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Re: [rootsradicals] Digest Number 2027

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  • Ross Evans
    Great discussion. A few things I ve noticed over my 17 years of working on and riding longtail cargo bikes: 1) The donor bike you choose can make a
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 26, 2012
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      Great discussion.  

      A few things I've noticed over my 17 years of working on and riding longtail cargo bikes:

      1) The 'donor bike' you choose can make a difference.  Aluminum frames or steel with a gusset on the head tube work well.

      2) As Tone suggested, loose wheels/spokes are often a cause of wobble.  

      3) This may sound funny but it is important to learn to move with your bike like a dance partner - relax as you move together.  It's a fantastic practice to soften a little and allow the bike to move naturally.  Riding this way is safer and takes less effort.

      Product-wise, whatchamacollar clamps and the flight deck help to stabilize your load by holding it all together tightly.  Similarly, CinchStraps around your bags help hug your cargo in - particularly on rough roads.

      Here at XC HQ, both Nate and I sold our Big Dummies in favor of lighter, nimbler bikes with FreeRad conversion kits.  

      Over the years I've noticed that the questions tend to change before and after someone becomes an Xtracycle rider.  With some things, it is impossible to know how it will go before you start.  Try this: Ready, Fire, Aim!   (and of course, asking the rootsrads is fair game)

      I loved Jeremy's post -- it is easy to nerd out about minor things and forget about the simple joy of riding with your kid and a picnic to the park or whatever your daily adventure.  

      Enjoy your ride,
      Ross


      --
      Ross Evans  |  Founder and President
      Xtracycle Inc.  |   888.537.1401  x800



    • thom chiaramonte
      For me the long bike route came about specifically when we decided to have a second child. I d have two kids (by fall this year) of ride-along age. I have been
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 26, 2012
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        For me the long bike route came about specifically when we decided to have a second child. I'd have two kids (by fall this year) of ride-along age. I have been carrying my toddler daughter on the front of a fixed gear with a low inchgear until this point, but at 3 she was getting heavy. You could fit two in our trailer, but I find my daughter to become divorced from the ride experience in there. So, I wanted both on the bike, and beyond that, the ability to do grocery runs and errands without the car, with them along for the ride. So, the question of ride quality, flex, weight, etc all became irrelevant as this was all a means to a very simple end. Now, would a free rad be less flex than a Big Dummy frame? would either be less or more than other types of cargo bikes? Sure these are valid comparative considerations. But for me, the option to convert a bike rather than be locked in to a purpose-built long bike was a value. 

        On Jun 26, 2012, at 1:02 PM, Ross Evans wrote:

         

        Great discussion.  

        A few things I've noticed over my 17 years of working on and riding longtail cargo bikes:

        1) The 'donor bike' you choose can make a difference.  Aluminum frames or steel with a gusset on the head tube work well.

        2) As Tone suggested, loose wheels/spokes are often a cause of wobble.  

        3) This may sound funny but it is important to learn to move with your bike like a dance partner - relax as you move together.  It's a fantastic practice to soften a little and allow the bike to move naturally.  Riding this way is safer and takes less effort.

        Product-wise, whatchamacollar clamps and the flight deck help to stabilize your load by holding it all together tightly.  Similarly, CinchStraps around your bags help hug your cargo in - particularly on rough roads.

        Here at XC HQ, both Nate and I sold our Big Dummies in favor of lighter, nimbler bikes with FreeRad conversion kits.  

        Over the years I've noticed that the questions tend to change before and after someone becomes an Xtracycle rider.  With some things, it is impossible to know how it will go before you start.  Try this: Ready, Fire, Aim!   (and of course, asking the rootsrads is fair game)

        I loved Jeremy's post -- it is easy to nerd out about minor things and forget about the simple joy of riding with your kid and a picnic to the park or whatever your daily adventure.  

        Enjoy your ride,
        Ross


        --
        Ross Evans  |  Founder and President
        Xtracycle Inc.  |   888.537.1401  x800





      • Augustus
        I went on a road trip this past weekend. This entailed a 64 mile round trip with my camping gear and a 25 mile Centurian ride, all of it on my X. I found the
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 27, 2012
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          I went on a road trip this past weekend. This entailed a 64 mile round trip with my camping gear and a 25 mile Centurian ride, all of it on my X. I found the noodleing to be minimal, the return trip had less. This may have been due to less weight or different packing, or both. In the end I am no longer considering a Big Dummy. I am, however, considering a sidecar. As a sidenote, the X got a lot of attention and I answered a lot of questions about it.
          Augustus

          Sent from my iPad
        • Vince
          I have had my Sun Atlas since Feb, in the 1500 miles and three (100 mile) camping trips since has actually made me a stronger rider. The initial rides were
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 27, 2012
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            I have had my Sun Atlas since Feb, in the 1500 miles and three (100 mile) camping trips since has actually made me a stronger rider. The initial rides were killer, I wasn't used to hauling around the weight of an other entire bicycle - 48 vs. 23 pounds. I ride the Atlas most of the time but on my "sporting" bicycles I'm a faster and more resilient rider.

