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14404New to the group - building my own Xtracycle

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  • kiltie_celt
    Nov 8, 2012

      I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar


      for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.

      I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?

      I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?

      I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.

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