Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Freeloader Surgery

I got around to fixing the torn mesh at the end of my Xtracycle Freeloaders. I haven't done anything about the holes that have worn through the inside of the bags where they rub against the Big Dummy's frame. I think the long term solution will be to get a second layer of more durable material sewn on to the bags where they rub against the frame or perhaps just use Shoe Goo to glue on patches in problem areas.

Given how much damage they've sustained in a short period of time I'm not sure what the lifespan of these bags is.

7 comments:

jmp said...

Vic, you've got holes through already? How many miles on it? I've got about 950 on mine, and nothing looking frayed or like it's gonna pop or poke through anywhere.
You must carry more than I do ...

Vik said...

Hey JMP,

Well I've certainly used my BD to carry a lot and the Dempster Highway is not easy on gear, but at the same time I haven't done anything with the BD that would have damaged other sport bags like my Ortliebs. THe fabic the Freeloaders are made of is somewhat fragile. Just compare it to the material other outdoors bags are made of - like backpacks, duffels, dry bags, panniers, etc..

Anonymous said...

somewhat fragile...
I have a early Xtracycle, received in Sept 2001. The Freeloaders are Hypalon on the side against the Freeradical, and a heavier Cordura on the outside. But no flap over the inside pocket (which is much tauter and flatter) and none of the mesh accoutremont the new one has. I haven't decided which one I like better, the old one has faded from many days in the sun, but the Cordura is unworn. There's a thin spot in the Hypalon where my usual load (a full duffel bag on my way to work) forces it against the FreeRadical for 7 years, but I don't believe it's worn through.
The new Freeloaders certainly are lighter than the original ones I have.
Joel

jmp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vik said...

Sounds like the old version of the Freeloaders were much more robust. The part of my bags that rests against the Big Dummy's frame has worn through on this one tour.

I wouldn't recommend taking them on an extended tour or at the very least I'd either add reinforcement material before I left or plan on doing repairs on tour.

As I stated earlier on my blog the design is smart & very versatile it's just the execution that is lacking.

Dolphin said...

My bags developed significant holes within 1,000 miles: brake area, free radical tubes. I've got 10,000 on them now and I can't keep small parts in them any longer. I was thinking about sewing Kevlar on the inside of my next freeloader - but sewing Kevlar ain't high on my list of fun activities. Maybe a more mundane material? I very much agree with your design/execution comment.

jmp said...

I think Kevlar(R) or other polyaramid (?) weave would be overkill. Very difficult to handle and fragile if fibers are not encased.
Hypalon(R) seems to be a fiberglass weave fabric rubberized, and it is pretty durable. Found in white-water rafts and sometimes in trampolines. I even bet used Hypalon could be recycled for this, if it is available and not too sun-damaged.
Or maybe Hypalon is actually made with Aramid fibers?