Readers may recall from the entry Batteries that I have developed a battery pack format and enclosure for Stokemonkey. These batteries are treated much like any other cargo, which means that they compete for cargo space, and they are subject to some jostling and shifting in motion. While these are minor issues in my opinion, I have been pursuing an alternative: battery boxes to replace the Xtracycle snapdeck.
Because passengers and stuff can go on top of the boxes just like the snapdeck, these boxes would effectively create new space on the bike, and center their load. They would also accommodate arbitrary battery formats, many of which resemble bricks if not cinder blocks. Want to mess with, say, hydrogen fuel cells for your Stokemonkey? This is where you’d put all that stuff.
I’ve always loved the wood elements of Xtracycle’s product as soulful, so these alternates had to be wood, too. Wood is also light and non-conductive.
Paul Sykes is a Portland woodworker and former messenger who makes, among other things, wood fenders for most any bike. I have them on Xtravois. They differ from Portland’s more widely known Full Wood fenders in being of lighter construction and rather less fanciness, as hand-made wooden artifacts go. I approached Paul to make the boxes. We’ve met half a dozen times over various sketches and prototypes, and today he delivered some likely production design candidates. One’s in clear fir, and the other is in quarter-sawn oak. Mahogany to follow.
They are beautifully made; they are art. They will attain beausage. They look big on the bike to me, in spite of our efforts to slim down the look with a forward lean and dark-stained sides. They can’t possibly be cheap. Cars-R-Coffins should love ’em.
What do you think? Quite apart from batteries, maybe you’d want one for your spread of dips and cruditÃ?Â©s at your next Xtracycle-enabled pique-nique.