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H-racks, Pea Pods, maybe some other questions

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  • Robin Skyler Tell
    All right, then, here are a couple of things I ve been trying to figure out. What s an H-rack? They re mentioned in a few places on the site but I can t find
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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      All right, then, here are a couple of things I've been trying to figure
      out. What's an H-rack? They're mentioned in a few places on the site
      but I can't find a listing for one; is it just an old name for what is now
      called a Wideloader? That's my best guess, but I'd like to be sure.

      Where does a Pea Pod attach? Am I right in guessing it only works on an
      X, and can't be casually swapped onto other family bikes?

      Has anybody surpassed the 200-pound weight limit, or gotten a sense of how
      pushable it is? And on a probably related note, I run across the
      occasional reference to flex in the frame when the bike is loaded; how big
      a deal is that? I'm looking into an X because I want to save myself from
      having to get a pickup truck; I'm an apprentice to a contractor and I may
      have to carry a whole buttload of stuff on a fairly regular basis.

      More as I think of them, I suppose. Thanks!

      R

      On Fri, 27 Jun 2008, tismarcusone wrote:

      > Ok...Many of here a noob owners here feel free to ask away these peeps
      > are really nice and very helpfull at answering all your questions I
      > love my X...not life transforming but been wondering how I got along
      > without on for so long.
    • David Chase
      On the 200lb limit, how much do you weigh? I weigh 220, which contributes 110 to the rear, not sure if that is counted as part of the 200, but it clearly
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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        On the 200lb limit, how much do you weigh?

        I weigh 220, which contributes 110 to the rear, not sure if that is
        counted as part of the 200, but it clearly matters. Given my 220lb
        counterweight on the front, I can carry 50 lbs dead easy, even
        unbalanced (no-hands, even), 110 is not a problem. I've carried a
        150lb passenger, and you begin to notice that hills are a lot of work,
        and you would not even contemplate taking your hands off the bars.

        The flex in the frame is something that you adapt to, up to a point.
        Worst-load-ever was a roll of tar paper that hung off the back, and
        set up about a 1 Hz, maybe even lower, oscillation in the frame (as
        in, you turn the front, and a moment later, "whump", from the back).
        Top speed was 9mph with that load; any more, and it felt really
        unsafe. I carried an even heavier unbalanced load once -- a mature
        plant from our house to a neighbor -- but because it was more forward,
        even though I had the bike 15 degrees off vertical, it felt ok, and I
        traveled at about 12mph, no oscillation. Even with balanced, well-
        packed loads, if you go fast enough (like down a hill, at 30+mph, and
        by-the-way, what are your plans for stopping such a load?) you can get
        some oscillation, but that is not unique to the xtracycle (I once had
        a quite-nice bike that would oscillate past 40mph, for instance, but
        that sort of speed is rare).

        So, if you can pack the heaviest part of your buttload low, forward,
        and balanced, you may do just fine. If you weigh less than I do,
        you'll get more headroom on the load, but you yourself will have to
        work hard to make the bike behave -- which reminds me, the width of
        your handlebars makes a BIG difference. I have 45cm bars, switched to
        them from some 51cm bars, and the first few days I really noticed that
        I was working harder to control heavy loads. Get some wider bars (for
        instance, the often recommended Albatross bars, at 56cm) and you'll
        have more leverage.

        You'll want wideloaders, I think. One way to make the sale (to you or
        your boss) is that you can roll the xtracycle right where you need it,
        and your stuff will be at an easy height. So, that plant I carried,
        we loaded it never lifting it higher than my knees, and to unload it,
        I rolled right up to the spot, quit holding the bike upright, and cut
        it loose.

        On 2008-06-27, at 8:41 AM, Robin Skyler Tell wrote:

        > All right, then, here are a couple of things I've been trying to
        > figure
        > out. What's an H-rack? They're mentioned in a few places on the site
        > but I can't find a listing for one; is it just an old name for what
        > is now
        > called a Wideloader? That's my best guess, but I'd like to be sure.
        >
        > Where does a Pea Pod attach? Am I right in guessing it only works on
        > an
        > X, and can't be casually swapped onto other family bikes?
        >
        > Has anybody surpassed the 200-pound weight limit, or gotten a sense
        > of how
        > pushable it is? And on a probably related note, I run across the
        > occasional reference to flex in the frame when the bike is loaded;
        > how big
        > a deal is that? I'm looking into an X because I want to save myself
        > from
        > having to get a pickup truck; I'm an apprentice to a contractor and
        > I may
        > have to carry a whole buttload of stuff on a fairly regular basis.
        >
      • Cara Lin Bridgman
        Hi R, From all I m hearing from this group, wobble is the difference between a free-radical attached to an ordinary bike and the BIG DUMMY. Wobble is also
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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          Hi R,

          From all I'm hearing from this group, wobble is the difference between
          a free-radical attached to an ordinary bike and the BIG DUMMY. Wobble
          is also supposed to vary with aluminum vs steel frames.

