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740Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Surly Xtra-frame (Big Dummy)

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  • Cara Lin Bridgman
    Dec 7, 2006
      I'm not messenger biking, but the xtracycle is the only bike I have. I
      guess I now think of ordinary bikes as belonging in the same category as
      sports cars. Wherever I go, I'm hauling something, even if it is just
      water bottles and rain gear. So, there's no point me keeping two bikes.
      The xtracycle is certainly the most comfortable way to haul my book
      and camera bags. I keep a dry bag in one of the freeloaders so my books
      and cameras are protected from sudden rain.

      So, someday I may be in the market for a Big Dummy. Guess I started
      constructing a Surly instigator-freeradical a year too early.

      If the Surly folks aren't reading this forum, they should. Whether they
      are or not, I suggest you email them a version of your letter below to
      let them know that if they ever do want a thorough day-to-day testing of
      a Big Dummy, you're the way to go. The fact that, through ordinary use
      not abuse, you've gone through a free-radical a year ought to be a good
      talking point.


      Tone wrote:
      > Michael,
      > Let me clarify myself. I can see how someone might have
      > misunderstood. When I said I was not too thrilled about the news I
      > definitely did not mean about the upcoming Big Dummy frame. What I meant
      > was I was not that happy to hear of both the increased price tag from
      > the $600 I had heard earlier and the thought of a release date being
      > even later than early summer.
      > I am extremely excited about the potential Big Dummy. I work as
      > a messenger in NYC and I have been totally wearing down my Xtracycle.
      > Actually I should say Xtracycles because even though I have only one
      > bike, for over three years it has always been equipped with an
      > Xtracycle, but unfortunately the FreeRadical has needed replacing twice.
      > It always starts to crack directly behind the rear drop-outs, which is
      > the weakest point on the FreeRadical. Recently I also noticed a fresh
      > crack starting on one side this year. I guess for me the amount of
      > wear-and-tear of daily messenger work and my own personal loading seems
      > to result in FreeRadicals only lasting me about a year.
      > I am certainly looking forward to getting a Big Dummy. From the
      > initial specs and design it seems there is geometry shaped to combat the
      > stress put on the rear step area. Hopefully the same cracking behind the
      > rear dropouts will not happen to the Big Dummy as a result. I just kind
      > of wish I could be the ones Surly decides to send a test Dummy to, for
      > me to seriously try to put it through hell and back. :)
      > John,
      > I can offer my own answer to your question about what is so
      > great about a single-frame Xtracycle. Personally, once I set up my
      > Xtracycle on my current bike... it never came off. The Xtracycle has
      > simply been quite integrated into the way I live and work. I can not
      > imagine living without one anymore. Obviously just getting an Xtracycle
      > to hook up to a bike a person already has makes complete sense, but at
      > some point when a person uses a bike as much as I do and also utilizes
      > it much of the time in a cargo bike capacity it just makes sense to have
      > a single-frame Xtracycle specifically designed for the task.
      > Basically the way I see it is if I do have to get a new bike,
      > there is no question what I will be getting. As it is, I have had my
      > aluminum "phatt"-tube Univega 750-FS frame for about seven years with
      > most of that time having it used as my only bike while working as a
      > messenger day in and day out in all kinds of weather. Everyone I know,
      > including workers/mechanics in the bikes shops I frequent, are
      > continuously amazed at how long my frame has lasted, ESPECIALLY since I
      > have had an Xtracycle on the end of it for over three years! One of
      > these days my bike is going to seriously give. At that point I already
      > know what I would replace my bike with.
      > What it comes down to is if someone already has a trusted bike
      > and wants to check out what it is like to have cargo bike options, then
      > sure they should just get a FreeRadical extension. However if someone
      > already is sure they want a cargo bike, particularly as a replacement to
      > a previous Xtracycle-equipped bike, then in my opinion they should
      > naturally decide to go with a single-frame cargo bike designed
      > specifically for the task.
      > At some point I have also considered investing in an additional
      > lighter bike for over-seas touring or whatever due to ease of transport
      > (possibly even a 20" wheeled folding bike), but I definitely would get a
      > single-frame Xtracycle as my primary bike above all else first.
      > Everyone,
      > Does anyone know if the final Surly Big Dummy design will have
      > vertical or horizontal drop outs? Obviously the FreeRadical has vertical
      > drop outs, but Surly also sells a number of accessories for single-speed
      > conversions and such.
      > At the moment I have an Xtracycle set up as a single-speed
      > freewheel using a Surly Singleator. I think it might be nice if Surly
      > produced two versions of the eventual Big Dummy, one with horizontal
      > drop-outs and one with vertical. It would be very nice to have the
      > option to simply get rid of having to use a chain tensioning device,
      > especially on such a long drive chain.
      > Actually this past week I lost almost a full day of work because
      > my Surly Singleator had a spring failure, which caused my chain to skip.
      > It would be nice to not have to worry about yet another mechanism
      > failing when riding around.
      > _TONE_
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