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  1. #1
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    2015 Big Dummy Build Qs

    I'm looking at getting a new Big Dummy, likely to build from the frame up. (Already have full drivetrain, cockpit, brakes, etc., minus some of cargo-bike specific stuff like cables and chain.) Primary use will be typical cargo bike tasks like hauling groceries, yard/house supplies, commuting gear, at least one child (currently age 5), and maybe two kids at the same time as our younger one gets older and outgrows the Chariot. I could also envision situations where an adult passenger would ride on the back.

    My initial plan was to buy the frame along with the Surly "Cargo Kit," which includes the Surly deck, rack, and bags. But now I see a disclaimer that the Surly system isn't designed to carry people, so I'm looking at Xtracycle stuff, but those parts seem to be getting harder to find brand new and seem more expensive than the Surly stuff. So, a few questions:

    - Are others using the Surly deck to carry people in the real world? Is this a terrible idea, or just Surly's CYA language? Not thinking of using a child seat, just a Magic Carpet and stoker bar.

    - If I go the Xtracycle route, it looks like I need a deck, rack, and Freeloaders. Anything essential that I'm missing, or any small parts that need to be purchased separately to put all of this stuff together?

    - Do Wideloaders work with the Surly rack system? Surly's website seems to indicate that's the case, but any real-world feedback is appreciated.

    - Any other suggestions on the best way to set this up?

    Thanks in advance for any help, fire away if I'm missing key information.

  2. #2
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    - Are others using the Surly deck to carry people in the real world? Is this a terrible idea, or just Surly's CYA language? Not thinking of using a child seat, just a Magic Carpet and stoker bar.

    I use the Surly deck for people hauling. The dummy deck works great with the Yepp Maxi easyfit adapter, too. The holes are already there. A magic carpet / stoker bar would be fine.

    - If I go the Xtracycle route, it looks like I need a deck, rack, and Freeloaders. Anything essential that I'm missing, or any small parts that need to be purchased separately to put all of this stuff together?

    I would get a brake caliper protector of some kind.

    - Do Wideloaders work with the Surly rack system? Surly's website seems to indicate that's the case, but any real-world feedback is appreciated.


    IMG_0212 by Phillip Scalfano, on Flickr

    Yes, they do. U-tubes also work. In fact I would go for u-tubes over wideloaders. They are superior because they also act as running boards with the additional rail. The cloth on my wideloaders is wearing out so I may get u-tubes as a replacement.

    - Any other suggestions on the best way to set this up?

    I had a complete that came with the xtracycle kit, and have since migrated to the dummy deck and dummy rails. My opinion is the dummy system is superior to the xtracycle system because the deck bolts to the rails. I am using the Xtracycle bags and will continue to do so, but the dummy bags are also very nice. If you get the dummy deck and rack, get the dummy bags too.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Super helpful, thank you!

  4. #4
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    I bought mine as a frameset, but also came with Xtracycle bars, deck and bags. If I were you, I would look at the new Xtracycle deck. It allows you to cut out a section to use in lieu of a Yepp seat adapter. Gets the weight down lower, which equals more stability. I don't know if they play well with Surly bars, but something to look into.

  5. #5
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    I've been on my complete '14 Big Dummy for a couple weeks now. The Surly bags are really nice- very adjustable and compact. I swapped out my Dummy Deck for the Flightdeck2 to use a Yepp Maxi seat without the adapter. (new Dummy Deck just in my garage if you want it) .

    I agree with PScal above - Go with with U-tubes over Wide Loaders . It is much easier to get around town/tight spaces, better for kids to climb on, and more durable.

    Don't forget to get a kickstand. The simple stock stand that comes with teh complete build is fine, but I could see with kids climbing on it, how the Xtracycle center stand would be ideal.

    Enjoy it!! The BD handles much better than I anticipated - stable and stiff, much like a mnt bike . I'm using it to train for some upcoming Cat1 singlespeed races - nothign like pulling weight to make a 19lb singlespeed feel fast. On Monday I'm taking my toddler to stay at a friend's on Chappakwitic (sp?) Marthas Vinyard: 15miles of riding and 2 ferry rides and some time exploring the island.

    some pics from this week and last.

