Monday, April 2, 2012

Xtracycle: The Longer Haul Trucker

As previously stated, I have been slacking. Here is my attempt to catch up.

For a long time now, I've been wanting a sport utility bike of some kind. I think this has to do with the amount of kids I have. When the first one was born the idea crept in that it might be nice to have one some day. By the time number two arrived I was in a state of full on man/gear lust. At first I thought I might just spring for a bike trailer and the I could tow the kids to school and go to work in one trip. The problem with this is that I park my bike in my cube and it would suck to have to negotiate a trailer through the office every day. I definitely wanted an SUB.

Being a Surly fan I considered a Big Dummy, but I am a cheap scrounging bastard so the consideration was fleeting. The logical step was to put an Xtracycle on the LHT(yeah you know me), but that too had a stiff price tag (cheap scrounging bastard*).

I decided to use the vast social media empire I built over the years to my advantage. On February 21st I tweeted "anyone in DC want to sell me their Xtracycle?". At the time I thought this was one of the douchier things I've done, which it was, but it worked!
Soon I had a shinny used Xtracycle Free Radical with bags waiting to be installed. I had to purchase another chain and tandem length shifter and brake cables for the extended rear. I also had to do things like measure the elevator at my office to make sure this SUB would make the trip I wouldn't be hiking a 7 foot bike up the office stairwell.

The install went smoothly with no troubles. I had heard of LHT owners complaining that the Xtracycle didn't fit well because of the LHT's longer chainstay but I didn't run into this problem.

The Xtracycle and the Long Haul Trucker seem work pretty well together; the LHT is strong and is already geared for hauling heavy loads. The Xtracycle design is impressively simple, it's easy to install and has a cult following that documents tons of mods and DIY projects.

Now it's time to get my DIY on.

Monday! Thou yeasty milk-livered haggard!


Tom said...

Woo Hoo! Awesome! I had a cargo bike moment this morning. I had tennis rackets in the front basket, razor scooters in the rear baskets, and one of my kids hitching a ride.

Aushiker said...

Looks pretty good. I wonder if it would work as a touring setup.

shwizzle said...

That looks awesome! Very handy for carrying a large load. How long did it take to put together? Is it something you can put on for one trip, but remove for another?
I'm thinking - use this for local trips with a large, heavy tent, but converting it back for long distance touring. What do you think?

Cycle Jerk said...

Shwizzle: It took around 2.5 hours for me to get everything done. Yes you could throw it on for a short trip and then remove it but it might be a pain in the ass. I guess you could keep the original chain and cables at the ready. That would speed things up. Also, 2.5 hours was because it was the first time I was doing it. I would imagine it wouldn't take that long after I've done it a few times. I'm planning on keeping mine on all through the summer.