Finally got around to posting pics of the modifications made to the
FreeRad on my X.
Bit of back story,
One day about 9 weeks back, someone riding behind me pointed out that
my rear wheel appeared to be leaning over to the right (at a bit of an
When I looked closer I saw that the actual problem was that the
FreeRad had developed a pronounced upward bend in the middle of the
left main tube plus there was a significant crack just behind the left
rear dropout (no pics sorry).
The kickstand plade had also suffered damage at some stage (probably
the 170lb load I had on the week before). It had broken it's welds
where it connected to the front transverse tube and had also ripped
half away from the lower left side tube. All this just 2 weeks before
I was supposed to join a 9 others on a bike tour of the King River Valley.
Luckily I live very near bicycle frame repair specialist Gripsport
(www.gripsport.com.au). John, the owner, promised a 4 day turnaround
on most basic repairs and wasn't fazed when I asked if he could
engineer some extra bracing to overcome a basic design flaw in the
From the dropouts to the back rack mounts there is only the ovalised
tube itself that has to support up to 100lbs of bouncing load. That is
a quite a lot of stress for just a 20mm wide tube (Think of holding
out a 18" long spar in one hand with 50lbs hanging off the other end).
John suggested pretty much what I already had in mind which was to add
tubing over the top of the rear dropouts to transfer the load forward
through to the front mounts. (as on the Big Dummy and a couple of
other home-made longtails I've seen posted).
Can't say I've noticed any difference to the ride and only time will
tell if it holds up under the sort of loads I sometimes carry but it's
good to be back on the road.