A "longtail" is a bike with an extended rear wheelbase so that the back of the bike behind the saddle is extra-long. Kind of like a tandem, but only one set of pedals. These bikes can be made either from an extra-long frame, or from an extension piece attached to a regular bike. Usually, the extra space in back is used for racks and bags to hold cargo.
Xtracycle to be an economical, one-size-fits-most cargo bike. The seatpost can accommodate riders from about 5'-5'10" tall, it has a fairly low downtube to step over easily, and it has comfortable, swept-back handlebars.
Main Rider(s): Katie
Kid carrying options: Behind the saddle is a sturdy plastic deck, upon which is bolted a child seat (the "Yepp," made by Dutch company GMG) with a weight capacity of about 50 pounds. Once that is outgrown, the deck itself becomes a seat for the passenger to sit astride, with available comfort accessories like a padded, fitted cushion, foot platforms, and handlebars to grip.
Cargo carrying options: Besides the surface of the deck behind the child seat, the rear of this bike sports two racks on either side of the wheel that are outfitted with Xtracycle "Freeloaders." Freeloaders are sling-like bags with several straps, buckles, and drawstrings to hold in loads of any size and shape. They also have smaller weatherproof internal Velcro pockets, where we like to keep things that we might leave on the bike all the time (tube patch kit, seatcover). This bike also typically has a small saddlebag for a cable lock and a matching handlebar basket. Surprisingly, even with the capacious bags on the back of the bike, a weekly grocery store run usually fills them and the basket is where my purse has to go.
Gearing: Eight speed twist shifter.
Most noteworthy trip: In July 2011, Katie rode the Radish, loaded with Alton, gear and food, on our first bike camping weekend.
Bike Description: Big Red began its life as a mountain bike purchased by Andy's brother in the early 90s. Eventually the bike was passed to Andy, who rode it during some car-free college days, among other times. He commuted to work with it occasionally our first couple years in Oregon, but once he bought his Trek hybrid it went largely unused. Then, in fall 2011 we sold our pickup truck and became a single car family, so Andy ordered a kit from Xtracycle to turn this bike into a longtail so our cargo-carrying abilities would not diminish without our truck.
Main Rider(s): Andy
Kid carrying options: Typically none. The kid seat from Katie's Xtracycle Radish can be installed on this bike, but it needs tools and a little time to be unbolted and reinstalled.
Cargo carrying options: This bike also has Freeloader bags like the Radish, but it also has detachable Wideloaders, small platforms made of tubing and canvas webbing to support the bags' load from underneath.
Gearing: A 21-speed.
Most noteworthy trip: Right after Andy added the longtail kit to Big Red, we used it to bring home our Christmas tree from a u-cut farm.
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