Sunday, March 1, 2009

296: Gunther's Game Changer

Love the gallery! Finally got around to shooting the beast after finishing my kids' seat project. Since you asked for some details on the gallery, I wrote up a little below. Feel free to post whatever you think your readers (or is it voyeurs?! :) would like to see.

Here's a link to a picture of the bike. Not sure if you link in place or add to your site. Other link options are available here.

Here are the details:
  • Novara Safari 2008 (More pics here)
  • FreeRadical Kit
  • Albatross bars from on a stem riser (love those bars!)
  • Cascadia ATB 60mm fenders
  • Schwalbe Marathons Tires (added after the Continentals Town & Country's started to flat out on me
  • Electra Amsterdam series porteur rack (mounted right on, no tweaking!)
  • Footsies
  • Custom SnapDeck42 (now MagicCarpet compatible! :) (More snapdeck pics here)
I bought this bike on clearance from REI in the fall of 2008. Before I went "X" I kind of thought the Safari was a novelty, but after talking with the Xtracycle people, this setup floated to the top of my list: rugged, 26" wheels, disc brakes, super granny gear, lighter aluminum frame. Bingo! And zero regrets. The good folks at Solano Cyclery setup the FreeRadical for me and I built the new snapdeck for the kids after discovering they both wanted to ride with me.

I uploaded a bunch of pics of the seat project while I was building it. Basically I copied the curve shape of the original snapdeck for all the components of the seat (base, upright supports, and seat backs). Then curved the backs a bit, glued/screwed the bits together, and added some vinyl tape pin-striping and varnish to the whole shebang. I had a local shop in Berkeley (Nareens) sew up a couple of seatbelts out of nylon web straps and add some buckles. They are solid. Also slip a MagicCarpet under the seatbacks for comfort. The kids LOVE riding around on this thing. We've explored the SF waterfront, done singletrack in Golden Gate park, and of course the weekly shopping trips.

I call this my "game changer" because it has added a whole new dimension to being car-free. I don't stop to think "Well, what do I have to do? Will I need a car?" I just go! Which is really helpful since I sold my car last year! :)


Photos courtesy Gunther.


  1. That is fantastic. What thickness is the ply that you used?

  2. The deck and seatbacks are the same thickness as the original snapdeck (5/16"). The uprights are 7/8" because I needed to drill into them and have them hold a screw, but I probably could have gone with 5/8" without a problem. You don't need thick wood because all the pieces are so small anyway that they're really strong.

  3. WOW!! I hope you consider this the ultimate compliment, but I have two young boys and I am about to purchase an Xtracycle. I'm sure you're completely busy with your obligations, but would you be open to making another seat assembly for sale to me? We live in San Francisco.

    Thank you!


  4. I really appreciate the detail here and all the photos.

    I am wondering--where did you attach the seatbelts? I can't quite see from the pictures.

    Thank you!




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