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Re: [rootsradicals] Suggestions for bike compatible with Xtracycle

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  • David Chase
    Which urban area? You can sometimes get hands-on help. Are you looking at buying new? And you say you are a newbie, which might be a bit of a problem.
    Message 1 of 17 , Oct 4, 2010
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      Which urban area? You can sometimes get hands-on help.

      Are you looking at buying new? And you say you are a newbie, which might be a bit of a problem.

      Standard NON-newbie advice is to get a used mountain bike off something like Craigslist, preferably 8/9 speeds in the rear (24 or 27 overall), NO rear shock, prefer NO front shock, and it seems to me that you there is a slight bias towards a frame made of aluminum, not steel. If you get a steel frame, the 8/9 speed preference is not such a big deal, because you can spring the frame. If you are lucky enough to find a bike that will accommodate a front disk, so much the better.

      If you are a newbie, you might be better off just buying a package deal, like a Radish, if they have that in stock at Xtracycle (nope, wait till Feb 2011). Or, if Sun Bicycles starts selling their longtail compatible that they were showing at Interbike, then that. There are some Big Dummy Completes floating around at $1600, says Google.

      Gah, I just looked at new bikes, most are wrong for this, and they are all expensive.
      It makes no sense to get a $1000 bike for adding all the FreeRadical stuff, at the resulting price you might as well just get a Big Dummy.

      Other choices to consider are Madsen (Bucket bike) and Yuba Mundo (different longtail design). Both are notably cheaper than the Big Dummy, and the Madsen is sort of ready to carry kids.



      On 2010-10-04, at 5:48 PM, patel_rahul wrote:

      > I am planning on getting the FreeRadical kit. I do not own a bicycle. Any recommendations on what kind of a 26" bike would fit the best? I am a newbie to bicycles, so would appreciate specific details like model numbers.
      >
      > I will primarily be using the Xtracycle to carry my kid to/from school. I live in an urban area, with pretty much flat terrain.
    • oohrrah
      Big question with few parameters. Depending on your budget, a Radish or Surly Big Dummy complete. The Big Dummy is more stout than the Radish. Or, get a solid
      Message 2 of 17 , Oct 4, 2010
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        Big question with few parameters. Depending on your budget, a Radish or Surly Big Dummy complete. The Big Dummy is more stout than the Radish. Or, get a solid bike with no suspension to use the Kit. You might consider http://www.biketrailershop.com They are in AZ & don't charge sales tax out of state & offer free shipping. Since Xtracycle & I are are both in CA, it saved me a bunch. As for model names, that would be a very long list. A bike shop brand, not a cheap big box/deptartment store bike. Mine is on a Specialized RockHopper. The newer RockHoppers have suspension. GT

        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "patel_rahul" <patelrahul@...> wrote:
        >
        > I am planning on getting the FreeRadical kit. I do not own a bicycle. Any recommendations on what kind of a 26" bike would fit the best? I am a newbie to bicycles, so would appreciate specific details like model numbers.
        >
        > I will primarily be using the Xtracycle to carry my kid to/from school. I live in an urban area, with pretty much flat terrain.
        >
      • ama3655@aol.com
        If you actually use the bike for a few years then a Big Dummy is the best deal. If you use it a few times and get tired of the hassle then go for something
        Message 3 of 17 , Oct 4, 2010
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          If you actually use the bike for a few years then a Big Dummy is the best deal. If you use it a few times and get tired of the hassle then go for something cheap.
          FatRob
           
           
          In a message dated 10/4/2010 4:49:04 P.M. Central Daylight Time, patelrahul@... writes:
          I am planning on getting the FreeRadical kit. I do not own a bicycle. Any recommendations on what kind of a 26" bike would fit the best? I am a newbie to bicycles, so would appreciate specific details like model numbers.

          I will primarily be using the Xtracycle to carry my kid to/from school. I live in an urban area, with pretty much flat terrain.
           
