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2008 Kona Dr Dew... good X candidate?

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  • satguymtl
    Hi! I m looking for a decent hybrid/city bike for the upcoming warm season. I want a quality bike with plenty of possibilities for upgrades, and with a Free
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 5, 2009
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      Hi! I'm looking for a decent hybrid/city bike for the upcoming warm season. I want a quality bike with plenty of possibilities for upgrades, and with a Free Radical installed before too long. Ideally, I want a lighter bike with the main intention of lighter-weight daily commutes of around 18 miles RT, with occasional bigger loads from Costco, HD, etc.

      While many new bikes appeal to me, I'm also looking for recent models, but good ones seem hard to find. I did, however, come across a lightly used 2008 Dr. Dew with a fenders and a rear rack (otherwise stock), not too far from here. The owner is asking $675 Canadian -- about $540 US.

      Is the Dr. Dew a good candidate for Xtracycle conversion? Hydraulic discs seem to be the only impediment (in the rear at least). Is it easy enough to extend a hydro hose?

      http://www.konaworld.com/08_drdew_c.htm

      Francesco
    • adventureboyseven
      ... Check out Bazooka Bikes. They have a very nice looking cruiser. Yes it is a folding bike too, however the price is right. They have some other models as
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 5, 2009
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        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "satguymtl" <satguymtl@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi! I'm looking for a decent hybrid/city bike for the upcoming warm season. I want a quality bike with plenty of possibilities for upgrades, and with a Free Radical installed before too long. Ideally, I want a lighter bike with the main intention of lighter-weight daily commutes of around 18 miles RT, with occasional bigger loads from Costco, HD, etc.
        >
        > While many new bikes appeal to me, I'm also looking for recent models, but good ones seem hard to find. I did, however, come across a lightly used 2008 Dr. Dew with a fenders and a rear rack (otherwise stock), not too far from here. The owner is asking $675 Canadian -- about $540 US.
        >
        > Is the Dr. Dew a good candidate for Xtracycle conversion? Hydraulic discs seem to be the only impediment (in the rear at least). Is it easy enough to extend a hydro hose?
        >
        > http://www.konaworld.com/08_drdew_c.htm
        >
        > Francesco
        >
        Check out Bazooka Bikes. They have a very nice looking cruiser. Yes it is a folding bike too, however the price is right. They have some other models as well.

        With your dollar being above Canada's currently Norco Bikes would be a good bet for an affordable base bike.

        Cheers, Phil aka adventureboy7
      • adventureboyseven
        ... Phil again. You mention hybrid bike. Do some surfing and consider what you will be riding for. I have seen some MTN bikes converted to a more urban
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 5, 2009
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          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "adventureboyseven" <adventureboyseven@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "satguymtl" <satguymtl@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi! I'm looking for a decent hybrid/city bike for the upcoming warm season. I want a quality bike with plenty of possibilities for upgrades, and with a Free Radical installed before too long. Ideally, I want a lighter bike with the main intention of lighter-weight daily commutes of around 18 miles RT, with occasional bigger loads from Costco, HD, etc.
          > >
          > > While many new bikes appeal to me, I'm also looking for recent models, but good ones seem hard to find. I did, however, come across a lightly used 2008 Dr. Dew with a fenders and a rear rack (otherwise stock), not too far from here. The owner is asking $675 Canadian -- about $540 US.
          > >
          > > Is the Dr. Dew a good candidate for Xtracycle conversion? Hydraulic discs seem to be the only impediment (in the rear at least). Is it easy enough to extend a hydro hose?
          > >
          > > http://www.konaworld.com/08_drdew_c.htm
          > >
          > > Francesco
          > >
          > Check out Bazooka Bikes. They have a very nice looking cruiser. Yes it is a folding bike too, however the price is right. They have some other models as well.
          >
          > With your dollar being above Canada's currently Norco Bikes would be a good bet for an affordable base bike.
          >
          > Cheers, Phil aka adventureboy7
          >
          Phil again. You mention hybrid bike. Do some surfing and consider what you will be riding for. I have seen some MTN bikes converted to a more urban flavor by adding slicks, parcel carriers, taller gear packs etc. I have a Giant STP that has hybrid tires on it that I use to rip around town on. It is nice to be able to nail a curb and not even have to lift the tire, as the downhill fork easily eats a hit like that. I got the bike at the pawn shop and with a tune up and nothing else I spent less than 300 bucks.

          Such a bike with an Xtracycle would be solid and fast if you swapped in some road gears and a larger front chainring.

