Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Big Dummy review

Expand Messages
  • Robert Tilley
    I posted this on another list I m on & thought it may be useful here as well: I received my Big Dummy in early March of this year & it has been my main ride
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      I posted this on another list I'm on & thought it may be useful here as well:


      I received my Big Dummy in early March of this year & it has been my
      main ride since then.  The main reason for getting the bike was that
      my riding in the last few years has taken a complete 180 degree turn
      from 99% recreational riding to 99% utilitarian riding.  Basically the
      only way I get to ride these days is if I get something done by doing
      it.  I didn't buy it in order to go green (even though I do recycle
      everything I can), I didn't do it because oil is evil (I own a big-ass
      4x4 pickup, a Miata & I love to drive) & I didn't buy it to impress
      people by hauling all of this heavy stuff around town.  I bought it
      simply because it allowed me to ride a bike more & most of the time it
      makes more sense than driving.

      I have the 2011 model & bought it as a complete bike.  I looked at
      buying a prior year's model frame & building it up but it likely would
      have cost me more that way.  I bought the bike online from Bikeman &
      all I needed to do was install the fork (headset cups and crown race
      were installed already), attach the handlebars, attach the front disc
      brake & install the V-Racks & FreeLoader bags.  I was surprised to
      find that the FreeLoader bags keep the V-Racks secured to the bike but
      it works fine in practice.  The front brake did require a bit of
      adjusting but for the most part the bike was rideable out of the box.
      I have never ordered from Bikeman before but I will again (& have
      since). I ordered online due to there being no sales tax, shipping was
      free & I'm able to do all of the wrenching myself.  The box that the
      bike came in was enormous.

      I decided to go with the Medium frame size (18").  I'm 5' 11" with an
      86 cm pubic bone height so I could have gone with a Large or even an
      Extra Large frame.  I went with the Medium in order to maximize
      standover clearance since with a big load on the rear there will be
      times I'll need to step over the top tube in order to mount the bike.
      I didn't have a problem getting the bike set up how I like it even
      with a smaller frame than I usually would take.  I've recently put a
      riser stem on the bike in order to get the bars up a bit higher.

      On the first errand that I ran on the bike I was a bit surprised by
      how much the bike felt normal to me.  I thought it handled remarkably
      well & didn't feel like I was riding a longtail at all.  The bike
      responded well to inputs & was very maneuverable for such a large
      bike.  The Deore parts work extremely well and I have had zero issues
      with them.  I am a bit ambivalent about the Avid mechanical disc
      brakes that came on the bike.  They work well and have great stopping
      power but I can't seem to get them to stop rubbing the rotor
      permanently.  It seems that different loads affect whether or not the
      brakes will rub.  These are my first disc brakes so it could be my
      poor setup as well.

      Loading the bike, I have found, takes a bit of practice & there is a
      learning curve to overcome.  I've ridden with some pretty off-balance
      loads and, although the bike handled it well, it wasn't optimal.  What
      affected handling more than off-balance loads was having heavier items
      loaded up high.  Putting the heavier items as low as possible really
      helps improve the handling.  So far I've hauled upwards of 150 lbs
      without issue.  I live in San Diego which is very hilly & I haven't
      had to walk yet.

      You can buy lots of accessories for the bike but I've only purchased a
      few so far.  By far the most useful accessory for me has been the
      WideLoaders which basically give you a horizontal platform on each
      side of the bike to load cargo onto.  These should probably be a
      standard item included in the Xtracycle kit.  I actually bought the
      Cargo Van kit which included the WideLoaders as well as the LongLoader
      & some straps.  I haven't used the LongLoader yet.  Other than these
      I've just picked up some additional straps to use when I need to strap
      things down.  One thing I was disappointed in at first is that the
      Xtracycle kit now comes standard with the FlightDeck instead of the
      SnapDeck.  The FlightDeck is probably better but I love the look of
      the wood deck so maybe down the road I'll pick one up.

      I haven't made many changes to the stock bike.  Flat bars don't work
      for me so I changed the bars out to some Origin8 Space II bars.  These
      are very similar to OnOne Mary bars & so far I really like them.  I
      also added Ergon grips to the bars.  I swapped out the stock stem for
      a stem with more rise.  The rear brake housing is likely a bit too
      tight due to the bar swap so I'll move the housing to a new bike I'm
      setting up & recable the rear brake eventually.  I also added some
      Planet Bike Cascadia 29er 65mm fenders which went on without much
      hassle (more on that below).  I mounted the front fender stays to the
      mid-fork braze-ons to eliminate having to work around the disc brake.
      I used the included disc brake adaptors to mount the rear fender.  The
      stock Town & Country tires feel fine & I haven't had any flats so far.
       I could likely get nicer rolling tires but I'm more concerned with
      flat prevention.  The last thing I want is to have to unload the bike
      in order to fix a flat.  The FlightDeck platform is pretty slick so I
      may add some type of tape to it in order to keep things from sliding
      around so much.

