Chris: July 2009 Archives

The Homemade XtraCycle

I've been collecting the parts to build this for a while.  Not so much out of necessity, but rather out of curiosity, I decided I wanted to build an "XtraCycle" or utility cycle out of an old mountain bike...or two, that is.  So, over the last several months, I've kept my eyes opened for the right frames or bikes to build one with.  I wanted an old, chromoly mountain bike as the main frame and I was looking for a dual suspension mountain bike to use the rear triangle as the frame extension.  I happened on a straight, decent Schwinn Frontier for the main bike.  It has cantilever brakes and no suspension, so it's a nice, solid ride.  The rear triangle came from a Univega DS300.  The cost for each donor bike was zero.  As an extra bonus in the build, both sections were blue, so the extension will blend in a little better...well, sort of.  The wheels are random spares, but ultimately it will have the best of the spares lying around.  

This is the first 'stage' of the development of the bike.  I used a section of square aluminum to make a connection between the point where the rear shock was attached to the rear triangle and the bottom bracket of the main bike.   I used some simple measurements to make sure the bottom bracket height was close to (or even slightly lower, since that would afford better stability loaded) the original height with the extension mounted.

xtra11.jpgand some other photos showing the initial 'fit'.....

xtra1.jpg xtra2.jpg xtra3.jpg

Several months after these test fit pictures, I made the decision to cannibalize a perfectly good Giant mountain bike for this project.  (Actually, the Giant will survive, rebuilt with the throw-aways from this project and it will remain in its place as a perfectly good guest spare.)  with the addition of a sturdy wheelset, V-brakes, and the fork with all of its threadless headset simplicty, the project came together nicely.   The apparently color-coordination was not planned, but I guess it's a nice bonus.   So, here it is in November 2009:

driveside.jpgI used an old road bike rear derailleur as a tensioner.     The first test ride seemed promising.  It was stable, felt firm and seemed ready to start loading it up.  I didn't try any wheelies!

Here's a close-up of the driveline:

Here are some shots showing how the two frame sections are connected:
connection_detail.jpg   faux_axle_detail.jpg

and, a couple more perspective shots...
frontview.jpg   non_driveside.jpg

1984 Motobecane Grand Touring


1984 Motobecane Grand Touring Vitus 888 tubing, 18 speed, 57cm.