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New to the group - building my own Xtracycle

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  • kiltie_celt
    Hello, I m new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I m going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 8, 2012
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      Hello,

      I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar

      http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175533_-1___202446

      for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.

      I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?

      I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?

      I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks
    • Shawn Antaya
      Hi - Welcome to the group and congratulations on purchasing the Xtracycle.   I find the straight mountain bike bar sufficient. With the touring bar be sure
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 9, 2012
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        Hi - Welcome to the group and congratulations on purchasing the Xtracycle.
         
        I find the straight mountain bike bar sufficient. With the touring bar be sure you have space to mount the needed hardware such bell, lights, etc.
         
        If your 7 speed only needs a chain and it's tried-and-true I'd say stick with it. You'll have opportunities to change it later if there are problems.
         
        Prior to the Watchamacollars being available I drilled a small hole through the tube and attached a small bolt with a lock nut. This deters an easy theft and prevents separation in any other event. I only did this to the front tubes and it's worked just fine for the past 6+ years.
         
        Good luck. - Shawn
      • dr2chase@mac.com
        ... I used drop bars for a while, and they were fine. Don t recall control issues, but I am 6 , 220lbs (should lose a little weight) and some muscles. Right
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 9, 2012
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          > I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no?

          I used drop bars for a while, and they were fine. Don't recall control issues, but I am 6', 220lbs (should lose a little weight) and some muscles.

          Right now I am happy upright with Montmartre bars from Velo-Orange (they're skinny, 42cm). Generally I think I would recommend Left Bank, they're a good shape, not quite so skinny, so not so risky. I don't quite get the preference for wide-wide-wide bars; I tried some of those once and they didn't work that well (for me). I don't need the wide bars for control; I've hauled 270lbs with my skinny upright bars.

          > My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.

          Yeah, don't do that. Drop bars, pulled in, a little high, might be just what you want.

          > I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?
          >
          > I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?

          Don't know if they expanded the FreeRadical holes or not, but they were tighter than the ones on the Big Dummy 1.0, and did not need Watchamacollars. Maybe you still don't. If they're as tight as I remember, be sure to grease them before assembly, else aluminum-on-steel galvanic corrosion will mess you up.

          Do whatever is cheapest; 2 chains will leave you some extra, if you save it, you will eventually have enough left over to make your own extension.

          I might go slow on the whole handlebar thing, if you have a setup that lets you swap out bars w/o dismantling all the stuff on them (i.e., a bolt-on plate on your stem). Try what you've got, see how you like it. Beware of the whole MTB-vs-road bar diameter and V/Linear vs Canti/Center/Side cable pull standards. You can get road-pull disk brakes (Avid), if you need them.