          My xtracycle (free-radical on a Surly Instigator frame) can have some
          wobble, but nothing as bad as a squirmy kid or someone with no sense of
          balance (inert objects just sit there). Sometimes I have wobble because
          the large battery for my stokemonkey is loose in the freeloaders. So if
          I wobble, it wobbles. At speeds downhill, this can get hairy and unsafe
          (and no, I'm not using battery power then, the motor is for getting back
          up the hill). The solution is to use to cinch everything tight and add
          extra straps so the gear can't wobble on the bike. Wobble is most
          conspicuous on start-up. Once you hit cruising speed, any wobble
          disappears. Most of the time, loads are noticeable only in that you're
          moving a little slower. I do not find they affect balance.

          I doubt I've exceeded the 200 lb limit, but it's not for want of
          trying... I know many on rootsradicals have gotten close. Actually, it
          wouldn't be hard to do--just put two full-sized Americans on the back.
          From all I hear (and Tone can describe this best), the weak spot is
          right behind the rear-wheel dropouts. So, if you're adding weight, make
          sure it's forward. Besides, having the weight forwards makes it easier
          to carry and reduces wobble.

          I think, but am not sure, that H-rack is a synonym for V-rack--the racks
          that support the wooden snapdeck. This is confusing and I found it
          confusing when trying to place my order 3 or so years ago.

          I've no experience with the peapod.

          If you want to see butt-loads of gear on an xtracycle, search archives
          in the past month for Tone's photos of his oversized loads. For a heavy
          one-sided load, look for Mark Garvey's xtracycle carrying a natural gas
          canister. There used to be (and maybe still are) a good selection of
          gear-hauling photos at the xtracycle website. All very inspiring. For
          true inspiration, though, you want to check this non-xtracycle website:
          <http://aistigave.hit.bg/Logistics/>. I've seen things like this in person.

          Also, I've hauled a few large loads myself:
          A) husband (65 kilos)
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050307-11byAndy-FamilyBike.JPG>
          B) friend and her 2 kids (probably totals about 70 kilos, they're small)
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070507byBerlin-TouristBusBike.JPG>
          C) 40 Kilos of potting soil, plus computer & teaching stuff
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050603-42PottingSoilBike.JPG>
          D) 50 Liters of kitty litter
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070511-069KittyLitterBike.JPG>
          E) Wooden pallet for compost bin
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050307-48PalletBike.JPG>
          F) Future fishpond for our garden (was base of an air conditioning unit)
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050312-09PondBike.JPG>
          G) Bourgainvillea for the garden & storage containers (light but pretty)
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/060411-05BougainvilleaBike.JPG>
          H) Chair with marble seat & back, plus teaching stuff
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/071130-012BikeWithDeluxePassengerSeat.JPG>
          I) New bike frame, wheels, stokemonkey, battery, etc
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070227-233BikeOnBike.JPG>
          and
          J)Orchids on Rice Paddy background (not too light, but very pretty)
          <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/080611-160OrchidBike2.JPG>.

          I didn't get any pictures of the 3.4 m steel pole, plus a few 2x4's and
          a door frame.

          CL
        • Cara Lin Bridgman
          ... Whoops! Confusing pounds with kilos, yet again! Frankly, one full-sized American (I m almost 200 lbs) or two Taiwanese. It s too easy. So, I may well
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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            Cara Lin Bridgman wrote:
            > I doubt I've exceeded the 200 lb limit, but it's not for want of
            > trying... I know many on rootsradicals have gotten close. Actually, it
            > wouldn't be hard to do--just put two full-sized Americans on the back.


            Whoops! Confusing pounds with kilos, yet again!

            Frankly, one full-sized American (I'm almost 200 lbs) or two Taiwanese.
            It's too easy. So, I may well HAVE exceed the 200 lb limit, but not
            for any real distance or climbs.

            CL
          • Christelle Lachapelle
            Cara, Thanks for sharing all the pictures! Looks like you are having quite an adventure! While I m waiting for my freeradical to arrive, I am dreaming about
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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              Cara,

              Thanks for sharing all the pictures! Looks like you are having quite an adventure! While I’m waiting for my freeradical to arrive, I am dreaming about ways to use it. Yesterday, when we brought our 2 goats for shots, I was wondering how I could get one on my bike…..

