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Advice - Considering an Xtracycle

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  • wy_jimr
    OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome, but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start bike commuting more and
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
      OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
      but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start bike
      commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X would
      help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
      practical. Any advice from experience would be very much appreciated.



      Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
      wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a Mtn
      bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my daughter
      at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
      rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I ride
      the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
      after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
      result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
      recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very capable
      also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in Wyoming).
      If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
      but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my wife
      to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5' 5",
      we are both about 40 yrs old.



      I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty decent
      with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit. I
      considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
      ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
      position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded or
      climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
      bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We live
      in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
      considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
      radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
      find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.



      Here are my questions:

      1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old kid
      to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
      her trail-a-bike and a good rider.

      2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike that
      we both could ride?

      3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
      any of the other complete bikes?

      4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
      advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?



      Thank you in advance for any and all advice.



      Jim
    • davidmoskovitz
      If you re a bike-family, you should have one. Period. Once you have it, you ll understand. I started to reply to your questions, but realized I didn t really
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
        If you're a bike-family, you should have one. Period. Once you have
        it, you'll understand.

        I started to reply to your questions, but realized I didn't really
        have any experience that speaks to them, just my intuition (as a
        former professional mechanic and shop manager).

        Could you ride your daughter to school every day? Absolutely. Would
        you want to, that's a different question. Won't she be riding her
        own bike soon?

        Could you build something both you and your wife could ride? Yes.
        Use a locking headset spacer, and leave the steer cut tall, or use
        one of the myriad adustable stems around now, or even just a funky
        north-road style bar with lots of options, and standard QR seatpost
        (w/ a little cable lock), and that should do it. (Caveat: I'm
        a "good enough" kinda guy, so what ever you end up with won't be a
        perfect fit for both of you. Then again, I don't even believe in
        perfect fits anyway.) The extra standover you'll have will be nice,
        because swinging a leg over the back is a bit more challenging with a
        loaded X.

        My neighbor has a townie. He loves it, and uses it with his 3-yr-old
        (!) daughter on the back. He would caution that it is very different
        from his other high performance commuter. It's also a cheap bike, in
        terms of components, , so it's fine with me.

        Mtn bikes work well, as do hybrids and other prctical bikes. Road
        bikes, not so much I think, but I've never tried. If you want to use
        it for carrying people and lots of groceries and things, wide cushion-
        y tires are nice.

        As cost is a concern, I suggest getting the Free Radical kit, putting
        it on your current mountain bike, and giving it a try. I did this,
        and never looked back (although I was never much of a mtn bike guy to
        begin with). From all the reports, X's handle single-track just
        fine. Later, if you like it, you can buy a $350(?) bike and change
        it over. Something like the Specialized Expedition would work fine,
        and is less than $400, I think.
      • Steve Pepper
        Is there anyone near you who you could have a try out. I use mine for work and it s great not to have to worry if you need to transport anything it s fine for
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
          Is there anyone near you who you could have a try out.

          I use mine for work and it's great not to have to worry if you need to
          transport anything it's fine for shopping as well. It's hitched to a cheap
          mountain bike but I changed to road tires as there was too much drag on the
          originals.

          Most days I ride it in preference to my Brompton as it has lower gears andf
          it's a little hilly here in Harrogate where I live.

          Just my two pence worth

          Steve
        • David Chase
          ... I think so. I have a 9-year-old daughter, it s pretty easy with her on the back. In at least one case, she got tired while riding her own bike, we ditched
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
            > Here are my questions:
            >
            > 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old kid
            > to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
            > her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
            I think so. I have a 9-year-old daughter, it's pretty easy with her
            on the back. In at least one case, she got tired while riding her
            own bike, we ditched it and continued to the grocery store with
            her on the back, went shopping, came home, picked up her bike,
            lashed its front tire to the X, and kept on riding with her, the
            groceries,
            and her bike all on the X. The wiggliness of the kid matters, too.
            > 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike that
            > we both could ride?
            I think so. Start with a frame suited to your wife,
            and add an extra-long seatpost and quick-release
            for the height. I'm not sure what the handlebar
            compromise would be; consider Nitto Albatross
            bars, I think. (The big bars might give you more
            control; a big load is, well, a big load.)
            > 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
            > any of the other complete bikes?
            My mom has a Townie, but no X on it. I think if you are already
            comfortable on other bikes, you would be better off converting
            a mountain bike. The Townie's interesting and comfy, but I like
            a regular bike better.
            > 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
            > advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
            I would just add a FreeRadical to an existing mountain bike,
            assuming you have one that is the right size. If it has disk brakes,
            that's better. I would put off fiddling with the handlebars at first,
            though I have spent quite a lot of time fiddling with mine.
            All else being equal, a steel frame is preferred, but otherwise,
            go for size and good brakes first.

            Indexed shifters (which you probably have) are a wonderful
            thing. It's harder to hear what's going on back at the rear
            derailleur, and impossible to see, so you really want that to
            work.

            For street and light off-road riding, lose the clunky knobby tires,
            and get something wide and slick-ish. I run 2.3" Schwalbe
            Big Apples, at 60psi, and they are great.

            David
          • Josie Kirton
            For Juergen, and others who haul there kids around, I m just wondering what kind of distances you go, and how hard it is to be pulling that much extra weight.
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
              For Juergen, and others who haul there kids around, I'm just wondering what
              kind of distances you go, and how hard it is to be pulling that much extra
              weight. I have two kids, 3 1/2 and 6 1/2, who I'd like to take to school and
              back on the xtracycle. Right now I have a handle bar seat (bobike mini) for
              the three year old, and a trail-a-bike for the 6 year old. I need to make a
              switch to the xtracyle because my daughter's about the grow out of her seat
              up front, and my son's not ready yet to ride long distances on his own. I'm
              just worried about the weight on a four mile trip to school where no one is
              is helping me pedal. I'd love to hear people's experiences of traveling
              around with kids, how far they go, how much of a difference it makes to have
              two people sitting on the back, etc. Our school is about 4 miles away, and
              mostly flat, but a few inclines on the way. The trip home is easy.