          David
        • Tone
          My use of Nashbar Trekking bars: I’ve been riding long-tail for many years now ever since being a cargo bike messenger back in NYC. The only difference now
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 9, 2012
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            My use of Nashbar Trekking bars:
            I’ve been riding long-tail for many years now ever since being a cargo
            bike messenger back in NYC. The only difference now is that I no longer
            work as a messenger, no longer live in NYC, and I upgraded from an
            Xtracycle conversion to a Big Dummy. Ever since my first mountain
            bike/hybrid in ’93 I have always ridden with some kind of “bull-horn”
            handle bars. By that I mean a single bar with curved ends, similar to a
            straight bar with bar-end extensions. I went through several versions and
            brands of these while still in NYC and messengering, but eventually after
            the last one broke I bought the Nashbar Trekking bar.
            I did do something unconventional with it though. I actually mounted it
            reverse from how it is intended. I believe it was originally designed so
            that the brake levers and shifters, etc. would be on the ends of the bar
            instead of mounted beside the stem like most bars. I had to force open
            the mounts a little wider with a flathead screwdriver or something to
            slide the brake levers and such around the bends of the bar, but it
            ultimately worked out fine. I also positioned the bar end side further
            ahead of the stem, which I am quite sure was not the original intent in
            the design. I believe the Nashbar Trekking handle bars are meant to be
            positioned with the bar ends closer to the rider so that the levers and
            shifters are also closer.
            Something else I did a bit different was to order some generic handlebar
            foam tubing, which I slid onto either side of the bar ends. As a
            messenger I hated when bar tape would come unraveled if my bike wrecked
            or my bar rubbed against a wall, etc. By having the grip be a single foam
            tube (well two, one for each end), then one scrape will not totally ruin
            your handlebar grip. Also, I find the foam is more comfortable than cork
            or synthetic tape. In fact with the configuration of my handlebars, I can
            actually slip my forearms in between the loops of the bar, then lean
            forward slightly and rest my elbows in the loop. It is kind of like
            time-trial riders, and although the aerodynamics is somewhat defeated on
            a cargo bike, it is still nice to have another optional position to
            completely rest your palms during a long ride. I do not use riding gloves
            for padding, only cold-weather gloves if necessary.
            Someone mentioned space on the bars for adding accessories like lights
            and stuff. Considering my foam grips were just about a one time install,
            I did something else a bit unconventional to work with them. I actually
            forced on a bit more of the foam grip onto the bar than was necessary.
            This keeps it scrunched and extra cushiony instead of stretched and more
            prone to tearing apart under pressure, etc. Also the compression of the
            foam grip causes it to crease up, which provides something like a natural
            gripping texture. In order to prevent the foam from expanding out and
            past the bar end though, I attached two mini-mag light handle-bar end
            mounts. They slide on and tighten just like bar-end extensions, but
            instead of an extra place for a hand position they just have a fitted
            slot for mini-mag lights. I can utilize two standard mini-mag lights,
            each using two AA batteries, as my fixed headlights, then if I have a
            mechanical failure at night I can just slide one out to use for lighting
            elsewhere. Furthermore, if I am doing a touring ride with camping along
            the way the mini-mag lights come in handy even more. By the way, the
            mini-mag bar end mounts still allow the open tubing of the handlebar to
            be accessible. For some fun, instead of using plastic caps, I ordered two
            bar-end mountable Incredi-Bells, each with a slightly different tone.
            I should warn, it does take a while to slide a single foam tube onto a
            handlebar, especially around the turns of the Nashbar Trekking handle
            bar, but I think it is worth it. Of course, taking them on and off for
            maintenance purposes, such as swapping out the brake levers or shifters
            is not desirable. I have very plain brake levers, but one of them is a
            combo brake lever and gear-shifter to reduce space usage on the bar. The
            one shifter only switches between the two or three chain rings at the
            pedals. As a messenger I found it was a bit of a hassle dealing with
            extra maintenance issues when having shifting capability at the rear hub.
            If the chain would skip or whatever, then the Freeloaders and any cargo
            made it difficult to access. Now I just have a very basic derailleur to
            function as only a chain tensioner with a slightly thicker than usual
            single cog on the rear wheel. By having only shift capability at the
            bottom bracket, I do away with needing an extra shifter lever on my
            handlebars. It also eliminates the need to special-order tandem-length
            shifting cables. Over time I kind of felt like any possible stretching of
            the longer shifting cable may not have been helping when shifting at the
            rear cassette. Now I only order tandem-length brake cables, usually when
            they are on sale so I can pick up an extra to have on hand if needed
            later, and use them in conjunction with my Avid mechanical disc brakes.
            As a side note, if you do not want to deal with a single tube of
            handlebar foam grip like I did, there is an awesome alternative, which
            makes it much easier to take your grips on and off. About a year ago I
            found a new product on Kickstarter.com, which I think were called “Grip
            Rings” or something like that. They were simply silicone rings about an
            inch wide a piece with basic gripping lines molded into them. They come
            in several color options, so you can mix and match to make your own
            handle-bar color pattern. Of course, they are also stretchy, which
            facilitates a faster installation and removal. I would buy them myself,
            but my foam grips are still functioning fine, so I can not justify the
            expense. Even though they were on Kickstarter.com, I know they rose well
            beyond what they needed to push their product line into mass production.

            Wider handle bar argument:
            Somebody also mentioned they did not feel the need for a wider handle bar
            for their cargo bike, even when it is loaded. Most people might argue a
            wider bar helps with control. I have to agree with the general consensus.
            While it definitely is possible to ride with a loaded cargo bike using
            narrower handlebars, I always found myself stretching out my grip as far
            as possible when riding with a bulky or heavy load. When I am not loaded
            or not on a long touring ride, I tend to ride with my hands closer to the
            middle, so when I am loaded I know it is a conscious decision to
            stabilized my bike better by widening my grip. Also, I have always felt
            having a super wide handle bar helps keep cars from passing to closely.
            All drivers hate the possibility of having their side view mirror smashed
            by a biker’s handlebars, so the wider the handle bars, then more likely a
            driver will give a cyclist more space when passing. Remember, handler
            bars are closer to a driver’s eye level than your potential wide-loaders,
            so to drivers they provide the strongest determination of how wide you
            and your bike are.