          Happy Shopping, Phil
        • Andrew Kreps
          ... You can t extend a hydro hose per se, but you can replace it. I ended up with a new set of customizable-length shimano hoses for my bike, and they were
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 5, 2009
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            On Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 10:46 AM, satguymtl <satguymtl@...> wrote:
            >
            > Is the Dr. Dew a good candidate for Xtracycle conversion? Hydraulic discs seem to be the only impediment (in the rear at least). Is it easy enough to extend a hydro hose?

            You can't extend a hydro hose per se, but you can replace it. I ended
            up with a new set of customizable-length shimano hoses for my bike,
            and they were much easier to put together than I imagined (vice,
            rubber mallet, 10 minutes). I now have an extra used 1700mm steel
            braided hose (I found that the Big Dummy required an 1800mm hose for
            my extra-cruiser bars) . If you think you might be interested in it,
            drop me a line!
          • Brad Martinson
            ... First of all, YMMV; this is my experience. I d been planning to brag/ whine about my setup for months - you triggered the post :-) I had my LBS build my
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 5, 2009
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              On Mar 5, 2009, at 10:46 AM, satguymtl wrote:

              > Is the Dr. Dew a good candidate for Xtracycle conversion? Hydraulic
              > discs seem to be the only impediment (in the rear at least). Is it
              > easy enough to extend a hydro hose?


              First of all, YMMV; this is my experience. I'd been planning to brag/
              whine about my setup for months - you triggered the post :-)

              I had my LBS build my Xtracycle from a Kona Dew Plus about 18 mos
              ago. I wanted disc brakes, had a budget of $600 for the bike, and the
              Dew Plus and the Marin Novato were my finalists... They both had
              mechanical discs, and the LBS that carried Kona was more accommodating
              than Marin's local retailer.

              One one hand, it's been a great commuter. I live in a fairly flat
              area of California, don't really pine for electric assist, and really
              enjoy the ride. On the other hand, each month there are fewer
              Original Kona parts on it. So far, I have:
              - replaced the straight bars with Nitto Albatross bar. My hands don't
              get numb anymore.
              - downsized the front chainring from 28-38-48 to 22-32-44, and I still
              don't use the big ring. But I can actually climb hills now.
              - added a kickback center stand, after breaking two regular kickstands.
              - worried about the front mount every 200 miles - the original
              kickstand mount is just barely close enough to the front mount point
              of the freeradical that I had to use two FAPs, above & below. It's
              too far forward to get the mounting bolt in "front" of it, but not so
              far that the FreeRad could just float behind it.
              - added Planet Bike fenders. Front: easy! Back: Challenging.
              - added some lights - and plan on adding more.

              I also picked up a Townie 7-speed cruiser on Craigslist, and find it
              easier to ride if I'm not going to carry *any* cargo. I'm a big fan
              of the multiple bikes for multiple purposes model.

              Things I'd consider again, if I had the chance:
              - I'd probably go with a 26" setup instead of 700c, mostly because you
              can use bigger tires on the 26ers.
              - I'd look to a mountain bike frame instead of a hybrid. My impression
              is that a Mtn bike will have more clearance at the bottom bracket.
              And the gearset that comes with the Mtn bike will be more suited to
              hauling a load up a hill, instead of clocking 24 mph on the expressway.
              - I'd ride the base bike for a couple of weeks before the conversion,
              just to get comfortable with the geometry.


              Hope this helps!

              - brad
            • satguymtl
              ... It does, thanks!
              Message 6 of 14 , Mar 5, 2009
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                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Brad Martinson <bradmartinson@...> wrote:
                >

                > Hope this helps!
                >
                > - brad
                >

                It does, thanks!
              • Geoff Cisler
                This also brings up a question that I realize might be more of a clarification on a possible misconception. Does it really matter whether the conversion frame
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 6, 2009
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                  This also brings up a question that I realize might be more of a clarification on a possible misconception.

                  Does it really matter whether the conversion frame is steel or aluminum? I was under the impression that it had to be steel and have thus been banging my head over that, but if everyone thinks that Aluminum would work just as well, then this opens up a bunch of new possibilities for me.

                  And to complicate this post even more, would it work to get a 29er frame (i'm a tall guy) and use regular 700c-32 wheels on the xtracycle?

