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Re: which xtracycle accessory for free radical?

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  • Jeffrey Hiroshima-Chan
    I would go the rout of a trailer unless she has a bunch of other stuff to carry. An extra+a sidecar+ surly LHT = a ton of money. I m all for getting new
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 1, 2013
      I would go the rout of a trailer unless she has a bunch of other stuff to carry. An extra+a sidecar+ surly LHT = a ton of money.

      I'm all for getting new extracycle users but there may be cheaper and just as efficient ways to meet your goals.

      Sent from my iPhone
    • Tone
      Robert already posted a link to the instructional guide I wrote up for the Xtracycle compatible side car for dogs, which I made and call the dog chariot.
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 2, 2013
        Robert already posted a link to the instructional guide I wrote up for
        the Xtracycle compatible side car for dogs, which I made and call the dog
        chariot. Thanks Robert for also correcting the link within that old post
        of mine.

        I can say from experience the dog chariot works really well. When in a
        car I always put a full chest harness around my dog with it chained to
        the back seat’s head rest to make sure a sudden stop does not choke my
        pup from the forces of being thrown forward during an abrupt stop. The
        same goes for the dog chariot. I either use a chain with a clip to attach
        the harness to the dog chariot framing or I just clip a leash to the
        harness with the handle loop of the leash wrapped around the stoker bar I
        attached to my seat post. There is a close up photo of the leash and
        stoker bar set up, along with all the other photos and technical guides

        What is nice about the leash set up is I can stop and tell my dog,
        Pandora, “Off” and she will get off. Granted she does it reluctantly
        sometimes because she is either lazy or wants to be closer to me, but
        once she is off I can ride with her running alongside me. When I do that
        I always try to ride at the edge of the pavement beside the grass though.
        I found out early on the pavement is hard on her feet, especially when
        the asphalt is hot during the summer from the sun. Now Pandora is fully
        grown, so I do not think that is as much of a problem, but I would think
        soft grass still feels much nicer to any dog’s feet.
        It did not take too long, maybe two or three outings at about 15-30
        minutes each, for my dog to become accustomed to her optimal positioning
        when running along side my bike. Before that it was awkward with her
        pulling away a lot or being fearful of my big-assed bike while in motion.
        Make sure your leash is not too long when doing this though because your
        dog might be inclined to slow down and trail behind you. If your dog can
        do that, then he/she will also be able to switch to the other side of
        your bike, which means your dog might be exposed to automobile traffic!

        Admittedly, I have not ridden with my dog for a long while. The last time
        I did she was around forty pounds. The photos of her on the dog chariot
        were when she was still less than twenty. In any case, when she was
        around forty pounds I had to make sure I was securely straddling my bike
        before she got in. Otherwise she was likely to tip it over if she hopped
        on alone with enthusiasm. Keep in mind this happened despite me having a
        Kick Back dual-footed kickstand. I actually had to take Pandora to the
        vet this past Thursday for a mild ear infection, and they weighed her. To
        my surprise she is now seventy nine pounds! They grow up so fast. She is
        a Border-Collie/Lab mix, so we figured she would max out at about sixty
        pounds. I have handled unbalanced loads of that weight on one side of my
        bike before, so I was not too worried. Eighty pounds might be a whole
        other ball game though, but I am still confident I can manage.
        In any case, since the original inquiry stated the niece’s dog is twenty
        six pounds, I have no doubt that dog would be easily manageable even by a
        seventeen year old young lady. Heck, my bicycle lock and chain weigh
        about that much! In fact, I use my lock and chain to counter-balance
        loads on my bike, including my dog.

        I would imagine for a dog weighing only twenty six pounds a person could
        get away with not having to build something as elaborate as I did. When I
        was a messenger I used a trick where I would drop the free loader flaps
        through my wide loaders, then I would pull them out and up around the
        wide loader bars before clipping the free loader’s three straps back up
        to the buckling points at the deck. This effectively created a tightened
        hammock stretched below and between the wide loader and the free radical
        frame. It also provided an added fabric lip/bumper/wall of about four to
        six inches high extending up from the wide loaders. The height of the
        fabric wall depended on how deep I inserted my wide loader tubing into
        the free radical mount holes. This was before Xtracycle used spring-clips
        inside the tubing to retain the wide loaders in the mounting holes, so
        this trick also kept my wide loaders in place from gradually shaking out.
        I would not recommend using just this set up with a dog because their
        paws nails might rip into the free loader fabric. However, you could just
        drop a 0.25” to 0.5” small sheet of plywood or plastic down into that
        same space to support such a small dog. The mesh/flap at the ends of the
        free loader with its tightened draw string should be enough to keep the
        dog in place fairly well. I would just make sure the edges of the board
        are smoothed out well or have some kind of added soft/thick edging so
        your board does not cut/saw into the free loader fabric. Maybe just
        wrapping the board in a towel or small blanket would do the trick, and it
        could also be easily removed to be washed while providing a little bit of
        padding and grip for your dog.

        To the original inquiring poster (SoapPedaler), you said you have a side
        car. Is that a side car made specifically for use with an Xtracycle set
        up, or is it a side car for attachment on any bike. My question is merely
        for my own curiosity, but if you already have a side car, then I would
        think it would be ideal for carrying a dog, even a larger one than mine.
        Do you have photos of the side car?

        Ride safe,
      • Cara Lin Bridgman
        My dog is about a third of the weight of the dog in question. He is about 6 kg or 8 lbs. I bought a laundry basket to sit on the non-traffic-side
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 3, 2013
          My dog is about a third of the weight of the dog in question. He is
          about 6 kg or 8 lbs. I bought a laundry basket to sit on the
          non-traffic-side wide-loader. I use the free-loader clips to hook the
          laundry basket into place through the basket's handle holes. I figured
          the dog's weight would keep the basket from flipping out over bumps
          (since the attachment was only at the top), but went ahead and added
          another strap that went through one handle, around the basket and to the
          wide loader. This basket could easily contain a much larger dog. The
          only problem with my dog is that he's too small to get in by himself. I
          have to lift him in and out.

          My dog wears a harness. I fixed a strap with a clip on it to the top of
          the non-traffic-side v-rack. I clip this strap (aka seat belt) to the
          front of my dog's harness. I found that if I clip it to the back of his
          harness (i.e. the usual spot), he could jump out (but this was with a
          smaller basket). I usually clip his leash to the front of his harness,
          too, since it helps keep him from pulling (or swings him back around to
          me when he does pull).

          Somewhere on the internet, I have seen a picture of someone carrying a
          2-3-year-old nephew in a free-loader. The kid looked comfortable
          enough. When I tried it, the kid wasn't that familiar with me or the
          bike, so it was no-go.

          Anyway, I find that the weight of my dog is negligible, but his basket
          is on the opposite side of my bike's battery (I've got a stokemonkey).
          A 2-3-year-old kid probably wouldn't be too much of a problem, either.
          A lot of it has to do with experience. Heavier weights, like Tone's
          80-lb dog, would require some adjustment in handling.

          I have carried loads that were so heavy and so poorly balanced (this
          last being the problem), that I had trouble getting started and needed a
          push. After that, it was ok. Recently, I carried a large box full of
          books that was heavy enough to make the bike wheelie when parked. The
          box could have been 70-80 lbs. I could pull the bike down when I wanted
          to ride it - so no wheelies in transit. I did have to give the bike a
          serious lean to compensate for the weight. This lean for balance
          becomes automatic with practice.

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