        • Steve Lange
          ... Are you planning to buy used or new? The only way that getting a new FreeRadical kit + accessories + a donor bike makes economic sense, in this day and age
          Message 4 of 17 , Oct 4, 2010
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            On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 2:48 PM, patel_rahul <patelrahul@...> wrote:
            I am planning on getting the FreeRadical kit. I do not own a bicycle. Any recommendations on what kind of a 26" bike would fit the best? I am a newbie to bicycles, so would appreciate specific details like model numbers.

            Are you planning to buy used or new?

            The only way that getting a new FreeRadical kit + accessories + a donor bike makes economic sense, in this day and age of the Radish, Big Dummy, Yuba Mundo, Kona Ute, Fisher Transport, Sun Atlas, Madsen, etc., is if you are going to be converting a *very* cheap used mountain bike, and are trying to keep the total cost under $800 or so (which will be extremely hard to do, in my opinion, if you are buying a new FreeRadical kit & accessories).

            If you can stretch your budget to $900 or so, I'd just get a brand new Yuba Mundo and be done with it - they're really quite nice - or if you can go higher, then the Radish or (ideally) the Big Dummy completes are great choices.

            In any event, say you're trying to convert a used MTB and keep the total cost under $800.  Right off the bat, $500++ of that budget will go towards the FreeRadical kit and associated accessories for the application you describe (consider the stoker stem & handlebar mandatory, possibly the PeaPod depending on your child's age, and the Kickback center stand and Magic Carpet pad highly desirable).

            As far as the donor bike goes:

            - Rigid mountain bike (no suspension front or rear) in good condition (no or very little visible rust on the frame or drivetrain, plenty of thickness left in the rim walls so that you won't have to replace the wheels right away, etc. etc. etc.). A beach cruiser could work but you'll want one with hand brakes and gears (a single coaster brake - i.e. single point of failure - is a definite a no-no for a passenger carrying regardless of the terrain). The rougher the condition of the bike, the more it's going to cost to get into serviceable shape, and the less buying used makes sense.

            - Preferably steel frame because any used aluminum framed bike cheap enough for this option to make sense is very likely old/thrashed enough that you'll ending up risking frame failure (IMHO)

            - V-brakes (not cantilever brakes - look up photos on sheldonbrown.com to aid identification if needed). Cantilevers can be converted to v-brakes but then you'll be adding roughly $50-100+ to the cost of the conversion (you'll need new brakes, levers, cables, housing and probably grips to do the conversion) - putting it closer to the no-fly zone in terms of cost.

            - Must be properly sized to your body and fitness level (your local bike shop or bike co-op can help you there). Within certain parameters, handlebars, saddles and the like can be swapped out, but will once again push the cost higher.

            I know the above all comes off as negative, but really, the cheapest and best solution is almost always to go with one of the many complete options *unless* you already own a donor bike (and it meets the above requirements).  I'd rather see a world in which the Xtracycle kit was cheap enough to convert more of the (thousands) of reasonably decent bikes out there, but that's just not the case, and until that changes, buying new is really the best way to go from a cost perspective.

            Steve Lange
            Santa Barbara, CA
            Who converted an early 90s MTB to an Xtracycle, thereby learning the above maxims through firsthand experience
          • Rich
            For doing a relatively inexpensive conversion look for a pre suspension mountain bike from the early 1990s. It can have a steel or aluminum frame but if
            Message 5 of 17 , Oct 4, 2010
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              For doing a relatively inexpensive conversion look for a pre suspension mountain bike from the early 1990s. It can have a steel or aluminum frame but if aluminum MUST have 135mm dropout width in the rear. Steel frames can be spread to that dimension but aluminum ones should not be.

              A good candidate may be found on Craigs List and suggested makes include Trek, Specialized, Giant, Univega, and many others. Another source for a suitable donor bike would be a local bike coop if there is one in your area. I know the one in Reno has done several xtracycles so has experience in this. If you have an xtracycle dealer in your area they may have suggestions for obtaining a suitable used bike.

              I ended up with a Big Dummy but also picked up a 1990 Trek 950 locally for $60 that would have been an excellent conversion candidate.

