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Re: [rootsradicals] Poor handling with an xtracycle

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  • David Chase
    ... There is more weight on it because the rear wheel is moved back. One thing you can fiddle (depending on your kickstand plate) is the height of your bottom
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 12, 2007
      On 2007-06-12, at 12:52 PM, Jason Farlette wrote:
      > The front end seems overloaded now.
      There is more weight on it because the rear wheel is moved back.

      One thing you can fiddle (depending on your kickstand plate) is the
      height of your bottom bracket, and that can change your handling.
      I adjusted mine to make it lower, and I think I like the handling
      better.
      There are limits -- I cannot combine my large front chainring with the
      largest gear or two in the rear without the chain scraping the Free
      Radical.

      But -- I can happily ride my bike no-hands, for minutes at a time,
      loaded,
      or not.
      > I have yet to haul a heavy load - does the handling improve when
      > the back is weighted more? I am surprised I have not heard anyone
      > else complain about the the loss of handling - maybe I am too picky?
      >
    • alexbknight
      Hi, I originally put my xtracycle on an Orange mountain bike. It was terrible, flexy and bad handling on the front end. I have since mounted it on a front
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
        Hi,
        I originally put my xtracycle on an Orange mountain bike. It was
        terrible, flexy and bad handling on the front end.
        I have since mounted it on a front suspension Aluminium framed
        mountain bike and it is a lot better, but I trawled the forum to know
        how to get it good:

        - "sit up and beg" handle bars. These move your weight off of the
        front wheel, and also give a better position for the road. I can't
        stand riding my other bikes now.
        - Nice big tyres (Big apples) help the ride. Keep them pumped up
        hard though or the flex comes back. These are also needed for when
        you want to ride up kerbs.
        - Front suspension is a benefit, mainly for the kerbs though, because
        for the rest of the time it needs to be pumped hard for the extra
        weight.
        - I haven't needed to move the bottom bracket mounting, but the
        Bracket does get higher, you get used to it.

        I think in hindsight the handlebars made the biggest difference,
        start there and if that doesn't work on your current bike, buy a new
        one :-)

        As for handling, had various people on the back, plus loads, you need
        the loads strapped in to stop them flapping around, and the tyres
        nice and hard, then most flex disappears.

        Good luck.

        Alex


        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        > On 2007-06-12, at 12:52 PM, Jason Farlette wrote:
        > > The front end seems overloaded now.
        > There is more weight on it because the rear wheel is moved back.
        >
        > One thing you can fiddle (depending on your kickstand plate) is the
        > height of your bottom bracket, and that can change your handling.
        > I adjusted mine to make it lower, and I think I like the handling
        > better.
        > There are limits -- I cannot combine my large front chainring with
        the
        > largest gear or two in the rear without the chain scraping the Free
        > Radical.
        >
        > But -- I can happily ride my bike no-hands, for minutes at a time,
        > loaded,
        > or not.
        > > I have yet to haul a heavy load - does the handling improve when
        > > the back is weighted more? I am surprised I have not heard
        anyone
        > > else complain about the the loss of handling - maybe I am too
        picky?
        > >
        >
      • Tim Lupfer
        the bottom bracket height is going to change based on chainstay length, bottom bracket drop and wheel size. as the bike gets either tilted up or down, the
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
          the bottom bracket height is going to change based on chainstay length, bottom bracket drop and wheel size. as the bike gets either tilted up or down, the headtube angle also changes and can produce very different handling. I had to try a few different setups before I found one that worked for me.

          attempt #1: marin nailtrail aluminum mountain bike with 26" wheels. this bike became much too aggressive with a steep headtube and high bottom bracket.
          attempt #2: surly instigator with 26" wheels. the instigator has a very high bottom bracket originally, and adding the freeradical made this setup feel like I was riding a tallbike, except with a bunch of stuff strapped to it.
          attempt #3: giant tcx cyclocross with a 700c front and 26 rear. the mixed wheel sizes made the handling too sluggish. the front wheel would tend to flop while turning due to the shallow effective head tube angle. dual 700c wheels felt better, but perhaps a bit too much in the other direction.
          attempt #4: surly crosscheck with dual 700c wheels. this setup has been nearly perfect. the geometry is just right, with the bottom bracket in a good position, producing handling that is responsive but not hyper aggressive ( i.e. very similar to the bike's original handling). it's not quite as stiff with larger loads, but it's more than adequate.

          if you have the opportunity, try another frame. if not, think about moving the tongue under the chainstay bridge.

          peace,
          tim

          On 6/12/07, Jason Farlette <jfarlette@...> wrote:

          I just put an xtracycle on an early nineties Kona Explosive with a rigid fork.  This frame was built before front suspension was the norm so it was designed for a rigid fork.  Adding the xtracycle has turned a nice handling bike into a tank.   The front end seems overloaded now.  I have yet to haul a heavy load - does the handling improve when the back is weighted more?  I am surprised I have not heard anyone else complain about the the loss of handling - maybe I am too picky?
           