              Thanks so much for any feedback.
              Josie


              >From: Juergen Weichert <juergen@...>
              >Reply-To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              >To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Advice - Considering an Xtracycle
              >Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 17:01:18 -0500
              >
              >I often pick up both my kids at the end of the day (8yrs and 4yrs old)
              >and take them home on the back of the Xtracycle. It is REALLY easy to
              >drop in for groceries or whatever in this configuration. Imagine - two
              >kids PLUS groceries - things we used to "need" a car for! With the
              >Xtracycle on the back of your "regular" bike you never have to plan for
              >what eventualities the day might bring. If the urge strikes you to stop
              >in at a store you can most likely get your purchase home and you never
              >have to decide which set of panniers to bring in the morning when you
              >leave home.
              >
              >The Townie Electra can be easily adjusted for different sized riders
              >just by raising and lowering the seat. I would however suggest just
              >going with whatever bike you have for now. You can always move the
              >Xtracycle to another bike later - if you can bear the though of removing
              >it. Having it there becomes "part of life" after a few weeks.
              >
              >Juergen
              >
              >
              >
              >wy_jimr wrote:
              > >
              > > OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
              > > but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start bike
              > > commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X would
              > > help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup � not the most
              > > practical. Any advice from experience would be very much appreciated.
              > >
              > > Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
              > > wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a Mtn
              > > bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my daughter
              > > at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
              > > rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I ride
              > > the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
              > > after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
              > > result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
              > > recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very capable
              > > also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in Wyoming).
              > > If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
              > > but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my wife
              > > to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5' 5",
              > > we are both about 40 yrs old.
              > >
              > > I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty decent
              > > with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit. I
              > > considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
              > > ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
              > > position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded or
              > > climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
              > > bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We live
              > > in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
              > > considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
              > > radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
              > > find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
              > >
              > > Here are my questions:
              > >
              > > 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old kid
              > > to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
              > > her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
              > >
              > > 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike that
              > > we both could ride?
              > >
              > > 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
              > > any of the other complete bikes?
              > >
              > > 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
              > > advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
              > >
              > > Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
              > >
              > > Jim
              > >
              > > __.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots
              >radical.
              >
              >To Post a message, send it to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >ride to believe.
              >Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >

              _________________________________________________________________
              http://newlivehotmail.com
            • Juergen Weichert
              I often pick up both my kids at the end of the day (8yrs and 4yrs old) and take them home on the back of the Xtracycle. It is REALLY easy to drop in for
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                I often pick up both my kids at the end of the day (8yrs and 4yrs old)
                and take them home on the back of the Xtracycle. It is REALLY easy to
                drop in for groceries or whatever in this configuration. Imagine - two
                kids PLUS groceries - things we used to "need" a car for! With the
                Xtracycle on the back of your "regular" bike you never have to plan for
                what eventualities the day might bring. If the urge strikes you to stop
                in at a store you can most likely get your purchase home and you never
                have to decide which set of panniers to bring in the morning when you
                leave home.

                The Townie Electra can be easily adjusted for different sized riders
                just by raising and lowering the seat. I would however suggest just
                going with whatever bike you have for now. You can always move the
                Xtracycle to another bike later - if you can bear the though of removing
                it. Having it there becomes "part of life" after a few weeks.

                Juergen



                wy_jimr wrote:
                >
                > OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                > but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start bike
                > commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X would
                > help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                > practical. Any advice from experience would be very much appreciated.
                >
                > Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                > wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a Mtn
                > bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my daughter
                > at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                > rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I ride
                > the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                > after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                > result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                > recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very capable
                > also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in Wyoming).
                > If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                > but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my wife
                > to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5' 5",
                > we are both about 40 yrs old.
                >
                > I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty decent
                > with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit. I
                > considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                > ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                > position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded or
                > climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                > bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We live
                > in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                > considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                > radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                > find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                >
                > Here are my questions:
                >
                > 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old kid
                > to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                > her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                >
                > 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike that
                > we both could ride?
                >
                > 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                > any of the other complete bikes?
                >
                > 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                > advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                >
                > Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                >
                > Jim
                >
                > __.
                >
                >
                >
              • Juergen Weichert
                Just gear down and take your time. I have a BionX electric assist on mine so naturally it is much easier to climb hills. Without the assist turned on it works
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                  Just gear down and take your time.
                  I have a BionX electric assist on mine so naturally it is much easier to
                  climb hills. Without the assist turned on it works OK too though - just
                  a bit slower. I generally take it pretty easy with the kids on board
                  anyways.
                  Juergen