      One problem I have run into with the bike is that the chain rubs on
      one of the rear bottle cages when in the granny gear.  It is a bit of
      a beefy cage so a thinner bottle cage may not be a problem.  I could
      also likely bend the cage a bit to get it to clear but I didn't need
      the 3rd cage back there so I simply took it off.  The chain also
      rubbed on the rear fender when in the granny gear so I ended up
      dremeling off a bit of the fender to eliminate the rub.  These are
      large fenders so I'm not sure if this would be an issue with narrower
      fenders or not.  The only other problem I've run into is my own fault.
       When I'm running WideLoaders on the bike I forget they are on & I
      keep running over my foot with them when starting off from a stop.
      Not an issue unloaded but it could be a problem with a heavy load on
      the bike.

      I've found that the velcro straps that come with the new FreeLoader
      bags are not very strong & tend to come apart at the seams.  I've
      broken a couple so far so I picked up some double sided Velcro
      strapping to replace the stock straps with when they break.  Per some
      posts on Xtracycle’s Facebook page these straps were threaded wrong
      from the manufacturer & the incorrect threading puts extra stress on
      the straps.  I’ve rethreaded mine per their instructions & still had
      one break.

      I've read Jan's review of the Big Dummy (I subscribed just so I could
      read it) & the review didn't make a lot of sense to me.  Why complain
      that riders on single bikes (some obviously being sub-20 lb bikes) are
      pulling away from you when you're on a big heavy cargo bike?  Per the
      Surly site it looks like the Big Dummy frame is 12.6 lbs & the fork is
      2.9 lbs.  That's 15.5 lbs before you attach any parts to the frame.
      Jan’s review puts the weight of the bike at 48.5 lbs so adding the two
      locks (one a Kryptonite New York chain), tools & spare straps I always
      carry I’m at a minimum of 60 lbs before I add any cargo.   I’ve passed
      a few people but I typically get passed by others.  Likewise it makes
      no sense to complain that you're tired after a ride when you're
      pulling an additional 30 lbs of bike around.  The Big Dummy wasn't
      built to plane it was built to haul cargo.

      The issue of useful cargo space being taken up by the rear wheel is
      somewhat true but only if you don't use the WideLoader accessory.  I'm
      not sure if Jan even knew this was an option since the accessory
      wasn’t mentioned in his review.  A bit of research here would have
      helped.  Surly likely should have included them with the test bike.
      WideLoaders greatly expand the cargo area of the bike and, like I said
      above, should really be a standard part of the Xtracycle kit.  Jan
      also mentioned that the V-Racks don’t accept most panniers but failed
      to mention that Xtracycle offers P-Racks as an accessory that will
      allow you to carry standard panniers.

      Jan states that the Big Dummy isn’t suitable for hauling bulky loads.
      I’ve hauled plenty of bulky loads on mine as have many others.  The
      key here is you need to use the bike for a while in order to learn how
      to load it effectively.  WideLoaders are extremely useful for this.

      I’m not sure what to make of Jan’s brake issues.  I haven’t dislodged
      the front tire even after a few quick stops & there is no way I can
      pull the levers to the bars.   This really sounds like the brakes
      weren’t set up properly.  It was also stated in the review that the
      V-Racks jumped up everytime he hit a bump.  My racks are pretty solid
      so my guess is that he didn’t have the straps pulled as tight as they
      needed to be.

      Jan stated that the Big Dummy is quite a handful at low speeds and in
      close quarters.  I live in a hilly city and my house in particular is
      surrounded by hills.  I haven't had any problem at all keeping the Big
      Dummy going in a straight line.  This is with heavy loads creeping up
      steep hills in the granny gear.  I doubt that my cycling skills are on
      par with Jan's so I can't see how he would have problems keeping the
      bike going where he wanted.  I do ride a Bike Friday Tikit with a
      single front bag fairly regularly so maybe I'm just used to this type
      of handling?

      It really sounds like Jan just should have spent more time with the
      bike and done more research both on how others load their bikes and
      what accessories are out there to complement the bike.  There is a
      learning curve that you need to overcome in order to get the most out
      of the bike.  I’ve had mine a few months now & have really come to
      love the bike.  It’s been a good buy for me.

      I have a bunch of pictures of mine both loaded & unloaded here:

      http://roberttilley.smugmug.com/Bicycles/Surly-Big-Dummy/16185229_ezqKa#1215500118_K6uLg

      or

      http://tinyurl.com/3rrmdbz

      Robert "verbose" Tilley
      San Diego, CA
    • Andrew Kreps
      Wow, that s a great review! Being a 2+ year Dummy owner, I m going to share with you some of my thoughts. ... I went with the small for the same reason.
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        Wow, that's a great review! Being a 2+ year Dummy owner, I'm going to
        share with you some of my thoughts.


