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Thread: Free Radical?

  1. #1
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    Free Radical?

    Because of the price, the Free Radical is an awfully attractive option for someone who wants a cargo bike. Do any of you folks have experiences--good or bad--with a Free Rad?

    Some background: I currently have a Diamondback Parkway (it's a hybrid) that has been living outside for most of the 6 years that I've had it. There are some rusty spots on it, but I don't think it's anything major. I don't need to be regularly hauling 200+ pound loads; I just want it to carry groceries, my wife, laundry to the laundromat, etc. (and because cargo bikes are pretty much the coolest things ever).

    Thanks
    "In nuclear war, all men are cremated equal" - Dexter Gordon

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    Since nobody responded...

    Quote Originally Posted by danrothmusic View Post
    Because of the price, the Free Radical is an awfully attractive option for someone who wants a cargo bike. Do any of you folks have experiences--good or bad--with a Free Rad?

    Some background: I currently have a Diamondback Parkway (it's a hybrid) that has been living outside for most of the 6 years that I've had it. There are some rusty spots on it, but I don't think it's anything major. I don't need to be regularly hauling 200+ pound loads; I just want it to carry groceries, my wife, laundry to the laundromat, etc. (and because cargo bikes are pretty much the coolest things ever).

    Thanks
    .. I'll bump this question too.

    FWIU (and read) the gist is that the FreeRadical does a lot for the money, but it makes for a flexier bike. They say they very rarely see frame failures from the FR, but it has to be stressing the rear triangle a bunch.

    That said, I'm super tempted to try one out myself. Rumor has it, they are going to have a 29er FR in Spring 2013. All of my bikes are 29ers these days, and I don't really want to go back to 26ers. The only 29er Cargo Bike is the Kona Ute, as far as I know. If I'm wrong, somebody please chime in. I'm also thinking electric assist, since I'll be hauling around my two kids and would like to get over the Oakland hills here, and not be too much of an obstacle in traffic.

  3. #3
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    I have had a Free Radical for a few years now. Used it to carry:

    * two kids on the FlightDeck
    * one kid on the FlightDeck and the other one on a trailbike
    * large amount of groceries

    Probably a bit more flex compared to a complete LT-frame, but has worked fine for me. All I have had to do is change the rear wheel to a beefier one.

    The new Leap and Edgerunner both look nice.
    Last edited by mikva; 10-11-2012 at 02:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Heavylegs
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    Ok guys picked up a FR awhile back and just got to checking it out and installing it on a Trek 820. The quality of the product is pretty good. The reason I picked up the product is not for commuting or groceries but for hauling needed tools into remote trails. I understand that this is not the intented use of this product but I like to mess around with ideas understanding many will not work well. That being said I have run across a few problems. The first is not really a problem but an inconvenience, I used 175mm cranks for additional leverage for the large loads I was anticipating not understanding how the bottom bracket height would be lowered by the FR. The secound is more of an issue. My smallest chain ring is a 22t and the smallest cog is 11t and the largest being a 32t. The problem is with the large amount of slack in the chain, in anyone of the combo in the smallest front ring and even the middle ring the chain is on or nearly touching the chainstay. Is there anything that any of you have seen done to remedy this issue. I have designed a fix dual pulley tensioning device using guide pulleys off of downhill setups that slide back and forth to change with the chainline but it is still on paper. I was hoping to tap into all the knowledge on this site to better help me. Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Trail building machine

    I have been using a Free Radical for years, stressing the crap out of it and no problems. It's installed on a Trek 990 ZX. I don't have any chain problems.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Free Radical?-pic_0353.jpg  


  6. #6
    Heavylegs
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    That is what I am talking about. I am glad to see it holds up well and has served you for years! Maybe it is just the frame choice, or the gearing? What size cogs and rings are you using? And you wouldn't happen to have a pic of the right side without a load on to show do you. But if not then thanks for the pic you did share.

  7. #7
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    Before I had my Big Dummy I had a Free Radical mounted to a GT Avalanche. I rode the Free Rad for years with no trouble. I didn't carry any outta control loads - groceries, kids, and the wife. It is whippier than a one-piece cargo frame but not dangerously so. It's kind of a tail waggin' the dog type feel.

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