                  Josie Kirton wrote:
                  > For Juergen, and others who haul there kids around, I'm just wondering what
                  > kind of distances you go, and how hard it is to be pulling that much extra
                  > weight. I have two kids, 3 1/2 and 6 1/2, who I'd like to take to school and
                  > back on the xtracycle. Right now I have a handle bar seat (bobike mini) for
                  > the three year old, and a trail-a-bike for the 6 year old. I need to make a
                  > switch to the xtracyle because my daughter's about the grow out of her seat
                  > up front, and my son's not ready yet to ride long distances on his own. I'm
                  > just worried about the weight on a four mile trip to school where no one is
                  > is helping me pedal. I'd love to hear people's experiences of traveling
                  > around with kids, how far they go, how much of a difference it makes to have
                  > two people sitting on the back, etc. Our school is about 4 miles away, and
                  > mostly flat, but a few inclines on the way. The trip home is easy.
                  >
                  > Thanks so much for any feedback.
                  > Josie
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >> From: Juergen Weichert <juergen@...>
                  >> Reply-To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                  >> To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                  >> Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Advice - Considering an Xtracycle
                  >> Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 17:01:18 -0500
                  >>
                  >> I often pick up both my kids at the end of the day (8yrs and 4yrs old)
                  >> and take them home on the back of the Xtracycle. It is REALLY easy to
                  >> drop in for groceries or whatever in this configuration. Imagine - two
                  >> kids PLUS groceries - things we used to "need" a car for! With the
                  >> Xtracycle on the back of your "regular" bike you never have to plan for
                  >> what eventualities the day might bring. If the urge strikes you to stop
                  >> in at a store you can most likely get your purchase home and you never
                  >> have to decide which set of panniers to bring in the morning when you
                  >> leave home.
                  >>
                  >> The Townie Electra can be easily adjusted for different sized riders
                  >> just by raising and lowering the seat. I would however suggest just
                  >> going with whatever bike you have for now. You can always move the
                  >> Xtracycle to another bike later - if you can bear the though of removing
                  >> it. Having it there becomes "part of life" after a few weeks.
                  >>
                  >> Juergen
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> wy_jimr wrote:
                  >>
                  >>> OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                  >>> but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start bike
                  >>> commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X would
                  >>> help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                  >>> practical. Any advice from experience would be very much appreciated.
                  >>>
                  >>> Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                  >>> wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a Mtn
                  >>> bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my daughter
                  >>> at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                  >>> rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I ride
                  >>> the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                  >>> after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                  >>> result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                  >>> recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very capable
                  >>> also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in Wyoming).
                  >>> If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                  >>> but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my wife
                  >>> to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5' 5",
                  >>> we are both about 40 yrs old.
                  >>>
                  >>> I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty decent
                  >>> with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit. I
                  >>> considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                  >>> ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                  >>> position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded or
                  >>> climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                  >>> bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We live
                  >>> in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                  >>> considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                  >>> radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                  >>> find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                  >>>
                  >>> Here are my questions:
                  >>>
                  >>> 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old kid
                  >>> to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                  >>> her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                  >>>
                  >>> 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike that
                  >>> we both could ride?
                  >>>
                  >>> 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                  >>> any of the other complete bikes?
                  >>>
                  >>> 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                  >>> advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                  >>>
                  >>> Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                  >>>
                  >>> Jim
                  >>>
                  >>> __.
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>
                  >> You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots
                  >> radical.
                  >>
                  >> To Post a message, send it to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> ride to believe.
                  >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  > _________________________________________________________________
                  > http://newlivehotmail.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  > ride to believe.
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Stuart Edwards
                  I travel about 10 miles with my 6 and 8 year olds, on a regular basis. It can be tough going, but it is always fun! We once went on an over night tour, on the
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                    I travel about 10 miles with my 6 and 8 year olds, on a regular basis. It can be tough going, but it is always fun!
                     
                    We once went on an over night tour, on the first day we travelled 30miles  (with gear too) the second day we travelled 14miles . We went mountainbiking on another day about 25miles (that was a killer because my bike is a hybird, we (wishfully) carried my daughters bike too in case she had the inclination to ride.
                     
                    Any thing is possible with a bit of practice. :-)

                     
                    On 02/08/07, Juergen Weichert <juergen@...> wrote:
                    Just gear down and take your time.
                    I have a BionX electric assist on mine so naturally it is much easier to
                    climb hills. Without the assist turned on it works OK too though - just
                    a bit slower. I generally take it pretty easy with the kids on board
                    anyways.
                    Juergen


                    Josie Kirton wrote:
                    > For Juergen, and others who haul there kids around, I'm just wondering what
                    > kind of distances you go, and how hard it is to be pulling that much extra
                    > weight. I have two kids, 3 1/2 and 6 1/2, who I'd like to take to school and
                    > back on the xtracycle. Right now I have a handle bar seat (bobike mini) for
                    > the three year old, and a trail-a-bike for the 6 year old. I need to make a
                    > switch to the xtracyle because my daughter's about the grow out of her seat
                    > up front, and my son's not ready yet to ride long distances on his own. I'm
                    > just worried about the weight on a four mile trip to school where no one is
                    > is helping me pedal. I'd love to hear people's experiences of traveling
                    > around with kids, how far they go, how much of a difference it makes to have
                    > two people sitting on the back, etc. Our school is about 4 miles away, and
                    > mostly flat, but a few inclines on the way. The trip home is easy.
                    >
                    > Thanks so much for any feedback.
                    > Josie
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >> From: Juergen Weichert <juergen@...>
                    >> Reply-To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    >> To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    >> Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Advice - Considering an Xtracycle
                    >> Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 17:01:18 -0500
                    >>
                    >> I often pick up both my kids at the end of the day (8yrs and 4yrs old)
                    >> and take them home on the back of the Xtracycle. It is REALLY easy to
                    >> drop in for groceries or whatever in this configuration. Imagine - two
                    >> kids PLUS groceries - things we used to "need" a car for! With the
                    >> Xtracycle on the back of your "regular" bike you never have to plan for
                    >> what eventualities the day might bring. If the urge strikes you to stop
                    >> in at a store you can most likely get your purchase home and you never
                    >> have to decide which set of panniers to bring in the morning when you
                    >> leave home.
                    >>
                    >> The Townie Electra can be easily adjusted for different sized riders
                    >> just by raising and lowering the seat. I would however suggest just
                    >> going with whatever bike you have for now. You can always move the
                    >> Xtracycle to another bike later - if you can bear the though of removing
                    >> it. Having it there becomes "part of life" after a few weeks.
                    >>
                    >> Juergen
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> wy_jimr wrote:
                    >>
                    >>> OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                    >>> but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start bike
                    >>> commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X would
                    >>> help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                    >>> practical. Any advice from experience would be very much appreciated.
                    >>>
                    >>> Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                    >>> wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a Mtn
                    >>> bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my daughter
                    >>> at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                    >>> rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I ride
                    >>> the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                    >>> after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                    >>> result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                    >>> recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very capable
                    >>> also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in Wyoming).
                    >>> If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                    >>> but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my wife
                    >>> to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5' 5",
                    >>> we are both about 40 yrs old.
                    >>>
                    >>> I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty decent
                    >>> with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit. I
                    >>> considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                    >>> ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                    >>> position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded or
                    >>> climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                    >>> bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We live
                    >>> in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                    >>> considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                    >>> radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                    >>> find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                    >>>
                    >>> Here are my questions:
                    >>>
                    >>> 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old kid
                    >>> to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                    >>> her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                    >>>
                    >>> 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike that
                    >>> we both could ride?
                    >>>
                    >>> 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                    >>> any of the other complete bikes?
                    >>>
                    >>> 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                    >>> advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                    >>>
                    >>> Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                    >>>
                    >>> Jim
                    >>>
                    >>> __.
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>
                    >> You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots
                    >> radical.
                    >>
                    >> To Post a message, send it to:       rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> ride to believe.
                    >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    > _________________________________________________________________
                    > http://newlivehotmail.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to:        rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >
                    > ride to believe.
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >



                    You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.

