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Re: Poor handling with an xtracycle

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
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      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 2 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
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        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 3 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
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          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 4 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
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            > 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 5 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
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              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 6 of 12 , Jun 13, 2007
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                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 7 of 12 , Jun 15, 2007
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                  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 8 of 12 , Jun 20, 2007
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                    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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