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Tonight after work I rode the X over to the Lucky Lab for the Portland Longbike Consortium gathering (advertised in my previous post). Folks trickled in and so did the longbikes -- in this case, they were all Xtracycles, though there are a few Mundos and a ton of bakfietsen around town. A grand time was had by all.

Bike parking, usually pretty good at the Lab, got a little thick as more bikes showed up:

X owners with kids outfitted their bikes with lovely seat cushions. (This one is locally made and available at Clever Cycles in Portland):

Martine of Clever Cycles was there showing off Xtracycle's brand-new Radish, their first whole Xtracycle bike. It ships in two pieces to save on freight and assembles just like my ATB-X did. It's simple and cute and I'm sure it will sell very well. (I'm not sure if Citybikes plans to carry the Radish or not -- since we're officially "not into" disc brakes and the Radish comes with at least one -- but I know we'll definitely carry more Free Radical kits; they're in high demand and we sold out every one well before the summer was half over.)

A look at all the other X's showed me two things: (a) mine was the tallest Xtracycle in attendance, both in frame size and saddle height. (b) While some of the height can be blamed on my rather long legs, at least some of it is a result of the era from which my frame comes: ATB's in the mid- to late-80's had VERY high bottom brackets, meaning that the whole frame sits higher off the ground. So when I affixed my frame to a "Free Radical" kit, the rear dropouts (where the rear wheel's axle goes in) were raised up by at least a full inch, if not more. This effectively makes it impossible for me to simultaneously sit fully on the saddle and touch a toe securely to the ground. I have adapted; when I come to a stop, I try to pull up alongside a curb so my foot can stand down for a minute. If no curb is available I come to a stop and get off the saddle, straddling the top tube with both feet on the ground; when I get going again I have to push off from a standing stop, which on a changeable day can make for a creaky knee. But I like my X enough that I just live with it.

At length it was decided that a glamour shot was called for. So we lined up our X's in a neat little row and photographed them from several angles while bemused patrons looked on:

I left around 7:20 and got home in about 45 minutes, not bad for riding my heaviest bike; and my knees didn't bother me a bit.



Sweet Pics

Nice pics Beth. I got my X built and running a couple of weeks ago, and I am absolutely loving it. Reading some of your posts helped me choose a frame (83 StumpJumper) and get it all together.

Regrettably, I haven't yet seen another X locally (Dublin, CA), but I'm hoping someday to see something like these pics around here!

Re: Sweet Pics

The '83 StumpJumper is an excellent choice (and hard to find -- got another one you'd send up here?) because of its stable geometry; but this is another frame with a very high bottom bracket so be prepared to deal with similar saddle height issues as I described in my post. Please consider posting pix of the finished bike to the Xtracycle group at Flickr so we can all how it turned out. Happy riding!


Re: Sweet Pics

OK, I went ahead and created a flickr account and uploaded some new pics of my X. I just last night put on the Resurrectio stickers from Riv, so the timing was great :-) http://www.flickr.com/photos/30695822@N04/sets/72157607396114299/

The stumpjumper was a local CL find. If I see anymore I'll pass you the link!

Re: Sweet Pics

Your link didn't work. Can you try again?


Re: Sweet Pics

D'oh! Let's se if this one will work instead: http://tinyurl.com/44oqqt

Re: Sweet Pics

GORGEOUS bike! I have to say I really love the look of an X built up on an old-school ATB frame. Well done!