        > I went with the Medium in order to maximize
        > standover clearance since with a big load on the rear there will be
        > times I'll need to step over the top tube in order to mount the bike.

        I went with the small for the same reason. Lower center of gravity
        with one other plus -- anyone and their mom can ride it. Anyone can
        also ride it with their mom on the back. I always step my foot over
        the front now, loaded or unloaded. It's just more graceful.


        > On the first errand that I ran on the bike I was a bit surprised by
        > how much the bike felt normal to me.  I thought it handled remarkably
        > well & didn't feel like I was riding a longtail at all.  The bike
        > responded well to inputs & was very maneuverable for such a large
        > bike.

        Surly spent a lot of time getting the geometry just right for this
        bike, and it shows. From my perspective, it handles more like a
        motorbike than a bicycle. That makes a lot of sense to my brain, and
        makes the bike seem just that much better to me. The rake and trail
        will make or break the handing of a two wheeled vehicle.


        > I've ridden with some pretty off-balance
        > loads and, although the bike handled it well, it wasn't optimal.  What
        > affected handling more than off-balance loads was having heavier items
        > loaded up high.  Putting the heavier items as low as possible really
        > helps improve the handling.

        You're starting to get it. The other thing is to make sure to strap
        heavy loads in tight. If the load can move independently of the
        bicycle's subtle side-to-side sway, you can have a bit of a problem.
        A small movement at a standstill can easily become destabilizing at
        speed. You could also put heavy loads as far in front of the rear
        axle as you can to help distribute some of the weight.


        >  When I'm running WideLoaders on the bike I forget they are on & I
        > keep running over my foot with them when starting off from a stop.

        I can't tell you how many times I've caught my ankle that way. It's
        rather unpleasant. Not as bad, however, as forgetting about the
        Wideloaders and then taking one of your favorite corners at speed,
        only to have the wideloader catch a concrete planter box. I took a
        good sized chunk out of that box one night.


        > I've read Jan's review of the Big Dummy

        I hadn't heard of that, but it sounds like Jan spoke a lot of what
        he/she can't do with the Big Dummy. That's the wrong perspective. It
        can do anything you're capable of, and thensome. Plus, all that
        static weight means you smoke the lightweight guys on the downhills.

        60lbs sounds like the right number. Back when I was running the 2.3"
        tires, my bike with the toolkit, lock and all the trimmings weighed in
        at 58lbs. My frame alone was only 10.5, but I have the 2008 model.


        > Jan states that the Big Dummy isn’t suitable for hauling bulky loads.

        Rubbish.


        > I haven’t dislodged the front tire even after a few quick stops

        If you can do that, you should check your front wheel, because your
        quick release is probably missing.


        > the V-Racks jumped up everytime he hit a bump.

        This can be a problem, especially if the Snap/Flightdeck isn't putting
        proper tension on them. I use Whatchyamacollars for the extra
        rigidity and for the water-in-the-tubes problem.

        I've also read of one person had a snapdeck come off after a serious
        bump. I've put my Big Dummy through a lot of, uuh, duty cycles, and
        I've never come close to having that happen. Again, the W*collars
        help quite a bit here.


        > Jan stated that the Big Dummy is quite a handful at low speeds and in
        > close quarters.

        The problem there lies with the pilot, not the bicycle. The Big
        Dummy, properly loaded, is the most stable bicycle I've ever ridden at
        low speed.


        > I’ve had mine a few months now & have really come to
        > love the bike.  It’s been a good buy for me.

        If my experience is any indicator, it only gets better. My last load
        was a short trip with my mountain bike and my road bike, plus a Burly
        trailer full of gear. Good times lay ahead for you!
      • David Chase
        ... Don t count on it; I m 6 , with a 20 bike (older model) and it s big; I might have been better off with an 18. The Big Surprise is the increase in top
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          On 2011-07-29, at 3:13 PM, Robert Tilley wrote:
          > I decided to go with the Medium frame size (18"). I'm 5' 11" with an
          > 86 cm pubic bone height so I could have gone with a Large or even an
          > Extra Large frame.

          Don't count on it; I'm 6', with a 20" bike (older model) and it's big; I might
          have been better off with an 18. The Big Surprise is the increase in top
          tube length going from 18 to 20 -- 2 more inches.

          > I am a bit ambivalent about the Avid mechanical disc
          > brakes that came on the bike. They work well and have great stopping
          > power but I can't seem to get them to stop rubbing the rotor
          > permanently. It seems that different loads affect whether or not the
          > brakes will rub. These are my first disc brakes so it could be my
          > poor setup as well.

          There's a recipe for setting them up:

          http://www.twowheelblogs.com/avid-bb7-disc-brake-set-and-tuning

          For the rear brake, you need to be sure that the loads are not pushing
          on the brake; there is a bolt-on guard that helps.

          http://www.xtracycle.com/cargo-bicycles/cargo-bike-accessories/brake-caliper-protector.html

          For the front brake, be careful you don't bang it when parking the bike in racks.