              Rich Wood

              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "patel_rahul" <patelrahul@...> wrote:
              >
              > I am planning on getting the FreeRadical kit. I do not own a bicycle. Any recommendations on what kind of a 26" bike would fit the best? I am a newbie to bicycles, so would appreciate specific details like model numbers.
              >
              > I will primarily be using the Xtracycle to carry my kid to/from school. I live in an urban area, with pretty much flat terrain.
              >
            • patel_rahul
              Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters: * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down. *
              Message 6 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:

                * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.

                * I am 5'8", so I am guessing that 26" would be the best fit.

                * I am in Orange County, CA.

                Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.

                A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8", 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?

                I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
              • Rich
                The Ute is popular enough so that Xtracycle is now carrying some accessories for it. Check dealers for a 2010 model as you might get it at a discount. Fewer
                Message 7 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                  The Ute is popular enough so that Xtracycle is now carrying some accessories for it. Check dealers for a 2010 model as you might get it at a discount. Fewer cargo & passenger hauling accessories are available for it compared to the Xtracycle or Mundo so far as I know.

                  26" is wheel size, not frame size. Bikes with either wheel size can have frames in different sizes to fit most people. 26" or MTB wheels were mentioned due to those being what the Freeradical is designed for. Use of 700c wheels restricts tire size and requires either a disc rear brake or a adapter to reposition the V brake arms to work with the larger wheel.

                  For two kids, depending on age, consider the Madsen. They list discounts on their web site for ones with moderate cosmetic shipping damage and the savings can be substantial.

                  Rich Wood

                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "patel_rahul" <patelrahul@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:
                  >
                  > * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.
                  >
                  > * I am 5'8", so I am guessing that 26" would be the best fit.
                  >
                  > * I am in Orange County, CA.
                  >
                  > Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.
                  >
                  > A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8", 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?
                  >
                  > I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
                  >
                • Andrew Kreps
                  ... Excellent idea. You should be able to find an inexpensive, dusty garage bike to build on. ... In my opinion, the main difference between the Ute, Mundo
                  Message 8 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                    On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 10:18 AM, patel_rahul <patelrahul@...> wrote:
                    * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.

                    Excellent idea.  You should be able to find an inexpensive, dusty garage bike to build on.  

                     
                    A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet,  however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8", 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?

                    I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.


                    In my opinion, the main difference between the Ute, Mundo and Xtracycle is the ability to carry cargo right out of the box.  With the Ute and Mundo, you'll need to purchase some sizable panniers to match the carrying capability of the Freeradical kit out of the box.  Once that cost is factored in, you may find the Freerad to be the best deal.  There may be other differences, such as where the center of gravity of your cargo sits, but I've never test-ridden the Yuba or Kona.


                  • Steve Lange
                    ... That s a good point. I have ridden the Yuba and think it s a fine bike (and I personally wouldn t worry about the weight of the bike itself - any of these
                    Message 9 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                      On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM, Andrew Kreps <andrew.kreps@...> wrote:

                      In my opinion, the main difference between the Ute, Mundo and Xtracycle is the ability to carry cargo right out of the box.  With the Ute and Mundo, you'll need to purchase some sizable panniers to match the carrying capability of the Freeradical kit out of the box.  Once that cost is factored in, you may find the Freerad to be the best deal.  There may be other differences, such as where the center of gravity of your cargo sits, but I've never test-ridden the Yuba or Kona.

                      That's a good point. I have ridden the Yuba and think it's a fine bike (and I personally wouldn't worry about the weight of the bike itself - any of these options are going to be 40-50lbs by the time you're done outfitting them), but the fact that it doesn't come with usable bags (unlike the Freerad kit) is a bit of a drawback.

                      I do conceptually like and prefer the re-use of an existing bike and I hope that was clear from my original post, as negative-sounding as I know it seemed on its face. It's just that you've got to make sure that it's in good enough condition such that you don't incur a bunch of hidden costs in the process of conversion (which I'm sure I made overly clear already).

                      Good luck, please don't hesitate to ask for more input!

                      Steve Lange
                      Santa Barbara, CA
                    • evanfhlewis
                      Hey there, I happen to be new to the world of cargo bikes (read: not remotely as well or technically versed as most of the people on this list) but I am the
                      Message 10 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                        Hey there,

                        I happen to be new to the world of cargo bikes (read: not remotely as well or technically versed as most of the people on this list) but I am the recent owner of both a 2010 Kona Ute as well as a 2010 Big Dummy, both of which I use to haul my kid(s) around.

