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  1. #1
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    Smile Ben's 2011 Big Dummy Build

    Well I've been a long term lurker of these forums (and most cargo bike forums) and just became an active member. So I thought I'd share my 2011 Big Dummy build and give a shout out to vik and devo both of who I've taken inspiration from.

    So I've bit the bullet and built a Big Dummy to be my primary vehicle effective immediately. I can easily throw my laptop bag and a lunch kit on the side without worrying about any kind of special "packing" like I would a pannier. When I'm not working, I'm usually out biking, hiking, and camping. This photo is from a trip from my house in Langley, BC to Sooke Potholes on Vancouver Island with a full bag of camping gear on the back.



    Build Summary:
    • Frame: 20" Surly Big Dummy 2011
    • Headset: Cane Creek 110
    • Stem: Thompson X4
    • Handle Bars: Jeff Jones Loop h-bar
    • Seat Stem: Rocky Mountain (from old bike)
    • Saddle: Specialized Sonoma 175 (from old bike)
    • Front Wheel: NineContinent Electric Hub Motor in WTB LaserDisc DH rim with 13G spokes
    • Front Brake: Cheap Elhonga Cable Caliper (to be replaced)
    • Rear Brake: Ashima PCB Hydraulic (Pancake Brake)
    • Crankset: Surly Mr. Whirly 175mm cranks, 40T chainring
    • Pedals: MEC Double A DH Platform Pedals
    • Chain: KMC X1 "Rohloff Chain"
    • Tensioner: TerraCycle Idler Kit
    • Rear Wheel: Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 in WTB LaserDisc DH rim with 13G spokes
    • Stand: Rolling Jackass Centerstand
    • XtraCycle Components: P-Racks with Flight Deck, 2010 Black FreeLoader Bags, WideLoaders


    You can read more about my build at my Big Dummy build page.

    Cheers,
    Ben

  2. #2
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    Super swank dummy! That rohloff + chain tensioner is awesome.

  3. #3
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    Sweet build! How do you like the Supermotos?

  4. #4
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    Great looking rig.

  5. #5
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    As much as I like the 'use of gearing' feature on stokemonkeys, that front hub setup is just so much cleaner and simpler.

  6. #6
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    What fenders are you running? Or more specifically, are the fender clamps on the fork a separate accessory?

  7. #7
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    intheways: The SuperMotos are great! They are a relative of the Big Apple tire, but optimized for lighter rolling resistance and speedier tread. It has higher speed and grip than the Big Apple at the cost of lower protection and durability according to schwalbe. I've now ridden them on paved roads and gravel trails/roads and find them darn close to my 700cx28mm on another bike! (Its hard to judge given the difference is bicycle weight/drivetrain and give a fair comparison) Also the cornering capability is superb, although I imagine probably matched by the Big Apple.

    lawfarm: you've got it spot on. In Canada (and many US states) an electrically assisted bike remains a "bike" and not a "motorcycle" as long as it cannot travel faster than 32km/h without pedalling. I can easily achieve well over this without the use of any gearing. Plus I'd rather not void my warranty on the frame and rohloff with the stokemonkey. The stokemonkey offers a relatively more efficient use of the very low gears for long hill climbs, but no real benefit for regular travel around town. (Unless perhaps you live in a really hilly area... San Fransisco anyone?)

    backcountryeti: The fenders are "Planet Bike Cascadia II". This is the second generation of the Cascadia fender that has been popular for other Big Dummy owners. In Canada these are carried by MEC for $30. The Big Dummy forks have integral braze ons for the fender bolts/front rack half way up the fork. (You might notice an ugly white zip tie I stuck on their to temporarily hold the wire for the electric front hub. I'll tidy that up in good time... ;-)

  8. #8
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    Nice BD for sure.I am just starting to get all the parts for my BD here too.But with very little money it will take a while to get it built but it will still be ready for next summer riding here.I want 11-32 cassette and a 24,34,46T chainring setup.I have my wheels here now and my Brooks saddle as well.I will order the frame soon after that it should move along nice.All I have is time.Will be nice to get to ride it for sure.Have a great day.

  9. #9
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    Ben -- Sweet ride. How are the P-Racks? Are you using panniers with them? Have any more to say about those tires?

  10. #10
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    Hey Matt, sorry for the long delay. I was sure I'd responded to your post!? I think my notifications are setup wrong...

    P-racks are cool, but I have to admit I'm just using the freeloader bags right now - no panniers. I got the p-racks more for future flexibility. One annoying thing is that the long loader and p-racks appear to be mutually exclusive accessories. The long loader connects to the rack and has a velcro strap which would potential wrap the tube right where the p-rack secondary tubing is. I'm going to put 700c riser plugs in the p-racks and see if that makes it work better.