          For either rotor, you can "true" it using a carefully-held sharpie to mark
          the high/low spots, and your fingers to fix it. Use a diff color or clean with
          solvent between trues to be sure you get it right (it's very fiddly work; trueing
          wheels is easier). With new rotor and pads, the clearances are very,
          very tight; I resigned myself to a week of rubbing pads last time I replaced
          them, and just made a point of always braking with the rubbing brake,
          so as to wear it in ASAP.

          > When I'm running WideLoaders on the bike I forget they are on & I
          > keep running over my foot with them when starting off from a stop.
          > Not an issue unloaded but it could be a problem with a heavy load on
          > the bike.

          I tend to use only one WideLoader, on the side that I don't push off from,
          for just this reason. They also interfere with the KickBack; you have to
          sort of dig underneath with your toe to get it down to the ground.

          > I've read Jan's review of the Big Dummy

          and it sounds utterly unlike my experience.

          > Jan states that the Big Dummy isn’t suitable for hauling bulky loads.
          > I’ve hauled plenty of bulky loads on mine as have many others. The
          > key here is you need to use the bike for a while in order to learn how
          > to load it effectively. WideLoaders are extremely useful for this.

          Okay, to give one tiny bit to Jan, it is better not to need to learn at
          all, but otherwise, sure, I have carried all sorts of silly stuff on my
          bike -- 2 bikes, a person and a bike, a shrubbery, a folding ladder,
          lumber.

          > Jan stated that the Big Dummy is quite a handful at low speeds and in
          > close quarters.

          That's nuts. The bike is very stable. I regularly ride mine no-hands,
          including with non-balanced loads. My slowest no-hands speed is
          9mph, down from 11 a year or so ago. I can get pretty close to a
          trackstand, and I have had it sideways on ice without falling (I may not
          have been a lot sideways, but it felt plenty sideways).

          And further, I have twice hit immovable objects with the wideloader
          (a piece of construction equipment, a post) and both times, though
          it did jump sideways, the bike stayed upright and controllable
          underneath me.

          And further-further, I use skinny upright handlebars, 42 cm wide.

          http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/vo-montmartre-handlebar.html

          Not a heckuva a lot of leverage there.

          He might not have had good tires, or well-inflated tires.
          >
          > http://roberttilley.smugmug.com/Bicycles/Surly-Big-Dummy/16185229_ezqKa#1215500118_K6uLg
          >
          > or
          >
          > http://tinyurl.com/3rrmdbz
          >
          > Robert "verbose" Tilley
          > San Diego, CA
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > 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
          >
          >
          >
        • jtrops
          That is a great review. I love my Dummy, and it easily gets most of my riding time. Like you my move to the Dummy was mostly out of the need to get more
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            That is a great review. I love my Dummy, and it easily gets most of my riding time. Like you my move to the Dummy was mostly out of the need to get more riding in and manage my time with my kids, and work.

            As for your disc brakes you can definitely get them to stop rubbing. If the rubbing is a continuous squeak/squeal it can mean that the calipers aren't centered correctly, or that the little spring that holds the pads in is rubbing the rotor. For the first problem set the inside pad a few turns out, and loosen the 3d mounting bolts. Clamp the brake lever so that the rotor is held tightly, then tighten the mounting bolts. Now back the inside brake pad off until it's not rubbing, and your problem should be solved. If it's the spring rubbing you may be able to see where it's rubbing just by looking at where the disc enters the caliper. To fix this you have to remove the pads, and the spring, bend the spring back into shape, and put it back together. It's not as common as the first problem, but I've seen it a couple of times, so it's worth looking. I think it can happen when you install the wheel, and the rotor catches on one of the brake pads.

            If you are getting an intermittent "chirp" it is probably a wobble in the rotor. I use a 6" Crescent wrench to bend my rotors back into shape, but they do make rotor truing forks that do the same job.

