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Re: [rootsradicals] Yakima Blockhead on a Free Radical

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  • Steve
    Good morning, Xtracyclists! I tried something similar to tow my daughter s bicycle behind my Xtracycle. I d tow it to meet up with her at after-school events,
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 17, 2012
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      Good morning, Xtracyclists!

      I tried something similar to tow my daughter's bicycle behind my Xtracycle. I'd tow it to meet up with her at after-school events, and then we'd ride home together.

      It was only marginally successful. The problem is that the fork mount rigidly clamps the fork of the towed bicycle to the rear of the Xtracycle, not allowing it to pivot along the axis. In effect, it is trying to make a long, rigid, three-wheeled bike. This would work fine if you were on a perfectly flat surface, but any undulations in the road make the combination want to pivot at the fork mount axle. When it can't it creates wobble, and is generally unpleasant. Turning too tightly can allow the towed bicycle to tip in on itself, creating a tangle to sort out.

      If you could mount the fork on bearings or something that allowed it to pivot on the axle, it would probably work very well, and some folks here have done just that. Then all you'd need to watch out for is turning too tightly.

      Here is a link to a series of photographs with my setup. Go to the second page of this gallery and click on the relevant thumbnail. That will open a larger image. Clicking on this larger image will open a full-screen image. You can left-right arrow through the images from your keyboard.

      http://smorris.smugmug.com/Leaning-Against-the-Wall/Xtracycle-Build/9568253_ZtShr6

      I hope that helps,
      Steve



      On Jul 17, 2012, at 8:22 AM, jtrops wrote:

      > Hmm. that's a good idea. I have some of those yakima parts in a bag from when I had a car. If I understand what you want to do, I think it would work great for towing a bike. I don't know if it would suitable as a trailer bike though. You could always tow her bike, and have her ride on your deck.
      >
      > I think I'll rig this up today and see what it looks like. I have to deliver a bike I repaired for friend, so this could be a good way to do it.
      >
      > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "beatnik_glory" <beatnik_glory@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > I am thinking of trying to mount a Yakima Blockhead fork mount on the lower back portion of the Free Radical just off of the rear wheel. I have been riding more with my 10 year old daughter. She rides her own geared hybrid but tires out on longer rides. I would like to be able to pull off her front wheel and mount it to the xtracycle to create a tag-along type set up when she is worn out.
      > >
      > > Looking for the groups thoughts and experience.
      > >
      > > Thanks.
      > >
      > > Mike in KY
    • Steve Fuller
      ... Personally, I agree with not using it as a trailer bike. Tight enough to keep it place may not be tight enough to let it rotate. Loose enough to let it
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 17, 2012
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        On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 7:22 AM, jtrops <jtrops@...> wrote:
         

        I don't know if it would suitable as a trailer bike though. You could always tow her bike, and have her ride on your deck.


        Personally, I agree with not using it as a trailer bike. Tight enough to keep it place may not be tight enough to let it rotate. Loose enough to let it rotate might not be tight enough to keep it secure. If it happened to pop loose and she was in the back, the results could be ugly. I'd say that if she gets tired, hook it up to the back, and then let her sit on the snapdeck.

        Steve
      • Tone
        As someone pointed out a fork mount, like that on a car’s roof rack or truck’s bed rack, does not allow for vertical rotation. Even on no-hill roads if you
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 17, 2012
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          As someone pointed out a fork mount, like that on a car’s roof rack or
          truck’s bed rack, does not allow for vertical rotation. Even on no-hill
          roads if you hit a pot hole or speed bump then the trailed bike would not
          be able to roll freely over the non-level surface.
          I had a front fork mounted on my Xtracycle’s rear step, and I only used
          it occasionally to tow my girlfriend’s bike to the local bike shop to get
          my long-tail bike serviced. That way I could ride back home on her bike
          and do the reverse when I needed to pick up my bike after repairs were
          made. Luckily for me at the time the streets between my place and the
          bike shop were relatively smooth. I still noticed handling problems, and
          eventually I decided to remove the fork mount though because I was
          worried about wearing down the fork ends where the quick release skewer
          clamps onto. My decision was also sparked by a fellow Xtracyclist’s
          elegant solution of simply mounting a slightly modified front quick
          release hub using hose-clamps and the like to the rear step instead of a
          non-pivoting fork mount. Obviously the hub itself allowed the mounted
          bike to rotate so it could freely overcome un-level or bumpy road/surface
          conditions. At the time of hearing of that towing solution I did not have
          a spare front hub in my stock of parts, so I never got around to setting
          up a towing rig again.

          Someone also provided the suggestion of using such a set up to trail not
          only a bicycle, but also potentially a person riding on the towed bike,
          like a tag-along or whatever they are called. This is NOT a good idea. I
          distinctly recall a specification for the rear of the Xtracycle, which is
          limited to a maximum of 60 pounds. Therefore, a towed bike should be fine
          by itself, but combined with even a small child the weight limit on the
          rear step would be surpassed. I never towed anyone like that with my set
          up, but I definitely know first hand about the Xtracycle’s rear weight
          limitations. I went through two or three before I got my Big Dummy, and
          every Xtracycle I had developed a crack or complete break right behind
          the rear axle where the FreeRadical frame is weakest. Luckily for me no
          injuries or other damage was caused, but I would hate to think of someone
          going up a hill with their little one tagging along when there is a
          structural failure caused by too much rear weight. Just make you child
          ride with you until they get tired, then tow their bike while they sit on
          the snap deck.
          There was someone or a couple of folks, who came up with a tag-along
          adaptation. I recall them building something mounted through the snap
          deck, which used some kind of extension clamp to grab the head tube of
          the trailing bike or something like that. Of course you could also attach
          a front quick release hub to the deck instead of to the rear step as
          another way of towing a bike without a more complex clamp extension, but
          the angle of the trailed bike would force whoever is on it to ride like
          they are doing a constant wheelie.

          Ride safe,
          _TONE_
        • A
          Hi I posted my experience on towing bikes (and some links to pictures) and there is some feedback on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rootsradicals/message/13831
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 18, 2012
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            Hi
            I posted my experience on towing bikes (and some links to pictures) and there is some feedback on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rootsradicals/message/13831

            I think clamping a hub on there as some others have done would allow for yaw of tow bike. I don't think I would attempt a passenger on any set up as it would put too much strain on either a big dummy or X.

            If you want to transport a kids bike so you can ride home together - you can slot the front wheel into the free radical bags and it will tow ok ( i have tried this with an adult bike and it works if you really strap it tight).

            all the best
            andy

            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "beatnik_glory" <beatnik_glory@...> wrote:
            >
            > I am thinking of trying to mount a Yakima Blockhead fork mount on the lower back portion of the Free Radical just off of the rear wheel. I have been riding more with my 10 year old daughter. She rides her own geared hybrid but tires out on longer rides. I would like to be able to pull off her front wheel and mount it to the xtracycle to create a tag-along type set up when she is worn out.
            >
            > Looking for the groups thoughts and experience.
            >
            > Thanks.
            >
            > Mike in KY
            >
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