So I have kinda neglected my blogs for the time being. I basically had no motivation to do anything with them for the last couple months. Also work was being a little bit of a hassle. On the brighter side though, the XtraHaro has been performing beautifully! I have had quite a few rides on it. Basically, it is the only bike that I am riding now. I am riding it with my daughter, riding it to work, doing road rides on it, running errands, and hauling things. It is an amazing bike, and I wish that I would have converted my bike earlier. It has really made me realize some things though. It has made me aware that I should sell my mountain bike. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mountain biking. But in this stage of life, it is very inconvenient. To get to any trail in the area, I am looking at a 30 minute drive. Gas is now $4 a gallon, and that is just not worth it to me. Especially when I can leave directly from my house on the XtraHaro, and get an awesome mixed surface ride, and spend zero cash on getting to the ride. Maybe I am getting older, but I feel it is streamlining my life a little bit. Just rambling…
By the way, shoot me an email if anyone is interested in a 29er SS…
So, I have had some time to put in a few miles, what can I say. It’s pretty awesome. Yesterday did around 10 miles before the newest snowstorm hit the Cincinnati area, and everything feels really good. Maybe its the fact that the bike is long, or that I have more gears than I have ever had, but this bike climbs really well. I am also surprised how well the Maxxis Crossmark tires roll on pavement. These tires will give me some options when the nicer weather rolls around. Here are some pictures of the complete bike as it sits…
After just four days of waiting, the Xtracycle kit came today! Pretty speedy shipping from JensonUSA. I ordered from Jenson, instead of directly from Xtracycle, only because Jenson was in stock. Xtracycle would not be shipping anything until February or March. The only difference with my kit than from the company itself is that the freeloader bags are the older style. I’m fine with that.
The big heavy (19 lbs) box arrived around noon today, so my daughter and I took it down to the basement to at least open things up to take a look. I’m not sure if anyone has ever tried to do bicycle maintenance with a toddler around, but it is not too easy, and nothing every really gets done.
Once out of the box, I was amazed at how long the Freeradical is. It was as long as the Haro itself, at least the frame. After briefly looking through the included manual, which was very well done on recycled card stock it seems, I had a window of a few minutes to bolt everything together. All that I can say, is wow. This thing is long. Crazy long.
After my daughter lost interest, I patiently waited until my wife was home from work and tried to finish everything up. A couple interesting things to anyone interested in this kit. 1) The cables and housing that are included are ready to go out of the box for v-brakes. I am running discs. 2) You will need a larger rear rotor than a 160mm, the frame says 203mm. These are just two minor inconveniences, but still a little bit of a bummer. After I discovered these items, I took the rolling chassis down to my local shop Bishop’s Bicycles to have them finish everything up for me. They are a great shop, and they seemed jazzed to have a long bike roll in.
So that’s where the project pauses for the moment. I hope to have the bike back in the next day or two to really try it out, and see how this thing works. I am already stoked, and I haven’t even rode it yet, it just looks comfy and practical. Can’t wait to put it to use this year. Makes me think of a great Dr. Seuss book, and how it starts…
Today is your day.
You’re off to great places,
You’re off and away!”
Just ordered my Xtracycle conversion kit! Cant wait to get the ball rolling on this long overdue project of awesomeness!
So I have finally narrowed down my plan for my new bike between the new Surly Troll frame, and an Xtracycle conversion kit. I have wanted to do an Xtracycle kit for quite some time now, and the Surly Troll is just an awesome frameset, so here is my pros and cons list:
Surly Troll Pros:
-Racks and fender mounts
-Large tire clearance
-Building this frame would give me a geared MTB to go along with my singlespeed.
-Only way to have my daughter on the bike would be a seat mounted over the rear wheel, or pulling a trailer. Both of which I am not fond of.
-Not a true cargo bike
Xtracycle conversion Pros:
-Uses an existing bike
-Large hauling capacity
-Lots of options for hauling my daughter, if I use a seat in the back, she has a better view than a traditional over the rear wheel seat.
-Would be a good start to swap parts over to an eventual Big Dummy frameset.
-No geared bike for MTB riding, this conversion would eliminate my geared MTB.
-Costs a little more than the Troll frame
So as of right now, I am leaning towards the conversion kit. I am really, really intrigued by the Troll frame, but the Xtracycle seems to be a better fit for me. Most of my riding is with my daughter anymore, so this only makes sense. As she gets bigger, the Xtracycle would continue to fit her. Plus, riding a heavy bike around would make me stronger for Singlespeed riding, so maybe the heavy thing is not a con. Now I just need to pull the trigger on this, so I will stop changing my mind!