Advice for Xtracycle in Hilly City
We live in Toronto. Last summer I bought an old circa 1960s Raleigh "Built to Last" bike (complete with Co-Pilot seat) on Craigslist for me and my 2 year old, just to see if biking would be our mode of travel. It was one of the BEST summers ever. However, it all stopped in September when I gave birth to baby #2 and since wearing a baby and cycling is frowned upon...I'm looking at the Xtracycle. Last summer, I was able to talk with a man riding one through our alleyway with his 11 month old daughter...and liked the mobility of it much better than a Bakfeit style.
Anyway, here are my questions:
1. Tires. The Edgerunner with the low tire. Think that would be best for 2 passengers? I'd be purchasing the Pea Pods with them...but would they be getting bounced around too much? Would a big tire be better?
2. Heft/Weight. We have literally no storage for bikes outdoors. We have a rack in our kitchen for my husband's and my bike. My "built to last" bike is about 40 pounds. I would take son off the bike and then carry my bike up 5 steps with a 90 degree Left turn into our apartment. Is this impossible with an Xtracycle? I'm a small 5'4" but I'm wiry.
3. Transit. Anyone ever attempt to put an Xtracycle on the front of a bus? What about a bike rack on the back of the car? I'm considering purchasing in the States this summer as there is no "official" Xtracycle dealers in Canada and we are still looking for a reliable, friendly bike shop here.
4. Hills. Because of the hills, I would need a motor. Any suggestions?
5. If I did go with the Edgerunner THE 27Dlux would be the best bet, because neither, my husband, nor I know much in the way of bicycle mechanics, is that the best? Any upgrades in brakes I should look into with me and two children? I see all your amazing pictures of setups with kids and I'm amazed and, if I'm honest, a bit jealous.
6. Canada. If anyone is in Canada and has suggestions on what we should do purchase-wise (here or state-side) I'd be grateful.
Thanks up front for any tips!
Jeannie & boys
I'm presuming that your reference in query #1 to tyre size reflects concern about tyre diameter - ie; 20", 24" or 26". If so, it's actually wheel size that you are referring to abd it's my experience that this is less relevant at the rear with regard to comfort and ride. Far more important is tyre cross section. The Edgerunner is, AFAIK, built to take very large cross section tyres and this is what I'd run on it. My favourites are the Maxxis Hookworm but there are quite a few suitable tyres available.
There have been two excellent mid-drive options for the Edgerunner (Stoke Monkey and M-Drive) as well as the regular hub motor options. However you may also want to consider the more powerful versions of the Bafang BBS02 which are very much 'plug and play' and likely to be a bit cheaper and may well be easier to install and maintain for the 'non-technical'.