               

               

              From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Cara Lin Bridgman
              Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 11:57 AM
              To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] H-racks, Pea Pods, maybe some other questions

               

              Hi R,

              From all I'm hearing from this group, wobble is the difference between
              a free-radical attached to an ordinary bike and the BIG DUMMY. Wobble
              is also supposed to vary with aluminum vs steel frames.

              My xtracycle (free-radical on a Surly Instigator frame) can have some
              wobble, but nothing as bad as a squirmy kid or someone with no sense of
              balance (inert objects just sit there). Sometimes I have wobble because
              the large battery for my stokemonkey is loose in the freeloaders. So if
              I wobble, it wobbles. At speeds downhill, this can get hairy and unsafe
              (and no, I'm not using battery power then, the motor is for getting back
              up the hill). The solution is to use to cinch everything tight and add
              extra straps so the gear can't wobble on the bike. Wobble is most
              conspicuous on start-up. Once you hit cruising speed, any wobble
              disappears. Most of the time, loads are noticeable only in that you're
              moving a little slower. I do not find they affect balance.

              I doubt I've exceeded the 200 lb limit, but it's not for want of
              trying... I know many on rootsradicals have gotten close. Actually, it
              wouldn't be hard to do--just put two full-sized Americans on the back.
              From all I hear (and Tone can describe this best), the weak spot is
              right behind the rear-wheel dropouts. So, if you're adding weight, make
              sure it's forward. Besides, having the weight forwards makes it easier
              to carry and reduces wobble.

              I think, but am not sure, that H-rack is a synonym for V-rack--the racks
              that support the wooden snapdeck. This is confusing and I found it
              confusing when trying to place my order 3 or so years ago.

              I've no experience with the peapod.

              If you want to see butt-loads of gear on an xtracycle, search archives
              in the past month for Tone's photos of his oversized loads. For a heavy
              one-sided load, look for Mark Garvey's xtracycle carrying a natural gas
              canister. There used to be (and maybe still are) a good selection of
              gear-hauling photos at the xtracycle website. All very inspiring. For
              true inspiration, though, you want to check this non-xtracycle website:
              <http://aistigave.hit.bg/Logistics/>. I've seen things like this in person.

              Also, I've hauled a few large loads myself:
              A) husband (65 kilos)
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050307-11byAndy-FamilyBike.JPG>
              B) friend and her 2 kids (probably totals about 70 kilos, they're small)
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070507byBerlin-TouristBusBike.JPG>
              C) 40 Kilos of potting soil, plus computer & teaching stuff
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050603-42PottingSoilBike.JPG>
              D) 50 Liters of kitty litter
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070511-069KittyLitterBike.JPG>
              E) Wooden pallet for compost bin
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050307-48PalletBike.JPG>
              F) Future fishpond for our garden (was base of an air conditioning unit)
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050312-09PondBike.JPG>
              G) Bourgainvillea for the garden & storage containers (light but pretty)
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/060411-05BougainvilleaBike.JPG>
              H) Chair with marble seat & back, plus teaching stuff
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/071130-012BikeWithDeluxePassengerSeat.JPG>
              I) New bike frame, wheels, stokemonkey, battery, etc
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070227-233BikeOnBike.JPG>
              and
              J)Orchids on Rice Paddy background (not too light, but very pretty)
              <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/080611-160OrchidBike2.JPG>.

              I didn't get any pictures of the 3.4 m steel pole, plus a few 2x4's and
              a door frame.

              CL

            • Patrick Barber/Holly McGuire
              ... shots, I ... Unless they re very pygmy, you would probably want to use a trailer for the goats, but it could certainly be done. You can attach a Bikes at
              Message 6 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Christelle Lachapelle"
                <stellel@...> wrote:
                >
                > Cara,
                >
                > Thanks for sharing all the pictures! Looks like you are having quite an
                > adventure! While I'm waiting for my freeradical to arrive, I am dreaming
                > about ways to use it. Yesterday, when we brought our 2 goats for
                shots, I
                > was wondering how I could get one on my bike...
                >


                Unless they're very pygmy, you would probably want to use a trailer
                for the goats, but it could certainly be done. You can attach a Bikes
                at Work trailer to an Xtracycle, I'm told, and the new ones are the
                bee's knees.