    Tires are pretty much what I said before in response to intheways. I love them, but also have only experienced them in summer riding. I commute on them and they are so nice a smooth for road riding and I can lean in to corners far past my bravery level. I swear I've cornered at 45 degrees going 30kmh fully loaded. Ok, ok, so that wasn't scientifically measured, but the smooth round bulb tires really do have a nice continuous corning surface!

  11. #11
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    Oh I guess I should have also mentioned I got my first flat with these tires. I believe it must have been a pinch flat as the tire was perfect upon inspection after opening it up. Patched the tube and rolled on...

    The problem is tubes are generally stocked locally for me as 1.9-2.1" and then jump to mountain tubes that are like 2.4-2.6". Of course the basic tubes are like $5 and the mountain tubes are like >$20, so I went with the basic 2.1" tubes in the 2.35" tire. So I think I was under-inflated which caused the pinch flat. I boosted the pressure a little and noticed improved control and haven't had any further trouble so far.

    Anybody else with 2.35" tires like to comment? FYI, I went shrader for gas station convenience.

  12. #12
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    Nice !!
    trlridr

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenSwayne View Post
    Anybody else with 2.35" tires like to comment? FYI, I went shrader for gas station convenience.
    I'm running the same tires and I love em. They roll well enough, handle trails, sand and rough roads well enough, good for just about everything that I want to do.

    I'm running 2.125 to 2.25 tubes in mine, but if I had to pick between the 2.1 tubes and the 2.5's, I'd go with the bigger, all things being equal. Given the cost difference, I'd do what you did.

    I'm running presta valves, and I carry a frame pump with me, so I don't worry too much about valve styles. My rims are drilled for schrader valves, so I have a bit of space around the valve stem, but it hasn't been a problem yet. I should try to find some thin grommets to take up the space before winter though..

    Plum
    This post is in 3B, three beers and it looks good eh!

  14. #14
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    For those of you who asked/commented about the Schwalbe Super Moto Tires, I feel the need to update. The tires are still the fastest large volume tire you can get. So if you're looking for a little efficiency for a daily commute the super moto tires are great.

    However, my rear tire now has no less than 3 patches on the tube! The smallest piece of road debris seems to be able to penetrate the tire. Part of this tire's speed is its light weight thin tread. Because I do commute daily and want to keep the speed, I'm going to first try a thicker tube designed for larger volume. My old tube was something average around the 2.1" mark for like $6. The next time this thing goes flat I'm going to put in a XC/Freeride tube which is 2.3"-2.7" and thicker walled at 1.2mm. I'm hoping that a combination of thicker wall and not being over inflated will make it a little more resilient. If I have to, I might try another tire at least on the rear (as all my flats have been rear).

    I'm going to attach some photos of a recent trip. Strapped my 80L camping backpack on the rear and biked to Golden Ears Provincial Park. From my house to the far end of the park is about 35km, then I take off the backpack and hike in 5km for a little camp out, then do it in reverse to go home next day.

    I actually bike a couple km into the trail before I lock my bike. The trail was a logging road back in the early 1900s but remains pretty good. Mostly gravel and rocks with rutted out sections from streams. I was amazed that the bike handled so well here only to be taken out by a tiny construction staple on the way home.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ben's 2011 Big Dummy Build-bikewithbackpack.jpg  

    Ben's 2011 Big Dummy Build-stapleinbiketire.jpg  

    Ben's 2011 Big Dummy Build-repairingflatonbigdummy.jpg  


  15. #15
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    I was disappointed with the Schwalbe offerings (OK, so I never tried the SuperMotos, but did give 50 miles of interest to the stock Schwalbe Big Apples). I found the front traction to be worrying—understeer—especially on wet/loose surfaces. I had a few flats with them as well (I’ve had flats with many different tires, so I won’t blame the Schwalbes). I switched to Maxxis Hookworms in the 26"x2.5" size and will never change back. The traction is incredibly confidence-inspiring especially on loose/wet surfaces. They are relatively tough, but not immune to flatting agents, however, I’ve got mine lined with the 50mm wide Panaracer Flat-Away felted Kevlar™ liners, and have yet to get a flat—over 200 miles of riding on mixed on and off road conditions. Coupled with the super-wide 65mm wide Surly Large Marge rims, they can be run at 20PSI and provide a more sticky yet smoother (less bumpy) ride. You mileage may vary, once again, but I swear these tires were made with the Big Dummy Experience® in mind.
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  16. #16
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    hah, saw one of these bikes in SLO today

  17. #17
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    Congrats on the new bike....

