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

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  • 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 1 of 7 , Apr 6 8:13 PM
      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
    • 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 2 of 7 , Apr 6 11:48 PM

        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 3 of 7 , Apr 7 8:14 AM
          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 4 of 7 , Apr 8 4:31 AM
            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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