Xtracycles


6
Dec 2014
by mark

Review: 2013 Yuba Mundo vs 2014 Xtracycle EdgeRunner 27D

By: Don Galligher

This review compares the 2013 Yuba Mundo cargo bike with the 2014 Xtracycle 27D EdgeRunner. My daughters have named our matte black Yuba “Black Pearl”. The Xtracycle is named “Baliwick” after a butler
in the Princess Sofia cartoon.

Xtracycle EdgeRunner

Xtracycle EdgeRunner

Don with a load of bikes to recycle

Yuba Mundo

Background

Prior to this review, the Yuba has been ridden 2,000 miles over 12 months in all types of terrain (family riding, touring and urban transportation as a car replacement). I live about 5 miles outside of town, making my minimum travel distance about 10 miles for most trips.

Our Mundo is equipped with Monkey bars, two Go Getter bags, two Soft Spots, running boards, and wheel skirts. I modified the stock bike with a 9 speed drivetrain, SRM power meter, TRP’s hydraulic cable pull brakes, Schwalbe Big Apple 2.3″ tires, some Ergon grips, and bar stem seat post. After upgrades the bicycle would cost approximately $3300.00.

The EdgeRunner was ridden 2 months approximately 700 miles on all types of terrain. This included family riding, touring and urban transportation as a car replacement. Accessories including the Hooptie, U-tube, and Kickback center stand, X2 bags, two Mini Magic Carpets, and Xtracycle fenders. The 27D Lux is equipped with a BioLogic generator front hub, which runs the front and rear light, and has a handle bar remote switch which can charge a USB compatible device such as your phone while riding. The EdgeRunner comes equipped with a 27 speed drivetrain by Shimano and Deore hydraulic disc brakes. I upgraded it with a Raceface narrow wide 40t chainring and a DuraAce SRM power meter. Estimated cost would be about $3,700.

It’s worth noting that one of the fundamental design differences between these two bikes are that the EdgeRunner has a 20” rear wheel and 26” front wheel while the Mundo has 2×26” wheels. The 20” rear wheel allowed me to convert the bike to the simpler 1×9 drivetrain and for my needs allowed a light weight, simple shifting system.

During the test period I carried my two daughters (ages 3 and 5) for most of the miles up and down mountains, on rail trails, some off-road and paved surfaces. I carried my daughters 20” Specialized Hotrock bike, as well as towing adult bikes. I also tested each bike with some heavy loads ranging from 100-300lbs.

Enjoying the ride

Yuba Mundo with two girls and 20″ bike onboard

Xtracycle EdgeRunner towing a 20" bike.

Xtracycle EdgeRunner towing a 20″ bike

I should preface all my opinions here with the fact I put more stress on my bikes than the average user, and my expectations are pretty high of what I expect the bike to do.

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2
Sep 2014
by larry

Troy Rank’s Epic 4,400 Mile Ebike Journey and Why It’s Important

IMG_7951

Troy is very casual about his epic 4,400 mile journey. Last year he noticed that the current Guinness Book of World Records for longest motorized bicycle journey was just over four thousand miles. He knew his bike could go that far. He knew he could go that far. He had his wife’s support. So he set out to break the record.

Of course it wasn’t easy. When he stopped by my shop last week on his way back to Rochester after cycling out to Colorado and back, I asked him about a bandage on his arm. “A dump truck ran me off the road. No big deal. I was able to lay my bike down on the grass, so just some cuts and bruises.” He kept a video blog about his journey. He describes many flat tires. He describes many electrical problems. On day 13 he describes how Continue reading →


7
Apr 2014
by larry

Cargo Bikes’ Hidden Danger

(April 1st, 2014) As this video demonstrates, a longtail cargo bike has a hidden danger: poor backup visibility. Because a cargo bike is longer than a regular bike, there exists a “danger zone” behind the rear wheel where the rider’s view is blocked. This video shows my attempts to develop a “backup camera” to alleviate this problem, with limited success. My camera is similar to cameras recently mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for all light vehicles.


22
Jun 2012
by larry

Why I Invented an Electric Bike for Carrying Adult Passengers

Thea and JJ model the passenger bike prototype.

“On June 4, 1896 in a tiny workshop behind his home on 58 Bagley Street, [Henry] Ford put the finishing touches on his pure ethanol-powered motor car. After more than two years of experimentation, Ford, at the age of 32, had completed his first experimental automobile…The two cylinder engine could produce 4 horsepower…achieving a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). Ford would later go on to found the Ford Motor Company and become one of the world’s richest men.”
Wikipedia

I’m gradually reducing my car dependance. I enjoy traveling to meetings, hauling groceries, and taking my kids to their dental appointments all on my bike. But one of the few remaining compelling reasons for using my car is to carry adult passengers. For a variety of reasons my adult friends and family do not feel comfortable hopping onto my longtail cargo bike. Can bicycles ever fulfill the role of carrying adult passengers? I believe they can, and (like Henry Ford) I’ve built an experimental vehicle to test my conviction.

