Author Archives


9
Jun 2014
by mark

How to attach a Burley Piccolo to an Xtracycle

Xtracycle cargo bikes and Burley Piccolo Trailercycles are both great for family biking. Unfortunately, there’s currently no ready-made way to attach a Burley Piccolo to an Xtracycle.

Fortunately, Greg from Beehive Bicycles published photos online of a custom solution he developed. I found and mimicked an early solution that I created for this.

It worked like this: I started with the provided Moose rack, and use a hack saw to cut it down to just the essential part that was needed to connect to the Piccolo.

Here you can see a finished photo of Greg’s design that I followed:

IMG_4786.JPG

I made the remaining “feet” of the hacked rack as short as possible so that the Piccolo bolt could go all the way through, without interference from the Flightdeck.

Then, two more holes were drilled into the cross bar, and corresponding holes were made in the Flightdeck. Bolts went down through the top and were secured with washers and nuts on the bottom. I made them extra tight, so that the bolts had no room to wiggle work the plastic to make the holes larger.

Here’s what my own result looks like. Click through to see an extreme close-up:

@Xtracycle 2010 Freeloaders with  Flightdeck 2, Yepp Maxi mount hole and Burley Piccolo spoiler.

You have some flexibility in how far back on the Flightdeck you put the mount. The further forward you put it, the more stable and easier to manage the Piccolo should be. This is because the mount will be closer to being directly over the rear axle, as it is with the Moose rack. However, the Piccolo mount is not easily removed and it effectively divides your deck in two, making whatever is behind it effectively dead space. So the further towards the rear you put the mount the more continuous space you have deck. A final consideration is the Flightdeck itself. Flip it over before you drill. You’ll see the plastic is thick is some parts, and thin and others. You definitely what to mount it through the thick plastic! That constraints your position options some.

I choose to mount mine fairly close to the rear. I found I could handle it well enough, but I was also dealing withe constraints of where Flightdeck provided thicker plastic.

This has worked well-enough for me, but there are some better possibilities. First, with my particular position, I ended up putting it so that the “arms” are directly above the Superhook allen head holes. They can still be accessed with ball-head allen wrenches, but it’s a pain.

The biggest drawback to my solution is there are only two points of contact with the Flightdeck, leaving a bit of possibility for the the attachment to be pivoted back and forth. In practice this hasn’t been a problem, but it’s not ideal and is addressed in other solutions.

Before moving on, here’s a photo set
from Greg dedicated to the approach I followed.

He later improved above the design with “v2.0″ approach, which looks like this:

P1020153.JPG

He also has a full photo set for his v2.0 mod.

In this revision, he addressed the remaining sharp edges and the potential to rock back and forth by apparently hacking some already bent parts of the rack, cutting of the sidebars off the mount hold completely, and rewelding and the thing back together, and finally repainting to look sharp. If this sounds intimidating, Greg owns Beehive Bicycles and perhaps you can hire them to create and ship you a custom mount.

Finally, there is a commercial option for this on its way to market from Bike Friday, as a companion accessory to their “Haul-a-Day” Xtracycle in development.

Here’s a detail of the best shot I can find of the Bike Friday solution.

Bike Friday Xtracycle Piccolo mount - close-up

It appears that it’s fabricated from scratch rather than re-using a rack, appears to be attached to the deck with four bolts instead of two, re-using existing holes on the deck instead of requiring new holes. This looks great, and is what I would expect from a commercial offering. There is no word on pricing or availablility at this time.

If you are interested in attaching a Burley Piccolo to a Yuba Mondo, I have a post about
a DIY solution for a Yuba/Piccolo mount
as well.

If you are wondering if Yuba will be offering an official accessory for Burley Piccolo mounts, I think the answer is “Yes, eventually”. First, they have been neck-and-neck with Xtracycle with releasing comparable accessories. Second, they have acknowledged as much in a tweet from their official account:

To close, here’s a short video that shows the potent combination of combining the Burley Piccolo with the Yepp Maxi attachment built into the latest Flightdeck. You can attach or detach a couple kid hauling options in just a minute or two– that’s great flexibility!


1
Jun 2013
by mark

How to attach a Burley Piccolo to a Yuba Mundo

The Yuba Mundo is a great bike for carrying young children, and the Burley Piccolo is a great way to extend a bike so that child from 4 to 10 can help pedal.


With our Burley Piccolo, our older child is happier riding than sitting, as parents we get some extra help pedaling. It’s a win-win. Unfortunately, there’s no official way to connect the two items right now, although Yuba has hinted at official accessory for this in the future.

Here’s how we made our own attachment for the Burley Piccolo and the Yuba Mundo. It’s been working really well for us.

Continue reading →


11
May 2013
by mark

A new bike for her

I convinced Mrs. S she would enjoy riding bike that weighed less than the 100 lb cargo bikes she usually rides.

We were able to pick up a his-and-hers pair of never-ridden Panasonic Tourist bikes. The 1986 vintage bikes were hard to pass up at near yard sale prices.

She says all it needs now is a mirror, lights, a bell, a new seat and seatpost, some new pedals, a basket and a cute bike bag…

See Mrs S. first post about cargo cycling from yesterday.