                        IMHO, the Ute is an excellent choice in terms of cost and usability. but seems to lack the longer-term adaptability of something like the Big Dummy. Both are easy to ride, easy on the eyes and can haul a moderate (Ute) to large (BD) amount of stuff.

                        In terms of hauling kids, I have a toddler and an infant so for now, when I haul both, I use a Chariot kid carrier. When it's just the toddler, she sits on the deck with a Stoker bar but for NYC riding, I am adding bars to keep her more locked into the deck.

                        Overall, I think that if you don't have a bike stand in your basement and a full set of tools, then my guess is that the seemingly larger initial cost of something like the Ute or Big Dummy would shrink rapidly as you accounted for the time and parts required to build out something like a Free Radical. As for the Madsen and Yuba, I love the idea of the Madsen and think that it's probably great for moving kids around. But I would be surprised (disclaimer: I have NOT test ridden the Madsen) if it's comfortable for longer rides.

                        Sorry for the ramble - hope any/some of it helps.

                        Regards,
                        Evan
                        NYC

                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "patel_rahul" <patelrahul@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:
                        >
                        > * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.
                        >
                        > * I am 5'8", so I am guessing that 26" would be the best fit.
                        >
                        > * I am in Orange County, CA.
                        >
                        > Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.
                        >
                        > A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8", 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?
                        >
                        > I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
                        >
                      • Denise E K Martin
                        I have a 2009 Ute and love it. I m 5 6 and 130 lbs, and because we live on the 7th floor of an apt bldg I have to heave-ho it upright into the elevator twice
                        Message 11 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                          I have a 2009 Ute and love it. I'm 5'6" and 130 lbs, and because we live on the 7th floor of an apt bldg I have to heave-ho it upright into the elevator twice a day. The weight is completely tolerable for that despite being loaded up with all my stuff and my 3 yr old's stuff (lunches, books, laptop, stroller, change of clothes, jackets, etc.). 


                          --Denise
                          (via my iPhone)

                          On Oct 5, 2010, at 21:57, evanfhlewis <evanlewis1@...> wrote:

                           

                          Hey there,

                          I happen to be new to the world of cargo bikes (read: not remotely as well or technically versed as most of the people on this list) but I am the recent owner of both a 2010 Kona Ute as well as a 2010 Big Dummy, both of which I use to haul my kid(s) around.

                          IMHO, the Ute is an excellent choice in terms of cost and usability. but seems to lack the longer-term adaptability of something like the Big Dummy. Both are easy to ride, easy on the eyes and can haul a moderate (Ute) to large (BD) amount of stuff.

                          In terms of hauling kids, I have a toddler and an infant so for now, when I haul both, I use a Chariot kid carrier. When it's just the toddler, she sits on the deck with a Stoker bar but for NYC riding, I am adding bars to keep her more locked into the deck.

                          Overall, I think that if you don't have a bike stand in your basement and a full set of tools, then my guess is that the seemingly larger initial cost of something like the Ute or Big Dummy would shrink rapidly as you accounted for the time and parts required to build out something like a Free Radical. As for the Madsen and Yuba, I love the idea of the Madsen and think that it's probably great for moving kids around. But I would be surprised (disclaimer: I have NOT test ridden the Madsen) if it's comfortable for longer rides.

                          Sorry for the ramble - hope any/some of it helps.

                          Regards,
                          Evan
                          NYC

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "patel_rahul" <patelrahul@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:
                          >
                          > * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.
                          >
                          > * I am 5'8", so I am guessing that 26" would be the best fit.
                          >
                          > * I am in Orange County, CA.
                          >
                          > Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.
                          >
                          > A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8", 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?
                          >
                          > I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
                          >

                        • Apple Quick
                          My recent experience has been purchasing a free radical kit that did not work well on my donor bike. It was an issue with the frame s kickstand plate. I
                          Message 12 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                            My recent experience has been purchasing a free radical kit that did not work well on my donor bike.  It was an issue with the frame's kickstand plate.  I picked up a Cannondale on craigslist for $50.00.  The Cannondale is in remarkable shape for the price.  The bottom line is that I was able to pick up a donor on the cheap that rides great with the free radical kit.  I really does ride far better than I expected. If I still am liking the set up a couple months down the road, I will make a few upgrades.  Until then I am happy with my results for the money I have spent so far. Before I got the free radical, I looked at my other options.  In the end I was won over by the options that are available through Xtracycle.



