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  1. #1
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    I can't say I *need* a cargo bike, but...

    I'm just starting to mull the idea of a cargo bike over.

    I've got a pickup and work further than a bike commute could happen, so, it's not like I'm 'needing' a cargo bike.

    But, I've started biking our town's local bike paths, and am kinda getting to like the idea of being able to run errands on my bike, not just 'playing around' on it.


    So, through acquisition of newer bike, I've got my old MTB from college, a mid-90's Nishiki Manitoba... nothing fancy, still like the bike, but, it's just hanging in the garage, not getting used anymore....

    So, I'm starting to think, maybe I need to Xtracycle it. I like the idea of a Big Dummy of course, but, I don't think I can justify that much cost for how little I really think I'd be able to 'use' it; but, I think I could more easily justify an Xtracycle adding onto a bike I have that I'm not using otherwise anymore.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    do it....Xtracycle will change your life for the better

    The best way move across the planet and bring stuff home!

  3. #3
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    Once you have it you start finding excuses to use it. The more you use it, the more you want to use it.
    Searching for Biketopia

  4. #4
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    Since you are trying to find "excuses" for building one then that tells me that you would get a LOT of use out of it. Once you have it you'll find even MORE reasons to ride.......Wait until you stop someplace for what YOU thought would be a "quick" trip in and out and end up getting stuck talking to a ton of people asking questions. It's a LOT of fun!!!!!

    My suggestion is......GO FOR IT!!!!!

  5. #5
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    I know.... I realize I was asking a loaded question of the right group of folks to get encouragement, lol... but seriously,

    I suppose what I've been starting to think is, well, if I have one, I could use it, but if I don't, I can't...

    So, maybe it'll be my summer project (have a winter project in the works already). But, I'll keep an eye here, see what I can learn before I get there....

    Thx,

    -L

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
    I'm just starting to mull the idea of a cargo bike over.

    I've got a pickup and work further than a bike commute could happen, so, it's not like I'm 'needing' a cargo bike.

    But, I've started biking our town's local bike paths, and am kinda getting to like the idea of being able to run errands on my bike, not just 'playing around' on it.


    So, through acquisition of newer bike, I've got my old MTB from college, a mid-90's Nishiki Manitoba... nothing fancy, still like the bike, but, it's just hanging in the garage, not getting used anymore....

    So, I'm starting to think, maybe I need to Xtracycle it. I like the idea of a Big Dummy of course, but, I don't think I can justify that much cost for how little I really think I'd be able to 'use' it; but, I think I could more easily justify an Xtracycle adding onto a bike I have that I'm not using otherwise anymore.

    Thoughts?
    Get yourself a used child trailer and convert it to a small cargo trailer. It would probably cost you less than $100.

    Your bike is the low-end bike from that year. While it beats a Wal Mart bike, it's still not that great. I'd hesitate to put a heavy load on the rear due to it being a high tensile steel rear triangle. As made from the factory, your bike's not designed to carry a heavy load (rider + cargo) and given the price point (MSRP about $300 new) it's probably not over-built. You can mitigate this with a trailer.

    Try the trailer out and if you enjoy the challenges of hauling cargo, then consider a dedicated cargo option.

    If you're absolutely sold on the Xtra Cycle, find a used higher quality bike on Craigslist. My buddy picked up a 1985 Stumpjumper for $150. Deals can be found on bikes that would make a much more solid and reliable donor bike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    Get yourself a used child trailer and convert it to a small cargo trailer. It would probably cost you less than $100.

    Your bike is the low-end bike from that year. While it beats a Wal Mart bike, it's still not that great. I'd hesitate to put a heavy load on the rear due to it being a high tensile steel rear triangle. As made from the factory, your bike's not designed to carry a heavy load (rider + cargo) and given the price point (MSRP about $300 new) it's probably not over-built. You can mitigate this with a trailer.