            Two drive-chains instead of one with the provided extension:
            Even when I first got my Xtracycle, for whatever reason I decided to set
            aside the provided chain extension, and instead used two attached
            standard drive-chains. I Guess I felt the clip-on chain would not be as
            strong compared to two chains I put together. I always ride with a Topeak
            multi-tool, which has a chain-breaking tool. I decided to always do that
            after I was riding at an international bike messenger event. I was in a
            pack of messengers riding back to Freiburg, Germany from a camp out in
            the Black Forest. Someone’s chain broke, and luckily ONE person did have
            a chain breaking tool. Fortunately, the person, who broke their chain,
            was not on a single-speed or track bike, so they just dropped a link and
            made sure not to switch to larger gears.
            Later, when I was working as a cargo bike messenger, I also decided to
            buy stainless steel drive chains. In case it is not apparent by now, I am
            totally all about low maintenance, and I wanted to completely avoid the
            issue of rusty drive-chains. Within a year or two it became obvious that
            the stainless steel chains were actually not as strong as typical
            drive-chains. They broke on me several times, usually when really loaded
            or going up a steep uphill, but at least I always had my chain-breaking
            tool to drop a link so I could keep riding. I had figured stainless steel
            would not only be rust proof, but also stronger than standard chains. I
            was obviously wrong, but I am sure using a much longer chain on my
            long-tail bike probably was not what the manufacturer intended.
            Kiltie-Celt, you seem pretty knowledgeable about bikes, but I will still
            bring up something else about drive-chains. I have always been told when
            swapping out just a drive-chain or just a gear/chain ring, one should
            replace all the components. This is because if old parts are left on to
            be used in conjunction with new parts, then the wearing will be
            different. The difference in wear will actually cause everything to wear
            faster. Therefore, it is best to swap out al the gears and chain rings
            when even just changing the drive-chain. Obviously, on a long-tail bike
            changing a longer drive-chain results in more expense, but I do believe
            it is worth it. I know you said you are strapped for funds, but you
            should still consider entirely replacing the gears as well as the chain
            ring. I tried to get away with only changing the chain when I was
            messengering, and sure enough the time span when I needed to replace
            stuff noticeably decreased. That also provided another factor in deciding
            to eliminate a multi-geared cassette in the rear hub. It was cheaper,
            especially considering I rarely used all the gears anyway.

            Rear rack security:
            As I mentioned, I was a New York bike messenger. I never did anything
            special to lock down my rear racks. I only always used a kryptonite
            quadralink 3’ long chain to secure my front wheel and bike frame to a
            fixed rail or whatever. For the back wheel I also used a small padlock
            with rubber hose slide over the “U” to secure the rear quick release. I
            took these precautions because I ride with Aerospoke composite wheels.
            Remember, I am all about low maintenance. They were expensive, but I have
            had them for over ten years on my cargo bike and I never had to true
            them. Anyway, back when I was a messenger I was the first courier in NYC
            with an Xtracycle, and there MAY have been about half a dozen Xtracycles
            in the city during that time. Most of us knew each other from this e-mail
            list to boot, so rear rack or Freeloader theft was very unlikely. It was
            only after I upgraded to a Big Dummy after moving to York, PA that I
            installed What-cha-ma-collars. While it added security, I mainly did it
            to help keep water from leaking down into the steel mounts of the Big
            Dummy. The collars have little rubber O-rings to help keep out water, and
            I was paranoid about rust. To be honest, in retrospect I would not buy
            them. They were a bit of a pain to install and you could always just
            slide on a stretch of road bike inner tubing or something to keep water
            out of the steel mounts. Furthermore, when I bought the collars the older
            Freeloader design made it necessary to remove the rear rack entirely to
            remove the Freeloaders. Every time I really wanted to work on the rear of
            my bike I would have to undo every collar. Prior to that I simply undid
            the Freeloader straps and lifted everything off. Of course now the new
            Freeloader design allows their removal without dismantling the rear rack,
            so that at least makes servicing the bike a bit easier.
            Anyway, I guess I would feel better about already owning the
            What-cha-ma-collars if I were still living in NYC now that there are many
            more long-tail cyclists on the road. I guess it is a judgment call you
            have to make for yourself depending on where you live. I definitely like
            the answer offered by one of the other people, who responded to you.
            Drilling a hole through two of the rear rack mounts to slide in either a
            bolt or small lock, certainly secures the rear rack. That might void the
            warranty though, but I think it is WAY cheaper and lighter in weight than
            What-cha-ma-collars. I hate to not give proper respect to the products
            Xtracycle makes because I have always loved and supported their efforts,
            but I can not help stating what I feel to be the truth. They always seem
            to appreciate honest productive criticism to constantly improve their
            products, so they can take my $0.02 however they want. Much love your way
            guys regardless of course!

