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Big Dummy as a fast bike

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Big Dummy as a fast bike

Old 05-12-12, 03:58 PM
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Big Dummy as a fast bike

I work in Downtown Dallas and live in Downtown Arlington. 18.63 miles from portal to portal. On my 1990 Schwinn Sierra Comp MTB, I would do this commute after work coming in right at 2 hours on average. Keep in mind I am hauling clothing, shoes, thermos, (now empty) food containers in panniers so I am not riding lightly or cleanly. I am not a fast rider. AND, this includes all of the damn lights that I can never make green. Thus, I do appear to be a slow rider when examining just the numbers. When my commuter bike needed a rebuild, I started riding my 1984 Takara model 490 "Challenge" Grand Touring rig with the same panniers. Time averaged 1H45M. The difference between bikes was worth 15 minutes over that same distance. Today, for grins, I took the train into Dallas with the BD to make that same ride home. It came in at the same time as the Grand Touring rig. Ok, let's be fair. One does not a sample make even by Student's T. However, for a first shot, the time was good for me. I believe that the Challenge and the BD are out climbing the MTB because they have lower gear ratios and closer ratios than the MTB. I kept finding on the MTB that while climbing out of Dallas, I would either spin too much in a lower gear or grunt in the next one up. Not so with the Challenge and the BD. I can find a gear for any occasion with either bike.
The Challenge was about $2000 inflation adjusted dollars (1984) and is a very light bike. The BD is close to that in today's dollars and is not exactly a light bike. I was amazed by the LDx (long distance) performance of the BD. It appeared to be just as good as the Challenge for LDx cruising.
I'm now suggesting that my BD is every bit as fast and as good a commuter as my drop bar bike.
I would be curious on speed-at-distance (greater than 15 miles) views by owners of various cargo bikes. Do you feel fast? Have you timed it as fast? And, of your stable, what does it outrun?
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Old 05-12-12, 06:27 PM
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Just remember, you can change the rear cassette on the MTB to give you better ratios as well. That is an affordable alternative.

Oh, and please hit enter a few more times during your post...it was kind of hard for me to follow and I would lose my place often. Just a suggestion.

Cargo bikes are awesome. The gearing on my Xport makes it feel more like a MTB to me than a cargo bike. The only big difference is that turns wide, but unless I am making a u-turn, it isn't noticeable. I love it.

My time at the 15-mile distance varies. If I am not trying to sweat at all, I tend to cruise between 8-12mph, depending on the wind. If I don't care if I sweat or not, I can get the Xport up to 12-18mph and hold that for the entire trip. It really depends on where I am going and how I want to be when I get there.

Since I have hardly any hills out here, my cruising speeds will vary from yours.

Regarding the out running other bikes in my stable, it doesn't. My slowest bike is my HiFi, and that can still pump out some good speed. In long distances, the xport would by far be the better ride. I could just change the tires on the HiFi from knobbies to 700x35c and solve that problem. If I need to carry anything, anything at all, I take my Transport. To me, not having anything on my back is the big advantage to the bike. Especially in Texas. If I lose a few MPH, that is ok, at least my back can breathe.
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Old 05-12-12, 09:12 PM
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I put 700c's on my Dummy when I wanted to go as fast as fast can be. I was doing my 13 mile one way commute on Fat Franks. In Northern California there are these thorns that lust 700c's. After changing five tubes a week for three weeks, I went back to some thicker 26 inch tires. I was averaging 13 mph with light loads.
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Old 05-18-12, 11:53 PM
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You have any pictures of your Takara?
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Old 05-21-12, 09:02 AM
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http://www.janissaries.net/janissary/bikes.htm has pictures of my bikes. Well, I don't have a picture of the MTB on that page yet. However, the black/white picture shows the Takara Challenge in the foreground with the Takara Sport 10 behind it. Lower in the page are pictures of the Takara 490 "Challenge" dressed for camping and towing. Then, there are pictures of the BD home from a grocery run and also at a campsite.
I don't have a picture of the MTB on the page because I want to dress it for commuting and take *that* picture.
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Old 05-25-12, 01:32 AM
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you are eluding to an interesting point.
I've been on a BD for about 3 or 4 years now
and have a custom Hunter 29er
and a 2011 Cannondale CAAD10 road bike complete with 58mm deep carbon wheels.

I've ridden the BD a ton. I mean... really... I've ridden that bike a lot. I haven't owned a car for about 10 years now, I've moved my dwindling pile of personal belongings a few times via BD.

also rode the BD Eureka, Ca to Morro Bay

I've ridden my rigid 29er Portland to Ventura
Banff, AB to Butte, MN in 7 days...
blah blah blah

there is no way the BD is as fast as the Cannondale CAAD10, nor the Hunter 29er.


traffic, stop and go... maybe even bad roads, flats, or not getting a flat, being able to stop and get groceries, etc... the BD can seriously close that time gap if not come out ahead.

that is to say.... ride CAAD10 to work, ride home and stop for only a messenger bags load of groceries, while I could grocery shop for a week with the BD.

at the moment I'm on a set of Sefras Drifters, they roll fairly fast, and thus far have fended off 2 years of debris.
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Old 06-20-12, 12:11 PM
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My 700c Hybrid is fast on a 16+ mile one way commute, set up like this:

^I'm a big guy-- yes, those are 700x35's on there. Came stock on the Fuji in '04. No flatting problems yet

^at home

^With the susp. fork removed and replaced with a 700c suspension corrected replacement. The bar ends work for a more aero position on some stretches of my rides.

The kid seat stayed at the daycare and would only be on for the last 7 miles.

I could get into work in 1 hour flat on this rig-- even kept up with a Triathlete (who later became our friend-- he's got an xtra, too!) heading to work on his Guru at 22mph. For a while, at least!
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

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Old 06-26-12, 04:01 PM
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I have my BD set up with road bars.

And it is for sale!


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