EdgeRunner! EdgeRunner! EdgeRunner!
Xtracycles. I am a big fan.
A big, big fan.
A big, HUGE fan of Xtracycles.
I love the longtail platform and the FreeRadical frame extendo kit so much and appreciate what it has brought to my own biking life so deeply that my admiration has made it quite hard for me to write and tell you all about my own Xtracycle, which I am actually quite proud of.
Hot bike, cute kid, verdant city.
Anyway, Xtracycle is the bee's knees. They are a cool company, too. Other cargo bike bloggers have sung their praises before me, and more eloquently than I ever could.
Love that guy. He started one of my favorite shops in the whole world, Clever Cycles, and also designed a bike that combines most of my favorite features into one, lovely behemoth. The Xtravois features 20 inch wheels, a huge front rack, an extra-long longtail, a super-mixte design and a very upright riding posture. It is literally a one-of-a-kind bike. And that makes me sad.
Although it looks to me like at least some of the good ideas from the Xtravois may have become inspirations for Xtracycle's own upcoming offering, the hotly anticipated (by me and most cargo bikers I know) EdgeRunner!
(edit: Todd wants us all to know that he thinks that the design similarities are simply coincidences. They are just a bunch of good ideas. I'll buy that. Still, Nice Bikes!)
EdgeRunner is the first complete, integrated bike that Xtracycle has produced. They've previously released two versions of their Radish, but that bike is actually still a separate frame with a FreeRadical kit attached, is just done at the production phase and not after-market.
The EdgeRunner joins Surly's Big Dummy, Kona's Ute, Yuba's Mundo and Sun's Atlas in the still wide open market of robust, longtail, light cargo bikes. One thing that really sets the new kid apart is its small rear wheel. This alows for quicker acceleration at the pickup and a lower center of gravity for the cargo/ passenger payload. Plus, it is just beautiful. This image has actually been above my desk at work since the postcard arrived from Xtracycle. So pretty!
But y'know what? I'm not gonna bother to explain the bike to you any further. My friend Dorie at Hum of the City already scooped me pretty bad when she released her own review of the bike the other day. This is good for you because her blog is really good and her reviews are peerless.
I have had two opportunities to ride the EdgeRunner so far. The first time was in Portland, at Clever Cycles. I liked it.
The second time I rode the EdgeRunner, I brought Little Oil with me to Seattle's Ride Bicycles. We took the bike out for a spin around Green Lake on a grey day.
While some of our impressions differ in small ways, I think that Dorie's review about covers the EdgeRunner blog review nicely. This blog can't hold a candle to Hum of the City in the reviews department so I won't even try. However, I did notice that her review was missing one crucial ingredient. Cute pictures of my kid!
Take it away, Little Oil!
First time sitting on the deck! Her comment when she saw that there was no child seat? "Now I'm a big kid!"
Yeah, we get it. You really like the test ride bike!
You'll notice the the Hooptie roll bar is not adjusted evenly on both sides.
The poor mechanics at Ride Bicycles tried for quite a while to squeeze the other side in place, but eventually gave up. If we wind up getting one we'll need to modify the things to make installation and adjustment less of a nightmare. See Wheelha.us for a first hand report.
Hooptie is cool.
The lower deck makes Little Oil appear less little.
Hard to get good Passenger Panda shots with the kid so low. On the other hand, the ride was very stable, even with my camera arm flailing around over my head trying to get the shot.
Kid likes the bike.
EdgeRunner's huge tires handled sand like it was simple dirt.
Uuum, is it possible that this centerstand is set a little high? Looks like the bike is about to lift off, ET style.
Okay, learning curve curved! New Passenger Panda techniques nailed! We really like this bike.
EdgeRunner is a fab bike. It feels very light and sprightly. It handles like a dream. It feels well built. Although I preferred the thumb shifters of the earlier test bike to the trigger shifters we found on this one, (I'm weird for thumb shifters) I even like the components! The fact that I am even paying attention to the stock components says something because I have never bought a new bike and ordinarily would prefer to get a bike as a frame and fork and build it up myself. Xtracycle looks to have really nailed it with this one, though. Other than a few little things, its just what I want out of a longtail!
Oh wait, there it is! I'd LOVE to save up some money and get an Edgerunner! We don't need another bike right now, but Mama Oil is expecting (!) so we might want to upgrade sometime next year. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the perfect Seattle two kid bike from now until we need it.
As of now, the EdgeRunner is looking pretty good! I'll keep you posted.