            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Robert Tilley <rltilley@...> wrote:
            >
            > I posted this on another list I'm on & thought it may be useful here as well:
            >
            >
            > I received my Big Dummy in early March of this year & it has been my
            > main ride since then.  The main reason for getting the bike was that
            > my riding in the last few years has taken a complete 180 degree turn
            > from 99% recreational riding to 99% utilitarian riding.  Basically the
            > only way I get to ride these days is if I get something done by doing
            > it.  I didn't buy it in order to go green (even though I do recycle
            > everything I can), I didn't do it because oil is evil (I own a big-ass
            > 4x4 pickup, a Miata & I love to drive) & I didn't buy it to impress
            > people by hauling all of this heavy stuff around town.  I bought it
            > simply because it allowed me to ride a bike more & most of the time it
            > makes more sense than driving.
            >
            > I have the 2011 model & bought it as a complete bike.  I looked at
            > buying a prior year's model frame & building it up but it likely would
            > have cost me more that way.  I bought the bike online from Bikeman &
            > all I needed to do was install the fork (headset cups and crown race
            > were installed already), attach the handlebars, attach the front disc
            > brake & install the V-Racks & FreeLoader bags.  I was surprised to
            > find that the FreeLoader bags keep the V-Racks secured to the bike but
            > it works fine in practice.  The front brake did require a bit of
            > adjusting but for the most part the bike was rideable out of the box.
            > I have never ordered from Bikeman before but I will again (& have
            > since). I ordered online due to there being no sales tax, shipping was
            > free & I'm able to do all of the wrenching myself.  The box that the
            > bike came in was enormous.
            >
            > I decided to go with the Medium frame size (18").  I'm 5' 11" with an
            > 86 cm pubic bone height so I could have gone with a Large or even an
            > Extra Large frame.  I went with the Medium in order to maximize
            > standover clearance since with a big load on the rear there will be
            > times I'll need to step over the top tube in order to mount the bike.
            > I didn't have a problem getting the bike set up how I like it even
            > with a smaller frame than I usually would take.  I've recently put a
            > riser stem on the bike in order to get the bars up a bit higher.
            >
            > On the first errand that I ran on the bike I was a bit surprised by
            > how much the bike felt normal to me.  I thought it handled remarkably
            > well & didn't feel like I was riding a longtail at all.  The bike
            > responded well to inputs & was very maneuverable for such a large
            > bike.  The Deore parts work extremely well and I have had zero issues
            > with them.  I am a bit ambivalent about the Avid mechanical disc
            > brakes that came on the bike.  They work well and have great stopping
            > power but I can't seem to get them to stop rubbing the rotor
            > permanently.  It seems that different loads affect whether or not the
            > brakes will rub.  These are my first disc brakes so it could be my
            > poor setup as well.
            >
            > Loading the bike, I have found, takes a bit of practice & there is a
            > learning curve to overcome.  I've ridden with some pretty off-balance
            > loads and, although the bike handled it well, it wasn't optimal.  What
            > affected handling more than off-balance loads was having heavier items
            > loaded up high.  Putting the heavier items as low as possible really
            > helps improve the handling.  So far I've hauled upwards of 150 lbs
            > without issue.  I live in San Diego which is very hilly & I haven't
            > had to walk yet.
            >
            > You can buy lots of accessories for the bike but I've only purchased a
            > few so far.  By far the most useful accessory for me has been the
            > WideLoaders which basically give you a horizontal platform on each
            > side of the bike to load cargo onto.  These should probably be a
            > standard item included in the Xtracycle kit.  I actually bought the
            > Cargo Van kit which included the WideLoaders as well as the LongLoader
            > & some straps.  I haven't used the LongLoader yet.  Other than these
            > I've just picked up some additional straps to use when I need to strap
            > things down.  One thing I was disappointed in at first is that the
            > Xtracycle kit now comes standard with the FlightDeck instead of the
            > SnapDeck.  The FlightDeck is probably better but I love the look of
            > the wood deck so maybe down the road I'll pick one up.
            >
            > I haven't made many changes to the stock bike.  Flat bars don't work
            > for me so I changed the bars out to some Origin8 Space II bars.  These
            > are very similar to OnOne Mary bars & so far I really like them.  I
            > also added Ergon grips to the bars.  I swapped out the stock stem for
            > a stem with more rise.  The rear brake housing is likely a bit too
            > tight due to the bar swap so I'll move the housing to a new bike I'm
            > setting up & recable the rear brake eventually.  I also added some
            > Planet Bike Cascadia 29er 65mm fenders which went on without much
            > hassle (more on that below).  I mounted the front fender stays to the
            > mid-fork braze-ons to eliminate having to work around the disc brake.
            > I used the included disc brake adaptors to mount the rear fender.  The
            > stock Town & Country tires feel fine & I haven't had any flats so far.
            >  I could likely get nicer rolling tires but I'm more concerned with
            > flat prevention.  The last thing I want is to have to unload the bike
            > in order to fix a flat.  The FlightDeck platform is pretty slick so I