          Jason


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        • Ryano
          I ll second Alex - I use an xtra on a cheap front suspended mountain bike with nice big fat smooth tyres. Front suspension works nicely with xtra, and changing
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
            I'll second Alex - I use an xtra on a cheap front suspended mountain bike with nice big fat smooth tyres. Front suspension works nicely with xtra, and changing the handlebars to big swoopy things made it even better.  It rides amazingly smoothly for the bicycle equivalent of a tank.

            Ryan



            On 13/06/07, alexbknight <Alexbknight@...> wrote:

            Hi,
            I originally put my xtracycle on an Orange mountain bike. It was
            terrible, flexy and bad handling on the front end.
            I have since mounted it on a front suspension Aluminium framed
            mountain bike and it is a lot better, but I trawled the forum to know
            how to get it good:

            - "sit up and beg" handle bars. These move your weight off of the
            front wheel, and also give a better position for the road. I can't
            stand riding my other bikes now.
            - Nice big tyres (Big apples) help the ride. Keep them pumped up
            hard though or the flex comes back. These are also needed for when
            you want to ride up kerbs.
            - Front suspension is a benefit, mainly for the kerbs though, because
            for the rest of the time it needs to be pumped hard for the extra
            weight.
            - I haven't needed to move the bottom bracket mounting, but the
            Bracket does get higher, you get used to it.

            I think in hindsight the handlebars made the biggest difference,
            start there and if that doesn't work on your current bike, buy a new
            one :-)

            As for handling, had various people on the back, plus loads, you need
            the loads strapped in to stop them flapping around, and the tyres
            nice and hard, then most flex disappears.

            Good luck.

            Alex

            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...>


            wrote:
            >
            >
            > On 2007-06-12, at 12:52 PM, Jason Farlette wrote:
            > > The front end seems overloaded now.
            > There is more weight on it because the rear wheel is moved back.
            >
            > One thing you can fiddle (depending on your kickstand plate) is the
            > height of your bottom bracket, and that can change your handling.
            > I adjusted mine to make it lower, and I think I like the handling
            > better.
            > There are limits -- I cannot combine my large front chainring with
            the
            > largest gear or two in the rear without the chain scraping the Free
            > Radical.
            >
            > But -- I can happily ride my bike no-hands, for minutes at a time,
            > loaded,
            > or not.
            > > I have yet to haul a heavy load - does the handling improve when
            > > the back is weighted more? I am surprised I have not heard
            anyone
            > > else complain about the the loss of handling - maybe I am too
            picky?
            > >
            >


          • sunny keach
            ... that was a big thing for me as I liked to wheely all the time and never saw curbs as an obstacle, just a bunny hop opportunity. I have gotten to where I
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
              > the Xtracycle is very different from what the bike use to be.
              > my biggest gripe is not being able to wheelie/lift the front wheel to
              > get over things like, curbs, while at slow speed.


              that was a big thing for me as I liked to wheely all the time and
              never saw curbs as an obstacle, just a bunny hop opportunity. I have
              gotten to where I can get the front wheel up real high with some
              effort, it's a bit more like doing a bunny hop than a wheely, as
              instead of pulling back with your weight, it's all about jumping up
              and taking the bike with you. I have thought about having a pasenger
              sit back and bit and try to wheely my beast, ill advised I would guess.

              My biggest beef about the freeradical are the wide loaders, I carry my
              kids and big stuff all the time and leave them mounted most of the
              time, at first I would get my foot caugt under them on my push off,
              mangling my heel or ankle. ouch!! especially up hills or fully loaded,
              it hurts so bad you would think I would do it only once, but it's
              happened a dozen times easy, it seems one ride on a different bike
              and I let go of the new habit of not pushing off.

              I can't ride no-hands with my extracycle, it feels too long to do it,
              I have to figure out how to recalibrate or something.

              Good news though I happened across another xtracycle here in
              asheville, I thought I was the only one.

              Sunny
            • David Chase
              ... Ditto for the footsies. Weirdest thing is, it hurts like hell when you do it, but so far, no lasting ill effects. (I run the footsie tube right up my
              Message 6 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
                On 2007-06-13, at 11:49 AM, sunny keach wrote:
                > My biggest beef about the freeradical are the wide loaders, I carry
                > my kids and big stuff all the time and leave them mounted most of
                > the time, at first I would get my foot caugt under them on my push
                > off, mangling my heel or ankle. ouch!! especially up hills or fully
                > loaded,

                Ditto for the footsies. Weirdest thing is, it hurts like hell when
                you do it, but so far, no lasting ill effects. (I run the footsie
                tube right up my Achilles tendon.)
                > I can't ride no-hands with my extracycle, it feels too long to do it,
                > I have to figure out how to recalibrate or something.
                I've learned on quite a few different bikes, and there is definitely
                a period of adjustment. The xtracycle was a little harder because
                the handling changes with each load. I couldn't tell you if it was
                more or less skitzy than the other bikes; the combo of longer
                wheelbase and more load on the front wheel is quite different.

