Why We Love Xtracycle!
Editors Note: this post was written prior to the release of the Xtracycle EdgeRunner. For how it compares visit our Xtracycle web page
One of our goals in opening Splendid Cycles was to have our own niche and to have products not available at other bike shops. For the majority of cargo bikes we carry that's the case.
But Xtracycle, you can buy lots of places. So what that heck is it doing at Splendid Cycles and why do we love it so much?
There are lots of long tail bikes out there but if you want to carry kids, have lots of easy-to-install and fun accessory options, Xtracycle is THE one.
First: You can carry kids. Xtracycle is committed to kid-carrying. Committed is a key word here. While the legal department at a few other long-tail manufacturers has put the kabosh on kid-carrying - that's right, you're outright told NOT to carry kids. Not only does Xtracycle not have such labels but they are selling and marketing kid-carrying attachments for their platform. Add stoker bars, add kid seats, add foot rests; in other words: add kids. With so many other companies NOT doing this it must take a real committment from the companies that do in order to deal with the legal/liability issues involved.
Second: Quality. Mechanics love Xtracycle accessories. The accessory options are modular and easy to install. We think they have the best quality kid attachments available. The kid seat is none other than a Yepp-made, best in class kid carrier. The Pea Pod is sturdy and well-designed. Expensive but worth every penny. Who doesn't think the wood-grained running boards or footsies are the bomb! There's just something about wood accessories that make a bike instantly cool. By golly, it's the bike equivalent to the wood-paneled station wagon of the 1960's.
Third: Versatility. Perhaps you're not carrying kids and just want to haul lots of stuff. They've got that covered too. Add the Wide Loader, Long Loader, and a KickBack kickstand and you're ready to haul anything your massive quads can move.
Fourth: They continue to innovate. Rather than continue to sell just their original product, Xtracycle continues to respond to customer needs and push boundaries with new products. A few of the new products we're excited about:
Hooptie: Super cool idea - gives your passengers a handhold and helps secure them on the bike. More comfort, more safety, that's what we love.
SideCar: Not an original idea BUT certainly one of the few sidecars available for the masses.
EdgeRunner: The latest complete bike from Xtracycle features a 26" front wheel and a 20" rear wheel. This asymmetric wheel configuration makes the rear platform more even more versatile.
Check out this video to see the Edgerunner, Hooptie, and SideCar in action!
Fifth: It's easy to like a company that produces great products and promotes values that: support community, enrich lives, foster excitement and adventure, and work toward positive change. This company has a conscience too; they donate 5% of their profit to Worldbike to further the development of Xtracycle-like solutions worldwide.
Ah, But the Real Reason is...
Yup, all the cool techie and practical, functional stuff makes the Xtracycle a fave. But, really, the reason we love it is the way we've seen it transform lives. True, many bikes, especially cargo bikes, do that. Xtracycle does it with some amazing ease.
The learning curve for riders is very short. That means we've seen immediate changes in the kids and adults riding Xtracycle bikes. The bikes are just plain fun, so we've heard stories of kids begging to get on the bike. The limitations of an Xtracycle are few, so the range of uses is only limited by imagination.
Our Favorite Xtracycle Bike:
The Surly Big Dummy is our favorite Xtracycle-compatible bike. We could call it the "Sturdy" Big Dummy, as the double-butted CroMo tubing give it a great balance of quality, stiffness, and lightweight (for the weight it can carry). What that means to the rider is a versatile (I know we keep saying versatile!), maneuverable bike that can carry loads up to 200 lbs! Since it's equipped with quality components, including disc brakes and a wide range of gears, you'll be able to rely on the Big Dummy. It's a bike suitable for a commute, a grocery run, or as a family school bus.
No, they're not perfect.
There is no such thing as the perfect bike; no one has it all figured out, but that's OK. Xtracycle is doing enough right, meeting the needs of so many families very well, and working hard to improve. That means we can get behind this company and stand behind their products. Basically, they get the Splendid stamp of approval!