                            On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 10:11 PM, Denise E K Martin <denise.ek.martin@...> wrote:
                             

                            I have a 2009 Ute and love it. I'm 5'6" and 130 lbs, and because we live on the 7th floor of an apt bldg I have to heave-ho it upright into the elevator twice a day. The weight is completely tolerable for that despite being loaded up with all my stuff and my 3 yr old's stuff (lunches, books, laptop, stroller, change of clothes, jackets, etc.). 


                            --Denise
                            (via my iPhone)

                            On Oct 5, 2010, at 21:57, evanfhlewis <evanlewis1@...> wrote:

                             

                            Hey there,

                            I happen to be new to the world of cargo bikes (read: not remotely as well or technically versed as most of the people on this list) but I am the recent owner of both a 2010 Kona Ute as well as a 2010 Big Dummy, both of which I use to haul my kid(s) around.

                            IMHO, the Ute is an excellent choice in terms of cost and usability. but seems to lack the longer-term adaptability of something like the Big Dummy. Both are easy to ride, easy on the eyes and can haul a moderate (Ute) to large (BD) amount of stuff.

                            In terms of hauling kids, I have a toddler and an infant so for now, when I haul both, I use a Chariot kid carrier. When it's just the toddler, she sits on the deck with a Stoker bar but for NYC riding, I am adding bars to keep her more locked into the deck.

                            Overall, I think that if you don't have a bike stand in your basement and a full set of tools, then my guess is that the seemingly larger initial cost of something like the Ute or Big Dummy would shrink rapidly as you accounted for the time and parts required to build out something like a Free Radical. As for the Madsen and Yuba, I love the idea of the Madsen and think that it's probably great for moving kids around. But I would be surprised (disclaimer: I have NOT test ridden the Madsen) if it's comfortable for longer rides.

                            Sorry for the ramble - hope any/some of it helps.

                            Regards,
                            Evan
                            NYC

                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "patel_rahul" <patelrahul@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:
                            >
                            > * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.
                            >
                            > * I am 5'8", so I am guessing that 26" would be the best fit.
                            >
                            > * I am in Orange County, CA.
                            >
                            > Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.
                            >
                            > A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8", 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?
                            >
                            > I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
                            >


                          • Mark Garvey
                            Been out of town and have not read any of the other esponses but I would say, find a bike YOU LIKE and put the Free Rad ON THAT BIKE. Doesn t matter what it
                            Message 13 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                              Been out of town and have not read any of the other esponses  but I would say, find a bike YOU LIKE and put the Free Rad ON THAT BIKE.  Doesn't matter what it is!  AS LONG AS THE FREE RAD FITS!  I have thought about attaching it to my Schwinn Typhoon! (2 speed kick back hub!) but it is a bunch of hassle to tear everything apart just to redo it all again!  I have had mine on an ancient Jamis Durango sport for about 3 or 4 years now.  Still works GREAT!  If you don't like the bike you HAVE, hunt around.  you can find a bunch of bikes if you look!

                              Later, you can get a NICE bike and convert it!  Don't worry bout it now!

                              Papa

                              On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 4:48 PM, patel_rahul <patelrahul@...> wrote:
                              I am planning on getting the FreeRadical kit. I do not own a bicycle. Any recommendations on what kind of a 26" bike would fit the best? I am a newbie to bicycles, so would appreciate specific details like model numbers.

                              I will primarily be using the Xtracycle to carry my kid to/from school. I live in an urban area, with pretty much flat terrain.



