The evolution of methods for carrying cargo on bicycles has been quite active in recent years. With a greater interest and need for carrying stuff on our bikes for touring, commuting or errands, there has been a revolution in new products that help accomplish this.
The latest emerging design in cargo carrying bicycle is the Long Haul Bike. This bike design has its roots directly in the Xtracycle movement and in fact most of the long hual bikes that have been built were designed to utilize the Xtracycle’s modular rack system.
Xtracycle denotes themselves as the makers of “the hitchless bike trailer”. Rather than defining what the Xtracycle is, this explanation has more to do with Xtracycle’s competition with BOB Trailers, Burley Trailers and others for the emerging bike cargo carrying market which is mostly made up of bike trailers. The Xtracycle could be more specifically defined as a long haul bike conversion kit. Essentially a bike with an Xtracycle installed could be considered a long haul bike. The Xtracycle is a very convenient kit that converts a standard bike over as opposed to manufacturing the complete long haul bike frame.
Whether or not the Xtracycle is defined in reference to the emerging long haul bike, it has proved itself has a viable product. Long Hual Bikes are just now emerging in a production format with the debut of Surly’s Big Dummy at Interbike 2006. The market potential is yet to be proven for this exotic new frame type but Surly’s confidence in the path that Xtracycle carved must have convinced them to make the leap to a production model.
Custom built long hual bikes have been popping on the internet over the past few years. The most notable of these bikes is the Xtravois, the frame built by the designer of the electric assist devise for Xtracycles, the Stoke Monkey. Here are some custom long haul bikes as well.
The Surly Big Dummy is a great looking bike with its dark grey finish and clean design. Watch for it rolling into a local bike shop this spring.