    Try the trailer out and if you enjoy the challenges of hauling cargo, then consider a dedicated cargo option.

    If you're absolutely sold on the Xtra Cycle, find a used higher quality bike on Craigslist. My buddy picked up a 1985 Stumpjumper for $150. Deals can be found on bikes that would make a much more solid and reliable donor bike.
    Interesting points. I agree, it wasn't the fanciest, but I thought it was a chromoly frame, along w/ the Colorado and the Cascade above it, that those three were, and the ones under it weren't.

    If, if I was going to use a trailer, then I'd probably just use the Riv, and not pull the Nishiki down. Which, is leaving the Nishiki not doing anything...

    I'm not opposed to using a different bike, like a mid 80's Stumpjumper; however, w/ their following, I'd say a Stumpjumper might be better served in someone's hands that want to use it...

    Getting a Big Dummy frame, and building it up, has a certain attraction to it; I'm not opposed to doing such, it'll just cost a lot more than using the Xtracycle FreeRadical to do it.

    I'll continue to study on it...

    Thx...

  8. #8
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    Be sure to post up what you find\are thinking,you aren't the only one mulling it over,my friend.

    I always said that if I didn't drive long haul (being gone most of the time) and didn't live out in the sticks that I'd love to put one together...well,see my "Cutom User Title" (under the "Longhaultrucker" part),I don't have to drive long haul anymore,and after that house fire we had back in June we had to move and when we did we moved into town...I still have bits of that 2000 (Trek) 6000,and have already started scrounging parts...
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    Be sure to post up what you find\are thinking,you aren't the only one mulling it over,my friend.

    I always said that if I didn't drive long haul (being gone most of the time) and didn't live out in the sticks that I'd love to put one together...well,see my "Cutom User Title" (under the "Longhaultrucker" part),I don't have to drive long haul anymore,and after that house fire we had back in June we had to move and when we did we moved into town...I still have bits of that 2000 (Trek) 6000,and have already started scrounging parts...
    I ride a Trek Transport and live in Newport News, Virginia. I have to say that I LOVE having a long-tail bike now. I do more with it than I did with any other ride I have owned!!!!!

  10. #10
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    That's what I was thinking it'd be like for me on this side of VA too
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    That's what I was thinking it'd be like for me on this side of VA too
    You'll find that once you have one you'll be out and about on it more than you think.

  12. #12
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    If money is not an issue I would dive into a Big Dummy build, you will have a solid ride..not flexy and twisty like an Xtracycle add on. I started with an Xtracycle, loved the use you could get out of it but it just felt a little un trustworthy in the end,especially with my kid on the back!!. I built up a Dummy and have never looked back.

    Just my two cents, your gonna have some money wrapped up in your cargo build,I just want to try and steer you and your wallet in the right direction first!
    Go buy a Pizza

  13. #13
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    BeastRider: That's what I'm hoping too

    cocksmith: Not even gunna be in the same area-code of my budget...but if it gets used like I expect\hope,maybe do like you did and upgrade down the road. My kids won't be hauled on it,when they go with,they pedal along-side,in front of or behind,so no worries there
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    Be sure to post up what you find\are thinking,you aren't the only one mulling it over,my friend.

    I always said that if I didn't drive long haul (being gone most of the time) and didn't live out in the sticks that I'd love to put one together...well,see my "Cutom User Title" (under the "Longhaultrucker" part)
    (snip)

    And I just thought you has a Surly... Bristol? I'm over in Kingsport... small world... my current main bike, got the frame at MSL....

    Quote Originally Posted by cocksmith View Post
    If money is not an issue I would dive into a Big Dummy build, you will have a solid ride..not flexy and twisty like an Xtracycle add on. I started with an Xtracycle, loved the use you could get out of it but it just felt a little un trustworthy in the end,especially with my kid on the back!!. I built up a Dummy and have never looked back.

    Just my two cents, your gonna have some money wrapped up in your cargo build,I just want to try and steer you and your wallet in the right direction first!