            Kiltie-Celt, I hopes all of this helps you, the Xtracycle team, or anyone
            else reading this. Best wishes to all and ride safe,
            _TONE_
          • Thaddeus Block
            Hey there, sounds like a great project. couple of recommendations: 1.) Surly open bar is a great handlebar for cargo bikes. I have that bar on my surly big
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 9, 2012
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              Hey there,
              sounds like a great project.
               
              couple of recommendations:
              1.) Surly open bar is a great handlebar for cargo bikes.  I have that bar on my surly big dummy, and it is super duper comfy and responsive.  I commute about 100 miles per week and love it.
               
              2.)  Don't mix old and new chains.  I actually tried that myself when building up my big dummy, and it didn't work well at all.  Try all new chains on your drivetrain, and hopefully it works.  if your cogset is too worn, you may have slippage and then you run into the issue of needing a new 7speed which would be hard to find.... 
               
              3.) For cargo biking, you want your body position to be comfortable and more upright than other bikes in my opinion.  This way you can really look around and be more aware of cars etc....  you are not going for speed records on cargo bikes, so don't worry about going aero!
               
              4.)  Watchamacollars are super expensive, but pretty nice.  if you are on a budget, I'm sure there are good ways to jury rig in on there with hose clamps and shim material. 
               
              5.)  The xtracycle bags are pretty nicely made.  I have the expensive ones and feel that those were worth the investment. 
               
              good luck!
              Thaddeus
               
            • kiltie_celt
              Thanks for the advice so far guys. I m not totally wedded to the trekking bars so I m going to keep looking at other options. I don t think I ll do drop bars,
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 9, 2012
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                Thanks for the advice so far guys. I'm not totally wedded to the trekking bars so I'm going to keep looking at other options. I don't think I'll do drop bars, mainly because I just don't think they'll be quite wide enough. As to the question raised regarding swapping out the cogset and chain rings when changing to a new chain. I can see doing that when you might have several thousand miles on a drivetrain, but since this is a mountain bike drive train, I can tell you that the cogset, chain, and chainrings were all changed around the same time, but back when I didn't really do a whole lot of riding on the bike. At the most, the 7 speed drivetrain as it is right now has probably only got at the most a couple hundred miles on it or maybe a generous 500 at the most. Barely broken in I'd say. I upgraded that stuff about the same time and honestly, I stopped riding that bike pretty soon after. So, I'm not too concerned about the drive train being worn out. Finding 7 speed stuff might be more difficult these days, but I figure if I keep trawling ebay, I can probably find NOS for cheap and I can just buy replacements up.

                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hello,
                >
                > I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar
                >
                > http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175533_-1___202446
                >
                > for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.
                >
                > I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?
                >
                > I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?
                >
                > I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.
                >
                > Thanks
                >
              • Sean
                Welcome aboard. I ran my first long tail bike for a long time with beat up 80 s diamondback mountain bike frame and a 7 speed drive train. It suited me just
                Message 7 of 11 , Nov 16, 2012
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                  Welcome aboard. I ran my first long tail bike for a long time with beat up 80's diamondback mountain bike frame and a 7 speed drive train. It suited me just fine. As for handle bars, I have dabbled with a few different bars. My favorites were the On-one Fleegle and my current ones which are the Titec version of a Jeff Jones H-bar. If you have a local bike co-op you might be able to test drive a few till you find the perfect match. Whatever you choose, I would aim for a more upright riding position. On a long tail bike I like my head up so I can enjoy the scenery and the thumbs up from passer byes. 

                  Sean

                  Sent from my iPad

                  On Nov 8, 2012, at 6:17 PM, "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@...> wrote:

                   

                  Hello,

                  I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar

                  http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175533_-1___202446

                  for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.

                  I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?

                  I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?

                  I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.