                >
                >
                > Christelle
                >
                > www.makingthingslady.blogspot.com
                > http://connect.worldvision.org/person/christelle
                >
                >
                >
                > From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com]
                > On Behalf Of Cara Lin Bridgman
                > Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 11:57 AM
                > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] H-racks, Pea Pods, maybe some other
                questions
                >
                >
                >
                > Hi R,
                >
                > From all I'm hearing from this group, wobble is the difference between
                > a free-radical attached to an ordinary bike and the BIG DUMMY. Wobble
                > is also supposed to vary with aluminum vs steel frames.
                >
                > My xtracycle (free-radical on a Surly Instigator frame) can have some
                > wobble, but nothing as bad as a squirmy kid or someone with no sense of
                > balance (inert objects just sit there). Sometimes I have wobble because
                > the large battery for my stokemonkey is loose in the freeloaders. So if
                > I wobble, it wobbles. At speeds downhill, this can get hairy and unsafe
                > (and no, I'm not using battery power then, the motor is for getting
                back
                > up the hill). The solution is to use to cinch everything tight and add
                > extra straps so the gear can't wobble on the bike. Wobble is most
                > conspicuous on start-up. Once you hit cruising speed, any wobble
                > disappears. Most of the time, loads are noticeable only in that you're
                > moving a little slower. I do not find they affect balance.
                >
                > I doubt I've exceeded the 200 lb limit, but it's not for want of
                > trying... I know many on rootsradicals have gotten close. Actually, it
                > wouldn't be hard to do--just put two full-sized Americans on the back.
                > From all I hear (and Tone can describe this best), the weak spot is
                > right behind the rear-wheel dropouts. So, if you're adding weight, make
                > sure it's forward. Besides, having the weight forwards makes it easier
                > to carry and reduces wobble.
                >
                > I think, but am not sure, that H-rack is a synonym for V-rack--the
                racks
                > that support the wooden snapdeck. This is confusing and I found it
                > confusing when trying to place my order 3 or so years ago.
                >
                > I've no experience with the peapod.
                >
                > If you want to see butt-loads of gear on an xtracycle, search archives
                > in the past month for Tone's photos of his oversized loads. For a heavy
                > one-sided load, look for Mark Garvey's xtracycle carrying a natural gas
                > canister. There used to be (and maybe still are) a good selection of
                > gear-hauling photos at the xtracycle website. All very inspiring. For
                > true inspiration, though, you want to check this non-xtracycle website:
                > <http://aistigave.hit.bg/Logistics/>. I've seen things like this in
                person.
                >
                > Also, I've hauled a few large loads myself:
                > A) husband (65 kilos)
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050307-11byAndy-FamilyBike.JPG>
                > B) friend and her 2 kids (probably totals about 70 kilos, they're small)
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070507byBerlin-TouristBusBike.JPG>
                > C) 40 Kilos of potting soil, plus computer & teaching stuff
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050603-42PottingSoilBike.JPG>
                > D) 50 Liters of kitty litter
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070511-069KittyLitterBike.JPG>
                > E) Wooden pallet for compost bin
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050307-48PalletBike.JPG>
                > F) Future fishpond for our garden (was base of an air conditioning
                unit)
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/050312-09PondBike.JPG>
                > G) Bourgainvillea for the garden & storage containers (light but
                pretty)
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/060411-05BougainvilleaBike.JPG>
                > H) Chair with marble seat & back, plus teaching stuff
                >
                <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/071130-012BikeWithDeluxePassengerSeat.
                > JPG>
                > I) New bike frame, wheels, stokemonkey, battery, etc
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/070227-233BikeOnBike.JPG>
                > and
                > J)Orchids on Rice Paddy background (not too light, but very pretty)
                > <http://megaview.com.tw/~caralin/bike/080611-160OrchidBike2.JPG>.
                >
                > I didn't get any pictures of the 3.4 m steel pole, plus a few 2x4's and
                > a door frame.
                >
                > CL
                >
              • Mark Garvey
                On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 7:41 AM, Robin Skyler Tell ... Hmmmm, yeaaas...I believe so! I weigh 250. my e-assist motor on the bike adds
                Message 7 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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                  On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 7:41 AM, Robin Skyler Tell <robin@...> wrote:
                  What's an H-rack?   yep you got it.  I think it was H orizontal rack.  and teh X kit was V racks (Vertical)

                  Has anybody surpassed the 200-pound weight limit, 


                  Hmmmm, yeaaas...I believe so!  I weigh 250.  my e-assist motor on the bike adds about 30 lbs.   The weight limit is pretty much a matter of "load it until the wheel taco's then take something off. "  the weight limit is primarily a function of wheel strength and your ability to tote something.