    2015 Big Dummy Build Qs-img_0247.jpg
    The Yepp Maxi seat installs in the square cutouts of the Flightdeck2. Super easy to take off. Great seat btw

    2015 Big Dummy Build Qs-img_0250.jpg

    2015 Big Dummy Build Qs-10360957_10204602921735799_5351142256829689051_n.jpg
    The Dummy inhereted my custom Ti Groovy Luv bars. I think the Eriksen Ti post is going on next. This weekend it will get most of teh Revelate kit too. It feels good pimp this ride - something very classy and functional about the whole thing.
    Biking At Home Dad - blog Being a dad and racing singlespeeds
    HIS & HERS Energy Efficiency What pays for the next bike(s)

  6. #6
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    Anybody know what the deal is with the xtracycle U-tubes and being out of stock everywhere? Discontinued? Totally popular and they can't keep up with demand?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by adinpapa View Post
    I swapped out my Dummy Deck for the Flightdeck2 to use a Yepp Maxi seat without the adapter.
    adinpapa,

    How well did the Flightdeck2 mate up with the mounting bosses on the dummy rails? I think I read that xtracycle recommends 8 super hooks for mounting the Flightdeck2 to their rails if you plan to use the Yepp seat. How were you able to secure the Flightdeck2 to the dummy rails? It looks like four bolts in your photos.

    Any details you can share would be greatly appreciated. I currently have a single Yepp seat plus adapter mounted to my Dummy Deck. I am planning to add a second Yepp seat and I'm considering swapping out the Dummy Deck for a Flightdeck2.

  8. #8
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    It went on easy. 4x super hooks have been fine. I check the bolt tightness occasionally and after a couple of months I have no concerns. I've loaded it pretty heavy touring with my 2.5 yo tot. The dummy bag rain flap functionality is compromised a bit due to the foot rests of the Yepp, but it hasn't been an issue yet. Good luck setting it up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Biking At Home Dad - blog Being a dad and racing singlespeeds
    HIS & HERS Energy Efficiency What pays for the next bike(s)

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone this thread has been really helpful to me. I did get some additional useful info from Xtracycle though.

    "Just talked to the crew about this one. The Big Dummy is a great bike and the original crew at Surly that collaborated on that bike was awesome beyond words...and maybe downright legendary! After they sold to QBP, much of the original design crew left and they stopped collaborating directly with us. We no longer study that back or make sure there is a two way compatibility. We do not feel confident that all of our products are compatible with the Big Dummy. If they say that it is, then it's there burden of proof. That said, they probably do. However, there may be some things you need to know.

    We have several dealers in Portland that do work with Surly Big Dummies and Xtracycles. They would be a better source for you. Splendid Cycles is one of them and they do ship internationally. There are few shops that know more about the Big Dummy and Xtracycle than these guys and gals. I sure they would be happy to help. I think Barb rides a Big Dummy with Xtracycle accessories on the back.

    All that sais, the Big Dummy would only be compatible with the LT1 standard. The Deck Two that you are referring to is from the LT1 standard. Sorry for the confusion. This is the deck your will want and is sold on Bike Trailer Shop. You will be able to cut out the squares on the back of the deck for the Yepp seat. You can also get the LT1 Utubes from them. Ask Splendid what they know about putting the LT2 kit Longtail Kit on your bike. If it works, and you can keep your Surly bags, you may be better served to return your p-racks and get the new LT2 Longtail Kit (sans bags). Then you will have access for years to come on product availability and any future accessories that Xtracycle puts into the market.

    Note: For safety reasons carrying children, you must use SuperHooks to attach the deck and you must use racks locks where the racks meet the uprights of the Big Dummy. There again, we are not sure if the rack locks or Watchamacollars are even compatible with the Big Dummy model you bought. "
    Last edited by sid_day; 08-05-2015 at 03:47 AM. Reason: formatting

  10. #10
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    ...resurrecting this thread. I'm new, but seems like the right thing to do.