Here are the design goals I began with: build a bike that can safely and comfortably carry both a 200-pound driver and a 200-pound passenger at an average speed of Continue reading →


30
Mar 2012
by larry

Costs and Planning for a Car-Lite Family of Four

No Virtue Required: Car-Lite Family Transportation Is Less Expensive, Faster, and More Flexible than Car-Encumbered Transportation

In his recent post, my co-blogger Don writes about “the virtue in choosing the right [transportation] tool for the job”. I realized that my own family makes regular use of five, count ‘em FIVE transportation options: walking; bicycling; busing; driving various CarShare and rental vehicles; and (in dwindling amounts) driving my wife’s tiny red Mini. Yesterday epitomized our highly flexible family transportation: we criss-crossed Ithaca together and separately and then at the end of the day we all landed together on our couch like the opening sequence of a Simpson’s episode.

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4
Mar 2012
by mark

Weather canopy options for cargo bikes

A weather canopy for your children can make a big difference in your child’s
comfort on the bike during rainy, cold or windy conditions.

The most iconic canopy option is the weather canopy for a bakfiets:

father, daughter and sleep dog on first trip to Abington

However, if you have a longtail cargo bike like an XtraCycle or Yuba Mundo,
there are some DIY options worth knowing about, with detailed instructions
available online.

I love the look the Covered Bike Wagon canopy by co-blogger Larry Clarkberg:

bike canopy side view

You can read more about how he made the covered bike wagon canopy and he can answer
questions about it in the comments. His variation with solar panels is also
worth a look:

solar bicycle

There’s more about this project at My Solar Bicycle. Most recently I spotted this solution for sun and rain production for a Yuba Mundo:

It’s not quite iconic but it gets the job done, and
instructions are available online.

You can also read more about the differences between the bakfiets, Xtracycles and the Yuba Mundo.


9
Dec 2011
by larry

Currently in the Clarkberg Bike Stable

Here’s a little photo essay about my family’s bicycles. I’m proud to say that we use our bikes a lot. Each bike is tailored to its user: I drive a cargo bike capable of carrying passengers and cargo long distances; my wife drives a slower and lighter but more stylish bike; my 11-year-old daughter Thea and her friend JJ drive bikes tailored to their 2-mile drive to school. (My son Jasper, aged 15, resists having a bike. He pretty much walks wherever he needs to go.) Ithaca is hilly, so it’s important for a utility bike to have an electric motor. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years  experimenting with electric bike motors and other accessories. Maybe you can benefit from my discoveries.

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4
Oct 2011
by larry

Aqua-Xtracycle, the Amphibious Bicycle

boating mode: the boat carries the bike

boating mode: the boat carries the bike

biking mode: the bike carries the boat

biking mode: the bike carries the boat

The Aqua-Xtracycle is a do-it-yourself amphibious electric cargo bike. This video shows how it works, and the photo gallery below shows a bit of our development process. In a future post I’ll describe how you can make your own Aqua-Xtracycle.

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19
Aug 2011
by larry

My DIY SLA Trip Batteries

Test drive to Sheldrake Point

Test drive to Sheldrake Point

Caution: shop talk blog post intended for do-it-yourselfers. For my recent 240-mile journey I created what I call my “trip batteries”—batteries that I can attach to my bike to augment my regular batteries, but that I don’t intend to carry around on a daily basis. As such, the main design criteria for these batteries is that they be inexpensive. I don’t want to pay the big bucks for a battery that I only use once in a while. The obvious choice is SLA (sealed lead acid) batteries. These are the same kind of batteries used in cars, and the technology is almost 100 years old. E-bikers out there may poo-poo this choice of battery. After all, compared to my lithium batteries, my SLA batteries are heavy (20lbs vs. the lithium’s 15lbs), not quite as powerful (600wh vs. the lithium’s 720wh), don’t last as long (300 charge cycles vs. the lithium’s 1,500) and they are dumb (that is, they don’t have a battery management circuit board in them to prevent human error from damaging them, although most controllers provide the necessary protections). But they are cheap. I can put together a 10ah 36v battery for about $120 versus a 10ah 36v battery for $600.

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3
Apr 2011
by larry

Name Our Ebike Club

Could this be our new logo? Have a better idea? Let us know.

I’m planning to start an electric bike club with some friends in Ithaca and we don’t yet have a name. Can you help us think of one? Finding a name is an important first step for any organization. It will force us to think about the goals of our group. This grueling process may release our hidden differences, but the fires of our disagreement will forge in us a new a sense of unity! Right. We invite you to participate.

Ithaca is especially suitable for ebikes. The largest part of our community is students. A very visible part of our community is environmentalists. Both of these groups would benefit from biking: students need an inexpensive mode of transportation and environmentalists want transportation that better fits with their values. But both groups are held back by (among other things) the incredibly hilly terrain here. An ebike erases that impediment. For a variety of reasons the bike stores here are unable to step up to the plate to promote ebikes. That’s where a club comes in. Our club is all ready to go except for one thing: we lack a name. Here’s some thoughts that may guide your club naming.

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