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                            • Morganverbena
                              I have both a Madsen and a Big Dummy, and have two (large) children. The Madsen excels at child-hauling...the kids get to face each other and play, and only
                              Message 14 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                                I have both a Madsen and a Big Dummy, and have two (large) children. The Madsen excels at child-hauling...the kids get to face each other and play, and only need jackets and a blanket to be warm in the winter. Plus, the younger one can fall asleep on the seat without being in any danger of falling out.

                                I, however, far prefer to ride the Big Dummy. Even with both the kids (which together weigh 170 lbs), I enjoy riding moderate distances without an electric assist. On the Madsen however, I feel like I need an electric assist to enjoy the ride, and can barely sustain 7 or 8 mph without it. On Xena (the bd) I can sustain 12 mph on the flats without straining, with both kids. And Xena is also more versatile...I can carry 4 bags of groceries *and* the kids. On the Madsen, the kids fill up the bucket and don't allow for much more cargo (though I have a big wire basket in front that helps with that).

                                I'm actually about to sell my madsen, so if anyone's interested, give me a ring :)

                                Morgan S.
                                -----------------------
                                Sent from my Treo(r) smartphone

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: "evanfhlewis" <evanlewis1@...>
                                Date: Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010 6:59 pm
                                Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Suggestions for bike compatible with Xtracycle
                                To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.comReply-To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com





                                Hey there,

                                I happen to be new to the world of cargo bikes (read: not remotely as well or technically versed as most of the people on this list) but I am the recent owner of both a 2010 Kona Ute as well as a 2010 Big Dummy, both of which I use to haul my kid(s) around.

                                IMHO, the Ute is an excellent choice in terms of cost and usability. but seems to lack the longer-term adaptability of something like the Big Dummy. Both are easy to ride, easy on the eyes and can haul a moderate (Ute) to large (BD) amount of stuff.

                                In terms of hauling kids, I have a toddler and an infant so for now, when I haul both, I use a Chariot kid carrier. When it's just the toddler, she sits on the deck with a Stoker bar but for NYC riding, I am adding bars to keep her more locked into the deck.

                                Overall, I think that if you don't have a bike stand in your basement and a full set of tools, then my guess is that the seemingly larger initial cost of something like the Ute or Big Dummy would shrink rapidly as you accounted for the time and parts required to build out something like a Free Radical. As for the Madsen and Yuba, I love the idea of the Madsen and think that it's probably great for moving kids around. But I would be surprised (disclaimer: I have NOT test ridden the Madsen) if it's comfortable for longer rides.

                                Sorry for the ramble - hope any/some of it helps.

                                Regards,
                                Evan
                                NYC

                                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, 'patel_rahul' <patelrahul@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:
                                >
                                > * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.
                                >
                                > * I am 5'8', so I am guessing that 26' would be the best fit.
                                >
                                > * I am in Orange County, CA.
                                >
                                > Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.
                                >
                                > A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8', 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?
                                >
                                > I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
                                >






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                              • Rich
                                Looking at the specifications on the Madsen, and reading your post, how is the gearing on it? I note that the gearing seems limited with the single chain
                                Message 15 of 17 , Oct 5, 2010
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                                  Looking at the specifications on the Madsen, and reading your post, how is the gearing on it? I note that the gearing seems limited with the single chain ring. I definitely find the triple rings on my Big Dummy useful in an area such as Reno with some hilly areas. The same comment applies to the Radish too IMO. If buying either one I would want to upgrade to a triple crankset and front derailleur.

                                  I note that the Yuba Mundo has gone from single chainring originally to triple chainrings on the V3 model. It seems to me like all cargo bikes should have triple chainrings at least as a factory option unless fitted with a wide range geared hub setup.

