Monday, March 23, 2009


In spite of chaos at work and digging out of home improvement Hell, I've managed to get one of my Spring time projects started. I've been using my Firmstrong Chief bike as my workhorse now for some time and I always wanted a big cargo bike of my own design. Since the Chief is very comfortable and easy to ride, it was a logical step to see what I could do to upgrade it instead of starting from scratch again. I like to be able to carry a lot of stuff and although trailers are great for that, I must admit that they are a pain to haul.

Xtra cycle makes a great product that includes an extension and a rack to make any bike into a serious cargo hauler. I've seen them and they are worth the money no questions. However, I think you folks would enjoy a homebuilt project more than just a simple install/product review article. I'm also a cheap skate and I had all this scrap lying around for free to put this thing together!

Xtra cycle was the inspiration for the want and this great instructable(trebuchet03's article) was the inspiration for the how. Making a bike frame extension requires a few things, the rear triangle from a cheap suspension mountain bike, the down tube from another bike with part of the head tube still on and some brackets.

I simply bolted the rear triangle of the MTB frame where the rear wheel on the Chief is supposed to be using it's pedal axle and the bolts that come with it. I then measured the cut down tube for lenght while the bike was resting on a block at the proper height. I cut the tube, clamped it in a wise for it to fit inside the shock mount on the rear triangle and drilled a hole for the mounting bolt. The other end of the tube was then secured to the seat tube of the cruiser using 3 clamps. Why 3? Remember the golden rule of homebuilt anything, when in doubt, overbuild!

The bike is nowhere near done, I still have to make the custom 34 inch long rear rack that's going on it, but extensive testing of me jumping my big butt on the seat has proven successful with no flex whatsoever.

Keep posted for the rest of this build.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)


joshfromga said...

I first saw this article sometime last year and have been wanting to build a longbike of my own ever since. a few weeks ago i finally decided to get off my butt and build. here it is at http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4892517632_ebc4a780cd_b.jpg. I'm now looking for materials to build a cargo rack. Well, thanks for the inspiration! Hopefully the final product will be half as good as yours.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Awesome long bike Bro! I'm glad I had a tiny part in it's creation.

Gerry :)