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Xtracycle build failure part 2

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  • kiltie_celt
    Okay, so the search for a larger frame continues. One stumbling block is trying to keep the price of the frame to something reasonable. Reasonable being less
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 21, 2013
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      Okay, so the search for a larger frame continues. One stumbling block is trying to keep the price of the frame to something reasonable. Reasonable being less than $200 I hope. There was a possibility of getting a Long Haul Trucker frame at cost, which is roughly about $280. I could still stomach that because the LHT frame is really nice, however that deal possibility fell through and is likely off the table at this point.

      One of the things I began debating though, was going with another cro-moly steel frame like my Stumpjumper or going with an aluminum frame. I've been reading that a lot of folks like an aluminum frame to go with the FreeRadical because the stiffness of the aluminum helps combat some of the inherent flexiness of bolt on design of the attachment.

      The problem I'm running into, looking at all the aluminum frames available is that most of them are designed around front suspension, whether they come with a fork or not. I can buy a suspension-corrected fork but that just seems to mean the frame is going to have a weird, jacked-up front end. I'm sure it doesn't affect the handling any, but has anyone felt that a suspension-corrected fork/frame combo handles weirdly with as an Xtracycle?

      Another idea was building up the Xtracycle around the same 700c touring frame that my daily commuter bike is built on. I could still run a 26" rear tire which would help with weight capacity. However, the front fork would potentially limit the front tire (with fender), to no more than possibly 700x40, maybe, MAYBE 700x45, but I doubt that large size (equivalent to 28x1.75), would fit within the fork.

      Of course that sort of Edgerunner layout might work, in theory but the front end would be jacked up a couple inches over the back and I don't know if that makes a difference, especially when the wheelbase is so long. Also, I wonder if the 700c up front would compromise low speed handling with a heavy load. I'm not too enamored of that idea as a whole. Just seems to have too many potential issues.

      So, any thoughts from you folks regarding steel versus aluminum, 26 versus 700c, suspension-corrected versus frames designed to be totally rigid (ie. older 90s mtbs or something like a LHT)?
    • Brian Livelsberger
      I have a suspension fork (Giant Boulder XT frame w stock fork), and like it, have had no problems at all. So far 1 yr of riding as an xtracycle conversion
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 21, 2013
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        I have a suspension fork (Giant Boulder XT frame w stock fork), and like it, have had no problems at all. So far 1 yr of riding as an xtracycle conversion (just over 1000 mi) in varied conditions, half of it under an approx 100lb load of kids and school gear. Lots of flex in the add-on frame under these conditions, very happy that the donor frame itself is stiff.

        Brian, DCish

        On Feb 21, 2013 10:53 AM, "kiltie_celt" <matthew-campbell@...> wrote:
         

        Okay, so the search for a larger frame continues. One stumbling block is trying to keep the price of the frame to something reasonable. Reasonable being less than $200 I hope. There was a possibility of getting a Long Haul Trucker frame at cost, which is roughly about $280. I could still stomach that because the LHT frame is really nice, however that deal possibility fell through and is likely off the table at this point.

        One of the things I began debating though, was going with another cro-moly steel frame like my Stumpjumper or going with an aluminum frame. I've been reading that a lot of folks like an aluminum frame to go with the FreeRadical because the stiffness of the aluminum helps combat some of the inherent flexiness of bolt on design of the attachment.

        The problem I'm running into, looking at all the aluminum frames available is that most of them are designed around front suspension, whether they come with a fork or not. I can buy a suspension-corrected fork but that just seems to mean the frame is going to have a weird, jacked-up front end. I'm sure it doesn't affect the handling any, but has anyone felt that a suspension-corrected fork/frame combo handles weirdly with as an Xtracycle?

        Another idea was building up the Xtracycle around the same 700c touring frame that my daily commuter bike is built on. I could still run a 26" rear tire which would help with weight capacity. However, the front fork would potentially limit the front tire (with fender), to no more than possibly 700x40, maybe, MAYBE 700x45, but I doubt that large size (equivalent to 28x1.75), would fit within the fork.