    I live just off the Goose MUP in Victoria. Next time you are out this way drop me a line and we'll go for a Big Dumb Pint of Beer Ride...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  18. #18
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    Hookworms are the greatest Dummy tire ever! You can run them low pressure, (30-40 lbs), and they will have nice suspension qualities but are still fast, and quiet and wear well too. Three seasons without a single flat!
    "Go that way REAL FAST, if something gets in your way... turn".

  19. #19
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    August/September 2011 Build Updates

    Well I've updated a bunch of stuff throughout the summer.
    • Surly Nice Rack Front
    • BikeTac Galeforce Blaster Horn
    • Magura Gustav Brakes (In progress - vendor messed up order)
    • XtraCycle Whatamacollars and 700c Risers


    Not all of the above are "pretty", but the brake sure is!


    Vendor screwed up the order so I've got brake levers all over the place and don't have the Gustav on the rear yet. But I hope to get it all sorted out soon. If you're someone who likes to read the dialog behind my build go here: August 2011 Updates - Magura Gustav Brakes

    I post to a couple forums, so I tend to keep the most stuff on my personal build page so I'm not re-posting it repeatedly.

    Oh and johnny settle: I may just take your advice. Just got my 4th flat this season on the way to work this morning. Its just too many to handle despite the near perfect rolling resistance of the Super Motos. I might just order up a couple other tires to try out.

    Interesting note: all 4 of my flats were on the rear while carrying a respectable 30-40lbs.

    - Ben
    Last edited by BenSwayne; 10-06-2011 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Fixed IMG location

  20. #20
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    Trust me bro...you will LOVE this tire. There great with weight. Super smooth 'n quick empty. PS-I just ordered a Civia Market front rack yesterday for me Dum Dum. Candy!!! Still need wideloaders.
    "Go that way REAL FAST, if something gets in your way... turn".

  21. #21
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    That is a great looking machine. Love those tires. I wonder if the Black Floyds would fit?

  22. #22
    Devo
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    seriously... awesome bike!
    www.AsanaCycles.com
    "Bicycle Lifestyle, realized." D.G.

  23. #23
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    This thing is AMAZING!

    After close inspection and an insane laughter-inducing ride in the cold Victoria rain, I have to say that this is the most well-thought out, well DIY engineered rig I've ever thrown a leg over.

    Well done, Ben! Now I have another rig on my bike-lust list...

    Scott

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the bike compliment Scott!

    Like I said, North America isn't quite as onboard with electric bikes as Europe is, but the electric has its place and aside from being practical for everyday use is quite fun! For those tuning in here, I rode from Langley, BC to Victoria, BC with a pretty full load of gear in a nice comfy 3-1/2 hours of riding on the dummy covering about 85km. That was with more gear than the first photo in this thread. I had the 80L ortlieb duffel bag, a camelback backpack and a full size laptop (not one of those trendy lightweight things ). Biking on the ferry means you are first on and first off! And about 1/5th the price of a car! That's the best way to travel for sure.

    I actually did this same ride earlier in the summer, and it was great to feel some personal improvement in endurance and strength. The ride really felt good and I had a great time.

    Now I'll hold you all in suspense to see what I might be procuring from Scott Felter for my Dummy I happened to have a 20" 2011 dummy, one of the only sizes Scott didn't already have measurements for on file. If you don't know what I'm talking about check out Devo's bike: Devo and The Dummy Again or Agent Koala's bike: Voulez-vous rouler avec moi ce soir ?. Of course I'm going with my own style, cause that's part of the fun of of going custom! It'll be different than these two equally awesome designs. Perhaps a little more stealth bomber black to go with the theme of my bike...

    I have to say now that I've seen these bags up close (also having used my $30 mec triangle frame bag for several years), as with most things, the internet doesn't do them justice. The beauty is in the details. Beautiful craftsmanship that isn't motivated by corporate "maximum output per employee" but rather by personal drive for excellent craftsmanship with serious attention to detail. I think this will be as enlightening as the first time I tried the Big Dummy. It's like, why didn't I do this before and why isn't everyone doing this?

    Here's a photo from inside the Porcelain Rocket shop of Scott tracing the front triangle on my 2011 20" big dummy. For those who don't know this is like photographing Batman in the bat cave, super cool to get to go "backstage". Apparently the position of the braze-ons and cable stops changes dramatically between frame sizes. Go figure. So he has to have a separate plan for every frame size.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ben's 2011 Big Dummy Build-scotttracesfronttriangle.jpg  


  25. #25
    Devo
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    anxious to see what comes up!
    www.AsanaCycles.com
    "Bicycle Lifestyle, realized." D.G.

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