Well it's good to read that someone else is hard on the FreeRadical. I
had one break a few months ago and replaced under warranty. I could
see that the unsupported portion, to the rear of the dropouts, was not
a strong design.
I tried beefing it up by running aircraft cables from the back lower
corners to turnbuckles attached to the upper forward corners of the
bag frames, held on with hoseclamps. The other day at about 30 mph and
carrying about 60 lbs I hit a huge pothole and the rear portion of the
FreeRadical bent downward about 15 degrees, enough to wipe out my
fender between the tire and the Snapdeck. So my cables didn't exactly
work perfectly, but I can't help but think that without them, I'd have
another snapped frame.
So now, after straightening the frame (using 4x4's clamped above and
below the bend with a length of 5/8" threaded rod) I've really gone
all out in my beefing up, short of anything welded.
First I ran a length of 3/4 x 1/8" flat steel bar on the outside of
the tubes that support the dropouts, from the brake bosses to the rear
cross bar. I clamped it to the FreeRadcial tubes with 7 hose clamps on
each side. Looks like hell, but I figure it will add some stength.
Next, I put some 1/2" thin wall electrical conduit tubes in
triangulated postions, attached to the FreeRadical tubing with pieces
of plumber's tape bolted through the conduit with stainless machine
screws and nylock nuts. One runs from the rear upper corner of the bag
frame to the dropout tube, just back of the fender boss. Then I ran a
second tube from the middle of the first tube to the upper front
corner of the bag frame.
This all looks pretty much like a huge weird kludge, but I'm
determined to not have any more bent/broken frames... until I can get
a Big Dummy which seems to have worked out supporting that
failure-prone rear portion.
--- In email@example.com, "Tone" <Tone@...> wrote:
> 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.