Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Why go Xtra?

My fascination with the Xtracycle began quite a few years ago when I accidentally came across one online. It caught my imagination as an elegant, versatile and practical design. The fact you could attach it to any bike made it accessible to everyone and the variety of loads people were hauling never ceased to amaze me. My cycling interests have gone from performance [road & mtn] to touring and now even more so towards utility cycling. Interestingly my desire and need to drive a car has diminished during the same period.

So didn't I buy an Xtracycle if I thought they were so great? Well there were a number of factors that contributed to this:
  • at first my interest in performance biking kept most of my bike purchases focused on faster and cooler things.
  • I didn't have a donor bike I wanted to Xtra-fy so I would have had to buy one as well as an Xtracycle SUB. That made the purchase cost fairly significant.
  • I have moved a lot and often lived in apartments which did not seem Xtra-friendly.
  • one thing that would have really helped pull the trigger on an Xtracycle never happened - I have never run into one during my travels. I think if I had seen one and been able to try it out I would have seen the light and ordered one.
So what's changed?:
  • my desire to drive my truck is at an all time low.
  • I care far less about how fast my bikes go than how useful they are.
  • I want to tour with my friends who don't have touring setups and who are not as strong cyclists as I am. With an Xtra-fied bike I'll be able to carry all of our gear and they can ride a light bike. Hopefully that will even things out nicely.
  • Surly came out with the Big Dummy!

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