                  Thanks

                • rltilley@gmail.com
                  I have those Titec s on my Karate Monkey which I use on my offroad commute. They would be perfect on my Big Dummy. At some point I may swap a pair in for the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 16, 2012
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                    I have those Titec's on my Karate Monkey which I use on my offroad commute. They would be perfect on my Big Dummy. At some point I may swap a pair in for the Origin8 Open Space bars I have on there now.

                    Robert Tilley
                    San Diego, CA
                    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

                    From: Sean <gear.head@...>
                    Sender: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:59:08 -0800
                    To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com<rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com>
                    ReplyTo: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] New to the group - building my own Xtracycle

                    Welcome aboard. I ran my first long tail bike for a long time with beat up 80's diamondback mountain bike frame and a 7 speed drive train. It suited me just fine. As for handle bars, I have dabbled with a few different bars. My favorites were the On-one Fleegle and my current ones which are the Titec version of a Jeff Jones H-bar. If you have a local bike co-op you might be able to test drive a few till you find the perfect match. Whatever you choose, I would aim for a more upright riding position. On a long tail bike I like my head up so I can enjoy the scenery and the thumbs up from passer byes. 

                    Sean

                    Sent from my iPad

                    On Nov 8, 2012, at 6:17 PM, "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@...> wrote:

                     

                    Hello,

                    I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar

                    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175533_-1___202446

                    for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.

                    I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?

                    I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?

                    I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.

                    Thanks

                  • kiltie_celt
                    Thanks for the bar advice. I would like to have given those Titec/Jeff Jones bars a try but just could not seem to find anyone selling them. I ended up placing
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 17, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Thanks for the bar advice. I would like to have given those Titec/Jeff Jones bars a try but just could not seem to find anyone selling them. I ended up placing an order for a bunch of parts from Tree Fort and went with a basic Answer riser bar. I figure I can use that with my old beefy Answer Hyper Ends mtb bar ends for the extra hand positions.

                      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Sean <gear.head@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Welcome aboard. I ran my first long tail bike for a long time with beat up 80's diamondback mountain bike frame and a 7 speed drive train. It suited me just fine. As for handle bars, I have dabbled with a few different bars. My favorites were the On-one Fleegle and my current ones which are the Titec version of a Jeff Jones H-bar. If you have a local bike co-op you might be able to test drive a few till you find the perfect match. Whatever you choose, I would aim for a more upright riding position. On a long tail bike I like my head up so I can enjoy the scenery and the thumbs up from passer byes.
                      >
                      > Sean
                      >
                      > Sent from my iPad
                      >
                      > On Nov 8, 2012, at 6:17 PM, "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > Hello,
                      > >
                      > > I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar
                      > >
                      > > http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175533_-1___202446
                      > >
                      > > for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.
                      > >
                      > > I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?
                      > >
                      > > I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?
                      > >
                      > > I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.
                      > >
                      > > Thanks
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • gear.head@verizon.net
                      That s a bummer. Well maybe later down the road if you are up for trying it, Cambria bikes has it: http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=40195 I had my
                      Message 10 of 11 , Nov 17, 2012
                      • 0 Attachment
                        That's a bummer. Well maybe later down the road if you are up for trying it, Cambria bikes has it: http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=40195 I had my local REI order mine back when I built my Dummy. I think they were not widely available back then.

                        Sean
                        Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

                        From: "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@...>
                        Sender: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 04:27:48 +0000
                        To: <rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com>
                        ReplyTo: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: New to the group - building my own Xtracycle

                         

                        Thanks for the bar advice. I would like to have given those Titec/Jeff Jones bars a try but just could not seem to find anyone selling them. I ended up placing an order for a bunch of parts from Tree Fort and went with a basic Answer riser bar. I figure I can use that with my old beefy Answer Hyper Ends mtb bar ends for the extra hand positions.

                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Sean <gear.head@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Welcome aboard. I ran my first long tail bike for a long time with beat up 80's diamondback mountain bike frame and a 7 speed drive train. It suited me just fine. As for handle bars, I have dabbled with a few different bars. My favorites were the On-one Fleegle and my current ones which are the Titec version of a Jeff Jones H-bar. If you have a local bike co-op you might be able to test drive a few till you find the perfect match. Whatever you choose, I would aim for a more upright riding position. On a long tail bike I like my head up so I can enjoy the scenery and the thumbs up from passer byes.
                        >
                        > Sean
                        >
                        > Sent from my iPad
                        >
                        > On Nov 8, 2012, at 6:17 PM, "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > Hello,
                        > >
                        > > I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar
                        > >
                        > > http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175533_-1___202446
                        > >
                        > > for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.
                        > >
                        > > I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?
                        > >
                        > > I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?
                        > >
                        > > I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.
                        > >
                        > > Thanks
                        > >
                        > >
                        >

                      • kiltie_celt
                        Cool bar but ouch, expensive! The Answer bar I purchased was about $27.
                        Message 11 of 11 , Nov 17, 2012
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Cool bar but ouch, expensive! The Answer bar I purchased was about $27.