    I admit: I like, prefer, the idea of building up a Big Dummy from the start. If I lived in Ocracoke, or Norfolk, or somewhere with more bike-friendly topography, or a more bike-friendly culture, I'd like to leave the vehicle parked more, and do more by bike. But, where I live in NE Tennessee, work in SW Virginia, I'm having to cover too much distance to bike-commute, especially given topography; and, this isn't a great bike-infrastructure area... actually, ranks near the bottom, one of the worst for biking as transportation. We have good biking trails nearby, and some good shops, but, it's not ideal.

    So, back to the Big Dummy: I agree, it'd be "best". And, if I lived in Ocracoke, where I was in a small village, relatively flat, I'd just about do everything by bike. I could see groceries, shopping, etc., done that way. But, this isn't going to be my commuter. I do try to handle my shopping whilst enroute from work in Big Stone Gap back to home, so as not to drive more than needed.

    But, if I'm working on something around the house, and instead of hopping in the truck and running to Lowes and back in the truck... Lowes is just a mile or so away, I could easily bike there and back (well, coming back up the hill wouldn't be 'fun', but, the Greenbelt would at least keep me from getting run over... but, using the Greenbelt would double the mileage, given access points). If, instead of heading for Wal-Mart (which isn't close for biking); sometimes, the kids and I will ride the Greenbelt to K-Mart and back. (Greenbelt is a multiuse path here in Kingsport, I live a mile from the eastern end of it... once you get on it, you mostly don't worry about cars running over you, except at the few road-crossings).

    I know I'd use a cargo bike at least occasionally. I want to use it, and hope/wish I could use it more often than just occasionally. And, I enjoy building up a bike... I'll get my frame at MSL, something else at Piney Flats, some bits at Larry's, stop by Boyds, head over to Hampton Trails... that's how I built my current bike.

    But I have to say: an Xtrcycle Free Radical is a lot less, to add it onto my old bike, or even getting a older MTB to put it on, than to start from scratch w/ a Big Dummy.

    ++++

    However, mulling *that* over.....

    If, I did the FreeRadical on my Nishiki... and outfitted it w/ appropriate paraphernalia (longboard, bags, etc.), and, I actually start putting it to use... then, perhaps, at that point, could get the BD as a frame, use what I can as far as accessories go, but use a new BB/crank, wheelset, etc., once I know that I'd be using it...

    Mulling to continue! (Always open to more suggestions/thoughts/comments....)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
    (snip)

    And I just thought you has a Surly... Bristol? I'm over in Kingsport... small world... my current main bike, got the frame at MSL....




    I admit: I like, prefer, the idea of building up a Big Dummy from the start. If I lived in Ocracoke, or Norfolk, or somewhere with more bike-friendly topography, or a more bike-friendly culture, I'd like to leave the vehicle parked more, and do more by bike. But, where I live in NE Tennessee, work in SW Virginia, I'm having to cover too much distance to bike-commute >>SNIP<<

    Sounds like you have a definite plan anyway. Norfolk isn't all THAT bike friendly...yet..but there are a couple of groups that are working on that.

    I have been riding bicycles all my life...like most of us I am sure. But I haven't had a drivers license since 2000 so I ended up using bikes almost exclusively. I have been through a lot of them. Trek 820, Trek 3900, Specialized, shoot, I even went and tried the recumbent trike for a while. I also had, at one time, a BoB Ibex Trailer. I found that the more I rode, the more I hauled.

    When I moved out here I bought a Specialized RockHopper and thought that would be enough. But that wasn't to be. The bike shop I bought it from folded with little, or no, notice and that pissed me off a bit as I still had parts ordered. So I had to just eat that.

    In any case, I shopped for quite a while before making the jump to the Transport. Wanted to make sure it was something I really wanted. I took my first test ride in March but was unable to make a purchase until October. So I had a full summer to mull things over.

