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Re:Advice - Considering an Xtracycle

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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      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 2 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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        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 3 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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          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 4 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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            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 5 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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              -----
              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 6 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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                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 7 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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                  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 8 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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                    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 9 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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                      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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