                  I have carried a case of Beer....(Goose Island IPA if it really matters) on one side. and various other exceiting items.  Nothing as exotic as Cara Lin....but you never know!   I often am found riding around our city with my balloon pump, and a few hundred balloons for my programs.  If you can stuff it in the bags, you can probably get away with carrying it.
                  I run across the
                  occasional reference to flex in the frame when the bike is loaded; how big
                  a deal is that?  

                  If you want a no flex frame a Big Dummy from Surly. But frame flex is a non issue...at least for me.  It sometimes does, but only with a really heavy load....my wife for instance....HAH!  Kidding Dear...."OUCH!!" (damn!)
                  I'm looking into an X because I want to save myself from
                  having to get a pickup truck; I'm an apprentice to a contractor and I may
                  have to carry a whole buttload of stuff on a fairly regular basis.

                  More as I think of them, I suppose.  Thanks!

                  tu
                • Philip Chase
                  Having made the X-to-Dummy transition I can explain the frame flex. With inanimate loads the problem occurs when you turn and the load--because it is loose or
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jun 27, 2008
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                    Having made the X-to-Dummy transition I can explain the frame flex.
                    With inanimate loads the problem occurs when you turn and the
                    load--because it is loose or heavy--does not move with you. Instead
                    it follows several 10s of milliseconds later and starts an oscillation
                    in the back end. How bad is the oscillation? It varies.

                    I once stood on the pedals on take off and tilted the X left and right
                    as I took off. I had a 20 lb load in the back that was poorly
                    secured. I just about fell over as the load slapped in the bags. The
                    lesson learned--strap it down tight and sit down.

                    On the other hand, if you secure your load well it is amazing what you
                    can carry. I carried a 10 gallon citrus tree 4 miles last week. It
                    was effortless. I have carried gardening equipment, multiple
                    backpacks, and kids on the X. The kids created problems being a high
                    unruly mass but even to that you adjust. I must have made 80 trips on
                    the X with both of them and their packs before I got the Big Dummy.
                    The Big Dummy tracks a truer course carrying that kind of load, but
                    the X is still way useful.

                    I think the biggest load I carried was 3 enormous bags of very wet
                    grass clippings. I think they must have been 70 lbs each, so yes, I
                    think I have exceeded the rated capacity. That was on my Big Dummy
                    and it was the only time I ever felt the frame flex on the BD.

                    As David says the convenience or rolling your gear right up to the
                    place you will us it is unparalleled. Those bags of grass--they went
                    from the curb to the bike, 1/2 mile home, and right up to the compost
                    heap. Minimal transfers and lifting.

                    I would get the 2 wide loaders and get a long loader. Consider adding
                    a simple stoker bar just because it makes it very easy to secure large
                    things on top of the snap deck. I once put a curbside recycling bin
                    on the snap deck that way. The extra capacity was great.

                    Being at a job site nails and screws could be the enemy. Consider
                    kevlar lined tires.

                    Philip

                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Robin Skyler Tell <robin@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > All right, then, here are a couple of things I've been trying to figure
                    > out. What's an H-rack? They're mentioned in a few places on the site
                    > but I can't find a listing for one; is it just an old name for what
                    is now
                    > called a Wideloader? That's my best guess, but I'd like to be sure.
                    >
                    > Where does a Pea Pod attach? Am I right in guessing it only works on an
                    > X, and can't be casually swapped onto other family bikes?
                    >
                    > Has anybody surpassed the 200-pound weight limit, or gotten a sense
                    of how
                    > pushable it is? And on a probably related note, I run across the
                    > occasional reference to flex in the frame when the bike is loaded;
                    how big
                    > a deal is that? I'm looking into an X because I want to save myself
                    from
                    > having to get a pickup truck; I'm an apprentice to a contractor and
                    I may
                    > have to carry a whole buttload of stuff on a fairly regular basis.
                    >
                    > More as I think of them, I suppose. Thanks!
                    >
                    > R
                    >
                    > On Fri, 27 Jun 2008, tismarcusone wrote:
                    >
                    > > Ok...Many of here a noob owners here feel free to ask away these peeps
                    > > are really nice and very helpfull at answering all your questions I
                    > > love my X...not life transforming but been wondering how I got along
                    > > without on for so long.
                    >
                  • Tone
                    Robin, I think someone else mentioned an H-rack is the same thing as what Xtracycle seems to also call a V-rack. It is the aluminum tubing, which slides
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jun 29, 2008
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                      Robin,

                                  I think someone else mentioned an “H-rack” is the same thing as what Xtracycle seems to also call a “V-rack.” It is the aluminum tubing, which slides down into the protruding vertical tubes at the front and rear ends of the FreeRadical. The idea is to have two “H-racks” slid into the FreeRadical with one to the right side of your rear wheel and the other to the left side of your rear wheel. The “H-racks” are what the “FreeLoader” bags get stretched across, and the “H-racks are what the “Snap-Deck” pops onto.