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, gear.head@... wrote:
                          >
                          > That's a bummer. Well maybe later down the road if you are up for trying it, Cambria bikes has it: http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=40195 I had my local REI order mine back when I built my Dummy. I think they were not widely available back then.
                          >
                          > Sean
                          > Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@...>
                          > Sender: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                          > Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 04:27:48
                          > To: <rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Reply-to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: New to the group - building my own Xtracycle
                          >
                          > Thanks for the bar advice. I would like to have given those Titec/Jeff Jones bars a try but just could not seem to find anyone selling them. I ended up placing an order for a bunch of parts from Tree Fort and went with a basic Answer riser bar. I figure I can use that with my old beefy Answer Hyper Ends mtb bar ends for the extra hand positions.
                          >
                          > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Sean <gear.head@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Welcome aboard. I ran my first long tail bike for a long time with beat up 80's diamondback mountain bike frame and a 7 speed drive train. It suited me just fine. As for handle bars, I have dabbled with a few different bars. My favorites were the On-one Fleegle and my current ones which are the Titec version of a Jeff Jones H-bar. If you have a local bike co-op you might be able to test drive a few till you find the perfect match. Whatever you choose, I would aim for a more upright riding position. On a long tail bike I like my head up so I can enjoy the scenery and the thumbs up from passer byes.
                          > >
                          > > Sean
                          > >
                          > > Sent from my iPad
                          > >
                          > > On Nov 8, 2012, at 6:17 PM, "kiltie_celt" <kiltie_celt@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > > Hello,
                          > > >
                          > > > I'm new to the group here and would like to ask a couple questions. I'm going to be purchasing my own Xtracycle Free Radical to bolt onto my old long-unused '94 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro mtb. I have a touring bike that is my daily (110+ miles/week), commuter and it has a nice, comfy Ritchey Biomax CX drop bar on it. I think I've see all of about 3 or 4 Xtracycles with drop bars, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that a drop bar, even a wide one, probably doesn't allow for enough control on a heavily loaded bike, correct? So, my first question - drop bars, yes or no? Secondly, if drop bars are out, I'd like to use a trekking bar
                          > > >
                          > > > http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175533_-1___202446
                          > > >
                          > > > for the extra hand positions. Does anyone else use these? I'm thinking since a trekking bar tends to move the main hand position back slightly that I'd need a shorter stem? The thing is, I'm already having to convert from 1" threaded steerer to one of those thread-to-threadless adapters, along with an adjustable angle stem. My original riding position on the Stumpy as an offroad mtb was with the bar lower than the saddle and a fairly stretched out position. Not comfortable at all for lengthy rides on a heavily laden bike.
                          > > >
                          > > > I run a 110mm adjustable stem on my commuter and it's angled pretty steeply to get the bar close to level with my saddle. I'm going to shoot for a similar riding position on the XtraStumpy. Nashbar sells a Ritchey adjustable stem like I have on my commuter. I'm thinking maybe go with the longest one they sell - 120mm to help account for the way the main riding position on the trekking bar is a couple inches back from where it would be on a normal bar. Sound okay? Any suggestions?
                          > > >
                          > > > I'm using all the old drivetrain components of the Stumpy as well, but being circa '94 they're 7 speed Suntour thumb shifters along with a real Franken-bike set up of an XT rear derailleur on a basic Shimano 7 speed rear cogset. Should I just buy two whole new chains for 7 speed to use rather than trying to use the chain extension that comes with the Xtracycle kit? Finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for an affordable way to secure the rack bars without buying the expensive Watchamacollars?
                          > > >
                          > > > I'm on a pretty limited budget for building this cargo bike so I'm making some things myself like my own wood deck and running boards. I'm still considering sewing my own cargo bags or buying some of the inexpensive Chinese-made touring panniers I've seen on ebay. I'm not above doing a fair amount of engineering of accessories myself, so any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.
                          > > >
                          > > > Thanks
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
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