        Of course that sort of Edgerunner layout might work, in theory but the front end would be jacked up a couple inches over the back and I don't know if that makes a difference, especially when the wheelbase is so long. Also, I wonder if the 700c up front would compromise low speed handling with a heavy load. I'm not too enamored of that idea as a whole. Just seems to have too many potential issues.

        So, any thoughts from you folks regarding steel versus aluminum, 26 versus 700c, suspension-corrected versus frames designed to be totally rigid (ie. older 90s mtbs or something like a LHT)?

      • Thom Chiaramonte
        definitely appreciate the aluminum. Also, I keep the suspension fork locked out and it s really fine.
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 21, 2013
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          definitely appreciate the aluminum. Also, I keep the suspension fork locked out and it's really fine.

          On Feb 21, 2013, at 8:16 AM, Brian Livelsberger <livelsbe@...> wrote:

           

          I have a suspension fork (Giant Boulder XT frame w stock fork), and like it, have had no problems at all. So far 1 yr of riding as an xtracycle conversion (just over 1000 mi) in varied conditions, half of it under an approx 100lb load of kids and school gear. Lots of flex in the add-on frame under these conditions, very happy that the donor frame itself is stiff.

          Brian, DCish

          On Feb 21, 2013 10:53 AM, "kiltie_celt" <matthew-campbell@...> wrote:
           

          Okay, so the search for a larger frame continues. One stumbling block is trying to keep the price of the frame to something reasonable. Reasonable being less than $200 I hope. There was a possibility of getting a Long Haul Trucker frame at cost, which is roughly about $280. I could still stomach that because the LHT frame is really nice, however that deal possibility fell through and is likely off the table at this point.

          One of the things I began debating though, was going with another cro-moly steel frame like my Stumpjumper or going with an aluminum frame. I've been reading that a lot of folks like an aluminum frame to go with the FreeRadical because the stiffness of the aluminum helps combat some of the inherent flexiness of bolt on design of the attachment.

          The problem I'm running into, looking at all the aluminum frames available is that most of them are designed around front suspension, whether they come with a fork or not. I can buy a suspension-corrected fork but that just seems to mean the frame is going to have a weird, jacked-up front end. I'm sure it doesn't affect the handling any, but has anyone felt that a suspension-corrected fork/frame combo handles weirdly with as an Xtracycle?

          Another idea was building up the Xtracycle around the same 700c touring frame that my daily commuter bike is built on. I could still run a 26" rear tire which would help with weight capacity. However, the front fork would potentially limit the front tire (with fender), to no more than possibly 700x40, maybe, MAYBE 700x45, but I doubt that large size (equivalent to 28x1.75), would fit within the fork.

          Of course that sort of Edgerunner layout might work, in theory but the front end would be jacked up a couple inches over the back and I don't know if that makes a difference, especially when the wheelbase is so long. Also, I wonder if the 700c up front would compromise low speed handling with a heavy load. I'm not too enamored of that idea as a whole. Just seems to have too many potential issues.

          So, any thoughts from you folks regarding steel versus aluminum, 26 versus 700c, suspension-corrected versus frames designed to be totally rigid (ie. older 90s mtbs or something like a LHT)?



        • Tone
          Currently I have a Big Dummy, but prior to it I had a Univega 750 FS mountain bike frame with the Xtracycle on the back. The Univega was a fat tubed aluminum
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 21, 2013
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            Currently I have a Big Dummy, but prior to it I had a Univega 750 FS
            mountain bike frame with the Xtracycle on the back. The Univega was a
            fat tubed aluminum frame, and I honestly feel it was felt more rigid
            with a load on the Xtracycle than my Big Dummy. I can only attribute
            that to the flex inherent to the Big Dummy’s steel frame. The Univega
            lasted me for many years, with over 30,000 miles on it. I worked as a
            cargo bike messenger in New York City on that thing, but most of my
            heavier loads were personal, like Costco wholesale runs or lumber from
            Lowes, etc. I also liked the Univega because the top tube was lower down
            than most other bikes. With the top tube being lower
            mounting/dismounting the bike was easier, but it also meant I could get
            some relief from the saddle while waiting for traffic lights by sitting
            at an angle over the thick frame tubing.