                                  Just for more clarification, a wide-loader is also a similar shaped aluminum tubing, except it is meant to be slide horizontally into the side-slots of the FreeRadical. The idea for the Wide-Loaders is to provide even more structural support to bulkier and heavy loads than what the FreeLoaders themselves can provide.

                                  …and for even more clarification, The Long-loaders (sometimes referred to as long-haulers) are short sort-of up-side-down “J” shaped tubes. They are slid over the front ends of the wide-loaders in a vertical position with the curved end of the inverted “J” attaching near the top of the front end of one of the V-racks. The purpose of a Long-loader is to permit the carrying of “long” objects like pipes, lumber beams/boards, surf-boards, etc… The Long-loaders are specifically meant to keep such long loads off to the side at a slight angle to the path a rider is taking. This angled load configuration ensures a long load does not either interfere with a rider’s pedaling or the steering of the front wheel.

                                  In my opinion, if any Xtracyclist is planning to get a wide-loader, they might as well purchase a long-hauler as well. Besides keeping long loads out of the way of pedaling and steering, the long-hauler is also useful in stabilizing loads at the forward end of the FreeRadical, and they are especially handy at keeping many non-long loads from rushing forward and hitting a rider’s ankles. I personally have two sets of wide and long loaders, as well as a pair of footsies. Although, I have come to feel footsies are not so necessary if you have a pair of wide-loaders.

                       

                                  I have not carried any toddlers in a Pea Pod, etc… but from my understanding the Pea Pod attaches primarily to the seat-tube, with some extra bracing/support going down to the chain-stays. I am not sure, but I so not see why it would not work with other bikes.

                       

                                  I am certainly guilty of surpassing the 200 pound weight limit suggested by the wonderful folks at Xtracycle. I use to work as a bike messenger in New York City, so I carried a lot of varying loads for work. However, most of my craziest loads were for personal projects. I do not know if the guys at Xtracycle will admit it anymore, but I know when I first got my Xtracycle many years ago they actually stated the weight limit for loads alone (as in not including a passenger) was 200 TO 250 pounds. That 250 pound limit was dependent on having a stronger solid rear wheel. In my case I have always ridden with Aerospoke brand poly-carbon-fiber 5-spoke mag wheels, and have not had any major problems.

                                  Although, as someone else pointed out in reference to me… I have gone through a couple of FreeRadical frames because over the course of my usage they all developed cracks directly behind the FreeRadical’s rear drop outs. Xtracycle has always stated that loads with weight exerting over 60 pounds behind the axle of the rear wheel are to be avoided and they also make sure to mention the “Rear Step” is NOT to be stepped on. J

                                  When I bought my Big Dummy from Xtracycle a couple of weeks ago (the last one they had I might add), they did inform me their newer FreeRadical models have slight beefier design modifications compared to the first few production runs, which address the rear drop-out cracking.

                       

                                  As far as frame-flex, I never noticed any significant “frame flex” on my Xtracycle build. I did have a phatt-oversized oval-tubed aluminum bike frame, which helped avoid flex issues. However, I also never really rode on anyone else’s Xtracycle to see a true comparison. I know securing a load in place with good straps and tie downs is definitely a key element in swaying and bouncing, etc. I would think that might be pretty obvious pretty quick though. Of course any massive loads alter the riding to a noticeable degree, which some might consider “frame-flex.” Although, if you are riding with a truly massive load you definitely should NOT be pushing anywhere near twenty miles per hour!

                       

                                  You mention you are an apprentice to a contractor. Well, if you are currently carrying a significant load on any bicycle, with whatever traditional rack system on the market… the Xtracycle will surely ease your tool/hardware/lumber hauling blues. In fact, most of the major loads I carried were lumber loads from Home Depot for carpenter projects I was building for myself or friends.

                                  Not only that, but occasionally while working full time as a bike messenger, I also happened to assist some friends of mine, who were carpenters or contractors. Every now and then they would need someone with some know-how to assist them for a day or two on a few of their bigger projects and they would pay someone more if they could show up with their own tools.