            > may add some type of tape to it in order to keep things from sliding
            > around so much.
            >
            > One problem I have run into with the bike is that the chain rubs on
            > one of the rear bottle cages when in the granny gear.  It is a bit of
            > a beefy cage so a thinner bottle cage may not be a problem.  I could
            > also likely bend the cage a bit to get it to clear but I didn't need
            > the 3rd cage back there so I simply took it off.  The chain also
            > rubbed on the rear fender when in the granny gear so I ended up
            > dremeling off a bit of the fender to eliminate the rub.  These are
            > large fenders so I'm not sure if this would be an issue with narrower
            > fenders or not.  The only other problem I've run into is my own fault.
            >  When I'm running WideLoaders on the bike I forget they are on & I
            > keep running over my foot with them when starting off from a stop.
            > Not an issue unloaded but it could be a problem with a heavy load on
            > the bike.
            >
            > I've found that the velcro straps that come with the new FreeLoader
            > bags are not very strong & tend to come apart at the seams.  I've
            > broken a couple so far so I picked up some double sided Velcro
            > strapping to replace the stock straps with when they break.  Per some
            > posts on Xtracycle's Facebook page these straps were threaded wrong
            > from the manufacturer & the incorrect threading puts extra stress on
            > the straps.  I've rethreaded mine per their instructions & still had
            > one break.
            >
            > I've read Jan's review of the Big Dummy (I subscribed just so I could
            > read it) & the review didn't make a lot of sense to me.  Why complain
            > that riders on single bikes (some obviously being sub-20 lb bikes) are
            > pulling away from you when you're on a big heavy cargo bike?  Per the
            > Surly site it looks like the Big Dummy frame is 12.6 lbs & the fork is
            > 2.9 lbs.  That's 15.5 lbs before you attach any parts to the frame.
            > Jan's review puts the weight of the bike at 48.5 lbs so adding the two
            > locks (one a Kryptonite New York chain), tools & spare straps I always
            > carry I'm at a minimum of 60 lbs before I add any cargo.   I've passed
            > a few people but I typically get passed by others.  Likewise it makes
            > no sense to complain that you're tired after a ride when you're
            > pulling an additional 30 lbs of bike around.  The Big Dummy wasn't
            > built to plane it was built to haul cargo.
            >
            > The issue of useful cargo space being taken up by the rear wheel is
            > somewhat true but only if you don't use the WideLoader accessory.  I'm
            > not sure if Jan even knew this was an option since the accessory
            > wasn't mentioned in his review.  A bit of research here would have
            > helped.  Surly likely should have included them with the test bike.
            > WideLoaders greatly expand the cargo area of the bike and, like I said
            > above, should really be a standard part of the Xtracycle kit.  Jan
            > also mentioned that the V-Racks don't accept most panniers but failed
            > to mention that Xtracycle offers P-Racks as an accessory that will
            > allow you to carry standard panniers.
            >
            > Jan states that the Big Dummy isn't suitable for hauling bulky loads.
            > I've hauled plenty of bulky loads on mine as have many others.  The
            > key here is you need to use the bike for a while in order to learn how
            > to load it effectively.  WideLoaders are extremely useful for this.
            >
            > I'm not sure what to make of Jan's brake issues.  I haven't dislodged
            > the front tire even after a few quick stops & there is no way I can
            > pull the levers to the bars.   This really sounds like the brakes
            > weren't set up properly.  It was also stated in the review that the
            > V-Racks jumped up everytime he hit a bump.  My racks are pretty solid
            > so my guess is that he didn't have the straps pulled as tight as they
            > needed to be.
            >
            > Jan stated that the Big Dummy is quite a handful at low speeds and in
            > close quarters.  I live in a hilly city and my house in particular is
            > surrounded by hills.  I haven't had any problem at all keeping the Big
            > Dummy going in a straight line.  This is with heavy loads creeping up
            > steep hills in the granny gear.  I doubt that my cycling skills are on
            > par with Jan's so I can't see how he would have problems keeping the
            > bike going where he wanted.  I do ride a Bike Friday Tikit with a
            > single front bag fairly regularly so maybe I'm just used to this type
            > of handling?
            >
            > It really sounds like Jan just should have spent more time with the
            > bike and done more research both on how others load their bikes and
            > what accessories are out there to complement the bike.  There is a
            > learning curve that you need to overcome in order to get the most out
            > of the bike.  I've had mine a few months now & have really come to
            > love the bike.  It's been a good buy for me.
            >
            > I have a bunch of pictures of mine both loaded & unloaded here:
            >
            > http://roberttilley.smugmug.com/Bicycles/Surly-Big-Dummy/16185229_ezqKa#1215500118_K6uLg
            >
            > or
            >
            > http://tinyurl.com/3rrmdbz
            >
            > Robert "verbose" Tilley
            > San Diego, CA
            >
          • Robert Tilley
            Thanks for all the help. I ll take your tips & hopefully get the front brake looked at this weekend. I ll probably get at the rear brake as well since I ll
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              Thanks for all the help. I'll take your tips & hopefully get the
              front brake looked at this weekend. I'll probably get at the rear
              brake as well since I'll be recabling that one as it's a bit tight due
              to the bar/stem swap.