    Anyway, I'm UK based and am building up a Big Dummy, but it seems like there isn't much info over here, and some seems to conflict so I'm hoping some of you may have tried and tested some of the Xtracycle kit with the Big Dummy. I've got Dummy rails and a dummy deck, but I think I'll get a flight deck II so I can fit a yepp seat straight into the deck (and take the dummy deck off). I've read on here someone who had the flightdeck II on the dummy rails with no problem so feel comfortable with that. I'm looking to also get a Hooptie, U-tubes, kickback stand and bags (its gonna cost a fortune!). I don't mind doing minor mods to get stuff to fit, but is their any advice on compatibility issues. I'm especially keen to know if i should be looking at the LT2 or LT1 standards of each. I aim to carry a 1.5 year old (in the seat), and a 3.5 year old in the hooptie on the nursery run and adventure. Hope you can helps.

  11. #11
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    I used the dummy rails with the flight deck (version 1) for a while. I used the Yepp easyfit adapter (the older, metal version) to secure my seat. Then, I upgraded to the Dummy Deck because it bolts directly to the Dummy Rails with 8 bolts instead of 4 or 6 Superhooks. I find this to be vastly superior in terms of structural integrity of the rear system, and the aluminum deck seems to flex less than the plastic xtracycle one. It is especially notable when removing the rear rack system from the bike while it is intact. The xtracycle stuff just flops apart when you set it down. The ~2" difference in center of gravity is not worth it for me to worry about getting a flight deck 2, and the Easyfit adapter works great with the Dummy Rails.

    That said, it is your decision to get the Flight deck 2 and cut the hole in it. If you are setting up the system in one go, the cost difference is probably negligible, and it's not like the bike is going to explode because it is not overbuilt in every possible way.

    A fellow dummy owner in my town has one with the kickstand, LT1 u-tubes, and LT1 hooptie (which he doesn't use at the moment because he uses 2 child seats, and the u-tubes don't fit when you have 2 seats). It should all work for you with just 1 seat and LT1 items. LT2 will not work.

    Of note regarding dummy rails and xtracycle bags: The Dummy Rails eyelets do not align with the straps on the xtracycle bags, so you will have a bag strap or 2 that is in line with an eyelet on the dummy rails instead of all the straps going between the eyelets. It is not a big deal. I even poked holes in my xtracycle bag straps to make room for the rail/deck bolts. The Dummy Bags are the last piece that I have not swapped over from Xtracycle to Surly, because the Xtracycle ones work great for me. I like them a lot.

    Final note: Rack Locks. Consider getting some. I have been meaning to get some for a long time, but haven't gotten around to it. I have read that they stiffen everything up and take a lot of the rattling out of the rear rack system. The stiffness is definitely something you want when you have a kid on board. The xtracycle straps do a good job of holding the rack system on. I lift my bike by the rear deck and the stem up a half flight of stairs every day when I commute to work. I have never had the straps come loose.

    My kid is screaming - time to click 'post quick reply' Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseBox View Post
    ...resurrecting this thread. I'm new, but seems like the right thing to do.

    Anyway, I'm UK based and am building up a Big Dummy, but it seems like there isn't much info over here, and some seems to conflict so I'm hoping some of you may have tried and tested some of the Xtracycle kit with the Big Dummy. I've got Dummy rails and a dummy deck, but I think I'll get a flight deck II so I can fit a yepp seat straight into the deck (and take the dummy deck off). I've read on here someone who had the flightdeck II on the dummy rails with no problem so feel comfortable with that. I'm looking to also get a Hooptie, U-tubes, kickback stand and bags (its gonna cost a fortune!). I don't mind doing minor mods to get stuff to fit, but is their any advice on compatibility issues. I'm especially keen to know if i should be looking at the LT2 or LT1 standards of each. I aim to carry a 1.5 year old (in the seat), and a 3.5 year old in the hooptie on the nursery run and adventure. Hope you can helps.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the useful info PScal - much appreciated. Not sure how readily available the LT1 stuff is, but I'll do some digging. Do you know if the chap you mention has the LT1 Hooptie with the surly rails and deck?
    Thanks for the advice on the bags. I might just go for the Surly bags to avoid the minor strap clash, but the Xtracycle bags do look like a quality bit of kit.

