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Re: [rootsradicals] How to set-up an Xtracycle for cyclo-touring WITH BACKPACKS (NOT PANNIERS)

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  • Ryano
    I use a Timbuk2 messenger bag. One like this: http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/retail/catalog.htm?categoryId=84&skusetId=79 They are waterproof, so no hassles in
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 6, 2007
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      I use a Timbuk2 messenger bag.  One like this:

      http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/retail/catalog.htm?categoryId=84&skusetId=79

      They are waterproof, so no hassles in the rain, either on or off the bike.  Make sure you get a nice big one because they fit nice and close on your back despite the size - when it is empty you won't notice, and when you have lots of stuff, you will appreciate having a way to carry it. I use an XXL.  On a really long hike though, you might want a full backpack. 

      Three choices there:
      1) go with a waterproof backpack drybag.  You can find these at kayaking store.  Something like this:
      http://www.rei.com/product/722677?vcat=REI_SSHP_PADDLING_TOC
      or
      http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?Cat=cycle&ProdID=5360007535

      2) get your old hiking backpack, and use a 10 dollar drybag inside it
      http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetailDeal.aspx?Cat=cycle&ProdID=5360023789

      or

      3) get a regular hiking backpack and find a way to cover them on your bike so they don't get wet if it rains

      I did this on my xtracycle by cutting a piece of waterproof canvas and fitting it under the snapdeck.  Good weather it is rolled up out of the way, and in bad, you just roll it down.  It is a little fiddly finding a good way to stop it from interfering  with the clips on the freerad.  One way is to set it up so that it rolls down over the top of the freerad. You have to find a way from stopping it blow around though.  One way to do that is to sew on some strategic magic tape (velcro) to the underside of the canvas cover as well as onto the outside of the freerads.  Then it velcros down and holds pretty well (a bit like the top lid of a messenger bag).
       
      Best of luck !! 

      http://carfreetokyo.blogspot.com/



      On 07/04/07, mcbraniff < braniff@...> wrote:

      Using an Xtracycle for cyclo-touring WITH BACKPACKS (NOT PANNIERS)

      I'm looking to go on an extended touring expedition (road and some
      off-road) WITH BACKPACKS vs. panniers so that I (and my wife) can head
      off into the wilds without needing to find a home for luggage (i.e.
      panniers). In other words, what would be the best way to set-up an
      Xtracycle to support backpacks instead of panniers.

      TO MAKE IT MORE CHALLENGING: I'd like to consider doing this on out
      steel, CoMotion tandem.

      30 lbs per pack (2 packs)

      Any help?


    • David Chase
      I also don t see where the problem would be (60lbs total seems totally within reason, I ve carried a 70lb kid with no real problems), but... ... An Xtracycle
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 6, 2007
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        I also don't see where the problem would be (60lbs total seems
        totally within reason, I've carried a 70lb kid with no real
        problems), but...
        > TO MAKE IT MORE CHALLENGING: I'd like to consider doing this on out
        > steel, CoMotion tandem.
        An Xtracycle on a tandem seems dicey. The weight on the rear wheel
        of a tandem, with only the riders, is already many pounds more than
        the weight on a single rear (figure that the increment is half the
        weight of the rear rider). Adding 60 pounds of gear to that is
        going to take you pretty close to the nominal 150lb limit.

        You might consider a somewhat larger tire in the rear to moderate
        peak stresses, and I assuming you have some sort of springiness
        for the rear rider.

        You'll also be very, very long.

        David
      • Juergen Weichert
        Perhaps I don t fully understand the question, but I would just put one backpack in each side of the Freeloader. When you arrive pull out the backpacks, lock
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 6, 2007
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          Perhaps I don't fully understand the question, but I would just put one
          backpack in each side of the Freeloader. When you arrive pull out the
          backpacks, lock up the bike and go hiking. Totally standard
          installation. Use wide loaders if you like to help support the backpacks
          if they are bulky.

          Juergen


          mcbraniff wrote:
          >
          > Using an Xtracycle for cyclo-touring WITH BACKPACKS (NOT PANNIERS)
          >
          > I'm looking to go on an extended touring expedition (road and some
          > off-road) WITH BACKPACKS vs. panniers so that I (and my wife) can head
          > off into the wilds without needing to find a home for luggage (i.e.
          > panniers). In other words, what would be the best way to set-up an
          > Xtracycle to support backpacks instead of panniers.
          >
          > TO MAKE IT MORE CHALLENGING: I'd like to consider doing this on out
          > steel, CoMotion tandem.
          >
          > 30 lbs per pack (2 packs)
          >
          > Any help?
          >
          >
        • Tone
          McBraniff, David s point about potential issues of excess weight strain on the rear wheel is certainly a good one. On top of this though, I would also highly
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 6, 2007
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            McBraniff,

                        David’s point about potential issues of excess weight strain on the rear wheel is certainly a good one. On top of this though, I would also highly recommend against riding two people on a bike while touring. By your description of some off-road expedition stuff, I gather you would most likely be in possibly more remote areas. I highly recommend against both you and your wife touring with only one bike. Too much can go wrong, and if your single bike has some kind of mechanical failure you could get into some undesirable situations, especially if someone might need medical assistance. Phone reception does not always work in certain areas, especially around wilderness areas. If something were to fail mechanically on your one bike with both of you on it, you both could crash and become injured and/or incapacitated. With two bikes you decrease that probability immensely.