            When I first got the Univega it was before the turn of the century
            (sounding like an old-timer), so I am not sure you would be able to find
            one. If my Big Dummy ever catastrophically failed on me though, I think I
            might try to hunt down a Univega though and attach an Xtracycle again. I
            am all about low-maintenance, so having the pricier Big Dummy makes me
            constantly paranoid over rust developing. I know the FreeRadical
            extension is susceptible to rust, but at least with an aluminum donor
            bike frame I could still be riding a bike while I get a replacement
            FreeRadical… and that would also be cheaper than an entire Big Dummy.

            I believe the Univega came with a stock suspension fork. Admittedly, I’m
            not sure what you mean by a suspension-corrected fork, though I have
            heard the term before. In any case, when I first got the Univega, I
            dialed down the suspension fork to be as stiff and responsive as
            possible. Eventually though I replaced it with a non-suspension fork,
            which also had disc brake mounts. That was before I upgraded to an
            Xtracycle extension though. I am not a big stickler on biometrics,
            dimensions, and geometry. I just try out bikes to feel my comfort level
            with them. Either way, I never felt replacing the fork “jacked-up” the
            front end as you say.

            To your other inquiry into input on using your 700c touring frame with an
            Xtracycle, I would not recommend that. Admittedly, I am not really a road
            bike rider, so I may be biased. I have always been a mountain bike hybrid
            guy, who rides with 1.5-1.75” tires even on my long-tail bikes. Keep in
            mind, I have certainly toured with panniers and camping loads on my
            hybrids. It is just that I feel a tougher mountain bike is much more
            suited for ideal compatibility with an Xtracycle. As you pointed out you
            would most likely have better suited tire/wheel options with a mountain
            bike frame than with your touring bike. Then again, as I said, I am more
            about feel than crunching numbers, so if you tend to feel more
            comfortable riding your touring bike, you may want to start off trying to
            merge an Xtracycle to your commuter touring bike. That would be cheaper
            than initially trying to purchase an unfamiliar mountain bike as your
            donor frame for and Xtracycle. Who knows, as you progress you may find
            you do feel more comfortable on your 700c touring bike, then decide to
            keep it as your Xtracycle’s mate.

            I hope that helps, but keep in mind if you mate an aluminum frame to an
            Xtracycle there are some minor issues you have to accommodate for. One
            significant issue is the steel tongue of the Xtracycle grinding/sawing
            into the chain-stay bridge of my aluminum Univega. Every now and then
            after getting the Xtracycle, I would feel it becoming a little squeamish
            and would have to tighten the bolts passing through the tongue. At first
            I just thought I had to break it in or something, but then when it
            happened one or two more times I figured I should apply some loc-tite to
            the tongue bolt. When I was going to do that I only then noticed the
            steel tongue was cutting slowly into the aluminum. That was what caused
            the bolt to loosen, not apparent road vibrations as I had speculated.
            Keep in mind this is while I was working every day as a messenger and
            therefore putting my bike through a lot of motions. The average Xtracycle
            rider with an aluminum donor frame probably would not experience what I
            did, at least not as extreme. In any case, by the time I caught it the
            chain-stay bridge had been cut almost in half with two grooves. The
            simple fix I applied was buying an inexpensive short piece of plumbing
            pipe from Lowes or whatever, then I cut a few little trapezoidal shaped
            half-pipes with drill holes in the middle. Using two of these I
            sandwiched the chain-stay bridge before reattaching the Xtracycle. That
            totally fixed the issue.

            Ride safe,
            _TONE_
          • kiltie_celt
            TONE, A suspension-corrected rigid fork is simply a fork that replaces a suspension fork. They are designed to have a similar trail to a suspension fork and
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 21, 2013
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              TONE,

              A "suspension-corrected" rigid fork is simply a fork that replaces a suspension fork. They are designed to have a similar trail to a suspension fork and have longer legs than a typical rigid fork for a bike that would be specced without front suspension. Basically just a longer rigid fork to replace a suspension fork.