    I was thinking about getting some rack locks. The xtracycle web site, makes some statements about potentially not being compatible with the surly rails due to them being fairly small tolerance items specifically for the xtracycle kit, but I suspect they are fine. I recall they may state the dimensions so I'll check. I'll post how I get on.
    Thanks again.

  13. #13
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    Yes, my friend does use the LT1 hooptie with the surly rails and deck. If I get the chance, I'll grab some photos of his setup.

    I detect a bit of rear-covering with the rack locks/compatibility on xtracycle's part, but it is not confirmed. I have read reports of people using rack locks on big dummies without issues, and other reports of people pinching their frame tubes. Just don't go crazy tightening them down, and I bet it'll be fine. If I get a set, I'll report back.

    It's always nice to hear of someone else taking their toddler on the back of these bikes. It has been a very positive and fulfilling experience with me and my daughter.

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseBox View Post
    Thanks for the useful info PScal - much appreciated. Not sure how readily available the LT1 stuff is, but I'll do some digging. Do you know if the chap you mention has the LT1 Hooptie with the surly rails and deck?
    Thanks for the advice on the bags. I might just go for the Surly bags to avoid the minor strap clash, but the Xtracycle bags do look like a quality bit of kit.

    I was thinking about getting some rack locks. The xtracycle web site, makes some statements about potentially not being compatible with the surly rails due to them being fairly small tolerance items specifically for the xtracycle kit, but I suspect they are fine. I recall they may state the dimensions so I'll check. I'll post how I get on.
    Thanks again.

  14. #14
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    I think I know enough to take the plunge and order the extra bits I need now. Thanks for the advice. I'll post a picture once the build is complete.

    Just looking at the bike in its part built state is putting a smile on my face, so I look forward to riding it. I just hope the kids take to it - i'm sure they will.

    Thanks again PScal.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PScal View Post
    I detect a bit of rear-covering with the rack locks/compatibility on xtracycle's part, but it is not confirmed. I have read reports of people using rack locks on big dummies without issues, and other reports of people pinching their frame tubes.
    I have a 2013 Big Dummy and got the rack locks, only to realize that the frame tubes on the Dummy is a tiny bit thicker than the Xtracycle tubes that the locks were originally designed to fit. I know Dummy owners who managed to squeeze them open enough to fit, but I need to take the rack on and off regularly – so I choose to just slide the locks on the dummy rails right above the frame tubes, so they at least can prevent rain from going into the upright frame tubes.

    If you should ever be able to read Norwegian, you can have a look at my electrified Big Dummy on my blog (or just enjoy the pictures!):
    Longtailen: Mitt arbeidsverktøy | transportsykkel.no
    30 bilder: Livet med longtailsykkel | transportsykkel.no
    Til skogs: En longtail møter marka | transportsykkel.no
    Min egen sykkel ? nå med elmotor | transportsykkel.no
    Longtailtesten: Trek vs Surly | transportsykkel.no

  16. #16
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    Well, it appears Surly has come out with their own Dummy Rail Collars. They are mentioned on the Big Dummy description, and word has it they will be available individually this Summer.

    I'll definitely pick up a set when they are available.

    @geiranders your dummy and photography are excellent!

  17. #17
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    If you want to attach a flight Deck MK.1 to the Dummy rails, you can just drill the necessary holes into the flight Deck.
    I marked the holes for a very tight fit, so that the rails need to be flexed inward to screw the board on. This has stabilized the setup considerably. No rattling whatsoever.





    Cheers

  18. #18
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    Hello,

    Instead of starting a new thread I'll just ask my question here. I've ordered a leftover 2015 frameset, and the dealer said it's coming with Xtracycle bags, which left me wondering if it's coming with rails and a deck too. The only thing I could find is on JensonUSA it says "Xtracycle Long Tail accessory kit included," but unfortunately I don't know exactly what that kit includes.

    My problem is I want to run Xtracycle Hoopties, which leads me to 2 questions...

