Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-21-09, 02:19 PM   #1
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
Thread Starter
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
Posts: 2,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Xtracycle: How flexible are they?

I was wondering how stiff an Xtracycled 1990's MTB is compared to a purpose built frame like a Big Dummy. Currently I have an Alpine Monitor pass fitted with a front rack for doing heavy cargo work, but I'm less than thrilled with it's handling with a full front rack. My sense of balance keeps subconsciously telling me that the weight on the fork needs to be behind me, so I'm thinking there may be either a BD (if I can come up with $1,000 plus for "One more bike") or xtracycle the Alpine. The problem is I heard a rumor that Xtras tend to be rather "Flexy" I would like to hear from those who actually own one.;
Sirrus Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-09, 02:40 PM   #2
Senior Member
cman's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boise,ID
Posts: 517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It all depends where the load is carried. If you are loaded on one side (such as towing a bike-front wheel in the pocket) , you can definately feel the flex. The flex feel gets worse when you are out of the saddle. I took my 6 and 8 year olds to school today. Could barely feel anything as they know to sit still and in the middle. When they start goofing around or try to look around my body, it gets wobbly.

I have never ridden a Dummy with a load. Somebody tried cables from the seat stays to the h-racks with marginal improvement. I have been thinking about a trying a tie rod with p-clamps under the same idea.
cman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-09, 09:35 PM   #3
Bicycle Lifestyle
AsanaCycles's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Grove, Ca
Bikes: Neil Pryde Diablo, VeloVie Vitesse400, Hunter29er, Surly Big Dummy
Posts: 1,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
the dummy is stiff
in fact any flex comes from the V-racks

if you are using a suspension fork
then you add a FreeRadical

the suspension will need to have the pre-load increased.

nominally speaking: typical bicycles have about 30% of the weight on the front wheel, while 70% is on the back.

on a long tail cargo bike, its more like 50/50

so when you add an XtraCycle to a MTB with a suspension fork, the pre-load will need to be increased.

see Surly Spew #19

"One thing you need to consider before putting a suspension fork on your long bike is that your body weight is more centered between the front and rear wheels than on a standard-length bike. This effectively takes some weight off the rear wheel and puts it onto the front wheel. So if you weigh 180 lbs (82kg), a suspension fork on a standard bike registers approximately 56 lbs (25kg) of your total weight. Meanwhile, a suspension fork on a Big Dummy would register approximately 90 lbs (41kg), or half your total body weight. So you’ll need a suspension fork on which you can significantly increase the spring compression to compensate for the effective weight addition. Otherwise you’ll probably be bottoming out the fork and/or it’ll feel like you’re riding something very saggy."

i've been using my Dummy for over a year now.
there is no comparison to a convert job.

while a convert job will give you an idea of what can be done
it will also highlight little things that you may want remedied
maybe you won't even notice.

there are plenty of people out there on XtraCycles
I used a Cannondale for my convert job, and used it for about 2yrs.
immediately, i knew what i did not like.

however, it is a viable option.

the FreeRadical holds resale value
and the rest of the kit goes onto a Dummy, if that times comes around.
which is exactly what occurred with me.
AsanaCycles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-09, 09:59 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Bikes: xtracycle, electric recumbent, downtube folder and more
Posts: 982
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have never noticed the so called 'flex' but I've never ridden a BD as comparison. I have an old Specialized Street Stomper for the X conversion so I don't know about suspension but I carry construction stuff on mine and it is fine.
crackerdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-09, 10:35 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel the flex - it is an inevitable consequence of an "add on" design. If you need more rigidity, go for a more integrated solution.
KonaBuyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-09, 07:02 PM   #6
Senior Member
Kimmitt's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oceanside, CA
Bikes: Electra Townie 3i with xtracycle, Surly Cross-Check
Posts: 952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It really depends a lot on the weight and placement, which only makes sense.
Kimmitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-09, 07:36 AM   #7
xtrajack's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Maine
Bikes: Kona fire mountain/xtracycle,Univega landrover fs,Nishiki custom sport Ross professional super gran tour Schwinn Mesa (future Xtracycle donor bike)
Posts: 2,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have had/used my X for almost a year now. I only noticed flex on one occasion, turns out that my freeloaders were not tightened like they should have been. Other than that I haven't noticed any issues with flex.
I love my X,my other two bikes haven't been ridden in almost a year.
xtrajack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-09, 09:05 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Central Ca (taxifornia)
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have only had my X a few weeks but have carried adult passengers and other heavy loads.. I have not noticed any flex at all but then I am not jumping curbs and stuff with it either :-)
The more I ride it the more I like it.. Now when I go to the grocery store I push a cart around instead of the small hand basket knowing I can carry a lot more
Tourister is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:31 AM.

  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.