              The more I've thought about it, I just can't do a 700c frame, even one as robust as the Nashbar touring frame that is the basis of my everyday commuter rig. I just won't be able to get fat enough tires for the front wheel. I'm definitely narrowing it down on some inexpensive aluminum frames. Thanks for the advice on watching the connection area at the chainstay bridge. It seems like it might just be a better idea to add a second FAP in there with a longer bolt and do away with a direct connection around the chainstay bridge.

              The other major reason for sticking with 26" wheels is that I already ordered some nice Schwalbe Marathon 420 tires and I have some SKS Chromoplastic fenders ready for installation. I just have to keep plugging in the numbers until I find a frame that looks like the measurements will work.

              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Tone" <tone@...> wrote:
              >
              > Currently I have a Big Dummy, but prior to it I had a Univega 750 FS
              > mountain bike frame with the Xtracycle on the back. The Univega was a
              > fat tubed aluminum frame, and I honestly feel it was felt more rigid
              > with a load on the Xtracycle than my Big Dummy. I can only attribute
              > that to the flex inherent to the Big Dummy's steel frame. The Univega
              > lasted me for many years, with over 30,000 miles on it. I worked as a
              > cargo bike messenger in New York City on that thing, but most of my
              > heavier loads were personal, like Costco wholesale runs or lumber from
              > Lowes, etc. I also liked the Univega because the top tube was lower down
              > than most other bikes. With the top tube being lower
              > mounting/dismounting the bike was easier, but it also meant I could get
              > some relief from the saddle while waiting for traffic lights by sitting
              > at an angle over the thick frame tubing.
              >
              > When I first got the Univega it was before the turn of the century
              > (sounding like an old-timer), so I am not sure you would be able to find
              > one. If my Big Dummy ever catastrophically failed on me though, I think I
              > might try to hunt down a Univega though and attach an Xtracycle again. I
              > am all about low-maintenance, so having the pricier Big Dummy makes me
              > constantly paranoid over rust developing. I know the FreeRadical
              > extension is susceptible to rust, but at least with an aluminum donor
              > bike frame I could still be riding a bike while I get a replacement
              > FreeRadical… and that would also be cheaper than an entire Big Dummy.
              >
              > I believe the Univega came with a stock suspension fork. Admittedly, I'm
              > not sure what you mean by a suspension-corrected fork, though I have
              > heard the term before. In any case, when I first got the Univega, I
              > dialed down the suspension fork to be as stiff and responsive as
              > possible. Eventually though I replaced it with a non-suspension fork,
              > which also had disc brake mounts. That was before I upgraded to an
              > Xtracycle extension though. I am not a big stickler on biometrics,
              > dimensions, and geometry. I just try out bikes to feel my comfort level
              > with them. Either way, I never felt replacing the fork "jacked-up" the
              > front end as you say.
              >
              > To your other inquiry into input on using your 700c touring frame with an
              > Xtracycle, I would not recommend that. Admittedly, I am not really a road
              > bike rider, so I may be biased. I have always been a mountain bike hybrid
              > guy, who rides with 1.5-1.75" tires even on my long-tail bikes. Keep in
              > mind, I have certainly toured with panniers and camping loads on my
              > hybrids. It is just that I feel a tougher mountain bike is much more
              > suited for ideal compatibility with an Xtracycle. As you pointed out you
              > would most likely have better suited tire/wheel options with a mountain
              > bike frame than with your touring bike. Then again, as I said, I am more
              > about feel than crunching numbers, so if you tend to feel more
              > comfortable riding your touring bike, you may want to start off trying to
              > merge an Xtracycle to your commuter touring bike. That would be cheaper
              > than initially trying to purchase an unfamiliar mountain bike as your
              > donor frame for and Xtracycle. Who knows, as you progress you may find
              > you do feel more comfortable on your 700c touring bike, then decide to
              > keep it as your Xtracycle's mate.
              >
              > I hope that helps, but keep in mind if you mate an aluminum frame to an
              > Xtracycle there are some minor issues you have to accommodate for. One
              > significant issue is the steel tongue of the Xtracycle grinding/sawing
              > into the chain-stay bridge of my aluminum Univega. Every now and then
              > after getting the Xtracycle, I would feel it becoming a little squeamish
              > and would have to tighten the bolts passing through the tongue. At first
              > I just thought I had to break it in or something, but then when it
              > happened one or two more times I figured I should apply some loc-tite to
              > the tongue bolt. When I was going to do that I only then noticed the
              > steel tongue was cutting slowly into the aluminum. That was what caused
              > the bolt to loosen, not apparent road vibrations as I had speculated.
              > Keep in mind this is while I was working every day as a messenger and
              > therefore putting my bike through a lot of motions. The average Xtracycle
              > rider with an aluminum donor frame probably would not experience what I
              > did, at least not as extreme. In any case, by the time I caught it the
              > chain-stay bridge had been cut almost in half with two grooves. The
              > simple fix I applied was buying an inexpensive short piece of plumbing
              > pipe from Lowes or whatever, then I cut a few little trapezoidal shaped
              > half-pipes with drill holes in the middle. Using two of these I
              > sandwiched the chain-stay bridge before reattaching the Xtracycle. That
              > totally fixed the issue.
              >
              > Ride safe,
              > _TONE_
              >
            • gear.head@verizon.net
              If you are going to stick with the xtra set up I would go steel, 26 rigid. The standard chromoly mtb frame of the 80 s worked great for me. They are plentiful
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 21, 2013
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                If you are going to stick with the xtra set up I would go steel, 26" rigid. The standard chromoly mtb frame of the 80's worked great for me. They are plentiful and cheap. I just saw a made in the USA trek 800 at the local thrift store for $30. Also the 26" allows a wide range of tire options. Leaning towards a larger volume tire negates the need for suspension fork issues.