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                    --
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                    Cargo Bike New Zealand
                    04 5770746
                    www.cargobikenz.co.nz
                    simplyliving.co.nz
                  • Mark Garvey
                    ... street tire and only $20! Can run them at 100 psi if you like, I run at 80 or so and they are super. My bike is a Mountain bike (an elderly, battered,
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                      On 8/1/07, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:


                      For street and light off-road riding, lose the clunky knobby tires,
                      and get something wide and slick-ish.  I run 2.3" Schwalbe
                      Big Apples, at 60psi, and they are great.

                      I have chosen to go with Primo Comet 26 x 1.5 tires and they are a super street tire and only $20!  Can run them at 100 psi if you like, I run at 80 or so and they are super.   My bike is a Mountain bike (an elderly, battered, Jamis Durango Sport)  why not set up a bike for your 10 year old and ride WITH her to school and she can ride home on her own.(I was riding my bike to school at 6 and 7 years old!  so were my siblings!)   as far as the X goes, I too would recommend a mountain bike that suits you and your wife, or better still, instead of buying a complete freeradical bike and X why not spend the same money and buy a pair of Freeradicals and mount them on bikes you already like and that fit you.

                      My impressions are probably not real valid, because I have only had my X for 2 days now, but I have ridden a total of about 40 miles on it so far.  Two trips to the store, one for about 3 days worth (6 bags) of groceries. and two trips to and from work (both today as it happens!)  The Mountain bike is lively, smooth and handles BETTER with the X than without it.  It seems to climb faster too.  I can't imagine why, it is heavier by 5 lbs!  But it is very stable!  Carrying stuff is a non problem!  I forgot and toted around a small folding camp stool for 2 days.  this morning I tossed my sandals in the bags, followed by my hat, a folder for the investment BS from the HR department, and my clipboard (I am writing yet ANOTHER BOOK!  this  one on Children's entertainment)  the top pocket holds my lock, battery charger, and small tools,  the rest goes into the big pockets.

                      Really, instead of buying a special bike and fiddling with it to get it to fit you both (it will likely fit neither of you well) simply buy a PAIR of Free Radicals and put them on your mountain bikes, it will IMPROVE the mountain bikes to no end!  If you have to pick something up at the store, you can stash all sorts of stuff in the bags!   I wouldn't be afraid to haul a watermelon in there!
                      mark

                      --
                      Putting the fun in dysfunctional for over 50 years!


                      Mark  Garvey
                      Cedar Rapids, Iowa free state!

                      Check out the web site at:
                      http://www.vine-ave.com   

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                    • David Chase
                      I would worry more about the handling and less about the weight. Low gears help you cope with hills, and you are likely to get stronger pretty quickly (how are
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                        I would worry more about the handling and less about the weight.
                        Low gears help you cope with hills, and you are likely to get stronger
                        pretty quickly (how are your lungs? I have been handily passed by
                        women much smaller -- and lighter -- than me on hill climbs in the past.
                        I am 220lbs all by myself). And, if you have weight-related
                        handling problems, they'll be larger on the descents, at higher speeds.

                        I met a woman in Cambridge with a load like yours on an X -- two kids,
                        perhaps of those ages. The problem you will have is that what you
                        will want to do, in the interests of safety, is put the little kid
                        sitting
                        forward of the big kid, but the handling advantage of having the big
                        kid in front is so large that she had the smaller child in back.

                        Other people have some experience putting kiddie seats on Xs;
                        that might work for you, too.

                        On 2007-08-01, at 5:47 PM, Josie Kirton wrote:

                        > For Juergen, and others who haul there kids around, I'm just
                        > wondering what
                        > kind of distances you go, and how hard it is to be pulling that
                        > much extra
                        > weight. I have two kids, 3 1/2 and 6 1/2, who I'd like to take to
                        > school and
                        > back on the xtracycle..... I'd love to hear people's experiences of
                        > traveling
                        > around with kids, how far they go, how much of a difference it
                        > makes to have
                        > two people sitting on the back, etc. Our school is about 4 miles
                        > away, and
                        > mostly flat, but a few inclines on the way. The trip home is easy.
                      • mijatov.iven
                        Tonight we went to eat dinner and it was about a 5 mile round trip. 72 lb 6-yr old on the deck and 27 lb 3-yr old in a Burley Cub. Handles great - Townie is
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                          Tonight we went to eat dinner and it was about a 5 mile round trip. 72
                          lb 6-yr old on the deck and 27 lb 3-yr old in a Burley Cub. Handles
                          great - Townie is very forgiving!

                          I've ridden 10+ miles with them before with out much of a problem.

                          The 6-yr old has a Townie 7 that he rides during the day (and low
                          traffic times). We are very selective with our routes when he's riding
                          solo.

