New bike! (kinda long)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: KavuRider's Avatar
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    New bike! (kinda long)

    I know its not a SS, but its 'different' and I know that this board appreciates different bikes.

    Last week, I ordered an Xtracycle Freeradical after thinking about it for a couple years now. I received the kit in a couple days and laid everything out on the floor. Not as many parts as I thought were required to put it together. The instructions were detailed and very easy to understand. I wanted to take this project on myself, even though the instructions said that a Shop should do it.

    The kit comes with the Freeradical frame, two V-Racks (silver U-Shaped), two Xtracycle "panniers" (known as Freeloaders), extra chain links, extra long shift and brake cables, mounting bolts and a heavy duty kickstand. I also ordered an extra long chain and the Wideloaders (red U-Shaped) accessory.

    I received the package on Friday night, so Saturday morning I took a trip to the LBS to find a new bike to mount this puppy to. I ended up walking out with an '06 Kona Smoke with a new set of On-One Mary Bars! I saw them hanging on the Shop wall and just had to get them on there.

    Got home and started the conversion. The whole kit went together suprisingly easy, only took 3 hours to get it all running. A few times, I thought I had cut the cables too short (Yikes!) but it all worked out in the end. I ended up using the extra links instead of the new chain as it fit better. The derailleur, once installed, needed little adjustment.

    Sunday I went on my first grocery run! Rode down to the Fry's near my house and went shopping. Locking up was easy, there is a space right in front of the store that puts the whole bike out of the way (was worried considering this thing is as long as a tandem). Loaded up a whole bunch of groceries and pedaled home, albeit a little wobbly at first! Was very strange riding with all that weight in the back, but once up to speed, the whole thing stabilized nicely. The key is a balanced load.

    Anyways, I've ridden her a couple times since then and I'm very happy! The Mary bars are great, this is my first experience with them and they required little adapting. Couple minor adjustments and now they are very comfortable. Oh yeah, got a little lesson on riding platforms again too. Slipped a pedal in an intersection and took a good size chunk out of my shin.

    Well, enjoy the pics, more to come in the future! The first one is the whole kit laid out on my floor. The second and third are a profile of the complete bike and getting home from my first shopping trip.

    Cheers,

    KavuRider
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: farley's Avatar
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    Long Post? or Long Bike?

    Nice Xtra. I've had one for a few months now after having contemplated it for a few years, as well. I have about an 8 mile each way mostly rural commute and I use the xtra for that trip most of the time. I love having the cargo capacity in case I need to pick up groceries, etc. I think you'll be very happy with it even though it has gears (I couldn't imagine carrying big loads without a granny gear in this part of the world!)

    I have only 2 complaints about the Xtra--I get tired of having the "no, it's not a skateboard, I dont' know why they made it look like that. . ." conversation with random people (I'm thinking about making myself a new plain-looking, squared-off plywood snapdeck.) My other complaint is that I wish I would have gotten it a long time ago!

    The Kona Smoke is a natural mate to the Xtra. At one point I was considering buying a new bike to build mine up and the Smoke was on the short list. I ended up converting a bike I already had, though.

    Enjoy!

  3. #3
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    Wow, you too?

    Yeah, I've already had the question "What is that board in the back?" "Why is there a skateboard on the back?". Haha...I think it looks cool though. Feels like riding a pickup truck!

    The cargo capacity is unreal. After riding it with a pretty good load, I couldn't imagine not having gears on it. Being able to gear down with a heavy load is essential. Commuting is awfully tempting, just finding a parking space for it is the tough part!

    As soon as I started really thinking about getting one, my next thought was the Smoke. I had seen a couple at my LBS and always thought it would make a good commuter. The Xtra just fit perfectly, no problem. My other bike is a Sutra kitted as a CX bike, wouldn't be as good a conversion. Altogether, it set me back about $900 for the whole setup. Not bad considering its all brand new and the bike is a 2006 model. (I love Kona's, can you tell?).

    The only problem I've found so far with the Xtra - the front brakes flex like mad, you have to use the rear brake first then the front. Might have to upgrade to discs (the Xtra has a disc mount, how cool is that?).

    Cheers,

    KavuRider
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

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