                Sean
                Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

                From: "kiltie_celt" <matthew-campbell@...>
                Sender: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:53:52 +0000
                To: <rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com>
                ReplyTo: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [rootsradicals] Xtracycle build failure part 2

                 

                Okay, so the search for a larger frame continues. One stumbling block is trying to keep the price of the frame to something reasonable. Reasonable being less than $200 I hope. There was a possibility of getting a Long Haul Trucker frame at cost, which is roughly about $280. I could still stomach that because the LHT frame is really nice, however that deal possibility fell through and is likely off the table at this point.

                One of the things I began debating though, was going with another cro-moly steel frame like my Stumpjumper or going with an aluminum frame. I've been reading that a lot of folks like an aluminum frame to go with the FreeRadical because the stiffness of the aluminum helps combat some of the inherent flexiness of bolt on design of the attachment.

                The problem I'm running into, looking at all the aluminum frames available is that most of them are designed around front suspension, whether they come with a fork or not. I can buy a suspension-corrected fork but that just seems to mean the frame is going to have a weird, jacked-up front end. I'm sure it doesn't affect the handling any, but has anyone felt that a suspension-corrected fork/frame combo handles weirdly with as an Xtracycle?

                Another idea was building up the Xtracycle around the same 700c touring frame that my daily commuter bike is built on. I could still run a 26" rear tire which would help with weight capacity. However, the front fork would potentially limit the front tire (with fender), to no more than possibly 700x40, maybe, MAYBE 700x45, but I doubt that large size (equivalent to 28x1.75), would fit within the fork.

                Of course that sort of Edgerunner layout might work, in theory but the front end would be jacked up a couple inches over the back and I don't know if that makes a difference, especially when the wheelbase is so long. Also, I wonder if the 700c up front would compromise low speed handling with a heavy load. I'm not too enamored of that idea as a whole. Just seems to have too many potential issues.

                So, any thoughts from you folks regarding steel versus aluminum, 26 versus 700c, suspension-corrected versus frames designed to be totally rigid (ie. older 90s mtbs or something like a LHT)?

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