    Best decision I have made to date. Although I only recently broke 330 miles on it I am sure that will change with the new year.

    I have put just about everything I want to on it. Except for the change to Hydraulic brakes. That's coming down the line before too long.

    Sorry for rambling on. But I am a very happy Trek Transport owner!!!!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
    (snip)

    And I just thought you has a Surly... Bristol? I'm over in Kingsport... small world... my current main bike, got the frame at MSL....

    I've heard that one before...but I was an LHT long before Surly started pimping out frames Yup,small world. My folks have lived here for several years (off exit 7 3 miles or so behind Wally'smart),we just moved down after a house fire took it all back in June,from Mavisdale (VA).
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
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    Norfolk: well, I can understand it not being a bike-oriented city, but you don't have topography working against you for making it easy...

    Have to admit, because of the LHT, I was aware of the Big Dummy, but really didn't know that Trek had a transport bike at all... need to investigate that one, and see what other ones are out there that I've missed....

    + + +

    Mavisdale? I shoot through Richlands and Vansant frequently when working... (DMME; but although I work out of Big Stone, I still live in Kingsport....). Reedy Creek, Rich Valley? Or out towards Mendota?


    Two Vassagos? Interesting... was kinda interested in their Fisticuff at one point...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
    Norfolk: well, I can understand it not being a bike-oriented city, but you don't have topography working against you for making it easy...

    Have to admit, because of the LHT, I was aware of the Big Dummy, but really didn't know that Trek had a transport bike at all... need to investigate that one, and see what other ones are out there that I've missed....

    + + +

    Mavisdale? I shoot through Richlands and Vansant frequently when working... (DMME; but although I work out of Big Stone, I still live in Kingsport....). Reedy Creek, Rich Valley? Or out towards Mendota?


    Two Vassagos? Interesting... was kinda interested in their Fisticuff at one point...
    The entire Hampton Roads area isn't all THAT bike friendly. I currently reside in Newport News and, frankly, these people would run you over in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it.

    Let alone the other cyclists out there that have nasty attitudes towards "different" cyclists.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
    Norfolk: well, I can understand it not being a bike-oriented city, but you don't have topography working against you for making it easy...

    Have to admit, because of the LHT, I was aware of the Big Dummy, but really didn't know that Trek had a transport bike at all... need to investigate that one, and see what other ones are out there that I've missed....

    + + +

    Mavisdale? I shoot through Richlands and Vansant frequently when working... (DMME; but although I work out of Big Stone, I still live in Kingsport....). Reedy Creek, Rich Valley? Or out towards Mendota?


    Two Vassagos? Interesting... was kinda interested in their Fisticuff at one point...
    Yep,Mavisdale...we had Mavisdale PO,and Tam's Market (was Deans Mrk for years),they're right beside one another,if you pass the market,you're in Rowe,if you past the PO,you're in Oakwood
    In Bristol,VA now,close enough to the State Street sign I could almost spit on it (OK,it's under a mile,LOL)
    Met my wife working at Vansant Food City (I was loading groceries in her Mom's Bronco,22 years ago at 16 years old),lived in Richlands twice. I couldn't find a Fisti frame when I built up my Origin 8,but don't regret the O8 one bit,it's a great bike
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    Yep,Mavisdale...we had Mavisdale PO,and Tam's Market (was Deans Mrk for years),they're right beside one another,if you pass the market,you're in Rowe,if you past the PO,you're in Oakwood
    In Bristol,VA now,close enough to the State Street sign I could almost spit on it (OK,it's under a mile,LOL)
    Met my wife working at Vansant Food City (I was loading groceries in her Mom's Bronco,22 years ago at 16 years old),lived in Richlands twice. I couldn't find a Fisti frame when I built up my Origin 8,but don't regret the O8 one bit,it's a great bike
    I remember Dean's Market! We (DMME) used to have an office w/ the post-office at Keen Mtn.... One of the guys in my office was originally from there, too (Gary Bailey; he's older than you and I, tho'..).

