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My Electric Xtracycle

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  • D & M Friedland
    I purchased an electric assist bicycle from Electric Bikes Northwest in Freemont (Seattle) about two years ago. I put the Xtracycle on it about 1 year ago and
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 14, 2007
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      I purchased an electric assist bicycle from Electric Bikes Northwest
      in Freemont (Seattle) about two years ago. I put the Xtracycle on it
      about 1 year ago and had Aaron's bicycle do the work.

      It was an expensive conversion to Xtracycle as I kept adding cool
      parts and accessories. Total cost including Xtracycle, parts and
      labor was $1,400.00. The bike was 1100 I think. Things I added

      7 speed internal Sram hub which replaced the 5 speed. This has an
      internal hub brake which is totally worthless. Brakes are suppose to
      actually stop you not "Glide you to a smooth stop" over 100 yards. I
      only use the front pads now. I would not recommend you get this
      item. The hub is OK, but I still had to put a derailer on to keep
      the chain out of the way.

      Big Apple tires - Everybody seems to be using these. Not sure why
      they are so good. Oh well.

      New rear wheel - I told them I wanted the strongest they had.

      New center kick stand with handlebar deployment lever - This thing
      was expensive but has proven to be the best $$$ and most useful item
      on the bike. Custom made by VAL who works at Aaron's. Every cargo
      bike should have one, especially if you have kids around.

      Handlebar drink holder - I live in Seattle and everybody is required
      to drink coffee and this makes it very easy to enjoy my Joe and get
      to work at the same time.

      Stoker bars for the rear passenger

      Wide loaders and long loaders - Necessary to haul the windsurfing
      equipment and various other sundries around town. Gives it that "Mad
      Max" look and feel.

      Several lights, horns, bells, better brake pads, etc.

      I have two kids ages 2 and 4. The 4 year old loves to sit on the
      Xtracycle and hold onto her stoker bars. The wife wants me to rig a
      seat belt which is understandable. I also have D'Lite and Winchester
      trailers to haul kids with. Round trip from my house, to day care,
      to work and back is 15.2 miles. Pretty flat.

      The electric assist helps get me there without being sweaty so I can
      just wear normal cloths which cuts down on the time to change etc. I
      still get a little workout on the way in. On the way back I just put
      the electric assist in ECO (half power) or turn it off entirely to
      get a better workout. I can also pickup groceries and haul them home
      on the way back.

      Handling is terrible but I don't mind. Aaron's did a great job of
      moving the Xtra to under the bottom bracket which helped a lot. I
      still can't ride hands free but I'm learning to live with it.
      Standing on the pedals and pumping uphill gets a wobble going in the
      front that feels uncomfortable. when the bike is fully loaded you
      have to be careful about making fast turns as I get a weird wobble
      sensation somewhere around the front headset. Not sure what this is,
      perhaps the bike geometry is not idea for the Xtra.

      Still, the bike has a total joy to own and I get great satisfaction
      out of it. The hardest part is keeping the kids happy when taking
      them to and from work. They both want to sit at the stoker seat so
      it's kind of a battle. The two year old is not able to sufficiently
      hold on so he must sit in the trailor. I have considered the Pea Pod
      but can't afford it right now.

      The other thing about riding with kids in a trailer is that it's
      hard to hear them. When it's raining and I have the cover the
      trailer I can't hear anything and I have to often stop and get off
      and attend to their needs. I'm thinking about installing two-way
      radios so I can listen to what they are doing. Young kids tend to
      have a lot of needs.

      This bike is heavy! I think it weights about 70 lbs with the
      battery, Then you through on 15 lb trailer, 20 lbs in my laptop bag,
      75 lbs of children and you are at 365lbs. I have carried loads much
      heavier as sometimes I will take the whole family (pregnant wife on
      the back), plus a couple of cousins and all the beach accessories to
      the water front park which tops 520 pounds. The electric assist
      really helps!


      Pictures of my "Frankenstein" ride here...

      http://picasaweb.google.com/morganf/ElectricXtracycle

      Happy hauling!
    • Justina Voulgaris
      Thanks for taking the time to describe and comment on all the options. Very helpful for someone just starting to consider buying an X. I m definitely going to
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 14, 2007
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        Thanks for taking the time to describe and comment on all the options.  Very helpful for someone just starting to consider buying an X.

         

        I'm definitely going to check out Aaron's bike shop this weekend!

         

        Justina

         

      • alexbknight
        Hi, I m enjoying all these new posts coming up, I hope my input is useful. Again for the Handling, your bike still looks like you have a lot of weight on the
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 14, 2007
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          Hi,
          I'm enjoying all these new posts coming up, I hope my input is useful.
          Again for the Handling, your bike still looks like you have a lot of
          weight on the front wheel, if you can get back more with the bars,
          that could make a lot of difference. Just putting a heavy bar bag on
          mine makes a fair change. Rides like a dream generally though, so it
          is possible.

          Getting back to the kids though. I've just bought one of these:
          http://www.veloplus.ch/veloartikel/shopartikeldetail.asp?grp=1365
          (in german)
          Which is an adapter to put a normally "suspended" kid seat onto a
          rack. I'm going to attach it to the mid/rear of the snapdeck, with
          suitable strengthening and attach a seat. That then means a <4 year
          old can ride in there with either a bigger kid holding the stoker
          bars in front, or another one in another seat fixed to the seat tube
          or a peapod. Haven't got there yet, but I'll post soon with photos
          and commentary if it works or not.
          There are some photos of a guy who did something similar on the
          xtracycle.com site if I remember...



          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "D & M Friedland" <morganf@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I purchased an electric assist bicycle from Electric Bikes
          Northwest
          > in Freemont (Seattle) about two years ago. I put the Xtracycle on
          it
          > about 1 year ago and had Aaron's bicycle do the work.
          >

          etc...
        • Dane Buson
          ... It sounds like it will be an interesting setup. I ve been hauling my 5 year old on the stoker seat, and using the Bobike Mini seat to carry my 2 year old.
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 14, 2007
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            On Jun 14, alexbknight tripped the electrons lexically so:

            > That then means a <4 year old can ride in there with either a bigger
            > kid holding the stoker bars in front, or another one in another seat
            > fixed to the seat tube or a peapod. Haven't got there yet, but I'll
            > post soon with photos and commentary if it works or not.

            It sounds like it will be an interesting setup. I've been hauling my 5
            year old on the stoker seat, and using the Bobike Mini seat to carry my
            2 year old. It gets a little crowded, but works out fairly well.

            I'm just glad that most of my shopping destinations with them are uphill
            from my house. [1] That way I load up with groceries or whatever and go
            downhill back home.

            [1] I live in Seattle, and not one of the flatter parts.

            --
            Dane Buson - Buson@...
            "Scissor-bomb"
            -Gnat
          • davidmoskovitz
            ... That sounds like a good hack. Just remember the the snapdeck is a snap-on component. I ve never had a problem with it coming off, but I ve only ever
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 15, 2007
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              > Which is an adapter to put a normally "suspended" kid seat onto a
              > rack. I'm going to attach it to the mid/rear of the snapdeck, with
              > suitable strengthening and attach a seat. That then means a <4 year
              > old can ride in there with either a bigger kid holding the stoker
              > bars in front, or another one in another seat fixed to the seat tube
              > or a peapod. Haven't got there yet, but I'll post soon with photos
              > and commentary if it works or not.

              That sounds like a good hack. Just remember the the snapdeck is
              a "snap-on" component. I've never had a problem with it coming off,
              but I've only ever applied downward forces to it. I assume you'll work
              this out.
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