            Going on a bike camping trip now allows me to take my camping gear AND my SS mountain bike, a really fun experience. I think it is that pleasurable experience we are rediscovering from our "youth" and passing it along to others. My full kit receives so much attention from people, I'm always getting behind schedule, but wouldn't miss those conversations for anything!



            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ross Evans <ross@...> wrote:
            >
            > Great discussion.
            >
            > A few things I've noticed over my 17 years of working on and riding
            > longtail cargo bikes:
            >
            > 1) The 'donor bike' you choose can make a difference. Aluminum frames or
            > steel with a gusset on the head tube work well.
            >
            > 2) As Tone suggested, loose wheels/spokes are often a cause of wobble.
            >
            > 3) This may sound funny but it is important to learn to move with your bike
            > like a dance partner - relax as you move together. It's a fantastic
            > practice to soften a little and allow the bike to move naturally. Riding
            > this way is safer and takes less effort.
            >
            > Product-wise, whatchamacollar clamps and the flight deck help to stabilize
            > your load by holding it all together tightly. Similarly, CinchStraps
            > around your bags help hug your cargo in - particularly on rough roads.
            >
            > Here at XC HQ, both Nate and I sold our Big Dummies in favor of lighter,
            > nimbler bikes with FreeRad conversion kits.
            >
            > Over the years I've noticed that the questions tend to change before and
            > after someone becomes an Xtracycle rider. With some things, it is
            > impossible to know how it will go before you start. Try this: Ready, Fire,
            > Aim! (and of course, asking the rootsrads is fair game)
            >
            > I loved Jeremy's post -- it is easy to nerd out about minor things and
            > forget about the simple joy of riding with your kid and a picnic to the
            > park or whatever your daily adventure.
            >
            > Enjoy your ride,
            > Ross
            >
            >
            > --
            > Ross Evans | Founder and President
            > Xtracycle Inc. | 888.537.1401 x800
            >
          • thaddeusblock
            Ross, thanks for the detailed reply, and it of course means a lot coming from a founder of the Xtracycle movement! I am a numbers guy, and am hoping you can
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 28, 2012
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              Ross,
              thanks for the detailed reply, and it of course means a lot coming from a founder of the Xtracycle movement!

              I am a numbers guy, and am hoping you can clarify for the group the actual weight difference between a big dummy and an xtracycle conversion. I've seen comments from many (including you) that a big dummy is significantly heavier than a converted bike with free radical.

              the preliminary numbers I have are:
              Big Dummy Frame + Fork: roughly 15 lbs

              Free radical (roughly 5 lbs) + standard frame (6 lbs) + standard fork (3 lbs): roughly 14 lbs.

              I am sure one could pick a super light aluminum frame and fork and shave off another two pounds. It must be noted that once you build up a cargo bike with components, sturdy wheels, xtracycle racks, bags etc... you are looking at a heavy bike no matter what the base frame is. For a 40 lb cargo bike, +/- 2 lbs isn't a deal maker or breaker.

              And, the most beautiful thing is that unless you are climbing a long hill, the weight of these bikes is largely negligable due to the clever design of these cargo bikes.

              For the record, I am relatively new to the cargo bike experience, and decided on a big dummy due to the quality frame build, and the sturdiness of an solid frame. The bike is a pleasure to ride.

              Cheers,
              Thaddeus


              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ross Evans <ross@...> wrote:
              >
              > Great discussion.
              >
              > A few things I've noticed over my 17 years of working on and riding
              > longtail cargo bikes:
              >
              > 1) The 'donor bike' you choose can make a difference. Aluminum frames or
              > steel with a gusset on the head tube work well.
              >
              > 2) As Tone suggested, loose wheels/spokes are often a cause of wobble.
              >
              > 3) This may sound funny but it is important to learn to move with your bike
              > like a dance partner - relax as you move together. It's a fantastic
              > practice to soften a little and allow the bike to move naturally. Riding
              > this way is safer and takes less effort.
              >
              > Product-wise, whatchamacollar clamps and the flight deck help to stabilize
              > your load by holding it all together tightly. Similarly, CinchStraps
              > around your bags help hug your cargo in - particularly on rough roads.
              >
              > Here at XC HQ, both Nate and I sold our Big Dummies in favor of lighter,
              > nimbler bikes with FreeRad conversion kits.
              >
              > Over the years I've noticed that the questions tend to change before and
              > after someone becomes an Xtracycle rider. With some things, it is
              > impossible to know how it will go before you start. Try this: Ready, Fire,
              > Aim! (and of course, asking the rootsrads is fair game)
              >
              > I loved Jeremy's post -- it is easy to nerd out about minor things and
              > forget about the simple joy of riding with your kid and a picnic to the
              > park or whatever your daily adventure.
              >
              > Enjoy your ride,
              > Ross
              >
              >
              > --
              > Ross Evans | Founder and President
              > Xtracycle Inc. | 888.537.1401 x800
              >
            • Andrew
              Not quite the figures you re looking for, but there s a weight breakdown comparison between XC and rack+panniers on the Vik s Big Dummy site here;
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 29, 2012
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                Not quite the figures you're looking for, but there's a weight breakdown comparison between XC and rack+panniers on the Vik's Big Dummy site here;
                http://viksbigdummy.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/xtracycle-vs-panniers-weight-comparison.html
                It suggests BD is a couple of pounds heavier than XC conversion which is not a bad trade off for the extra strength and durability.
              • seppludwig
                I wouldn t be too concerned about weight. I have a Yuba Mundo and weight is only a consideration when getting the bike started - especially if one is on a
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 29, 2012
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                  I wouldn't be too concerned about weight. I have a Yuba Mundo and weight is only a consideration when getting the bike started - especially if one is on a hill.

