Stolen Bike- Xtracycle

We don’t have a Stolen Bikes page like BikePortland so I’m going to put this one up here. I know Eugene has a well earned reputation as a bike theft capitol so maybe we should set up that page.

Remember, most important piece is prevention . The second most important thing is to make recovery easier- REGISTER YOUR BIKE. The Eugene Police Department now makes it easy to do this online so there’s no excuse. If you register your bike it is much more likely you will get it back. Also, take good pictures, write down all the information, and keep records about all your bikes.

Now for the latest stolen bike. This is from Kurt in Eugene. Email him if you have information:

Stolen Bike: Red MB-2 with Xtracycle FreeRadical. Red saddle bags with a red  “cushie” seat cover. Left side saddle pack is torn and top flap latch broken (tied shut). Front wheel hub lamp. Front wheel black while rear chrome. No toe clips. Can barely read MB 2 on tubing. Stolen Sunday from the U of O law library.
This picture is a bit old so not all the detail are the same:

Email Kurt if you’ve seen this bike.

How To Tow a Bike With Your Xtracycle (or similar longtail)

They are slack here.  They only tighten when turning.
Towing a bike? WHAT?!? (straps are optional)

Many of us Xtracycle riders have towed other bikes using the “bag and drag” method (the front wheel of the rear bike simply strapped in a freeloader bag), but I’m sick of that.  I loan bikes out often enough that I want a more elegant solution, so I came up with my own take on the “front hub/fork” method.  I figured I’d post it here in case some of you would like to try it.  The uses include loaning bikes out, bike polo / mtb biking, kids bikes,  and getting your tired riding partners home if they bonk (or are too drunk to ride).

Supplies (about $15-16, I bought mine at the True Value right by Arriving by Bike):

  • 1 old quick release front hub (not figured into the cost)
  • Slotted Angle Iron (about 5 bucks) that you cut to about the width of the rear free-radical bar
  • 4 U-Bolts (about $1.50 each) – two that fit the V-racks and two that fit the hub.
  • 3 hose clamps (I always have these around for bike stuff, about $1.50 each)
  • Grease, hacksaw, fixed wrench, screw driver

This only took about an hour to do.  I hope the pictures are self-explanatory.  Two hose clamps hold the hub back against the angle iron and the third holds the angle iron down on the cross bar.  Two of the U-bolts attach the angle iron to the V-rack holders (the main strength) and the other two attached the hub down on the angle iron.  You may have to modify this a bit if you have the new bag attachment system with the nubs on the V-rack holders instead of straps.

I recommend using the stabilizer straps to the handle bars that I have shown in the picture.  The tow bike tends to want to fall down when you turn sharply without them (but they probably are optional).  With them, the rear wheel of the tow bike lifts rather than having the tow bike fall.  Keep them mostly slack when attaching them, as tightening them only flexes your frame (in a scary way) and lifts the back wheel of the tow bike up.  They’ll tighten on their own as you turn sharply.

Have Fun, click on any picture for a slideshow.  I’m open to suggestions as well!




How to Waterproof Your Xtracycle

An Xtracycle is a terrible thing to waste, protect it!

Xtracycles are wonderful things.  They are the El Camino or Minivan of the bike world, and they are immensely popular here in the Northwest.  When I first built up my Xtracycle two and a half years ago, I’d only seen one or two others around town.  Now I see them everywhere. I think I still might be the only one in Eugene who rides one without kids, however. Mine is mainly used for commuting loads, juggling gear and unicycles, groceries, free piles, and giving drunk friends a ride home from the bar.

Xtracycles do have one minor flaw.* They were originally designed for use down south in California, and thus are not ready for a Northwest winter without a little modification.   But, never fear, those modifications are cheap and easy and I’m here to show you how to waterproof your Xtracycle and gear.  I’ve put over 7,500 miles of daily, rear-round riding on my Xtracycle with these modifications, and I have almost no rust in my frame and my Snapdeck still looks like new (sort of).

* It is now possible to purchase an Xtracycle more suited for the Northwest using a TekDeck or FlightDeck, Watchamacollars, and their new bags.

Take the jump for the steps you can take to make sure your Xtracycle lasts for years and years!

Continue reading “How to Waterproof Your Xtracycle”