September 12, 2008

Big Dummy Photos







Here is the rear hub laced wrong.


Here is the rebuilt wheel, now laced correctly. Can you tell the difference? Small details.


It's a big bike. For scale, I'm 6'7".



I've gone on one ride so far, up Hatch hill to the LBS to check the front brake rotor. The shifting is smooth and quick, as the chain is never disengaged. However, you can't shift under a heavy load and the transition from 7th to 8th requires a little finesse (read Sheldon's friend for an explanation, he explains it well-- Overall it is very nice and the range is more than adequate (up the hill in 4th gear, down in 14th, engaged at a fairly low cadence).  I may need to adjust the shifter cables, they keep backing out from where they engage the twist shifter.

The long wheelbase is also interesting. The bike feels really solid. Coming down Hatch hill I felt very confident and stable, like a motorcycle or something (though I have never really ridden a real motorcycle). Cornering is a little less tight but not a significant problem for regular street riding (trial biking is another matter--no wheelies on the long tail).  I'm excited to get it out on the road some more before the weather turns. 

Of course right when I have it ready to go, I've got a few days of graveyard shift and, despite my honest desire to ride it to work, Veep questioned the wisdom of riding home at 8 am after 11 hours of work and then not being able to get to sleep as a result.  Point taken--it is sitting in the garage for a few more days.

I do have concerns about the Xtracycle panniers.  For how expensive they were, they sure seem flimsy.  I just noticed they are now selling racks on their website that have a horizontal cross bar for conventional panniers--like the Ortliebs I already have.  Wish I had seen this two weeks ago and I would have just gotten them instead and saved some money.


  1. Unless the panniers have changed to a different material in the last year or so, I wouldn't worry about their durability. I've had mine for over 3 years now. I abused it for about a year and half, and my buddy has been abusing/riding it daily for another year and half. The panniers have held up fine. The snap-deck on the other hand: I wish I would've treated it with something. The coating is cracked and brittle, but the wood seems ok. I think I've read that they treat the deck with a more durable finish now.

  2. Nice ride! How fast did you take it on the descent? When do you make your first tour?