Haul your crutches with it!

A bit over three years ago, as I was designing Stokemonkey, I corresponded with Surly’s Dave Gray about various ideas, as he’s a crafty person with some experience of electric propulsion. Months ago I sent Surly a kit, in hopes that they’d bang on it and tell me what they thought. Surly designs and sells, by my unresearched guess, more high quality steel bicycle frames than anybody else in North America, and they tend to build into particularly fine, heavy-duty Xtracycles, attractive platforms for Stokemonkey.

In addition to seeking design feedback, my sending Surly a kit was a marketing psychology experiment. Would these strong, proud, hard-riding young people living in a flat city be caught dead with an electric motor on their Xtracycles? Some of the softer guys rode it first, but it took Dave breaking his leg to set up his alibi. [Soft guys: thanks for the reports!] After many days of cruel non-disclosure that something interesting was coming together, this morning Brother David Sunshine blogged the result:

O man! Can it be made to lean with the bike — parallelogram linkage — and when can we order one with integrated bassinet? You say it needs more weight on the sidecar… more batteries? The area is getting big enough for onboard solar charging to make sense….

5 thoughts on “Haul your crutches with it!”

  • fred

    that’s a great bike! A platform for a wheelchair would work too, I’ll bet. In the Daytona Beach, FL USA area there was a guy with a motorcycle of similar design. He was able to roll his wheelchair up a ramp on the back and operate the bike from extended controls.

    I’ve got stashed away somewhere a video tape from a subscription to Cyclopedia (sp?), a magazine that hasn’t been published for years, I think. It had a bolt on kit for a sidecar for an upright bike and it had a parallelogram arrangement which allowed the bike to lean into turns. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any idea where that tape is, or if it still resides under this roof. If I come across it, I’ll YouTube it and post.

  • Max

    it probably can be modified to lean, but in this instance (rider can only use one leg), or if it needs to carry something as tall as a nonfolding wheelchair, I think leaning is a bad idea.

    I have a leaning sidecar for my mountainbike. putting a large tall thing on like a washing machine prohibits leaning. or the base gets too wide.

    a solar panel array sounds good until the rider or the bike casts a shadow over the cells.

  • miketually

    “a solar panel array sounds good until the rider or the bike casts a shadow over the cells”

    If the array is charging a battery, that doesn’t matter.

  • Thomas

    Wow. No matter how many times I see those fat tires, I can’t get over how FAT those tires are! I mean, I could ride through sand with… hey, now you got me thinking about our trip to Florida….

  • fred

    Thomas, if part of your trip to Florida includes Daytona Beach, the sand here is hard enough (in some places and some of
    the time) to drive an automobile on it. I have occasionally (rarely) driven my bike on the sand and have also taken
    my (then human powered only) Alleweder velomobile on it. It takes me twice as much effort to pedal the velomobile
    on the sand as it does on pavement, but it’s still rideable. Some of the soft spots are best taken at highest possible speed.
    With those fat tires, you’d float over it all.

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