                          -Crazy

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I would worry more about the handling and less about the weight.
                          > Low gears help you cope with hills, and you are likely to get stronger
                          > pretty quickly (how are your lungs? I have been handily passed by
                          > women much smaller -- and lighter -- than me on hill climbs in the past.
                          > I am 220lbs all by myself). And, if you have weight-related
                          > handling problems, they'll be larger on the descents, at higher speeds.
                          >
                          > I met a woman in Cambridge with a load like yours on an X -- two kids,
                          > perhaps of those ages. The problem you will have is that what you
                          > will want to do, in the interests of safety, is put the little kid
                          > sitting
                          > forward of the big kid, but the handling advantage of having the big
                          > kid in front is so large that she had the smaller child in back.
                          >
                          > Other people have some experience putting kiddie seats on Xs;
                          > that might work for you, too.
                          >
                          > On 2007-08-01, at 5:47 PM, Josie Kirton wrote:
                          >
                          > > For Juergen, and others who haul there kids around, I'm just
                          > > wondering what
                          > > kind of distances you go, and how hard it is to be pulling that
                          > > much extra
                          > > weight. I have two kids, 3 1/2 and 6 1/2, who I'd like to take to
                          > > school and
                          > > back on the xtracycle..... I'd love to hear people's experiences of
                          > > traveling
                          > > around with kids, how far they go, how much of a difference it
                          > > makes to have
                          > > two people sitting on the back, etc. Our school is about 4 miles
                          > > away, and
                          > > mostly flat, but a few inclines on the way. The trip home is easy.
                          >
                        • liza mattana
                          we re letting a friend borrow our xtracycle this summer. it has a Companion Carrier front seat that his 3 yr old daughter rides, and his 8 yr old son rides on
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                            we're letting a friend borrow our xtracycle this summer. it has a Companion Carrier front seat that his 3 yr old daughter rides, and his 8 yr old son rides on back. they're really enjoying it, especially the 3 yr old. they have it parked in their living room when it's not "in use" and little Theo sits on it when she watches movies. our daughter is too big now for me to haul around without any help, so the x has become a loaner.

                            we have a four year old girl, 43 lbs, and we haul her to school daily on our tandem for the 2 mile RT commute. we do most of our errands and get-arounds with this bike. most of the trips are under 10 miles with some hills. the ride from downtown to our house involves more than 500 ft of climbing in 1 mile. we do most of the work, and she stokes when we're climbing. it's a little bit of help, but it makes a huge difference for me! we also took a camping trip this summer, 20 miles RT, and our daughter totally loved it. she prefers pedaling and told us so.

                            for us right now, the tandem is a better fit. but the xtracycle was a great asset when she was younger. i wish we would have gotten it and the front seat when she was 6mths old. then we could have enjoyed it for 3+ years.

                            liza







                            On 8/1/07, Stuart Edwards <xtracycler@...> wrote:

                            I travel about 10 miles with my 6 and 8 year olds, on a regular basis. It can be tough going, but it is always fun!
                             
                            We once went on an over night tour, on the first day we travelled 30miles  (with gear too) the second day we travelled 14miles . We went mountainbiking on another day about 25miles (that was a killer because my bike is a hybird, we (wishfully) carried my daughters bike too in case she had the inclination to ride.
                             
                            Any thing is possible with a bit of practice. :-)

                             
                            On 02/08/07, Juergen Weichert <juergen@... > wrote:
                            Just gear down and take your time.
                            I have a BionX electric assist on mine so naturally it is much easier to
                            climb hills. Without the assist turned on it works OK too though - just
                            a bit slower. I generally take it pretty easy with the kids on board
                            anyways.
                            Juergen


                            Josie Kirton wrote:
                            > For Juergen, and others who haul there kids around, I'm just wondering what
                            > kind of distances you go, and how hard it is to be pulling that much extra
                            > weight. I have two kids, 3 1/2 and 6 1/2, who I'd like to take to school and
                            > back on the xtracycle. Right now I have a handle bar seat (bobike mini) for
                            > the three year old, and a trail-a-bike for the 6 year old. I need to make a
                            > switch to the xtracyle because my daughter's about the grow out of her seat
                            > up front, and my son's not ready yet to ride long distances on his own. I'm
                            > just worried about the weight on a four mile trip to school where no one is
                            > is helping me pedal. I'd love to hear people's experiences of traveling
                            > around with kids, how far they go, how much of a difference it makes to have
                            > two people sitting on the back, etc. Our school is about 4 miles away, and
                            > mostly flat, but a few inclines on the way. The trip home is easy.
                            >
                            > Thanks so much for any feedback.
                            > Josie
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >> From: Juergen Weichert <juergen@...>
                            >> Reply-To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                            >> To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                            >> Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Advice - Considering an Xtracycle
                            >> Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 17:01:18 -0500
                            >>
                            >> I often pick up both my kids at the end of the day (8yrs and 4yrs old)
                            >> and take them home on the back of the Xtracycle. It is REALLY easy to
                            >> drop in for groceries or whatever in this configuration. Imagine - two
                            >> kids PLUS groceries - things we used to "need" a car for! With the
                            >> Xtracycle on the back of your "regular" bike you never have to plan for
                            >> what eventualities the day might bring. If the urge strikes you to stop
                            >> in at a store you can most likely get your purchase home and you never
                            >> have to decide which set of panniers to bring in the morning when you
                            >> leave home.
                            >>
                            >> The Townie Electra can be easily adjusted for different sized riders
                            >> just by raising and lowering the seat. I would however suggest just
                            >> going with whatever bike you have for now. You can always move the
                            >> Xtracycle to another bike later - if you can bear the though of removing
                            >> it. Having it there becomes "part of life" after a few weeks.
                            >>
                            >> Juergen
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> wy_jimr wrote:
                            >>
                            >>> OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                            >>> but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start bike
                            >>> commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X would
                            >>> help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                            >>> practical. Any advice from experience would be very much appreciated.
                            >>>
                            >>> Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                            >>> wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a Mtn
                            >>> bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my daughter
                            >>> at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                            >>> rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I ride
                            >>> the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                            >>> after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                            >>> result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                            >>> recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very capable
                            >>> also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in Wyoming).
                            >>> If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                            >>> but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my wife
                            >>> to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5' 5",
                            >>> we are both about 40 yrs old.
                            >>>
                            >>> I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty decent
                            >>> with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit. I
                            >>> considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                            >>> ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                            >>> position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded or
                            >>> climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                            >>> bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We live
                            >>> in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                            >>> considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                            >>> radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                            >>> find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                            >>>
                            >>> Here are my questions:
                            >>>
                            >>> 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old kid
                            >>> to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                            >>> her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                            >>>
                            >>> 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike that
                            >>> we both could ride?
                            >>>
                            >>> 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                            >>> any of the other complete bikes?
                            >>>
                            >>> 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                            >>> advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                            >>>
                            >>> Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                            >>>
                            >>> Jim
                            >>>
                            >>> __.
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>
                            >> You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots
                            >> radical.
                            >>
                            >> To Post a message, send it to:       rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> ride to believe.
                            >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >
                            > _________________________________________________________________
                            > http://newlivehotmail.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.
                            >
                            > To Post a message, send it to:         rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            >
                            > ride to believe.
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >



                            You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.

