Instructables
I was faced with two options for my bike cargo needs - build and hitch a trailer or find another less cumbersome solution. Enter the Xtracycle.

From the Xtracycle website:
With a bike trailer, you'll leave it at home because you prefer the way your bike rides without it, then later wish you had brought it along.

Great, I'm sold! Except... College... Money.... Oh yeah, lackofcash-itus :( Here's my $10 solution for a great idea!

Sorry Xtracycle guys - At the moment, I just can't afford to pay for the engineering :(
 
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Step 1: Materials

Donor Bike with rear suspension (note the type of swing arm used)
Conversion Bike
Steel Tube
Grade 8 Bolt

Step 2: Disassemble and Test Fit

First, make sure your current rear wheel will fit in the dropouts on the donor bike's swing arm. If it fits, disassemble the donor bike's swing arm assembly leaving the axle bearing intact.

Step 4: Frame Support

We need to prevent the swing arm from flopping over and make the bike ridable. I bought a 3 foot section of steel tubing and made a support bar that links between the swing arm (where the spring/damper normally would connect) and the kick stand mount.

I drilled the holes.... With a Dremel. Even that angled hole. Terrible, I know, but I made due with what I had.

This support bar is held at the kickstand mount with a half inch grade 8 smooth shank bolt. I had a grade 5 full threaded bolt at one time - it failed (bent). It was my fault, I didn't take the time to do the engineering (which I was capable of) and I would have easily seen that it was not sufficient.
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Bob Gray8 months ago

Keeping the shock would be a bad move. Due to the geometry of the bike pedal bob would be extreme. Well designed single pivot suspensions usually place the pivot in front of the bottom bracket. That means that when the rear suspension is compressed it makes the chainline slightly longer and that inherently cancels out most of the pedal bob.

If the rear shock were hooked up with this design it would have the opposite effect and every time you pushed down on the pedals not only would your weight compress the shock, but the tension on the chain would try to do the same, just like you were pulling the string on a bow. In short, it would be an extremely bouncy bike.

Visitor7 years ago
Have you made a rack for this?
trebuchet03 (author)  Visitor7 years ago
It's on the todo list :P Since the date of the picture.... I have added pannier rack that attaches to the seat tube (very low weight restriction). And I can hang grocery bags off it without hitting my rear wheel :D I can do something similar with my laptop bag - as long as it's not raining :P
OK, I'm a bit puzzled here...

The whole point of the Xtracycle and similar longbikes is to provide support for a larger stronger cargo rack. Without such a rack, what's the point? You've added weight and complexity to the bike, reduced its handling and weakened the bike, all without any meaningful gain in cargo-hauling capacity.

A seat tube rack could be fitted without any further modification of the bike, and such racks aren't really strong enough to be worth the trouble in the first place. Fabbing a heavy-duty version of a common frame-mounted cargo rack would allow at least as much cargo capacity, as well as eliminating the groceries-in-the-wheel issue, and wouldn't require any mods to the bike. Something like the heavy-duty built-on rack of the Peter White Cycles "Silk Road" bike maybe? http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/tout-terrain.asp

Also, why the rod from the top of the donor rear triangle to the bottom bracket shell on the bike, as opposed to running it to the top of the seat tube?
Here's the setup I use in Iraq. Originally I was going to build a trike, but trebuchet03's design saved me loads of time i don't have. I assembled this off-duty, with minimal sleep loss, within a week. I bent the rack out of discarded tubes (black: white board stand, white: part of a twisted metal bed) and the cage is what holds sandbags in place (they're stacked around our CHU's as protection from incoming fire). The whole bike, with the exception of the brake lines was completely free, as our FOB has lots of broken bikes laying around. Nobody seems to find the time to fix them, though most are fubar anyways (unless you're willing to go the extra mile and mod). I fashioned the mount out of a broken aluminum guard-rail. I realize, that bolting it through the frame is not the best option, but beggars can't be choosers. Though heavy, the result is stable, handles well, and can carry me, my weapon, and a full combat load. Thanks allot trebuchet03!!
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That upper left image, the one with the SAW, is awesome. Makes me think of zombies.
The charging handle kept digging into my back -that or the 30-round magazine well. So I made a mount out of a broken aluminum cot & a front fork of another bike. Had to cap the barrel with a plastic cap to keep the dust out. Initially it was screwed on, but I replaced the wingnuts with two hook&loop straps. I had a red/IR signal light dangling on my weapon as a tail-light :D

It was too bulky to take when we left, but I heard some lucky soldier "inherited" it and improved the design by replacing some of the extra deraileurs with pvc-hoses.
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My tax dollars at work :) You deserve a raise and a promotion ... awesome!
trebuchet03 (author)  Cosantoir6 years ago
Also, why the rod from the top of the donor rear triangle to the bottom bracket shell on the bike, as opposed to running it to the top of the seat tube?