                                  Rich Wood

                                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Morganverbena <morganverbena@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I have both a Madsen and a Big Dummy, and have two (large) children. The Madsen excels at child-hauling...the kids get to face each other and play, and only need jackets and a blanket to be warm in the winter. Plus, the younger one can fall asleep on the seat without being in any danger of falling out.
                                  >
                                  > I, however, far prefer to ride the Big Dummy. Even with both the kids (which together weigh 170 lbs), I enjoy riding moderate distances without an electric assist. On the Madsen however, I feel like I need an electric assist to enjoy the ride, and can barely sustain 7 or 8 mph without it. On Xena (the bd) I can sustain 12 mph on the flats without straining, with both kids. And Xena is also more versatile...I can carry 4 bags of groceries *and* the kids. On the Madsen, the kids fill up the bucket and don't allow for much more cargo (though I have a big wire basket in front that helps with that).
                                  >
                                  > I'm actually about to sell my madsen, so if anyone's interested, give me a ring :)
                                  >
                                  > Morgan S.
                                  > -----------------------
                                  > Sent from my Treo(r) smartphone
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: "evanfhlewis" <evanlewis1@...>
                                  > Date: Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010 6:59 pm
                                  > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Suggestions for bike compatible with Xtracycle
                                  > To: rootsradicals@...: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hey there,
                                  >
                                  > I happen to be new to the world of cargo bikes (read: not remotely as well or technically versed as most of the people on this list) but I am the recent owner of both a 2010 Kona Ute as well as a 2010 Big Dummy, both of which I use to haul my kid(s) around.
                                  >
                                  > IMHO, the Ute is an excellent choice in terms of cost and usability. but seems to lack the longer-term adaptability of something like the Big Dummy. Both are easy to ride, easy on the eyes and can haul a moderate (Ute) to large (BD) amount of stuff.
                                  >
                                  > In terms of hauling kids, I have a toddler and an infant so for now, when I haul both, I use a Chariot kid carrier. When it's just the toddler, she sits on the deck with a Stoker bar but for NYC riding, I am adding bars to keep her more locked into the deck.
                                  >
                                  > Overall, I think that if you don't have a bike stand in your basement and a full set of tools, then my guess is that the seemingly larger initial cost of something like the Ute or Big Dummy would shrink rapidly as you accounted for the time and parts required to build out something like a Free Radical. As for the Madsen and Yuba, I love the idea of the Madsen and think that it's probably great for moving kids around. But I would be surprised (disclaimer: I have NOT test ridden the Madsen) if it's comfortable for longer rides.
                                  >
                                  > Sorry for the ramble - hope any/some of it helps.
                                  >
                                  > Regards,
                                  > Evan
                                  > NYC
                                  >
                                  > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, 'patel_rahul' <patelrahul@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:
                                  > >
                                  > > * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.
                                  > >
                                  > > * I am 5'8', so I am guessing that 26' would be the best fit.
                                  > >
                                  > > * I am in Orange County, CA.
                                  > >
                                  > > Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.
                                  > >
                                  > > A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8', 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?
                                  > >
                                  > > I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Reply to sender |
                                  > Reply to group |
                                  > Reply via web post |
                                  >
                                • Steven
                                  I m relatively new to cargo bikes, but am exactly your same size (5 8 and 140-145). I rode a Yuba around and it is a bit much from me, and what i need to do.
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Oct 6, 2010
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                                    I'm relatively new to cargo bikes, but am exactly your same size (5'8" and 140-145). I rode a Yuba around and it is a bit much from me, and what i need to do.

                                    I am experienced building/repairing bikes so built up a free radical.

                                    Initially I used my Redline conquest commuter, but found it too flexy with a toddler, laptop, clothes, etc.
                                    I swapped over to a Mtb Dirt jumping frame (Kona Shred M) that i got for 30 bucks off craigslist. These 'free-ride" or dirt jump frames are super stiff in the bottom bracket and chain and seat stays- so the FrankenX is now nice and stiff. I am sure you could find a used complete free-ride/dirt jump bike like the Shred for cheap-they are pretty specialist things, so lots of folks buy them and later unload 'em as they don't get used much.

                                    Another 20 bucks i found a 29er rigid front fork, which relaxes the steering on the frame...its perfect now.
                                    Added an electric-assist rear hub, and i'm a happy commuter.