                  I ordered the frame on the recent February deal, but now question my choice of the bike. Actually, if you're curious, you can see my bike on the link below.

                  thanks!
                  Geoff
                  http://www.jpbikeresearch.com

                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "satguymtl" <satguymtl@...> wrote:

                  > Is the Dr. Dew a good candidate for Xtracycle conversion? Hydraulic discs seem to be the only impediment (in the rear at least). Is it easy enough to extend a hydro hose?
                  >
                  > http://www.konaworld.com/08_drdew_c.htm
                  >
                • watrout
                  ... Francesco, Looks like your commute is about the same as mine. I can tell you from experience that if you want to make decent time on your ride to work you
                  Message 8 of 14 , Mar 6, 2009
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                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "satguymtl" <satguymtl@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi! I'm looking for a decent hybrid/city bike for the upcoming warm season. I want a quality bike with plenty of possibilities for upgrades, and with a Free Radical installed before too long. Ideally, I want a lighter bike with the main intention of lighter-weight daily commutes of around 18 miles RT, with occasional bigger loads from Costco, HD, etc.
                    >
                    > While many new bikes appeal to me, I'm also looking for recent models, but good ones seem hard to find. I did, however, come across a lightly used 2008 Dr. Dew with a fenders and a rear rack (otherwise stock), not too far from here. The owner is asking $675 Canadian -- about $540 US.
                    >
                    > Is the Dr. Dew a good candidate for Xtracycle conversion? Hydraulic discs seem to be the only impediment (in the rear at least). Is it easy enough to extend a hydro hose?
                    >
                    > http://www.konaworld.com/08_drdew_c.htm
                    >
                    > Francesco
                    >

                    Francesco,

                    Looks like your commute is about the same as mine. I can tell you from experience that if you want to make decent time on your ride to work you won't want the xtracyle - especially if you ride the Dr. Dews before the conversion. As much as I love my xtracycle and use it pretty much every day, I don't take it to work unless I know I have to carry a lot of stuff. I think the mistake a lot of people make when setting up an X (myself included) is getting concerned about how to keep the weight down. Bottom line with an X is it's NOT going to be light and that's OK because it's made to carry a lot of stuff, not be a light road-bike screamer. Pretty much every weight-saving consideration I made when building my X has since been scrapped for more utility-friendly options.

                    I have a Kona Jake the Snake cross bike that I use as my primariy commuter. I had visions of using the xtracycle as my main commuter before I had it completed because I was tired of my messenger bag, but once I tried it, I went back to the cross bike & messnger bag combo simply because it was so much faster for a 10 mile ride. For me the drop bars are kind of a must have on my work route because it seems like there's ALWAYS wind! In my experience anything 5 miles & under is no big deal either way (meaning I don't mind using the xtracycle instead of the Kona). Once I get over that mileage the time differentiation between a utility bike and a fast bike starts to weigh in.

                    If I were in your situation I would go ahead and get the Dr. Dews as your primary "riding" bike. Save up the money your not spending on your car, then get a Big Dummy for your "utility" bike. I love my X but now that I use it all the time, I can see why the Big Dummy would be superior and worth the money. That will probably be my next purchase.

                    Good luck,
                    Wes
                  • satguymtl
                    ... Thanks Wes! Great response! Unfortunately, that has been my opinion for a while. I have to question my ultimate requirements. I *do* have access to a nice
                    Message 9 of 14 , Mar 6, 2009
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                      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "watrout" <watrout@...> wrote:
                      >

                      > If I were in your situation I would go ahead and get the Dr. Dews as your primary "riding" bike. Save up the money your not spending on your car, then get a Big Dummy for your "utility" bike. I love my X but now that I use it all the time, I can see why the Big Dummy would be superior and worth the money. That will probably be my next purchase.
                      >
                      > Good luck,
                      > Wes
                      >

                      Thanks Wes! Great response!

                      Unfortunately, that has been my opinion for a while. I have to question my ultimate requirements. I *do* have access to a nice old steelie donor frame, but the reason it's been outside the equation so far is that it needs way too many parts to make it rideable, with or without the X.

                      I've also calculated the "saved fuel" and made myself laugh... I drive a smart fortwo diesel, and get about 65 mpg on my commute - about a dollar a day! :) So there goes the "but I'll be saving lotsa money" argument with my SO!

                      Francesco
                    • watrout
                      ... Francesco, I always throw that money you ll be saving line out there with a little chuckle on my part. I m still hoping it actually works for someone!
                      Message 10 of 14 , Mar 6, 2009
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                        > Thanks Wes! Great response!
                        >
                        > Unfortunately, that has been my opinion for a while. I have to question my ultimate requirements. I *do* have access to a nice old steelie donor frame, but the reason it's been outside the equation so far is that it needs way too many parts to make it rideable, with or without the X.
                        >
                        > I've also calculated the "saved fuel" and made myself laugh... I drive a smart fortwo diesel, and get about 65 mpg on my commute - about a dollar a day! :) So there goes the "but I'll be saving lotsa money" argument with my SO!
                        >
                        > Francesco
                        >

                        Francesco,

                        I always throw that "money you'll be saving" line out there with a little chuckle on my part. I'm still hoping it actually works for someone! Last year was the first year I made a true attempt to go car lite and in the process made 3 bike purchases in that year alone! So much for saving money by biking - but oh well. I have fun with my bikes, they're transportation and a hobby, and it still costs me less than getting into some expensive hobby like golfing (no offense if you're an avid golfer).

