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14576Re: Troubleshooting Build Issues

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  • MJ
    Jan 23, 2013
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      Hey Thom,

      The X has been a wonderful addition to our family for 9 years now, and I can share a couple of tips about hauling kids. My boys are now 8 and 5, and their combined weight had me huffing and puffing as I biked them 6 miles to school each morning last fall. On the plus side, I turned in a great time in a century ride I did in early October. Thanks kids!

      Given the high center of gravity and the likelihood that the guys will be even heavier this spring, I've become concerned about the possibility of low speed crashes. It's when we're stopping and starting that the X is most unstable, as you seem to be experiencing as well.

      This spring, I plan to get a Burley Piccolo, attach it to the X and ask the heaviest kid to pedal along with me. In addition to lowering the center of gravity, I should get a small boost from his workout. The Piccolo attaches to the X with enough room to spare for the smaller guy. It's a solution that just came to me recently, so I thought I'd share it.

      The problem with high center of gravity/kid hauling must be fairly widespread: the new X's have small wheels in the back to lower the center of gravity plus rollbars for rear seat passengers. Nice additions, but we plan to get a few more years out of our original X before moving on to another.

      Good luck!

      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "thirdraildesignlab" wrote:
      > Hey gang
      > Two basic questions for Free Radical users that have ridden their builds for a long period of time... my build was completed last year but has about 75 miles on it total, so it's young overall.
      > 1. Have you ever had your 'special nuts' loosen on their own? I admit that checking these nuts was not on my regular pre-ride checklist as it should have been, but I noted yesterday that one side had loosened and allowed the left side of the FR to lift up and out of the drops (given substantial high center of gravity weight loading at the time) rendering the bike not only unridable, but pretty much uncontrollable. No injury to me or my lil' passengers. But I was surprised that there was loosening of these bolts, given their critical importance, and even more so that it happened on one side of a largely symmetrical assembly (excepting of course the force of the drivetrain on the opposing side)
      > 2. When properly assembled (as mine was before it wasn't) for those of you that carry kids, I'm curious about your experiences with a squirrely ride. I have two peapod III's, transporting 24lb and 35lb children, frequently with little to nothing in the saddlebags. I find that starts and stops can be VERY unstable at the front end, with a good amount of handlebar wobble until I can get going. I believe this is mitigated somewhat by leading the Freeloaders with weight to lower the overall center of gravity of the back of the bike. My choice of wheel size may also play a role. I'm curious if others experience this.
      > Overall the build has gone very well and I've used the bike for a number of cargo hauls as well as the family commuting. As I'm the only person I know personally with an Xtracycle, I'm looking for a basis for comparison.
      > Cheers
      > thom
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