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Re: Surly Xtra-frame (Big Dummy)

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  • karpaydiem
    Well it s good to read that someone else is hard on the FreeRadical. I had one break a few months ago and replaced under warranty. I could see that the
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 15, 2006
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      Well it's good to read that someone else is hard on the FreeRadical. I
      had one break a few months ago and replaced under warranty. I could
      see that the unsupported portion, to the rear of the dropouts, was not
      a strong design.

      I tried beefing it up by running aircraft cables from the back lower
      corners to turnbuckles attached to the upper forward corners of the
      bag frames, held on with hoseclamps. The other day at about 30 mph and
      carrying about 60 lbs I hit a huge pothole and the rear portion of the
      FreeRadical bent downward about 15 degrees, enough to wipe out my
      fender between the tire and the Snapdeck. So my cables didn't exactly
      work perfectly, but I can't help but think that without them, I'd have
      another snapped frame.

      So now, after straightening the frame (using 4x4's clamped above and
      below the bend with a length of 5/8" threaded rod) I've really gone
      all out in my beefing up, short of anything welded.

      First I ran a length of 3/4 x 1/8" flat steel bar on the outside of
      the tubes that support the dropouts, from the brake bosses to the rear
      cross bar. I clamped it to the FreeRadcial tubes with 7 hose clamps on
      each side. Looks like hell, but I figure it will add some stength.

      Next, I put some 1/2" thin wall electrical conduit tubes in
      triangulated postions, attached to the FreeRadical tubing with pieces
      of plumber's tape bolted through the conduit with stainless machine
      screws and nylock nuts. One runs from the rear upper corner of the bag
      frame to the dropout tube, just back of the fender boss. Then I ran a
      second tube from the middle of the first tube to the upper front
      corner of the bag frame.

      This all looks pretty much like a huge weird kludge, but I'm
      determined to not have any more bent/broken frames... until I can get
      a Big Dummy which seems to have worked out supporting that
      failure-prone rear portion.



      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Tone" <Tone@...> wrote:
      >
      >...
      >
      > I am extremely excited about the potential Big Dummy. I work as
      > a messenger in NYC and I have been totally wearing down my Xtracycle.
      > Actually I should say Xtracycles because even though I have only one
      > bike, for over three years it has always been equipped with an
      > Xtracycle, but unfortunately the FreeRadical has needed replacing twice.
      > It always starts to crack directly behind the rear drop-outs, which is
      > the weakest point on the FreeRadical. Recently I also noticed a fresh
      > crack starting on one side this year. I guess for me the amount of
      > wear-and-tear of daily messenger work and my own personal loading seems
      > to result in FreeRadicals only lasting me about a year.
      ...
    • Devian Gilbert
      its all about the Big Dummy i wonder what Surly s initial run is gonna be? that is... how many are they gonna make?
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 15, 2006
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        its all about the Big Dummy
        i wonder what Surly's initial run is gonna be?
        that is...
        how many are they gonna make?

        On Dec 15, 2006, at 12:01 AM, karpaydiem wrote:

        Well it's good to read that someone else is hard on the FreeRadical. I
        had one break a few months ago and replaced under warranty. I could
        see that the unsupported portion, to the rear of the dropouts, was not
        a strong design.

        I tried beefing it up by running aircraft cables from the back lower
        corners to turnbuckles attached to the upper forward corners of the
        bag frames, held on with hoseclamps. The other day at about 30 mph and
        carrying about 60 lbs I hit a huge pothole and the rear portion of the
        FreeRadical bent downward about 15 degrees, enough to wipe out my
        fender between the tire and the Snapdeck. So my cables didn't exactly
        work perfectly, but I can't help but think that without them, I'd have
        another snapped frame.

        So now, after straightening the frame (using 4x4's clamped above and
        below the bend with a length of 5/8" threaded rod) I've really gone
        all out in my beefing up, short of anything welded.

        First I ran a length of 3/4 x 1/8" flat steel bar on the outside of
        the tubes that support the dropouts, from the brake bosses to the rear
        cross bar. I clamped it to the FreeRadcial tubes with 7 hose clamps on
        each side. Looks like hell, but I figure it will add some stength.