                                  The only big object I must admit to having some issues with were full 4’x8’ sheets of lumber/board. I know some people with Xtracycles have managed to pull off riding with such full sheets, but I never felt all that comfortable with them. They put you at risk of acting as a sail and tipping you over into traffic. They can also be a bit flimsy when strapped into place, but still bouncing/slipping on the wide-loaders. When a long object extends ahead of the FreeRadical and sits higher than your seat, it can interfere with a rider’s own positioning as well as visibility to the side. It really sucks to be riding in traffic when there is a breeze with a sheet of plywood leaning against you as it rubs splitters into your shoulder and arm. Generally, I have found the best course of action for the safe hauling of a sheet of lumber on an Xtracycle is simply to have it pre-cut in half at the store so you end up with two pieces of 2’x8’ sheeting.

                       

                                  As someone responded already to your message in reference to me, a couple of weeks ago I posted something with a bunch of photo links to loads I have carried. Well, I will spare everyone here the majority of those particular photos again, but since your inquiry involves concerns of carrying contractor-related stuff I will only repeat those photo links related to carpentry, etc.

                       

                      A must warn anybody from attempting to carry such a load, but to ease your contractor tool/hardware hauling worries a bit:

                      http://www.moon-shine.net/xs/lunarload-angle.jpg

                      http://www.moon-shine.net/xs/lunarload-front.jpg

                      http://www.moon-shine.net/xs/lunarload-side.jpg

                      http://www.moon-shine.net/xs/lunarload-back.jpg

                       

                                  I do not think I have to go into too many details of what the heck I am carrying there, although I will say apart from the actual lumber I also have a big messenger bag full of metal bolts, plates, hardware and tools. Even the guys at Xtracycle were a bit taken aback when I IMed them these photo links, so I am definitely pushing the unintended limits here

                                  I should point out the most challenging aspect of this haul was actually navigating the loaded bike at slow speeds through just the parking lot at Home Depot, especially with relatively sharp turns and vehicle traffic. What made it ten times worse was when I bike out of the parking lots drive-way down the ramp of the sidewalk to the gutter of the street. The pavement itself was set in a slightly convex manner so rain would drain off toward the curb. I had neglected to take into account this dip in my “ever so graceful flight path,” so once my bike’s midway reach the edge of the sidewalk I got jammed into place. The front end of the lumber nosed into the streets pavement and the back end of the lumber got its tail lifted by the angle of the sidewalk. Once motionless I lost balance of the bike with its entire load and it tipped over with me still on it. I pretty much looked like a total fool to the dozen or so cars backed up and waiting in line to exit the Home Depot parking lot. I had to drag the bike off to the side with the help of a pedestrian walking by, then I secured the load all over again in a different configuration. After that I was able to slowly ride to my destination about ten blocks away without further incident. I kept praying for my FreeRadical not to completely crack again and for my expensive Aerospoke wheels to hold up to the abuse I know I was putting them through. Obviously I made it. J

                       

                      ---

                      Just to show you a much more reasonable and easy load…

                      http://www.moon- shine.net/ xs/8-13-03- lumber.jpg

                      I only had several 8’ long 1x4 planks/boards and perhaps one or two 8’ long 2x4 beams. On top of the lumber in the Freeloaders is my messenger bag containing some hardware and tools, etc. Having the bag on top of the lumber actually helps stabilize the load. Carrying long pieces of lumber is pretty easy because with the with Freeloader straps you just have to tie it in place against the long-haulers with the lumber’s weight resting on the wide-loaders. However, usually there might be the risk of some play and this will usually manifest itself when hitting bumps/potholes in the road. That is when the lumber might bounce and shift forward or backward, so having some weight on top of the lumber keeps it from bouncing around too much.

                      ---

                      Back in Brooklyn when my wife moved in with me I moved ALL of her stuff on my Xtracycle:

                      http://www.moon- shine.net/ xs/denisemove1. jpg

                      On this particular trip the I think the Xtracycle alone (not including stuff in the messenger bag on my back) was carrying a six foot ladder, a small TV or computer monitor (wrapped in garbage bags for padding and protection), five potted plants, a small suitcase (unseen between the ladder and Freeloader), and my wife’s pet rabbit in that blue corrugated plastic pet carrier. I know this does not seem that related to contracting/carpentry, but I thought the 6’ ladder was relevant.

                      ---

                      So Robin, I hope this clears things up for you because I am a bit winded after that long message. J

                       

                    • Robin Skyler Tell
                      Thanks for all the feedback! Nice active group here. Okay. So one clarification: I don t need to be sold on getting an X, it s clearly what I need. And I
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jun 30, 2008
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                        Thanks for all the feedback! Nice active group here.