                        The idea of having at least one Xtracycle-equipped bike is certainly good, but do not only depend on one. Also, you should probably consider getting similar style bikes apart from the Xtracycle extension. By this I mean both bikes should have exchangeable parts & components in case something does totally break down and you are in a pretty desolate area. For example, even if one of your tires on your Xtracycle-extended bike were to get completely shredded you could always swap the entire wheel from the secondary bike. Along with any simple parts-swap you would also still be able to seat the second person on the snap deck and tow the second bike.

                        I have had this kind of thing happen while road riding with a buddy of mine. The spokes on his fancy road bike broke and he could not ride it. We simply called information to find where the nearest bike shop, then I gave him a ride on my Xtracycle with his bike in tow. Within 30-45 minutes his wheel was re-laced and we were back on the road. If I we had not been able to tow him it probably would have added a minimum of two hours to our trip that day. When you are touring in more remote areas where you probably would be camping, two hours might mean the inability of setting up a proper camp and fire, etc.

                        I very much believe the risks and sheer inconvenience of having just one bike between two people is not worth it.

             

                        Oh, and this is my two cents as a long time professional messenger… do NOT depend on any messenger bag (EVEN pro-messenger made bags like Chrome, Manhattan Portage, RELoad, PAC, Crumpler, and especially not Timbuk2) to be waterproof as Ryano suggests. Most high-end messenger bags are definitely “water-proof,” but not absolutely so. When camping and touring you certainly want to ensure your stuff is completely dry and not damp. Sometimes with even a high-end messenger bag a tiny trickle of water slipping in from the edge of the bag flap can cause a bunch of your stuff to get soaked.

                        You should depend more on dry-bag type stuff, which Ryano also pointed out. For camping and touring I recommend the dry-bag style gear like for water rafting. At least get the lining dry-bags like Ryano mentioned and use them inside any standard two-shouldered hiking backpack. In this department a single-shoulder strapped messenger bag is definitely undesirable if your intention is to do a good deal of hiking with a load on your back.

            _TONE_

             

          • David Chase
            On the other, other hand: I spoke to someone, don t recall who, who had been touring on a tandem, and they did it that way because the two riders were
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 7, 2007
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              On the other, other hand:

              I spoke to someone, don't recall who, who had been touring on a
              tandem, and they did it that way because the two riders were
              mismatched; two bikes would have been too slow for one, too taxing
              for the other (unless, perhaps, the "one" rides the fully loaded
              xtracycle). I think taking one bicycle also avoids the very most
              likely cause of failure, which is one bike accidentally brushing
              another and causing an accident. Tandems are also far less
              vulnerable to the only kind of accident that has ever sent me to a
              hospital -- a header.

              If you know how to work on a bike, a 99% tool kit weighs just a few
              pounds. Unfortunately, lots of people don't know enough about how to
              work on a bike (or else they know it wrong).

              My kit:
              * pump
              * tire irons
              * patch kit
              * gorilla (duct) tape (helps with cut tire patches, also for
              rim tape, also for restraining cables -- my rear derailleur
              works better if the cable is not flopping around)
              * allen wrenches
              * appropriate metric box wrenches
              * combination screw driver + a T-25 bit for my disk brake rotors.
              * needle-nose pliers
              * spoke wrench
              * spare spokes
              * adjustable wrench (for tweaking bent derailleurs and hangers,
              and for other people's caliper brakes).
              + chain breaker
              + 2 spare power links + few spare inches of chain
              + freewheel remover
              - chain whip (never needed it on the road, I've got strong fingers)
              - pedal wrench (it's light)
              - spare brake pads

              * = I've used it on the road
              + = If I'd had it at the time, I would have used it. I had a
              chain break once, and if I had been able to prune out the
              busted part, I could have carried on pretty quickly.
              - = used them in the shop, haven't needed it on the road, but
              can easily imagine needing it.

              The cone wrenches and bottom-bracket tools stay home.

              I think the main issue is whether the xtracycle can deal with the
              xtra load. I think they will be within its nominal load rating, but
              just barely.

              On 2007-04-07, at 2:48 AM, Tone wrote:
              > On top of this though, I would also highly recommend against riding
              > two people on a bike while touring. By your description of some off-
              > road expedition stuff, I gather you would most likely be in
              > possibly more remote areas. I highly recommend against both you and
              > your wife touring with only one bike .Too much can go wrong, and if
              > your single bike has some kind of mechanical failure you could get
              > into some undesirable situations, especially if someone might need
              > medical assistance. Phone reception does not always work in certain
              > areas, especially around wilderness areas. If something were to
              > fail mechanically on your one bike with both of you on it, you both
              > could crash and become injured and/or incapacitated. With two bikes
              > you decrease that probability immensely.
              >
            • Cara Lin Bridgman
              ... I ditto Juergen. Why do you need something special to haul backpacks? An xtracycle can haul ANYTHING -- that s why we got em, right? I frequently haul
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 8, 2007
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                Juergen Weichert wrote:
                > Perhaps I don't fully understand the question, but I would
                > just put one backpack in each side of the Freeloader. When
                > you arrive pull out the backpacks, lock up the bike and go
                > hiking. Totally standard installation. Use wide loaders if
                > you like to help support the backpacks if they are bulky.


                I ditto Juergen.

                Why do you need something special to haul backpacks? An xtracycle can
                haul ANYTHING -- that's why we got 'em, right? I frequently haul things
                including backpacks, they just go in the bags. If they're too long,
                they stick out the back end. They're usually not long enough to mess
                with a wide loader. If your pack's waterproof enough on your back, it's
                probably waterproof enough in a freeloader. Those straps that come with
                the freeloader are nice because they can help cinch the packs closer to
                the center line. When I'm hauling heavy things like 25-L of kitty
                litter, I get much less wobble if I have everything cinched tight to the
                center line.

                CL
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