                                    Took about 3 hours to swap over all the parts, and the free-radical- again i'm experienced working on bikes, but it isn't that bad if you can at minimum adjust a derailleur and change your cables- and have access to tools- mostly allen wrenches

                                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Looking at the specifications on the Madsen, and reading your post, how is the gearing on it? I note that the gearing seems limited with the single chain ring. I definitely find the triple rings on my Big Dummy useful in an area such as Reno with some hilly areas. The same comment applies to the Radish too IMO. If buying either one I would want to upgrade to a triple crankset and front derailleur.
                                    >
                                    > I note that the Yuba Mundo has gone from single chainring originally to triple chainrings on the V3 model. It seems to me like all cargo bikes should have triple chainrings at least as a factory option unless fitted with a wide range geared hub setup.
                                    >
                                    > Rich Wood
                                    >
                                    > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Morganverbena <morganverbena@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > I have both a Madsen and a Big Dummy, and have two (large) children. The Madsen excels at child-hauling...the kids get to face each other and play, and only need jackets and a blanket to be warm in the winter. Plus, the younger one can fall asleep on the seat without being in any danger of falling out.
                                    > >
                                    > > I, however, far prefer to ride the Big Dummy. Even with both the kids (which together weigh 170 lbs), I enjoy riding moderate distances without an electric assist. On the Madsen however, I feel like I need an electric assist to enjoy the ride, and can barely sustain 7 or 8 mph without it. On Xena (the bd) I can sustain 12 mph on the flats without straining, with both kids. And Xena is also more versatile...I can carry 4 bags of groceries *and* the kids. On the Madsen, the kids fill up the bucket and don't allow for much more cargo (though I have a big wire basket in front that helps with that).
                                    > >
                                    > > I'm actually about to sell my madsen, so if anyone's interested, give me a ring :)
                                    > >
                                    > > Morgan S.
                                    > > -----------------------
                                    > > Sent from my Treo(r) smartphone
                                    > >
                                    > > -----Original Message-----
                                    > > From: "evanfhlewis" <evanlewis1@>
                                    > > Date: Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010 6:59 pm
                                    > > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Suggestions for bike compatible with Xtracycle
                                    > > To: rootsradicals@: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Hey there,
                                    > >
                                    > > I happen to be new to the world of cargo bikes (read: not remotely as well or technically versed as most of the people on this list) but I am the recent owner of both a 2010 Kona Ute as well as a 2010 Big Dummy, both of which I use to haul my kid(s) around.
                                    > >
                                    > > IMHO, the Ute is an excellent choice in terms of cost and usability. but seems to lack the longer-term adaptability of something like the Big Dummy. Both are easy to ride, easy on the eyes and can haul a moderate (Ute) to large (BD) amount of stuff.
                                    > >
                                    > > In terms of hauling kids, I have a toddler and an infant so for now, when I haul both, I use a Chariot kid carrier. When it's just the toddler, she sits on the deck with a Stoker bar but for NYC riding, I am adding bars to keep her more locked into the deck.
                                    > >
                                    > > Overall, I think that if you don't have a bike stand in your basement and a full set of tools, then my guess is that the seemingly larger initial cost of something like the Ute or Big Dummy would shrink rapidly as you accounted for the time and parts required to build out something like a Free Radical. As for the Madsen and Yuba, I love the idea of the Madsen and think that it's probably great for moving kids around. But I would be surprised (disclaimer: I have NOT test ridden the Madsen) if it's comfortable for longer rides.
                                    > >
                                    > > Sorry for the ramble - hope any/some of it helps.
                                    > >
                                    > > Regards,
                                    > > Evan
                                    > > NYC
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, 'patel_rahul' <patelrahul@> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Thanks for the input everyone. To add a few parameters:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > * I do not have a donor bike. I would prefer a used donor bike since that would bring the cost down.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > * I am 5'8', so I am guessing that 26' would be the best fit.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > * I am in Orange County, CA.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Comparing the cost of the Radish vs setting up the Xtracycle myself, I see that there's not much difference. However, the Radish is sold out till Feb 2011, and I can't wait that long.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > A local bike shop does carry the Yuba Mondo. I haven't tried it out yet, however, reading from the reviews I get an impression that the bike would be a bit heavy for my size (5'8', 145 lbs). Any thoughts on that?
                                    > > >
                                    > > > I have also inquired about the 2011 Kona Ute. But no one has them in stock right now. What are the feelings on the Ute? Thanks again.
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Reply to sender |
                                    > > Reply to group |
                                    > > Reply via web post |
                                    > >
                                    >
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