              Sorry that I was vague on the review I was referring to in my original
              post. Jan Heine is a regular contributor on another list I am on & he
              publishes Bicycle Quarterly. I copied & pasted my review from that
              forum here. Jan's review was pretty unfavorable of the bike & some of
              the critiques were a bit odd. He spent a good page talking about how
              he was passed by other cyclists & couldn't keep up with people on
              Masi's & Colnago's. The review was in this issue here:

              http://www.bikequarterly.com/BQ93.html

              Robert Tilley
              San Diego, CA
            • David Chase
              ... Heh. And how do mountain bikes do, against a Colnago? The Big Dummy is really more of a mountain bike, and you can not only load it, but load it and ride
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                On 2011-07-29, at 6:47 PM, Robert Tilley wrote:
                > He spent a good page talking about how
                > he was passed by other cyclists & couldn't keep up with people on
                > Masi's & Colnago's. The review was in this issue here:

                Heh. And how do mountain bikes do, against a Colnago?
                The Big Dummy is really more of a mountain bike, and you
                can not only load it, but load it and ride off a curb.

                David
              • Andrew Kreps
                ... Just don t do that on XC rims. My current score: Big Dummy 2, XC Rims: 0.
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:33 PM, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Heh.  And how do mountain bikes do, against a Colnago?
                  > The Big Dummy is really more of a mountain bike, and you
                  > can not only load it, but load it and ride off a curb.


                  Just don't do that on XC rims. My current score: Big Dummy 2, XC Rims: 0.
                • santiago0000000000
                  Really? There must have been something wrong with your XC rims. I ve done tons on my XC bike/rims that surpasses jumping off a curb. My Big Dummy has some
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Really? There must have been something wrong with your XC rims. I've done tons on my XC bike/rims that surpasses jumping off a curb.

                    My Big Dummy has some Shimano XC rims that I've had no problems with including jumping on and off curbs. I will do this loaded with both my daughters and their school bags (120lbs combined load).

                    Do you think the issue was due to carrying a load? What happened exactly, busted some spokes or actually taco'ed them?

                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Kreps <andrew.kreps@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Just don't do that on XC rims. My current score: Big Dummy 2, XC Rims: 0.
                    >
                  • Steve Lange
                    Doesn t this totally depend on the quality of the wheel build? Obviously some rims are inherently stronger than others, but a poor wheel build can negate that,
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Doesn't this totally depend on the quality of the wheel build? Obviously some rims are inherently stronger than others, but a poor wheel build can negate that, whereas a good and strong wheel build can make a "weak" rim take more punishment than might be otherwise expected.

                      Steve


                      On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:44 PM, santiago0000000000 <soleas@...> wrote:
                      Really? There must have been something wrong with your XC rims.  I've done tons on my XC bike/rims that surpasses jumping off a curb.

                      My Big Dummy has some Shimano XC rims that I've had no problems with including jumping on and off curbs.  I will do this loaded with both my daughters and their school bags (120lbs combined load).

                      Do you think the issue was due to carrying a load?  What happened exactly, busted some spokes or actually taco'ed them?

                      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Kreps <andrew.kreps@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Just don't do that on XC rims.  My current score: Big Dummy 2, XC Rims: 0.
                      >




                      ------------------------------------

                      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

                      <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rootsradicals/

                      <*> Your email settings:
                         Individual Email | Traditional

                      <*> To change settings online go to:
                         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rootsradicals/join
                         (Yahoo! ID required)

                      <*> To change settings via email:
                         rootsradicals-digest@yahoogroups.com
                         rootsradicals-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

                      <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                         rootsradicals-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                      <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                         http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


                    • Andrew Kreps
                      ... I ll send photos. My over/under is about 1000 miles on the two I ve managed to mangle. The first was a 26 mated to a 2.3 tire. The second was a 29er
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jul 29, 2011
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:44 PM, santiago0000000000 <soleas@...> wrote:
                        > Really? There must have been something wrong with your XC rims.  I've done tons on my XC bike/rims that surpasses jumping off a curb.
                        >
                        > My Big Dummy has some Shimano XC rims that I've had no problems with including jumping on and off curbs.  I will do this loaded with both my daughters and their school bags (120lbs combined load).
                        >
                        > Do you think the issue was due to carrying a load?  What happened exactly, busted some spokes or actually taco'ed them?


                        I'll send photos. My over/under is about 1000 miles on the two I've
                        managed to mangle. The first was a 26" mated to a 2.3" tire. The
                        second was a 29er running a 23c. That one was claimed by a large
                        pothole hit at speed.

                        My usage pattern is...unique. :)
                      • David Dannenberg
                        Wow. Sounds like the reviewer A) doesn t really bike very well (felt it was unstable? Compared to what? It is way more stable than any of the 8 single bikes in
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jul 30, 2011
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Wow. Sounds like the reviewer A) doesn't really bike very well (felt it was unstable? Compared to what? It is way more stable than any of the 8 single bikes in my garage and those range from folder to custom titanium road bikes) and B) doesn't understand what a cargo bike is. You cannot compare it's speed and weight to a single bike that weighs little and can carry little.

                          As to brakes, my experience with Avid BB7s was that they were terrible on the BD. Would go out of adjustment with every rain, or a bit of dirt, or at whim. Put on Hope downhills and my problems went away. Other's experience with the BB7s was much more positive than mine and I do use them on an old mountain bike and they are OK.