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                            --
                            Stuart Edwards
                            Cargo Bike New Zealand
                            04 5770746
                            www.cargobikenz.co.nz
                            simplyliving.co.nz




                            --
                            liza mattana
                            http://www.pedals2people.org
                            spokane, wa
                          • Jeff Ong
                            Jim; I second David s point about the Townie being a very different bike from the performance bikes it sounds like you re used to. I d be more inclined to
                            Message 13 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
                              Jim;

                              I second David's point about the Townie being a very different bike
                              from the "performance" bikes it sounds like you're used to. I'd be
                              more inclined to stick it on a rigid mountain bike -- that's what I
                              did, and it's already a VERY different feeling bike than any of my
                              "normal" bikes.

                              I'd tend to think the Townie would be a little frustrating for you,
                              as an experienced cyclist. I hope this doesn't offend anyone here,
                              but from what I've seen, it's designed for fairly casual use, and is
                              particularly meant for people who want to be able to place both feet
                              on the ground when coming to a complete stop. The Townie itself,
                              without the Free Radical, weighs in at around 40 lbs, and it's a
                              pretty discouraging bike if your rides include any real hills (this
                              from a friend who attempted her daily commute on one). The Free
                              Radical with bags, etc., adds an extra 10.

                              You'll like the way a real mountain bike feels with the Free Rad on
                              it... build it out more upright than you'd ever build a singletrack
                              bike, stick some big fat slicks on there, and get ready to ride a
                              little slower than you do on any of your existing bikes! It was quite
                              an adjustment for me, as a road/mountain bike guy. It's fun,
                              though... I don't mind slowing down a little bit and just sitting up,
                              looking around, and spinning slowly up a hill.

                              Also, for what it's worth, I don't think I'd bother trying to ride
                              actual "singletrack" on an Xtracycle -- at least the singletrack I
                              think of when I think about XC mountain biking, which can include 2-3
                              foot drops, 12-inch log crossings, etc. I'm sure it would be fine or
                              even great for touring on dirt roads, rutted jeep tracks or narrow
                              but smooth trails (I've ridden some fire roads and light doubletrack
                              on it, and it does OK). But you certainly won't be hopping the rear
                              end around tight switchbacks, or negotiating rock gardens with it.

                              Don't get me wrong -- I'm really enjoying the X, and find it very
                              useful and fun to ride. But you will definitely notice the large,
                              somewhat sluggish object attached to the back of your bike! Some of
                              the Xtracycle material makes it seem like there are no compromises
                              involved, and that's just not the case... it's like the Dutch bike
                              thing -- you just have to have a different (i.e., non-Lance-ish!)
                              mindset when riding one.

                              Best,

                              Jeff
                              --

                              -----
                              Jeff Ong, Managing Partner, Leadcleaner (http://www.leadcleaner.com)
                              Web-based lead capture and qualification for direct marketing professionals.
                              Contact: ong@... or 503.239.7264
                            • wy_jimr
                              Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for advice; I think your recommendations and experience will prove invaluable. If you are interested, this is
                              Message 14 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for advice; I think
                                your recommendations and experience will prove invaluable.

                                If you are interested, this is what we have decided to do: Get the
                                Xtracycle kit and put it on my wife's Mtn bike (old Trek steel frame,
                                fully rigid, 3 x 7 gearing). Add riser bars and an adjustable stem,
                                already have quick release seat. Add footsies, slick tires and a
                                stoker bar for passengers and see how it works!

                                Thanks again.

                                Jim

                                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "wy_jimr" <jim@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                                > but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start
                                bike
                                > commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X
                                would
                                > help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                                > practical. Any advice from experience would be very much
                                appreciated.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                                > wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a
                                Mtn
                                > bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my
                                daughter
                                > at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                                > rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I
                                ride
                                > the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                                > after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                                > result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                                > recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very
                                capable
                                > also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in
                                Wyoming).
                                > If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                                > but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my
                                wife
                                > to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5'
                                5",
                                > we are both about 40 yrs old.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty
                                decent
                                > with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit.
                                I
                                > considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                                > ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                                > position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded
                                or
                                > climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                                > bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We
                                live
                                > in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                                > considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                                > radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                                > find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Here are my questions:
                                >
                                > 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old
                                kid
                                > to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                                > her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                                >
                                > 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike
                                that
                                > we both could ride?
                                >
                                > 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                                > any of the other complete bikes?
                                >
                                > 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                                > advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Jim
                                >
                              • Ryano
                                Sounds pretty good to me. Go for it. ... Sounds pretty good to me. Go for it. On 03/08/07, wy_jimr wrote: Thanks to everyone who
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                  Sounds pretty good to me.  Go for it.

                                  On 03/08/07, wy_jimr <jim@...> wrote:

                                  Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for advice; I think
                                  your recommendations and experience will prove invaluable.

                                  If you are interested, this is what we have decided to do: Get the
                                  Xtracycle kit and put it on my wife's Mtn bike (old Trek steel frame,
                                  fully rigid, 3 x 7 gearing). Add riser bars and an adjustable stem,
                                  already have quick release seat. Add footsies, slick tires and a
                                  stoker bar for passengers and see how it works!

                                  Thanks again.

