Saturday, April 25, 2009
Here is Maynard's story as recounted to SOMA Cycles (in praise of their new Mixte, the Buena Vista). It sounds like many Xtracycle owners!
I've got newer pics of the redo of my Xtracycle - this time with a stronger modern mixte frame by SOMA Fabrications, SF.
Months ago, as an expecting father, I'd wanted the Xtracycle Free Radical (along with the Xtracycle Pea Pod childseat unit), in conjunction with a mixte frame to be our grocery running child hauler. The idea here was that with the childseat on the back, I wouldn't want to kick my leg over the rear of the bike and unwantingly to kick my child in the face, but instead to step through the frame while the bike was loaded.
I'd shopped around for several step through's and mixtes, discovering that most modern frames were bland or ugly (with the exception to a few, like the Gary Fisher Simple City), and that vintage ones were weak (my initial build was a Fuji S12S mixte) due to their lower grade steels and thinner tubing; causing too much flex when the Free Rad was loaded. Most of the stronger ones (Reynolds or Columbus quality) were harder to come by used. Other retro modern frames like the Rivendell mixte, Velo Orange or Ibisu were way out of my price range.
The BV (although a year later than expected) was just what I needed in terms of budget and quality of steel and rigidity. I had a (Reynolds) Double Cross that I could have used, but again, I wanted a frame that I could step through.
Now the bike sees weekly grocery duty, and as soon as my daughter can wear a helmet, I'll be shuttling her around town for doing daily activities and for hill rides.
Anyway, I hope this information is helpful. I think you created an awesome product and have tapped into (and revitalized) a niche where no other manufacturer has yet to enter.
See the original, #8 on Xtracycle Gallery.
See the whole set on Flickr, before after during.