    I know State St well... twenty-some years ago, before headed to boot camp, I had a job just down from where Java J's is. No wonder you pop in at Boyd's. I still end up at MSL far more often to see Bobby and Steve, and Patrick w/ the fly shop, and the rest... I like Boyd's, but it's hard to browse, you have to know what you're coming in after, whereas at MSL I can examine things and compare. But, Piney Flats is good, too; I like Brian, really friendly, and you can browse things there, too.

    + + + +

    To bring this back to cargo....

    I'm going to be pondering for awhile, have my other build I need to do once my frame arrives. Plenty of time. I started checking craigslist, didn't see any cargo bikes in this area (not that I expected to); but there was a Peugeot Orient Express listed a couple of weeks ago. I missed it, it might have been a good one for a Free Radical, if my Nishiki isn't. I'll start keeping an eye on craigslist closer, see if I can find, if not a BD or a Yma or a Trek Transport, then maybe a Stumpjumper or a Bridgestone (don't worry, I won't kill off any XO-1's for a cargo-bike) or something along those lines. But if I don't find a used cargo bike, or something I think will do well w/ a Free Radical for minimal outlay, then I just might have to start saving for something more... we'll see....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    If you're absolutely sold on the Xtra Cycle, find a used higher quality bike on Craigslist. My buddy picked up a 1985 Stumpjumper for $150. Deals can be found on bikes that would make a much more solid and reliable donor bike.
    So.... would a '88 Peugeot Orient Express work for a donor?

  22. #22
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    I bought a used trailer on CL for $75 and it works really well for running to the grocery store or errands. You could try this first before investing big money in a cargo bike or a conversion. Plus, a trailer comes off in 30 seconds when you don't want or need it and it will work with any bike.

  23. #23
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    That's kinda what I just did,since my Xtracycle budget wasn't what I was expecting (not because I didn't sell my beloved SS,just did some figuring on have-to's\want-to's from the tax refund estimate from H&R Block vs what I'd need to build one)...I went to a dept store to see what a c-note kiddie trailer looked like now-a-days,and they had one marked down to $44.50,so I bought it,LOL!

    Told the wife "look,I'd use an Xtra more than I would a trailer cause it never needs hooked\dropped from the bike-it's always ready to roll-so if I use this lots this year,next year I'm doing the Xtracycle thing" and she agreed,sooooo......

    I'll try and get pics later. Besides,this gives me a year to project that 2000 (Trek) 6000 old-friend scrounge period parts to rebuild it,and then it can be a donor bike
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
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    I don't "need" a cargo bike either, I commute by bike and the two local grocery stores are both less than a mile away but I went ahead and bought a donor bike today. I picked up a Specialized Hardrock Disc, used, at a decent price. My plan is to pick up a set of Avid BB7's, new seatpost (after seeing one broken seatpost and the scar it left I'm a firm believer in buying one whenever you get a used bike) and a rigid fork. Other than that the bike is in good shape and doesn't need anything more than the FreeRadical kit and a tune up.

    My total cost should be about $975 depending on what prices are like when I finally order the new parts and the FreeRadical. Even though some of the components are low end that seems like a pretty good deal to me, especially if it keeps me from driving my Jeep to the grocery store and to do my laundry. I think you ought to keep looking for a donor bike and save up the cash to buy the kit and parts.

    edit: my estimate is low, I forgot fenders!

  25. #25
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    When you start contemplating a cargo bike then you probably have some sort of a need for one. These bikes can't be considered an "impulse" buy. Most folks spend a lot of time researching, riding, looking, considering, riding, looking a little more, and riding. ((did I mention riding?))

    I use mine on a daily basis unless the weather is SO crappy that I can't, which isn't often, But if you are in THIS area, you'll eventually come across "THE BEAST" out there eventually.....


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