                                  Jim



                                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "wy_jimr" <jim@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                                  > but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start
                                  bike
                                  > commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X
                                  would
                                  > help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                                  > practical. Any advice from experience would be very much
                                  appreciated.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                                  > wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a
                                  Mtn
                                  > bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my
                                  daughter
                                  > at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                                  > rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I
                                  ride
                                  > the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                                  > after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                                  > result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                                  > recreation/exercise. My wife is a less avid cyclist but very
                                  capable
                                  > also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in
                                  Wyoming).
                                  > If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                                  > but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my
                                  wife
                                  > to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5'
                                  5",
                                  > we are both about 40 yrs old.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty
                                  decent
                                  > with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit.
                                  I
                                  > considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                                  > ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                                  > position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded
                                  or
                                  > climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                                  > bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We
                                  live
                                  > in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                                  > considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                                  > radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                                  > find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Here are my questions:
                                  >
                                  > 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old
                                  kid
                                  > to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                                  > her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                                  >
                                  > 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike
                                  that
                                  > we both could ride?
                                  >
                                  > 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                                  > any of the other complete bikes?
                                  >
                                  > 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                                  > advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Jim
                                  >


                                • Derek Pearson
                                  I d consider getting the wideloaders in place of the footsies. They can be used for the same thing, and the wideloaders open up a lot more possibilities. ...
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                    I'd consider getting the wideloaders in place of the footsies. They can be used for the same thing, and the wideloaders open up a lot more
                                    possibilities.



                                    ----- Original Message ----
                                    From: wy_jimr <jim@...>
                                    To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2007 9:20:07 AM
                                    Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Advice - Considering an Xtracycle

                                    Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for advice; I think
                                    your recommendations and experience will prove invaluable.

                                    If you are interested, this is what we have decided to do: Get the
                                    Xtracycle kit and put it on my wife's Mtn bike (old Trek steel frame,
                                    fully rigid, 3 x 7 gearing). Add riser bars and an adjustable stem,
                                    already have quick release seat. Add footsies, slick tires and a
                                    stoker bar for passengers and see how it works!

                                    Thanks again.

                                    Jim

                                    --- In rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com, "wy_jimr" <jim@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                                    > but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start
                                    bike
                                    > commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X
                                    would
                                    > help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                                    > practical. Any advice from experience would be very much
                                    appreciated.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                                    > wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a
                                    Mtn
                                    > bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my
                                    daughter
                                    > at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                                    > rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I
                                    ride
                                    > the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                                    > after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                                    > result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                                    > recreation/exercise . My wife is a less avid cyclist but very
                                    capable
                                    > also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in
                                    Wyoming).
                                    > If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                                    > but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my
                                    wife
                                    > to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5'
                                    5",
                                    > we are both about 40 yrs old.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty
                                    decent
                                    > with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit.
                                    I
                                    > considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                                    > ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                                    > position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded
                                    or
                                    > climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                                    > bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We
                                    live
                                    > in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                                    > considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                                    > radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                                    > find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Here are my questions:
                                    >
                                    > 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old
                                    kid
                                    > to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                                    > her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                                    >
                                    > 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike
                                    that
                                    > we both could ride?
                                    >
                                    > 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                                    > any of the other complete bikes?
                                    >
                                    > 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                                    > advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Jim
                                    >




                                    Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your story.
                                    Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.
                                  • jegarh@aol.com
                                    ... Derek Pearson? said..... ... I have commuted over 6000 miles on my Xtra built up on a $40 yard sale hard tail Mongoose.? I carry a 22 long piece of 3/4
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                      -----
                                      Derek Pearson  said.....

                                      >I'd consider getting the wideloaders in place of the footsies. They can be used for the same thing, and the >wideloaders open up a lot more
                                      >possibilities.

                                      I have commuted over 6000 miles on my Xtra built up on a $40 yard sale hard tail Mongoose.  I carry a 22" long piece of 3/4" CPVC that I slide through the front transverse element of the Xtra attachment so any passenger I might have to carry along will have some "foot pegs" to rest their feet on.  I toss it in one of the small pockets in the Freeloader when it isn't being used.

                                      Jerry (saved buying $5,000+ fuel in the last 5 years) Rhodes 




                                      AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.
                                    • Mark Garvey
                                      ... That sounds really great to me too. I have the wideloadeers and have ordered the Footsies because I think they are COOL and my grand daughter will love
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                        On 8/2/07, wy_jimr <jim@...> wrote:
                                        Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for advice; I think
                                        your recommendations and experience will prove invaluable.

                                        If you are interested, this is what we have decided to do:  Get the
                                        Xtracycle kit and put it on my wife's Mtn bike (old Trek steel frame,
                                        fully rigid, 3 x 7 gearing).  Add riser bars and an adjustable stem,
                                        already have quick release seat.  Add footsies, slick tires and a
                                        stoker bar for passengers and see how it works!

                                        Thanks again.

                                        That sounds really great to me too.  I have the wideloadeers and have ordered the Footsies because I think they are COOL and my grand daughter will love them!  I am checking with a buddy who loves to build wheels about building me up a set of BOMB proof wheels with disc brakes.  My bike will have to have a disc fork or have a disc tab brazed on.  The X seems to really improve my bike a great deal!   I got the bike on Freecycle (a good source for bike parts!) as a frame only. it is a Jamis  durango Sport from a few years ago and is scarred and dinged, but it cost me NOTHING!  I had to put some cheap wheels on it and my Brooks B-66 saddle as well as a set of handlebars and a new stem, but it is very nice to ride!

                                        The best part is that I can go to the store for groceries and not worry about not having room for my stuff!  I can ride to work and have room for my spare shoes, and a place to stash my helmet while at work.  It is pretty versatile.

                                        mark
                                        Putting the fun in dysfunctional for over 50 years!


                                        Mark  Garvey
                                        Cedar Rapids, Iowa free state!

                                        Check out the web site at:
                                        http://www.vine-ave.com   

                                        contact us to have INVISIBLE INC! appear at your next program!  Details at www.vine-ave.com

                                        I am a bicycling lifestylist!
                                      • Cathode Ray
                                        ... They are cool to start with; but once the the nut inserts pull out of the tubing the cool factor plummets to zero and you are left with two pieces of wood
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                          At 7:24 PM -0500 2/8/07, Mark Garvey wrote:
                                          >have ordered the Footsies because I think they are COOL and my grand
                                          >daughter will love them


                                          They are cool to start with; but once the the nut inserts pull out of
                                          the tubing the cool factor plummets to zero and you are left with two
                                          pieces of wood and two short pieces of Al tubing. (This is with adult
                                          passengers, YMMV with your granddaughter).