Going to the top of the seat tube would have required welding or some goofy fasteners. Going down just behind the BB - there happens to be a mounting point to bolt to :) In this configuration, I can convert back to a normal road bike, on the side of the road (as long as I carry a chain tool with me).

...all without any meaningful gain in cargo-hauling capacity.

As seen in the photos, perhaps - but I will disagree solely based on experience. As seen in the photos, I can sling my laptop over the seat and have it rest directly behind the seat tube - without interference with the rear wheel. The same goes for grocery bags and my cooler :)

I've used a seat tube rack that I found on a derelict bike. It works much better when it's over nothing compared to over a wheel (bags of groceries don't get entangled). I have, rather precariously due to the small size, towed people on that bar too.

More recently, I've been working on a rear triangle add on rack - as posted by TimAnderson - and not too dissimilar than what's in that link you posted (thanks, there's some nice stuff in there). When it's done, to my satisfaction, that will be posted - but it isn't a priority given school work and such.

I have also discovered that riding in wet conditions, without fenders, is much better :) Water and grit doesn't fling up on my backside :) Especially nice when caught by a storm without wearing any foul weather gear.

Things have changed in the 8+ months since I've posted this ;) And always keep in mind that, in situations like this, all or nothing perspective typically results in the latter ;)

And again, there's no contest with the Xtracycle - it wasn't meant to ;)
rmartinez272 years ago
http://www.cicle.org/feature-articles/xtracycle-clone-from-junk-parts.html

check this out, sans support bar, via oldtimer hal, the man the myth the legend at Highland Park, Los Angeles, California's Bike Oven!!!
hay thats pretty good!! I just had to make one!! Ya like?
Image134.jpg
trebuchet03 (author)  kennyraceboy5 years ago
Looks Awesome! Can you post more pictures (do you have a website - or flickr account or similar)?
thanks mate. : ) nah i don't have a website or anything of the sort. but here are some more pics
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That gave me an idea... Is $2 USD a mile a good fare? We don't have taxi's around here, so I wouldn't have much competition, either. Then again, almost everyone has a car or truck.
actually you want $3.50 standard fare
I see... 25 cents a block, 14 blocks is a mile(here anyway), 14x.25 is $3.50.
Yep, pretty much.
Extremegta fan: While I think that the 'Taxi' bike is extremely cool, I wouldn't recommend using this specific bike as a pedicab (bicycle taxi). I think kennyraceboy would probably only carry groceries or a friend on the back, not paying passengers.

I think the front end of this bike would be okay for a pedicab, but on the back end I would put TWO wheels and make it a tricycle instead. I would also make the back end wide enough to carry two people, and consider that you will be carrying the weight of at least two people and their luggage. (i.e. 500 lbs.) when you buy wheels. Get some heavy duty wheels.

Brakes are also extremely important. You have to be able to stop that bicycle while it is going downhill, carrying paying passengers and possibly their luggage, in the rain or snow, in heavy traffic with cars cutting in front of you.

Lights are important too of course, front and rear. Consider getting brake lights.

Remember, one accident on the bike...or even a passenger that fakes an injury, could result in you being SUED, for millions of dollars. You might even become parapeligic, or make someone else parapeligic for life if you decide to cut corners.

Cars can be a problem too.

When I used to drive a bicycle taxi in Toronto, Ontario...I would charge as high as $3.00 per person, per city block. Yes, that is extremely expensive, but people would pay it.

Strangely, the owners of the pedicab companies would make more money from -ADVERTISING- than they would from their drivers leasing pedicabs from them (usually at the cost of $20 a day), or even their fares (which could be $200- $500 a day, or could be zero.)

Yep, you can place a billboard on the back too, and make money that way. About $500- $1000 a month, depending on your sponsor.

Depending on where you live, a fare of $5 anywhere, or a $20 flat rate might be more reasonable. So long as the rides are only a few blocks (i.e. downtown), most people would be willing to pay $5 even if just for the novelty. Anything past five blocks would be $20, or you could just give a half hour tour for $20 an hour.

A lot of it depends on where you live of course. Toronto, Ontario is the biggest city in Canada, and it's about the size of Chicago. Tourist-y areas tend to already HAVE pedicab companies, such as New York, San Francisco, etc.

hay i just created a flickr account, so you can view the pics in a higher resolution.

