My Electric Xtracycle
- 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
Pictures of my "Frankenstein" ride here...
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!
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
Getting back to the kids though. I've just bought one of these:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, "D & M Friedland" <morganf@...>
> I purchased an electric assist bicycle from Electric Bikes
> in Freemont (Seattle) about two years ago. I put the Xtracycle onit
> about 1 year ago and had Aaron's bicycle do the work.etc...
- On Jun 14, alexbknight tripped the electrons lexically so:
> That then means a <4 year old can ride in there with either a biggerIt sounds like it will be an interesting setup. I've been hauling my 5
> 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.
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.  That way I load up with groceries or whatever and go
downhill back home.
 I live in Seattle, and not one of the flatter parts.
Dane Buson - Buson@...
> Which is an adapter to put a normally "suspended" kid seat onto aThat sounds like a good hack. Just remember the the snapdeck is
> 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.
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