                David
              • Devian Gilbert
                I ve learned the bunny hop = front wheel off the ground trick, but its still not that smooth graceful move you can do on a regular bike. my convert is to a
                Message 7 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
                  I've learned the bunny hop = front wheel off the ground trick, but its still not that smooth graceful move you can do on a regular bike.
                  my convert is to a Cannondale F900 with a headshok, its more like ridding a tandem without the stoker.
                  im fine with it for what it is.
                  as to wide loaders....
                  it seems to me the obvious answer is to make the wide loaders foldable.
                  folded up when not in use
                  folded down, when in use.
                  lawn chair style
                  X-wing
                  something along those lines
                  to be honest...my Xtra sits alot
                  most of my stuff can be handled with the Pug and its panniers.
                  every so often i need the Xtra, but its rare these days.

                  on the tanget of Bike Life and Simplification
                  mostly i run around these days with a large messenger bag.

                  peace...d

                  "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race." H.G. Wells


                  On Jun 13, 2007, at 9:08 AM, David Chase wrote:


                  On 2007-06-13, at 11:49 AM, sunny keach wrote:
                  > My biggest beef about the freeradical are the wide loaders, I carry
                  > my kids and big stuff all the time and leave them mounted most of
                  > the time, at first I would get my foot caugt under them on my push
                  > off, mangling my heel or ankle. ouch!! especially up hills or fully
                  > loaded,

                  Ditto for the footsies. Weirdest thing is, it hurts like hell when
                  you do it, but so far, no lasting ill effects. (I run the footsie
                  tube right up my Achilles tendon.)
                  > I can't ride no-hands with my extracycle, it feels too long to do it,
                  > I have to figure out how to recalibrate or something.
                  I've learned on quite a few different bikes, and there is definitely
                  a period of adjustment. The xtracycle was a little harder because
                  the handling changes with each load. I couldn't tell you if it was
                  more or less skitzy than the other bikes; the combo of longer
                  wheelbase and more load on the front wheel is quite different.

                  David


                • chris szczerba
                  Hi I ve got an xtracycle attached to a kona kilauea and haven t had any problems with handling at all. Currently, I ve got suspension forks on the front, but
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jun 15, 2007
                    Hi

                    I've got an xtracycle attached to a kona kilauea and haven't had any
                    problems with handling at all. Currently, I've got suspension forks on the
                    front, but have also used it with rigid Project 2's with no handling issues.

                    Weight on the back doesn't improve handling at all. Over a certain weight -
                    around 30kg - the handling gets understandably less certain. The only
                    benefit I've found with having a load on the back is on slippery surfaces,
                    where it helps reduce rear wheel spin.

                    Sounds a bit obvious, but have you checked your headset/stem?

                    Cheers

                    Chris


                    >From: Jason Farlette <jfarlette@...>
                    >Reply-To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    >To: <rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com>
                    >Subject: [rootsradicals] Poor handling with an xtracycle
                    >Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 16:52:10 +0000
                    >
                    >I just put an xtracycle on an early nineties Kona Explosive with a rigid
                    >fork. This frame was built before front suspension was the norm so it was
                    >designed for a rigid fork. Adding the xtracycle has turned a nice handling
                    >bike into a tank. The front end seems overloaded now. I have yet to haul
                    >a heavy load - does the handling improve when the back is weighted more? I
                    >am surprised I have not heard anyone else complain about the the loss of
                    >handling - maybe I am too picky?
                    >
                    >Jason
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                  • akyramoto
                    my X is mounted on a 2006 Kona smoke, which is all rigid. I havent had any handling problems at all. I think mine rides great with the X in tow ... rigid
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jun 20, 2007
                      my X is mounted on a 2006 Kona smoke, which is all rigid. I havent
                      had any handling problems at all. I think mine rides great with the X
                      in tow
                      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Jason Farlette <jfarlette@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > I just put an xtracycle on an early nineties Kona Explosive with a
                      rigid fork. This frame was built before front suspension was the norm
                      so it was designed for a rigid fork. Adding the xtracycle has turned
                      a nice handling bike into a tank. The front end seems overloaded
                      now. I have yet to haul a heavy load - does the handling improve when
                      the back is weighted more? I am surprised I have not heard anyone
                      else complain about the the loss of handling - maybe I am too picky?
                      >
                      > Jason
                      > _________________________________________________________________
                      > Invite your mail contacts to join your friends list with Windows
                      Live Spaces. It's easy!
                      >
                      http://spaces.live.com/spacesapi.aspx?wx_action=create&wx_url=/friends.aspx&mkt=en-us
                      >
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