                                          I cut the leg off a tubular steel chair and use that instead. A piece
                                          about 360 mm long works for me. I put a rubber cap on each end.
                                        • Mark Garvey
                                          ... OK, how are the Footsies secured in the frame? With spring clips like the Wideloaders? -- Putting the fun in dysfunctional for over 50 years! Mark Garvey
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                            On 8/2/07, Juergen Weichert <juergen@...> wrote:
                                            Wideloaders will work for passengers, but footsies are much better. I
                                            would get both. I usually keep the footsies either installed or in the
                                            bags, and only install the wide loaders when required for bigger loads.
                                            You can also carry the wide loaders in the bags quite easily "just in
                                            case" you might need them.
                                            Juergen


                                            OK, how are the Footsies secured in the frame?  With spring clips like the Wideloaders?


                                            --
                                            Putting the fun in dysfunctional for over 50 years!


                                            Mark  Garvey
                                            Cedar Rapids, Iowa free state!

                                            Check out the web site at:
                                            http://www.vine-ave.com   

                                            contact us to have INVISIBLE INC! appear at your next program!  Details at www.vine-ave.com

                                            I am a bicycling lifestylist!
                                          • Juergen Weichert
                                            Wideloaders will work for passengers, but footsies are much better. I would get both. I usually keep the footsies either installed or in the bags, and only
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
                                              Wideloaders will work for passengers, but footsies are much better. I
                                              would get both. I usually keep the footsies either installed or in the
                                              bags, and only install the wide loaders when required for bigger loads.
                                              You can also carry the wide loaders in the bags quite easily "just in
                                              case" you might need them.
                                              Juergen


                                              Derek Pearson wrote:
                                              > I'd consider getting the wideloaders in place of the footsies. They
                                              > can be used for the same thing, and the wideloaders open up a lot more
                                              > possibilities.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ----- Original Message ----
                                              > From: wy_jimr <jim@...>
                                              > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                              > Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2007 9:20:07 AM
                                              > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Advice - Considering an Xtracycle
                                              >
                                              > Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for advice; I think
                                              > your recommendations and experience will prove invaluable.
                                              >
                                              > If you are interested, this is what we have decided to do: Get the
                                              > Xtracycle kit and put it on my wife's Mtn bike (old Trek steel frame,
                                              > fully rigid, 3 x 7 gearing). Add riser bars and an adjustable stem,
                                              > already have quick release seat. Add footsies, slick tires and a
                                              > stoker bar for passengers and see how it works!
                                              >
                                              > Thanks again.
                                              >
                                              > Jim
                                              >
                                              > --- In rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com
                                              > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>, "wy_jimr" <jim@...> wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > > OK, so I found the Xtracycle website and thought it looked awesome,
                                              > > but I am not sure if it is for me or not. I would like to start
                                              > bike
                                              > > commuting more and use a bike for errands etc. and hoping the X
                                              > would
                                              > > help me do that, otherwise I drive a pickup – not the most
                                              > > practical. Any advice from experience would be very much
                                              > appreciated.
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Background info: We currently have 6 bikes for a family of 3; my
                                              > > wife and I each have a Mtn and road bike, 9yr old daughter has a
                                              > Mtn
                                              > > bike and Adams Trail-a-bike. My daily routine is to drop my
                                              > daughter
                                              > > at school which is just a few blocks from work. When I bike, she
                                              > > rides on her trail-a-bike to school and takes the bus home and I
                                              > ride
                                              > > the trail-a-bike home empty. If I know I need to pick up something
                                              > > after work I drive instead. I don't cycle to work often as a
                                              > > result. I am a capable/avid cyclist but ride mostly for
                                              > > recreation/exercise . My wife is a less avid cyclist but very
                                              > capable
                                              > > also (did a 400 mile tour in 6 days a couple years ago in
                                              > Wyoming).
                                              > > If I got an Xtracycle, it would not go on any of our current bikes
                                              > > but would replace the trail-a bike. I would like for me and my
                                              > wife
                                              > > to both be able to comfortably ride it; I am 5' 10" and she is 5'
                                              > 5",
                                              > > we are both about 40 yrs old.
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > I looked at both the complete bikes and the kits. I am pretty
                                              > decent
                                              > > with a wrench and would feel comfortable building one with a kit.
                                              > I
                                              > > considered the Electra Townie 21 as an option that we both could
                                              > > ride, but am concerned about some comments I saw about the riding
                                              > > position tending to push you off the back of the seat when loaded
                                              > or
                                              > > climbing; I have never ridden one. I know my wife won't ride any
                                              > > bike unless it fits her pretty well and it is easy to ride. We
                                              > live
                                              > > in a place with 4 distinct seasons and some hills. Options I have
                                              > > considered are: 1) Get a complete Townie, 2) get a complete free
                                              > > radical kit and a new Mtn bike we could both ride and build it, 3)
                                              > > find a used Mtn bike and a kit and build it out, 4) do nothing.
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Here are my questions:
                                              > >
                                              > > 1) Is it really practical to expect to take a 9/10 year old
                                              > kid
                                              > > to school every day on the X, about 2 miles? She is comfortable on
                                              > > her trail-a-bike and a good rider.
                                              > >
                                              > > 2) Is it practical to expect to be able to build an X bike
                                              > that
                                              > > we both could ride?
                                              > >
                                              > > 3) Any experience or advice about the Townie, good or bad? Or
                                              > > any of the other complete bikes?
                                              > >
                                              > > 4) Cost is a factor but usability is a bigger factor. Any
                                              > > advice on what kind of bike or the build versus buy options?
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Jim
                                              > >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              > Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your story.
                                              > Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.
                                              > <http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=48224/*http://sims.yahoo.com/>
                                              >
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