Xtracycle expedition, any information would help!
- Hi there. I'll try and keep the introduction short. I'm trying to find
the best option for a system to help pack things along with on the
long expedition tour thats being planned. Its going to be largely off
road and will include a full unsupported gear payload. *However* we
don't like to waste things, so its got to be something that has
domestic use as well so that it doesn't end up shelved at the end of
the tour. The Freeradical is the most interesting one so far, by far.
However, after reading Riding the Spine's different blogs, it seems
like that might be considered over the boundaries of the 'X, and that
they needed to reinforce the design to make it work.
Having welding experience i'm not totally put off by that, as the
Freeradical looks like its a great solution for both hitting our trail
and working around the city afterwards. Does anyone have any
information on the typical stress tolerances of the Freeradical, just
*how much* gear that Riding the Spine was packing, and what typically
goes on the freeradical in this situation, so that it can be
Any information on the topic would help greatly. Thanks!
I've used an Xtracycle for about 5 years and they are extremely
sturdy. However, mine snapped a few months ago, just behind the
bottom bracket where it clamps onto the bike frame. I was only
carrying around 15kg on-road at the time. Apparently, this has
happened to a handful of Xtracycles, although, from what I
understand, the newer batches have been 'beefed up' in this area.
An issue I've found with the Xtracycle off-road, is that you get a
lot of rear wheel-spin when it's not loaded. Obviously, if you're on
a tour, you'll have a load with you, so should be able to avoid that
Overall, I think the Xtracycle is a great choice for touring. That
said, a good set of panniers on a 'normal' bike is my preferred
option. You might also want to check out the Extrawheel trailer which
performs well off-road or the Bob Yak.
While I never biked cross-continent, I did work as a cargo-bike messenger in New York City in all kinds of weather for a number of years with my Xtracycle-equipped bike. Also, I have carried major loads. Check these out:
I would say the load I hauled in the images above would be the top limit of what an Xtracycle can carry and I definitely recommend people NOT attempt this. It WAS a bitch! Luckily I only had to go 10-15 blocks in an almost straight path down a not-so-busy two-lane street.
I can also tell you in my years of Xtracycle riding, my FreeRadical frame cracked three times. The first two times the guys at Xtracycle were super cool about replacing my FreeRad. From my understanding there are not that many people, who have cracked their FreeRadical. I have only heard of myself, the Ride-The-Spine folks, some of the Xtracycle crew, and now Chris. The third time when I notice the fracture starting, I just felt too bad about bugging them yet another time. Instead I sandwiched a split pipe around the tubing using marine-grade hose-clamps and it has held since. When I noticed the latest crack appear I was also aware of Surly’s upcoming “Big Dummy” Xtracycle-compatible long-tail frame. I figured I could just patch up the FreeRadical long enough to get a Big Dummy. Little did I know it would take over a year and still counting for the Big Dummy to come out.
In any case, I figure with the long Big Dummy wait, Surly will definitely resolve any and all issues with the FreeRadical weaknesses. From the prototype images I have seen of the Big Dummy, it definitely looks like the rear bridge has an extra structural support to it, so I do not think Big Dummies will be susceptible to the same cracking behind the drop outs.
- OK, I am impressed! I was working out in my mind a scheme of how to
haul plywood, and your photos give me a better idea. I assume you got
the store to rip the ply into 2 foot widths?
- wow!i dig those picsthat bike is awesomea pile of firewood is about as much weight as i've hauled on mine.mostly a flat run home, and i did use the granny a bunch getting it goingi was amazed how fast you can actually gopretty darn scarybut pretty darn super cool too!the big ol cargo bike has its place, no doubti think i want a BDD-On Nov 28, 2007, at 6:22 PM, Tone wrote:
Exactly, have the store cut 2’ lengths or whatever widths you need about 2 feet wide or smaller. Of course, if you have cordless power tools you can bring one along with you to make the cut yourself and possibly save some money if the store charges for cuts.
Keep in mind, sometimes taller boards seem to want to slide outward at the sides along the bottom. This is because it is necessary to clip the freeloader straps over the top edge of the board to connect the straps from both sides to each other. Unfortunately when doing so to secure the load in place the strain pulling down on the boards from the straps tends to cause the boards to gradually slip outward. To prevent this, just bring along a cord or strap to secure the bottom so the board remains vertical as opposed to diagonal.
- I was on my way home from the train station yesterday evening when I saw
a chair abandoned by the side of the road. It's the typical middle seat
in a Taiwan-style sofa: heavily carved wood frame with marble seat and
marble accent in the back. The marble seat is about 2 cm thick! I was
already carrying my books, papers, camera, and overnight stuff, because
I had spent the past two days teaching in another town. The chair,
however, was too nice and too good to pass up. Sure, it might be there
tomorrow, but I have the space for it now and I have another 5-6 km
uphill to get home. So, why make a special trip?
I loaded it up and I biked through rush-hour traffic, zig-zagged through
intersections grid-locked with one-occupant SUVs, and followed and was
followed by 1-2 occupant motorbikes. Only one place, did I have to get
off the bike and push. The turns were too tight and I thought I'd be
considerate and not scratch the cars that were clogging the intersection.
So, if anyone wants to be a passenger on a deluxe-style xtracycle
seat...come visit me in Taiwan
Now, all I have to do is work out a foot-rest...
- wow!i love iti want to be in Taiwanlets see...here in the US i picked up a 12pack of sodas oncesome tile sponges from construction crews, as i guess they fly off the trucksrope, bungees, etcthe other day i gave a ride for about a milebut thats itnothing like a nice wood chair with marble inlaywow!On Nov 30, 2007, at 11:16 PM, Cara Lin Bridgman wrote:
- Devian you are still my hero with all the stuff you carry!
Devian Gilbert wrote:
> i love it
> i want to be in Taiwan
> lets see...here in the US i picked up a 12pack of sodas once
> some tile sponges from construction crews, as i guess they fly off the
> rope, bungees, etc
> the other day i gave a ride for about a mile
> but thats it
> nothing like a nice wood chair with marble inlay
> On Nov 30, 2007, at 11:16 PM, Cara Lin Bridgman wrote:
>> I was on my way home from the train station yesterday evening when I saw
>> a chair abandoned by the side of the road. It's the typical middle seat
>> in a Taiwan-style sofa: heavily carved wood frame with marble seat and
>> marble accent in the back. The marble seat is about 2 cm thick! I was
>> already carrying my books, papers, camera, and overnight stuff, because
>> I had spent the past two days teaching in another town. The chair,
>> however, was too nice and too good to pass up. Sure, it might be there
>> tomorrow, but I have the space for it now and I have another 5-6 km
>> uphill to get home. So, why make a special trip?
>> I loaded it up and I biked through rush-hour traffic, zig-zagged through
>> intersections grid-locked with one-occupant SUVs, and followed and was
>> followed by 1-2 occupant motorbikes. Only one place, did I have to get
>> off the bike and push. The turns were too tight and I thought I'd be
>> considerate and not scratch the cars that were clogging the intersection.
>> So, if anyone wants to be a passenger on a deluxe-style xtracycle
>> seat...come visit me in Taiwan
>> Now, all I have to do is work out a foot-rest...
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