                          David Dannenberg
                        • Galen Fitzpatrick
                          I used to have an 88 Toyota Pickup truck. I got blown away at traffic lights by everything from Honda Civics to fine imported sports cars. This was not a
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jul 31, 2011
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I used to have an '88 Toyota Pickup truck. I got blown away at traffic lights by everything from Honda Civics to fine imported sports cars. This was not a shortcoming of the truck, it was just a trade-off. In return for my willingness to be "out-performed" by faster vehicles, I was able to carry amazing amounts of stuff when I wanted to, was always able to help out a friend in need and had some truly amazing adventures in my teenage years. My Big Dummy is my new truck. My Gary Fisher is my 4x4 and were I to have an awesome road bike, then I'd assume I'd think of it as my sports car and want it to go fast. I've never viewed the Dummy's weight penalty as a problem, I love the way it handles, and as so many other people in the digital realm have commented, I can still stand to lose about 15-20 pounds. So the easiest weight penalty to get rid of right now, is cookies.
                          • Steve Lange
                            Those damn cookies sure weigh a lot, don t they? My Xtracycle has completely taken over my cycling existence. It s more than fast enough for its intended
                            Message 13 of 14 , Aug 1 8:02 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Those damn cookies sure weigh a lot, don't they?

                              My Xtracycle has completely taken over my cycling existence. It's more than fast enough for its intended purpose, which is eliminating my need to waste time and money driving my car on short trips. Said short trips encompass everything from taking the kids to school, going to work, spending a family day at the beach, to picking up a pizza... all things that my other bikes either can't do well, or can't do at all (and usually the latter).

                              At the end I'm a busy guy and have a lot of stuff on my plate. The X is the primary ride because I don't have to think about whether or not I can accomplish a given task... I simply do it. In that regards, it is exactly like a car.

                              Steve


                              On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 6:40 AM, Galen Fitzpatrick <galen.fitzpatrick@...> wrote:


                              I used to have an '88 Toyota Pickup truck. I got blown away at traffic lights by everything from Honda Civics to fine imported sports cars. This was not a shortcoming of the truck, it was just a trade-off. In return for my willingness to be "out-performed" by faster vehicles, I was able to carry amazing amounts of stuff when I wanted to, was always able to help out a friend in need and had some truly amazing adventures in my teenage years. My Big Dummy is my new truck. My Gary Fisher is my 4x4 and were I to have an awesome road bike, then I'd assume I'd think of it as my sports car and want it to go fast. I've never viewed the Dummy's weight penalty as a problem, I love the way it handles, and as so many other people in the digital realm have commented, I can still stand to lose about 15-20 pounds. So the easiest weight penalty to get rid of right now, is cookies.


                            • Rich W
                              Steve; Exactly like a car except for the cardio workout, health benefits and carbon footprint! Rich Wood
                              Message 14 of 14 , Aug 1 11:33 PM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Steve;

                                Exactly like a car except for the cardio workout, health benefits and carbon footprint!

                                Rich Wood

                                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Steve Lange <steve@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Those damn cookies sure weigh a lot, don't they?
                                >
                                > My Xtracycle has completely taken over my cycling existence. It's more than
                                > fast enough for its intended purpose, which is eliminating my need to waste
                                > time and money driving my car on short trips. Said short trips encompass
                                > everything from taking the kids to school, going to work, spending a family
                                > day at the beach, to picking up a pizza... all things that my other bikes
                                > either can't do well, or can't do at all (and usually the latter).
                                >
                                > At the end I'm a busy guy and have a lot of stuff on my plate. The X is the
                                > primary ride because I don't have to think about whether or not I can
                                > accomplish a given task... I simply do it. In that regards, it is exactly
                                > like a car.
                                >
                                > Steve
                                >
                                >
                                > On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 6:40 AM, Galen Fitzpatrick <
                                > galen.fitzpatrick@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I used to have an '88 Toyota Pickup truck. I got blown away at traffic
                                > > lights by everything from Honda Civics to fine imported sports cars. This
                                > > was not a shortcoming of the truck, it was just a trade-off. In return for
                                > > my willingness to be "out-performed" by faster vehicles, I was able to carry
                                > > amazing amounts of stuff when I wanted to, was always able to help out a
                                > > friend in need and had some truly amazing adventures in my teenage years. My
                                > > Big Dummy is my new truck. My Gary Fisher is my 4x4 and were I to have an
                                > > awesome road bike, then I'd assume I'd think of it as my sports car and want
                                > > it to go fast. I've never viewed the Dummy's weight penalty as a problem, I
                                > > love the way it handles, and as so many other people in the digital realm
                                > > have commented, I can still stand to lose about 15-20 pounds. So the easiest
                                > > weight penalty to get rid of right now, is cookies.
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.