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14964Weight capacity: Edgerunner vs. Big Dummy

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  • Ty Smith
    Apr 4, 2014
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      Hey everyone!

      I'm new to the Xtracycle fold, but have been interested for years. Got my free radical conversion done two months ago, and I already feel like I've had it forever! Can't believe it took me so long to finally take the plunge!

      Anyway, thinking eventually I might go to an Edgerunner or Big Dummy when I'm ready. My logic is that I am already well set up with peripherals,Utubes, X2 bags, stoker bar, etc. If I made the switch I would only be "out' the $199 cost of the free radical, but no big deal there. I'm sure I could recoup my costs easily on Craig's list or Ebay.

      Part of my reasoning for eventual upgrade is reducing sway and extra weight capacity. I'm 210 lbs, so that means I should really only carry 140 lbs. I've already pushed the limits a couple of times. The sway and shimmy was alarming, but normal. That being said, it does make me nervous and I have heard stories of the shimming building up so much that the rear wheel ended up folding on rare occasions, somewhat like the Tacoma Narrows bridge that fell apart in 1940 ago under high winds. I just found this original news footage which shows the collapse. Pretty wild stuff.

      So in my research,  I'm finding it odd that the Edgerunner lists a  350 lb weight capacity and the Big Dummy 400 lbs. Since they are both cromoly steel, solid-frame bikes, it makes no sense that the Big Dummy should have more weight capacity. And as a failed engineering student, it seems obvious to me that the Edgerunner should in fact have more weight capacity. It has a smaller, stronger rear wheel, and the whole rear section is lower, so from a physics perspective, it should be inherently stronger. Far less likely for the "Tacoma Narrows Bridge" effect.

      My theory is that when the Big Dummy came out, Surly didn't use any real testing to determine the weight capacity. They just looked at it and said to each other, "So waddya thing? Solid rear frame... maybe 50 extra pounds capacity?... yeah?... ok, let's go with that!" or something to that effect.

      On the other side, the Xtracycle folks thinking probably was "Let's just keep the weight limit the same. We know it's stronger, but if we put it out there that it is, someone will put too much on there, there will be a problem, etc...."

      Bottom line, I think both bikes are a great upgrade choice. Both should have less flex and sway under heavy loads. I also think  the Edgerunner is at least as strong as the Big Dummy, if not stronger. I Xtracycle doesn't want to claim it, but my thought is "meh..." who cares?

      What do the rest of you think?

      Ty


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