                        Wes
                      • watrout
                        Geoff, It s my understanding that aluminum and steel are both acceptable materials for a conversion. There s plenty of debate as to which is better but that
                        Message 11 of 14 , Mar 6, 2009
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                          Geoff,

                          It's my understanding that aluminum and steel are both acceptable materials for a conversion. There's plenty of debate as to which is better but that seems to be more user preference than anything else.

                          As to your 29er frame – I can't think of any reason that wouldn't work. Obviously there could be some 29er frames that wouldn't work (as well) but that also holds true for some 26er frames. Personally, I would stick to 26" platforms because I like the higher volume tires, but I think you're looking at 700cc/29er frames because you have better luck finding frames tall enough for you – which is certainly understandable.

                          I hope xtracycle is following this group and before long we see a true 29er free radical which can accommodate a 700cc rim with some wide rubber on it.

                          Wes

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Geoff Cisler" <gcisler@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > This also brings up a question that I realize might be more of a clarification on a possible misconception.
                          >
                          > Does it really matter whether the conversion frame is steel or aluminum? I was under the impression that it had to be steel and have thus been banging my head over that, but if everyone thinks that Aluminum would work just as well, then this opens up a bunch of new possibilities for me.
                          >
                          > And to complicate this post even more, would it work to get a 29er frame (i'm a tall guy) and use regular 700c-32 wheels on the xtracycle?
                          >
                          > I ordered the frame on the recent February deal, but now question my choice of the bike. Actually, if you're curious, you can see my bike on the link below.
                          >
                          > thanks!
                          > Geoff
                          > http://www.jpbikeresearch.com
                          >
                        • Brad Martinson
                          My commute was only 6 miles one way, but the X is what convinced me I didn t have to drive my truck to work... I just hate carrying a bag when I m riding, and
                          Message 12 of 14 , Mar 6, 2009
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                            My commute was only 6 miles one way, but the X is what convinced me I
                            didn't have to drive my truck to work... I just hate carrying a bag
                            when I'm riding, and the X allowed me to stuff my laptop bag, lunch,
                            towel and a change of clothes in the free loaders, and "ride free".


                            On Mar 6, 2009, at 5:06 AM, watrout wrote:

                            > I had visions of using the xtracycle as my main commuter before I
                            > had it completed because I was tired of my messenger bag, but once I
                            > tried it, I went back to the cross bike & messnger bag combo simply
                            > because it was so much faster for a 10 mile ride.
                          • satguymtl
                            ... If I were in your situation I would go ahead and get the Dr. Dews as your primary riding bike. Save up the money your not spending on your car, then get
                            Message 13 of 14 , Mar 7, 2009
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                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "watrout" <watrout@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Francesco,
                              >
                              > Looks like your commute is about the same as mine. I can tell you from experience that if you want to make decent time on your ride to work you won't want the xtracyle - especially if you ride the Dr. Dews before the conversion. As much as I love my xtracycle and use it pretty much every day, I don't take it to work unless I know I have to carry a lot of stuff.

                              If I were in your situation I would go ahead and get the Dr. Dews as your primary "riding" bike. Save up the money your not spending on your car, then get a Big Dummy for your "utility" bike. I love my X but now that I use it all the time, I can see why the Big Dummy would be superior and worth the money. That will probably be my next purchase.
                              >
                              >

                              I'm going to see the Dr Dew tomorrow or Monday, and if it's in decent shape I'll make a cash offer on the spot. Yes, I think it will be my primary "riding" bike for the foreseeable future, likely with component upgrades.

                              With job uncertainty I won't be in much of a position to build up a stable of bikes for now -- much as I've dreamt of so doing -- so I think I'll put the Free Rad on it until I find a steal on a decent donor bike. As an avid-cyclist-friend of mine is fond of pointing out, I have an extra 25 lbs of gut to lug around, so trying to save 2 lbs on a bike is rather silly (and costly) until I lose it. :)
                            • satguymtl
                              Forgot to add (sorry for talking to myself): my wife will be more than happy to use my smart *convertible* for her commute to work and leave her Accord at
                              Message 14 of 14 , Mar 7, 2009
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                                Forgot to add (sorry for talking to myself): my wife will be more than happy to use my smart *convertible* for her commute to work and leave her Accord at home. So, yes, there will be tangible fuel savings as the smart gets better than double the mileage of the Honda. The question is whether she'll let me spend some of these savings on my toys. LOL

                                Francesco



                                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "watrout" <watrout@> wrote:
                                >
                                > Francesco,
                                >
                                >Save up the money your not spending on your car, then get a Big Dummy >for your "utility" bike.
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