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question for those with xtracycle experience

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question for those with xtracycle experience

Old 06-26-12, 03:57 PM
  #1  
leeinmemphis
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question for those with xtracycle experience

Hey everyone,

I have an older model cannon dale unsuspended bike that is just begging for an xtracycle conversion. I've done a great deal of reading about the advantages but have a couple questions regarding how it all goes together:

1. Does the kit come with everything needed for the kit? If not how do I know how much longer the shifter/brake cables and chain need to be?

2. My bike uses v brakes so I take it from what I've read it will work on the xtra.

3. Is there anything else I need to keep in mind when purchasing the kit? I can see me using it primarily for running around town for misc errands and grocery shopping. I'm thinking about going with the Free Radical Trucker kit and upgrading the racks to HD. Is there anything else you guys would suggest to get it put together?

Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-12, 10:21 PM
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troysmith80
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It comes with longer cables and a length of chain to add to your existing chain. You should be all set. V-brakes are no problem. It'll change your life, you will love it!
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Old 06-27-12, 07:56 AM
  #3  
sjt78
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I second what troysmith80 stated, everything you need to install the free radical to your bike comes with the kit. Now the tricky part is deciding on the accessories. I went with the HD racks just because I had intentions of using my Ortlieb panniers, but never did as I ended up buying the freeloaders. The Freeloaders exceeded my expectations in just about every way. I didn't want to get them as I thought they were too expensive, but they are so functional. I also have the whatchamacollars on all 4 ends of the racks and top it all of with the Flightdeck. Are you planning on transporting adults or children? I transport my two boys so I installed homemade stoker bars and have a Peapod coming in the mail for my almost 2 y.o. The Kickback is handy too, though I'd say try the kickstand that comes with the free radical to see if you need to upgrade. The last thing I'd say is make sure your wheels are up to the task for the loads you plan to haul. I've been using wheels I had from old mountain bikes and the first rear wheel popped a spoke and the current one I'm afraid is too lightly built. I just got a heavier duty rear wheel that I will swap out. Your front wheel is not as important as long as it is decent and not worn out.
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Old 06-27-12, 07:55 PM
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coldfeet
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The fact that it is an older Cannondale, and thus aluminum? Makes me a little nervous. if you do it, I would make it a routine to inspect the frame at key points, particularly where you bolt on the Xtracycle. Like once a week or month.
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Old 06-28-12, 08:26 AM
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This was just posted on the roots radical message board

> Great discussion.
>
> A few things I've noticed over my 17 years of working on and riding
> longtail cargo bikes:
>
> 1) The 'donor bike' you choose can make a difference. Aluminum frames or
> steel with a gusset on the head tube work well.
>
> 2) As Tone suggested, loose wheels/spokes are often a cause of wobble.
>
> 3) This may sound funny but it is important to learn to move with your bike
> like a dance partner - relax as you move together. It's a fantastic
> practice to soften a little and allow the bike to move naturally. Riding
> this way is safer and takes less effort.
>
> Product-wise, whatchamacollar clamps and the flight deck help to stabilize
> your load by holding it all together tightly. Similarly, CinchStraps
> around your bags help hug your cargo in - particularly on rough roads.
>
> Here at XC HQ, both Nate and I sold our Big Dummies in favor of lighter,
> nimbler bikes with FreeRad conversion kits.
>
> Over the years I've noticed that the questions tend to change before and
> after someone becomes an Xtracycle rider. With some things, it is
> impossible to know how it will go before you start. Try this: Ready, Fire,
> Aim! (and of course, asking the rootsrads is fair game)
>
> I loved Jeremy's post -- it is easy to nerd out about minor things and
> forget about the simple joy of riding with your kid and a picnic to the
> park or whatever your daily adventure.
>
> Enjoy your ride,
> Ross
>
>
> --
> Ross Evans | Founder and President
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Old 06-28-12, 03:32 PM
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Singlespeed92
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My Xtracycle (a couple months old now) is on an aluminum TREK,and I've had no issues what-so-ever,hauled up to 75-ish pounds of groceries/misc,and 102 lbs of teenaged daughter once. Like mentioned above,being aluminum,I would check it every-so-often,but once per week sounds excessively excessive having been using mine for going on 3 months. I would definately "take a fine toothed comb" over it before using it as a donor,make sure there is no damage from the get go.

I have the free radical conversion (which,like they said,came with everything I needed to convert),v-brakes (using stock 2000 Trek 6000 Bontrager Corvair wheels for now as well,though a 48 spoker rear is in it's future),and a hodge-podge of parts scavenged everywhere here (including bars/stem and drivetrain off of my only remaining mtn bike,LOL,THAT'S temporary ). I bought a Snapdeck,which is technically compatible with my setup,if not optimum,and a Hoodie (that's why it isn't optimum,very tight fit underneath,and if not hauling kids or lotsa weight on the deck,I found,it's not needed). That Hoodie is an amazing investment,IMHO,for only $60...it swallows a weeks worth of groceries (ok...I piled some 24 packs of drinks on the deck,but still...),camping gear (tent,sleeping pads/bags for 2,etc)...let your imagination go wild,they're huge! My original plan was "buy the kit and Hoodie with deck,upgrade to the freeloaders later,and a pair of Wideloaders". Now,the Longloader is not compatible with the Hoodie,but the Wideloaders (on my to-buy list) will work fine. I can see hauling larger or oddly shaped loads with Freeloaders,and I may yet upgrade next year,IDK,but one wouldn't "have-to" to get great useage out of their rig with the Hoodie.

I say DO IT,Brother! Like troysmith80 said,it will change your life Then you'll wind up like me,daily Googling "Xtracycle" to find more bits to read and pics of things to haul,LOL

Last edited by Singlespeed92; 06-28-12 at 03:35 PM.
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