                        Okay. So one clarification: I don't need to be sold on getting an X, it's
                        clearly what I need. And I mean, yes, I can also see that the Dummy would
                        be better still, but I simply don't got the money nohow, and won't for the
                        foreseeable future. The money is what I've been waiting the two years
                        for. I have between five and six hundred dollars to do this. I'll be
                        attempting to do the build myself just so I don't have to blow a big chunk
                        of my budget paying the bike shop to do it.

                        Sounds like the load limit is flexible (as I suspected) but that there
                        still is such a thing as too much; my everyday tool loads should be no big
                        thing, but my job could occasionally make me want to do things that might
                        or might not work out (I can imagine wanting to schlep four five-gallon
                        buckets of slate rubble or other debris, for example, which is just a lot
                        of weight any way you look at it). I myself am probably around two
                        hundred pounds, and not the strongest rider in the world but pretty
                        strong. Sounds like a lot of the limit is down to the rear wheel--one of
                        the few parts of the bike I won't have replaced one this is assembled, and
                        maybe I just need to start saving now for a badass new wheel. But then
                        there are the dropout cracks; I guess my freeradical will be a newer one
                        but it's still good to be warned about loading up aft of the axle.

                        Maybe more to follow, there was too much there to catch everything just
                        now. Thanks for so much information!

                        R
                      • Andrea Richards
                        Robin, With a lot of people selling their previous xtracycles for the big dummy, keep an eye on  craigslist . Police property options are good too ... From:
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jul 1, 2008
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                          Robin,

                          With a lot of people selling their previous xtracycles for the big dummy, keep an eye on  craigslist . Police property options are good too

                          --- On Mon, 6/30/08, Robin Skyler Tell <robin@...> wrote:

                          From: Robin Skyler Tell <robin@...>
                          Subject: [rootsradicals] ooh, so many responses
                          To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Monday, June 30, 2008, 10:55 PM

                          Thanks for all the feedback! Nice active group here.

                          Okay. So one clarification: I don't need to be sold on getting an X, it's
                          clearly what I need. And I mean, yes, I can also see that the Dummy would
                          be better still, but I simply don't got the money nohow, and won't for the
                          foreseeable future. The money is what I've been waiting the two years
                          for. I have between five and six hundred dollars to do this. I'll be
                          attempting to do the build myself just so I don't have to blow a big chunk
                          of my budget paying the bike shop to do it.

                          Sounds like the load limit is flexible (as I suspected) but that there
                          still is such a thing as too much; my everyday tool loads should be no big
                          thing, but my job could occasionally make me want to do things that might
                          or might not work out (I can imagine wanting to schlep four five-gallon
                          buckets of slate rubble or other debris, for example, which is just a lot
                          of weight any way you look at it). I myself am probably around two
                          hundred pounds, and not the strongest rider in the world but pretty
                          strong. Sounds like a lot of the limit is down to the rear wheel--one of
                          the few parts of the bike I won't have replaced one this is assembled, and
                          maybe I just need to start saving now for a badass new wheel. But then
                          there are the dropout cracks; I guess my freeradical will be a newer one
                          but it's still good to be warned about loading up aft of the axle.

                          Maybe more to follow, there was too much there to catch everything just
                          now. Thanks for so much information!

                          R


                        • Mark Garvey
                          On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 12:55 AM, Robin Skyler Tell ... Yar. tis OK, Here is a good kicker. Get the X. don worry about the bike. the
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jul 1, 2008
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                            On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 12:55 AM, Robin Skyler Tell <robin@...> wrote:
                            Thanks for all the feedback!  Nice active group here.


                            Yar.  'tis

                            OK, Here is a good kicker.  Get the X. don' worry about the bike.  the bike will find you.  I got a Jamis Durango Sport from Freecycle. but I have picked up bikes in swaps, out of dumpsters and from friends.  So don't worry too much about the exact bicycle you attach it to. 

                            the work involved is pretty basic.  If you can break a chain and replace a brake and derailleur cable, you can do the conversion.  Take your time and take it easy.

                            Hot tip.  If you plan to haul heavy stuff a LOT (and if you are not in the greatest shape!)  Think about an electric assist. those of us who HAVE them, Love them. Range is somewhat limited..I can only ride about 30 miles or so using the power intermittently like on  hills and such, but it is a HUGE life saver on hills with a load!  a 10-15 mile ride with moderate hills would be easy.

                            I have honestly thought about swapping my X to my Single speed Schwinn Typhoon frame but don't know if it will fit or not.!

                            mark
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