27
Oct 2012
by mark

Electric Cargo Bike Camping

I made this little video about an electric cargo bike camping trip I took with my family:


22
Apr 2012
by mark

Computer Lab by Bike

Hardware Co-op at Earth Day

Today I got to combine a couple of my interests: cargo cycling and e-waste
recycling. Almost five years ago I helped found Richmond, Indiana’s Hardware
Co-op
. The Hardware Co-op is a re-use and
recycling program for e-waste. The project has operated at a fairly small scale
until the last year, when we’ve been attracting more donors and volunteers.
Today the project had our first event presence– a booth at the local Earth Day
celebration.

Our booth consisted of a thin-client demo lab, which showed
how some systems from the Windows-98 era can be made to perform at modern
speeds. It works by sending most processing to a server, like the old mainframe
systems with “dumb terminals”.

Using the Bikes-at-Work trailer seen the background of the photo above, I
carried over 3 desktop systems, a laptop, a 32 inch display and some other
supplies. While our booth was effectively two blocks from a parking lot, I
was able to roll the trailer through the door and right up to our booth. Had I
carried the equipment by car, several trips back and forth to the car would
have been required to get all the equipment inside.

Continue reading →


9
Apr 2012
by mark

A weekend of family biking firsts

On Saturday morning my 4 year-old got to take her first ride on the back of
our Xtracycle, using stoker bars instead of a kid seat. She loved it.
That was no suprise, but I enjoyed it more than I thought as well.

Xtracycle stoker bar kit

I expected it to feel more loosey-goosey without the constraint of the
seat, but it actually felt more stable and easier to ride. I’m guessing
that’s due to three factors: First, the weight of the seat has been
subtracted, and replaced with some rather light handlebars. Second, her
weight had dropped about 6 inches, lowering our center of gravity.
Third, I expect her ability to lean side-to-side more may have
contributed to a more natural feel. We’ll continue to use a kid-seat for
her on our electric Yuba Mundo, but I expect we’ll use the stoker bars
for most trips on the Xtracycle now.

Continue reading →


2
Apr 2012
by mark

Biking with kids: crashing and learning

Untitled

Yesterday I wrote about my 4 year old’s success with her first cross-town bike trip. I closed with a promise to tell the story of her ride with an unfortunate ending the day before.

Here’s that story, with more thoughts on kids and bike crashes.

We had ridden about 1.5 miles uneventfully through Richmond to
drop off a package at the Post Office. A Cardinal Greenway trailhead is
practically behind the Post Office, so we proceeded to ride
up to Springwood Lake Park. Heading home, she had ridden just over 4 miles
when she was suddenly thrown over the handlebars in a tangle of body and
bike.

It seemed like the safest of conditions: She was on a flat stretch of paved
trail, with no one else close to her (except for me
following her). I soon found there had been a singular rock on the
trail– a golf ball-sized stone that had a similar color to the
pavement. She impacted the front of her helmet. I think she would have had
no injury at all, except she had recently bumped and bruised her
forehead on a fall while she was running. This time the helmet
pressed against the bruise and made it hurt.

Continue reading →


1
Apr 2012
by mark

First cross-town bike ride, 4 years old

Last Sunday my daughter rode her own bike across town to church for the first time. She recently turned four, and made the 3 mile trip on her bike with 12 inch wheels. It was her idea to try that day, and she was indeed ready.

With plenty of practice already with shorter trips and riding on trails, we made the trip together on the city sidewalks, stopping at all the alleys and streets to check for traffic, and wait for dad’s signal to go.

She handled the trip well in terms of behavior and skills. We averaged about a 4 miles per hour on the sidewalk, so the trip took 45 minutes– about twenty minutes “extra” for the experience.

Sections of the sidewalk were frustrating for me with the frequent stopping, but other times there would be a long block without driveways crossing to check out. In those moments, it was like a little stretch of private bike trail through the city. (I don’t recall passing any pedestrians at all on the trip…).

While this trip went well, our ride the day before had an unfortunate ending. I’ll write more about that tomorrow. (See one more ride photo after the jump)

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31
Mar 2012
by mark

An evening of biking with the children

biking home at Sunset

I’m blessed that both my young children enjoy bicycling. My four year old daughter now rides her own bike on 3 to 4 mile trips on sidewalks and trails. The 10-month old simply enjoys the experience… and the naps.

My daughter’s behavior is mysteriously good on her bike outings. Just as video games can foster addiction by providing a series of small successes, I think sidewalk-biking is also working to build confidence and self-esteem. At each block or alley, she successfully stops, checks traffic, and waits for the signal to go- she’s “cleared a level”. There’s also encouragement for good hill climbing and careful braking when going down hill.

On this day, we found ourselves returning home at dusk with a large red sun on the horizon. and captured the photos above and below.

Continue reading →


19
Mar 2012
by mark

Solving the casserole-by-bike problem

I had this large dish of fresh pasta to deliver to a friend. How to carry it to a bike? It’s not a good match for a bungee treatment. The plastic lid would collapse and the aluminum pan would get distorted. It needs to stay flat so it’s not spilled. Yuba’s Bread Basket works great for this kind of load.

I had first tried a regular milk crate on a different bike, but the milk crate was too small. Other solutions to the casserole-by-bike problem could have included using an oversided milk crate as seen here:

Continue reading →