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  1. #1
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    Widest 700c tire when using FreeRadical

    I've been wanting a Big Dummy for quite a while but for a number of issues it's not an option right now. I'm thinking of converting my Surly CC with a FR into a longtail bike. On the Xtracycle website it said that a 35mm tire is the widest you can use with a FR. I realize that actual tire width and stated tire width can vary widely depending on the manufacture but am curious what folks are using on their 700c converts. I wish I had a 26" wheeled bike for this project but unfortunately i don't right now.

    As for the idea of doing a conversion rather than just saving for a BD. Besides the cost it would let me explore storage options and see if I'm really willing to deal with storing a BD. I have a low small shed in the back in which I think I could store the bike. Also, if it didn't work out I could always sell the FR. And if it did work out, I could sell the FR and CC to help fund the BD.

    Thanks!
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

  2. #2
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    As long as you are willing to tolerate a occasional pedal strike, you could put a big fat 26" in the back instead. When designing the Big Dummy, the Surly folks mentioned that the KM with 26" wheels and a FR was the best riding setup they tried. Getting a 26" front on the CC is a bit more difficult, but you could buy a 700c disc trucker fork (when available), and run a 26" wheel in there... Throwing a 26" x 2+" tire on there would only drop the tail a bit.

    Whatever the case, I would plan for a disc rear, because then you can run either 26 or 700c in the back. Disc rear may allow you to sneak a slightly larger tire in there as well.

    Then again, if you start buying new wheels and forks, the whole experiment starts ramping up in cost pretty quickly.

  3. #3
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    Saw a FreeRadical on a bike today that was sporting 700x35 Schwalbe Marathons (the tires I'd run) and it was looking kind of tight. I'm not sure one could squeeze a fender in there. I think I'll be passing on this experiment, it's a little too costly and involved. Signs continue to point towards a BD...
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

  4. #4
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    What size tires do you have on the cross check now? You should be able to run them in the free radical. Anything more than 700x35 and you're really approaching 29'er territory and would probably want a whole new bike anyway.

    The more I read about free radicals vs. purpose built frames, I went for the frame! Even if the free radical fit good, its still a different thing than a purpose built cargo bike. It'll always be a compromise. But you're right its a big commitment if you're not sure that your sold on the size/storage/etc...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenSwayne View Post
    Even if the free radical fit good, its still a different thing than a purpose built cargo bike. It'll always be a compromise. But you're right its a big commitment if you're not sure that your sold on the size/storage/etc...
    I'll probably just try and hold out for a BD. At first it seemed like a good idea going with the FR and my CC but it's just not what I want. I feel pretty confident that if I had a BD I'd put it to good use and enjoy it. I'm close to selling one of my bikes and if I do I'll have the cash for a BD...
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

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