabike
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Originally Posted by TheatreME View Post



Does an xtracycle slow you down considerably so that navigating in traffic becomes significantly more difficult?

The XtraCyle really is a great bike for traffic. I have been commuting on mine for a few years now and I love it. I don't do much "weaving" between cars, so the stately smoothness of the XtraCyle is really quite pleasant.


Originally Posted by TheatreME View Post



secondly how much do they weigh since I might possibly have to haul it up a couple of flights of stairs each night in the near future.
In my past apartment, I had basement parking with two tight turns and about 7 stairs. Taking the XtraCycle through this maze wasn't too hard. I did find that I had to unload groceries BEFORE hauling the bike on the stairs and tight corners. The problem on the stairs wasn't the weight, but the added breadth that you get when you have your groceries, briefcase, gym-clothes, etc in the panniers. As previous posters stated, it's not hard to carry the XtraCycle with one hand, but there may be some curves on tight staircases that you just won't be able to do. You might want to measure before you commit to the longer bike.

Also, if you are a small person or if the stairs are quite steep and narrow with tight turns, you might want to consider another biking option (or a different apartment). I don't mind hauling the XtraCycle around on stairs, but I have a few friends who are smaller and in great shape, but simply can't lug the extra length of a longbike through tight corners.
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