    1. Does Dummy frame comes with a Surly deck & Dummy rails, or is it coming with an Xtracycle Flightdeck?

    2. If it is coming with the Flightdeck, I know I need the retrofit kit to fit the new Hooptie LT2. However does anybody know if the Surly deck will handle the Hoopties? I've got no problems drilling or buying different hardware, I just need to know if it's within reason.

    I'd like to get the Xtracycle stuff ordered so it can be here at a reasonable time.

    Thanks for any replies!

  19. #19
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    1. Dummy Frames ship without anything, but a stainlesss seatpost clamp and a Big Dummy Frame Insert. If it says "Xtracycle Long Tail accessory kit included" on the actual page, where you ordered the Frame, you should get an older set of thte X-tracycle Bags, a pair of rails, and either a snapdeck, or a MK.1 Flightdeck. That depends on when that accessory kit was produced. If it says no such thing on the page where you ordered the frame, it will be just the frame.

    2. The frame will not come with any Surly Cargo parts if it does not say so in the description of your seller.

    Cheers
    Dan

  20. #20
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    Thanks Dan,

    I originally didn't think it came with rails or anything so I had my shopping cart full at Xtracycle with rails, deck, Superhooks, Family Pack and Magic Carpet. Then I got the text from my LBS that it came with bags, but I really have no idea if it's the accessory kit or not (that's just off of the Jenson website when I searched).

    I sure hope it at least comes with rails, because those Xtracycle accessories add up in a hurry. They're shipping cost is quite high too so I don't want to order twice.

  21. #21
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    Well, If you wanna be sure, you have to ask the seller. Anything else is just guessing.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatchanceti View Post
    Anybody know what the deal is with the xtracycle U-tubes and being out of stock everywhere? Discontinued? Totally popular and they can't keep up with demand?

    Thanks
    I'm trying to find them as well now (Continental Europe), any ideas from anyone?

    And what's the difference with the LT2 U-tubes? Has anyone tried?

    Great thread by the way! I'm a Big Dummy starter and I got a lot of great info already from this thread.

    Cheers,
    René

  23. #23
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    Rene,

    When I talked to Xtracycle they said the LT2 Utubes wouldn't work so I ordered the LT1's and they fit perfectly. Only issue for me was they wouldn't package them with a Hooptie to save some money. I ordered the following from Xtracycle for my BD frameset and couldn't be happier.

    1 x Standard Rack (V-Rack) Pair
    1 x Brake Caliper Protector
    1 x SuperHooks
    1 x FlightDeck (no SuperHooks)
    1 x U-Tubes (pair)
    1 x HOOPTIE - LT2
    1 x Magic Carpet - LT2
    1 x Hooptie Retrofit Kit

    With shipping I was over $900 Canadian, but UPS missed the delivery date so I got back $120 or so. The one thing I would recommend if you're carrying kids is an extra set of Superhooks (and a center kickstand which I'll buy next year).

    I also got Surly Dummy bags, but after the frame delivered as the distributor made a mistake and the frame actually didn't come with bags. My LBS got them to get me a set at a great price, and they work great.

    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by ReneW View Post
    I'm trying to find them as well now (Continental Europe), any ideas from anyone?

    And what's the difference with the LT2 U-tubes? Has anyone tried?

    Great thread by the way! I'm a Big Dummy starter and I got a lot of great info already from this thread.

    Cheers,
    René

  24. #24
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    thanks, this is helpful.
    Will be interesting to see how much I end up shipping it to Europe.
    And I still don't understand why shops in Europe do not have this stuff in stock..

    Last quest for now will be to get the Dummy Rail Collars somewhere..

    Cheers
    Last edited by ReneW; 08-25-2016 at 12:25 PM.
    Big Dummy 2016
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  25. #25
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    Wow, I really thought I was getting somewhere...

    Unfortunately one or more items in your cart can't be shipped to your location. Please choose a different delivery address. For international customers, please contact the distributor in your area to purchase Xtracycle products. See xtracycle.com/international/ for a list of international distributors.



    Tried Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands...
    Nothing.

    Let's try to find the local distributers now..
    Big Dummy 2016
    Pug Ops 2013
    Fatmodul Ant
    Azor Ameland, e-conversion
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