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Re: [rootsradicals] Free Radical on aluminum frame?

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  • Tone@moon-shine.net
    Doug, You should be slightly concerned about mixing an aluminum bike frame with an Xtracycle. I had a Xtracycle on my aluminum Univega 750FS for over five
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 30, 2008
      Doug,

      You should be slightly concerned about mixing an aluminum bike frame
      with an Xtracycle. I had a Xtracycle on my aluminum Univega 750FS for
      over five years until last spring when I upgraded to a Big Dummy. Over
      the years I encountered a minor issue in the chain-stay bridge plate
      like you brought up.

      Basically the steel tongue of the FreeRadical frame very gradually ate
      into the aluminum chain stay bridge (where a kickstand would normally
      be mounted on a bike). I guess with me carrying so much weight over
      such a long time span in all weather conditions the vibrations caused
      the steel tongue to very gradual wear into the softer aluminum. I
      noticed the issue when the tongue had eaten through the bridge almost
      half way. No real significant structural damage was done. It just
      looked like I had an equal-sign cut halfway into the bridge. :)

      I fixed the issue completely fairly easily. I just bought a short
      length of steel pipe for a couple of bucks from the plumbing section
      of a hardware store, then I used a powered metal grinder to split the
      pipe lengthwise into two "half-pipes." Afterward I cut the half-pipe
      down into small trapezoid pieces, which fit over my chainstay bridge,
      then I drilled a hole in the middle to allow the bolt from the tongue
      to pass through.

      From there the tongue simply rested on the little wedge piece I made
      and I never had any more issues. The pipe actually produced four or so
      appropriate wedge pieces, but I only needed one. I think the guys at
      Xtracycle are aware of the issue because I believe they now offer
      Xtracycle kits with two FAPs (
      Front Attachment Plate) instead of just one, although they may have
      started offering two FAPs because some bikes do not have a chain stay
      bridge for the tongue to rest on.

      Either way, the Xtracycle will work on an aluminum frame. Just make
      sure you have a nice beefy aluminum frame if you plan on carrying a
      good deal of weight regularly... and watch the connection between your
      bike's down tube and the head tube. With all the added weight over the
      extended length of the bike there is a heck of a lot more stress put
      on the head tube welds. My aluminum frame lasted me ten years and well
      over 30,000 miles before breaking there, but I DEFINITELY abused the
      bike. I worked as a full time messenger in New York for most of the
      years I had the Xtracycle, and have been known to push the Xtracycle's
      carrying capacity.

      Ride safe,
      _TONE_
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