                  Once started, the Yuba performs better going up a hill than my hybrid or folding bicycle - I've tested it on three hills which I know well and the results were surprising. The BD and and the XC could likewise produce surprising results- it depends on the comfort of the frame setup and the gearing.

                  We've inherited the obsession for weight from road racing where weight makes you slower - a factor which is not at all important with utility biking or touring. Important is just arriving and arriving comfortably.

                  How the bike feels on the road, how you transfer your power comfortably to the road seem more decisive than weight for utility and touring cycling.

                  That's just my very subjective opinion - but subjectivity wins out as long as one is not racing.


                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew" <hemingandrew@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Not quite the figures you're looking for, but there's a weight breakdown comparison between XC and rack+panniers on the Vik's Big Dummy site here;
                  > http://viksbigdummy.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/xtracycle-vs-panniers-weight-comparison.html
                  > It suggests BD is a couple of pounds heavier than XC conversion which is not a bad trade off for the extra strength and durability.
                  >
                • Rich W
                  Sorry the below message was delayed posting. Yahoo sent all 3 copies to the spam folder and items sent to spam do not have notification sent to moderators so
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 10 4:13 PM
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                    Sorry the below message was delayed posting. Yahoo sent all 3 copies to the spam folder and items sent to spam do not have notification sent to moderators so are ignored until a moderator actually visits the group home page.

                    Rich Wood

                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "seppludwig" <seppludwig@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I wouldn't be too concerned about weight. I have a Yuba Mundo and weight is only a consideration when getting the bike started - especially if one is on a hill.
                    >
                    > Once started, the Yuba performs better going up a hill than my hybrid or folding bicycle - I've tested it on three hills which I know well and the results were surprising. The BD and and the XC could likewise produce surprising results- it depends on the comfort of the frame setup and the gearing.
                    >
                    > We've inherited the obsession for weight from road racing where weight makes you slower - a factor which is not at all important with utility biking or touring. Important is just arriving and arriving comfortably.
                    >
                    > How the bike feels on the road, how you transfer your power comfortably to the road seem more decisive than weight for utility and touring cycling.
                    >
                    > That's just my very subjective opinion - but subjectivity wins out as long as one is not racing.
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew" <hemingandrew@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Not quite the figures you're looking for, but there's a weight breakdown comparison between XC and rack+panniers on the Vik's Big Dummy site here;
                    > > http://viksbigdummy.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/xtracycle-vs-panniers-weight-comparison.html
                    > > It suggests BD is a couple of pounds heavier than XC conversion which is not a bad trade off for the extra strength and durability.
                    > >
                    >
                  • Cara Lin Bridgman
                    Exactly! I had one carbon-fiber roadie try to do the 1-finger-lift trick on my xtracycle. There was absolutely no way that was going to work even if it
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jul 24 5:35 AM
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                      Exactly! I had one carbon-fiber roadie try to do the 1-finger-lift
                      trick on my xtracycle. There was absolutely no way that was going to
                      work even if it wasn't loaded with stokemonkey, battery, book bag, etc.

                      Xtracycles are trucks, not sports cars.

                      CL
                      > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "seppludwig" <seppludwig@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >> We've inherited the obsession for weight from road racing where weight makes you slower - a factor which is not at all important with utility biking or touring.
                    • thom chiaramonte
                      that joker should be ashamed of themselves for such an irrational and non contextual effort!
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jul 24 11:16 AM
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                        that joker should be ashamed of themselves for such an irrational and non contextual effort!

                        On Jul 24, 2012, at 5:35 AM, Cara Lin Bridgman wrote:

                         

                        Exactly! I had one carbon-fiber roadie try to do the 1-finger-lift
                        trick on my xtracycle. There was absolutely no way that was going to
                        work even if it wasn't loaded with stokemonkey, battery, book bag, etc.

                        Xtracycles are trucks, not sports cars.

                        CL
                        > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "seppludwig" <seppludwig@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >> We've inherited the obsession for weight from road racing where weight makes you slower - a factor which is not at all important with utility biking or touring.


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