Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Re-evaluating the Xtra

Seems the Extra cycle is popping up everywhere! Doug and Smudgemo have had one for quite a while now. Vik got one, and a great blog to go with it. Blog authors all over are posting about their new Big Dummy's or Xtra cycles. I built mine up over last Christmas, rode it everyday hauling my tools around Rockyford, and then brought it with me here to my new/old job in Strathmore. I leave it here so I can do my errands, grocery shopping and bike part shopping without my truck.
The frame that I mounted the free-radical to wasn't the best in the world, but one of my favorites. It was the first bike that I rode any distances on and the bike that I’ve had the longest. I’ve single-speeded it, set it up for touring, riding single track and now she’s the Xtracycle. When I got my Xtra, it was in SS state. Primarily because the drive train I had on it was wearing out and I didn’t need those gears for the commuting duty it was pulling. I dug the parts out of the bin and re-installed them when I put on the Xtra. Now, It’s a great frame, with a great free radical on it, suffering from a worn out crappy drive train. For this reason, I won’t even consider using the bike for my 26 mile commute. Although it would be so nice to haul my laptop, and whatever else I might need to take back and forth without taxing my back.
I think it’s time I start looking for some new components. The bike is plenty stable, and while it wouldn’t be the fastest machine I could use for commuting, it certainly would be nice to have on those days when I’ve got stuff to haul. That is the idea of having an Xtra anyway. My wheels are still very good as well as my cassette and chain rings. Mostly all I need is new shifters and derailleurs. Heck, I’ve even got a nice NITTO Mustache bar and a long rise short reach NITTO Technomic stem that would mate nicely to the mustache bars. I think if I slap some decent bar end shifters and new brake levers, I’d have a really comfy, practical cockpit. Add to that derailleurs that do their job nicely and I’d have a whole now bike; without having a whole new bike.
I’m going to check out EBay. Or, if you have any of the parts (bar end shifters, derailleurs, hooded brake levers) mentioned above that you would be willing to sell, drop me a line.




Vik said...

Good idea to get the Xtra tuned up and ready for longer missions...=-)

Smudgemo said...

Taking bikes apart and building them up differently is almost as fun as riding them.

I've got a set of bar-end shifters, a rapid rise rear dr and new brake levers I'm going to install on my commuter one of these days. I'm cheap and want to wait until a major overhaul so I don't have to use new cables and housings until they are needed anyway.