I made it outta an old huffy, full suspension bike and an old speed bike.
The tanks on the side are old petrol cans for a boat, with the tops cut off

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kennyraceboy-bikelord/
Wasagi3 years ago
Beautiful! I have a P.O.S. Bike with rear suspension I got for free and fixed up, and I may just do this with it. Thank you!
every one you need to put suspension onn them
Great idea, this plan for a wheelbase extension.
I added one more stay, to reduce the stress on the chainstays on the frontframe. And than I mounted two regular racks.
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adamlorenz7 years ago
any way to see more detail pictures of the tubing and how you connected them to the two sections... i'm at the point of doing this and i'm in need of some visuals before i start at it... thanks!
trebuchet03 (author)  adamlorenz7 years ago
Right now... the bike is 3000 miles away from me :p But.... If you look at a rear suspension mountain bike of this design..... The support tube goes where the shock- clevis joint is fastened with a threaded rod. The bottom portion is attached with a grade 8 bolt through the kickstand mount (there's also a nut down there). The tube had a hole cut on a bias to fit that bolt ;) Mind you, I only have rather simple hand tools -- that was cut with a hacksaw and cheapo power drril :p
trebuchet03 (author)  trebuchet037 years ago
Errr... not power drill.... Dremel --with the milling bit :p
Nice idea, have you figured out a rack system similar to the xtracycle for carrying loads. Otherwise it's just a very cool extra long bike.
i just finished a longbike of my own. my rack is an old wire-frame dvd rack. pics are here.
Picture 007.jpgPicture 008.jpgPicture 006.jpg
i too would like to see a pic of where the support rod bolts to the main frame, when you do get back to your bike. thanks.
da winksta3 years ago
you should attach the support tube at least to the middle of the seat post.
taiden4 years ago
I guess I don't understand the point of this. It looks like you extended the wheelbase. How does that make it a 'sport utility bicycle'?
turbonut484 years ago
Using the chain until it breaks is false economy. The chain stretches and then wears out the sprocket teeth because the chain pitch lengthens. 
Change the chain on a regular basis and your sprockets will last forever.
trebuchet03 (author)  turbonut484 years ago
 Or... when the sprocket teeth wear out, replace it with another one - free from a derelict bike (or from a $1 bike from the police auction).
junkmailca4 years ago
Hi All, I was inspired by the design, and found myself in a similar cash situation (grad school so you can do the math). Here are a few photos of my attempt (with some modifications) and it is AWESOME! I put about $50 into the metal and welding, and $50 into the army surplus bag panniers (also homemade). So all things being equal it worked out pretty well (especially when compared to the cost of a real xtracycle).
Here are the pics
photo (1).jpgphoto (2).jpgphoto.jpgIMG_0240.jpg
Hycro5 years ago
I wonder if there were a way to attach to the seat post bolt...I can think of a way, but it requires a piece of flat bar (Or is it called flat stock??) welded into the end of the tube that will attach to the seat post bolt, that is also cut in such a way that the bar rests against the seat tube, and the bolt just keeps it from moving around, but most of the pressure is on the frame...I don't know if what I suggested would even work, if there were welds, let alone if you just used all bolts...but if it did work, it could have the potential to be stronger than attaching to the kickstand mounting bracket...since on some cheaper model bikes, the kickstand mounting bracket welds are VERY cheap...
budgieeye5 years ago
Hello here are the German version of a SUB. Details will follow. Greetings!
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dmorrill225 years ago
I might try this sometime... Why didn't you take the spring/shock from the swing arm and use it as well... It would have added nice suspension to the new bike...
macrumpton6 years ago
I don't really understand the Xtracycle concept. You can buy a new cheap tandem bike for about $250 and that includes a second set of pedals for occasional passenger use. These cheap tandems must be pretty strong too since they are made to hold another person, which weighs more than any load I am likely to carry. A folding/removable rack/panniers and you are all set.
trebuchet03 (author)  macrumpton6 years ago
It's a different tool for a different job ;) A tandem just doesn't have the loading capabilities a load bike (such as the xtracycle add on). Load capabilities isn't just how many pounds ;) Big bulky boxes aren't an issue for the freeradical... Last week, I moved my apartment with such a bike :p But yes, you can buy a new cheap tandem for ~$250... But it's going to have crappy components - just like every other cheap bike out there. I personally like my DeoreXT components (on the bike I use all the time) and silent freewheel hub, they're buttery smooth and will last many more years. That's just not going to happen with crappy equipment for more than a few months... But don't get me wrong, do what works for you - I'm not trying to sell it to ya :p But, if you have the opportunity to ride one - go for it... It will probably make a lot more sense then ;)
random thought: where does one aquire a "silent freewheel hub" like the ones that police bikes have? I vaguely recall hearing that the manufacturer(s)have an exclusive contracts with various police departments...
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