        Next, I put some 1/2" thin wall electrical conduit tubes in
        triangulated postions, attached to the FreeRadical tubing with pieces
        of plumber's tape bolted through the conduit with stainless machine
        screws and nylock nuts. One runs from the rear upper corner of the bag
        frame to the dropout tube, just back of the fender boss. Then I ran a
        second tube from the middle of the first tube to the upper front
        corner of the bag frame.

        This all looks pretty much like a huge weird kludge, but I'm
        determined to not have any more bent/broken frames... until I can get
        a Big Dummy which seems to have worked out supporting that
        failure-prone rear portion.

        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Tone" <Tone@...> wrote:
        >
        >...
        >
        > I am extremely excited about the potential Big Dummy. I work as
        > a messenger in NYC and I have been totally wearing down my Xtracycle.
        > Actually I should say Xtracycles because even though I have only one
        > bike, for over three years it has always been equipped with an
        > Xtracycle, but unfortunately the FreeRadical has needed replacing twice.
        > It always starts to crack directly behind the rear drop-outs, which is
        > the weakest point on the FreeRadical. Recently I also noticed a fresh
        > crack starting on one side this year. I guess for me the amount of
        > wear-and-tear of daily messenger work and my own personal loading seems
        > to result in FreeRadicals only lasting me about a year.
        ...


      • Tone
        Karpaydiem, It is funny you should mention your “patch job” of the FreeRadical today. Oddly enough the night before you wrote your post I spent a little
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 16, 2006
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          Karpaydiem,

                      It is funny you should mention your “patch job” of the FreeRadical today. Oddly enough the night before you wrote your post I spent a little over two hours after work reinforcing my own FreeRadical to keep the left side tubing from cracking more than it already has just behind the dropouts.

                      I bought ¾” internal-diameter plumbing pipe at a length of 10” for about $2.00 and four hose clamps for about $0.59 each, then used my cordless grinder to cut the pipe in half lengthwise. I had to cut little triangles out of one half of the piping in various spots to keep the pipe flush against the FreeRadical tubing since the mudguard mounting bracket, my preferred rear-wheel quick-release position, and the disc-brake protector mount were somewhat in the way. Along the length of tubing on the inside of the FreeRadical (between the rear drop outs and disc-brake rotor) I then used the other half of the pipe, however I had to cut that lengthwise in half even further because the disc-brake mounts on the FreeRadical would also have gotten in the way. From there I sandwiched the two bars of cut-pipe with the FreeRadical tubing in between. Two hose clamps were run through the gaps between the disc-brake mount welds and the two other hose clamps were placed past the rear drop outs. Basically the whole thing looks like some kind of metal-splint.

                      Now I am just hoping this holds my Xtracycle up enough until June. Although I guess I should also hope Surly’s release date for the Big Dummy is on time. J

          _TONE_

           

           

        • karpaydiem
          Yeah, Tone, great minds think alike, or as my Dad used to say, Two minds with but a single thought - a half a thought apiece! I too saw my reinforcement as a
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 16, 2006
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            Yeah, Tone, great minds think alike, or as my Dad used to say, "Two
            minds with but a single thought - a half a thought apiece!"

            I too saw my reinforcement as a splint. Your pipe idea sounds
            stronger; I had thought of that, but went with the easier strip down
            the side in my lazy, minimalist approach. I sure hope it works.

            Maybe we'll inspire Xtracycle to put out a HD version, sort of an
            XtraXtracycle.

            As to the part of this thread adresssing the cost of the Big Dummy, my
            perspective is the same as when I built up the Instigator frame
            (bought used on eBay) into the Stokemonkey Frankenbike I now ride. And
            that perspective is that this is a car replacement. So my mantra was
            (and is): "It's not a car. Spend the money. It's not a car. Spend the
            money. It's not a car. Spend the money."

            From this viewpoint the projected cost of the Big Dummy frame is much
            less than a year's worth of basic liablity car insurance. Not to
            mention all the hidden costs of car ownership like killing 120 of us a
            day just in accidents and, oh yeah, cooking our only lovely planet.
            $600? Not a bad deal!



            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Tone" <Tone@...> wrote:
            >
            > Karpaydiem,
            > It is funny you should mention your "patch job" of the
            > FreeRadical today. Oddly enough the night before you wrote your post I
            > spent a little over two hours after work reinforcing my own
            FreeRadical...<snip>
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