This is part of an ongoing series of posts (ok, it’s the first–we’ll see how it goes) on the building of our Xtracycles. We get lots of questions about putting them together so I thought I better start documenting. Normal people would do it in order, starting with the actual kit, but me, I gotta start with the stoker bars. Maybe I just like saying Stoker….
Interested in the build? Read on, then see the blurb at the bottom and watch the “Buildin’…” category.
For our stoker bar setups we used some cheap ebay tandem stems and beer-can shims to mount bars for our passengers. I’ll get to the stems in another post but for now, here’s the scoop on these sylish Nitto “Swept-Back” bars.
Also known as the “Dove,” these versatile lovelies go both ways. For example, I’m running mine upside-down in moustache-bar style because my seat is higher and stem longer. It puts the bar at the right height for the kids. Anne is running hers “up” in more Albatross-bar style because her post is shorter and seat lower. These bars work well and look good both ways. If they work so well, then why aren’t we using them up front? Well, they don’t fit bar-end shifters, which may or may not be an issue in the future (it’s not right now). They angle out a bit in a way that I think would bother me for braking, and they are a tad too short for cork grips and gripshift shifters. None of these things matter in the stoker position, so there you go. Beauty on a $22 budget.
Sure, they look even better with cork grips and a matching Brooks saddle, but hey I just spent almost $200 at Trader Joes. You think I have money for that kind of thing? (seriously, theses were leftovers, when they wear out, the stylish cork could still happen. Or I could tape them with old inner tubes like I did my campus bike. Whatever works, eh?
About this Series
I figured no one wanted to read a 2000 word post on the bikes, and writing would have sucked. Instead, I’ll try to (ir)regularly pop something into the “buildin’ the Xtracycle” category as it fits my fancy. Some probable topics: Sourcing the “kit,” Frames, Passengers, Chains and Shifting, Rigid vs. Bouncy, Brakes, alternative “manufacturers,” and more. If there’s something else you are curious about, give me a shout and I’ll try to write something up.
As dumb as this sounds, I’d like to learn more about the front basket. Likes, dislikes, a few photos of it in action. When I build mine, I think a basket might be a nice and useful addition.
I have a whole post planned on baskets that I’ll try to get out soon. I always thought they were kind of nerdly and low tech. I was wrong!
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