Xtracycle Loves Local Dealers and Bike Shop Hub

Commute by Bike has had a long fascination with Xtracycle cargo bikes — those longtail wonders that make an ordinary bike into a “sports utility bike.”

Way back in 2009, Arleigh (a.k.a. Bike Shop Girl) documented her build up of this utilitarian beauty:

Xtracycle Build
Grocery bags on the handlebar? Really, Arleigh?


Xtracycle FreeRadical Cargo Bike Kit
FreeRadical Cargo Bike Kit

The FreeRadical Cargo Bike Kit contains the parts you need to stretch a little more distance between your front and rear wheels. It turns your favorite bike into the only vehicle you need (most of the time).

These kits have been available direct to consumers for 15 years from the Xtracycle Web site, as well as through a network of dealers across the US — local bike shops.

Xtracycle’s strength is in innovating in the cargo bike world and creating new products, but running an online store, in the words of Ross Evans, founder of Xtracycle, “is not our best skill.”

Xtracycle Dealers in the USA
Xtracycle Dealers in the USA | Screen Shot: Xtracycle.com

So Ross went on BikeRetailerMatch.com and searched for the perfect e-commerce partner. There he found Bike Shop Hub. Wine was decanted. Candles flickered. Sparks flew. Karaoke was committed.

Not really. Xtracycle was already working with Bike Shop Hub (publisher of Commute by Bike) as the only other place consumers could buy Xtracyle kits and accessories online.

Now Xtracycle has decided to entrust their direct-to-consumer online sales — all of them — to Bike Shop Hub. Evans and Josh Lipton, founder of Bike Shop Hub, are both inventors and social entrepreneurs who believe that bikes can and should be used for transportation, and that by doing so you can inject fun into every trip.

Xtracycle with Dry Cleaning
The ultimate solution to getting your crisp work clothes to work by bike.

Some dealers may have preferred that Xtracycle kits not be available to buy online at all, invoking the false conflict between local bike shops and online retail. But not all online retailers are soulless bloodsucking behemoths or bottom-feeders with no expertise beyond taking your credit card number.

“It is critical to us that our community can get the support they need in places where we don’t have dealers,” said Evans. “I believe Bike Shop Hub will provide knowledgeable, high-touch service world-wide. And I love that they are based in my home town, Tucson AZ.”

Evans explains, “We chose to work exclusively with Bike Shop Hub because they take the time to get to know the product and are active in the bike community. They don’t just sell bikes, they ride bikes, and I believe their vision for a bike-filled future closely matches ours.”

Xtracycle LongLoader Rack
Xtracycle LongLoader Rack — if your bike is your work vehicle.

Lipton has invented several bike trailers, but he’s no purist. “Xtracycles and bike trailers alike are the most cost effective tools for carrying large items by bicycle,” he said. “Anyone utilizing bicycles for daily transportation can easily expand their capability to get more done.”

The partnership has inspired some new features on the Bike Shop Hub shops too. Extracycle kits have some preconfigured packages that you can now configure with one click — then tweak if you like.

FreeRadical Preconfigured Kits
Xtracycle FreeRadical Preconfigured Kits

Bike Shop Hub is also carrying some of the weird and rare spare parts that a small bike shop might not have the luxury to stock.

Here are some of the accessories that consumers can now purchase directly from Bike Shop Hub:

Xtracycle SideCar
Xtracycle SideCarA sidecar for cargo. Mounts to your Xtracycle Cargo Kit. Carries up to 250 lbs. When not in use, pivot sidecar up and out of the way.

Xtracycle WideLoader Rack
Xtracycle WideLoader RackA wide platform for carrying big boxes and bulky objects which might be difficult to load, or too wide.

Xtracycle X2 FreeLoader Saddlebags
Xtracycle X2 FreeLoader SaddlebagsCarry all kinds of cargo — a backpack or even a bundle of lumber.

Xtracycle Bike Blender
Xtracycle Bike BlenderMakes an Xtracycle kit into a bike-powered blender. With the savings on energy costs the blender pays for itself in only 11,000 smoothies.

Bonus: I wrote many of the product descriptions for these products. You might find typos. But there’s also a vaguely political Easter egg hidden in one of the product descriptions. See if you can find it.

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4 thoughts on “Xtracycle Loves Local Dealers and Bike Shop Hub”

  1. BluesCat says:

    Whoa! I’ve always thought my Hardrock would be an ideal candidate for Xtracycling. Now I have an extra reason to think about it: make a quick run to the grocery store on a warm day, and have your Piña Colada ready by the time you get back home!

    I’m gonna haveta recuse myself from the Easter Egg contest, Ted: I see political commentary, undertones and double entendres in absolutely EVERYTHING you write!

  2. Joel says:

    When my current 1998 Chinese made steel Magna Double Divide grows up, I want to make it an Extracycle.

    I will admit that the existing rear axle will probably not handle the extra load. The rear wheel in general will need to be very heavy duty. I have already converted the single-piece crankset to a three piece Shimano with a sealed bottom bearing. I think this was one of the weakest parts of the bicycle. I will need to find a 26×2.15 tire, rim, and bearing that will handle about three hundred pounds on a consistent basis.

    Twenty-two months later, twenty-two pounds less later, I still like to ride my bike. For fun or for work, it does not make a difference.

    I think the Xtracycle will become the bicycle pick-up of the future with each bicycle having a unique personality which reflects the rider.

  3. Xtracycle says:

    We are really excited to work with Bike Shop Hub to make Joel and BluesCats cargo bike dreams come true. You got to ride it to believe…

  4. Joel says:

    There have been many small cottage industry bike recyclers in America which are taking worn steel bicycle frames and bringing them back to life.

    I mention my Magna Divide because it was originally a box store super cheap bicycle which has a wonderful overbuilt(heavy) steel frame capable of extreme loads. It had a double ring front crankset tied to a six speed freewheel. The main weaknesses of this design were the single piece crank,caged wheel bearings and weak axles. The axles will stretch and bend which eventually flairs the caged bearings. Replacing the caged bearings with loose bearings and a better quality axle creates a bicycle that can handle so much more weight and stress.

    The bike has systematically been upgraded over two years. The beauty of the upgrades is that the front 3-piece crankset can be changed to a 22-32-42 which becomes the transmission to move a lot of weight with ease. Yes, it sounds like a stretch but look at combining that triple crank with a 14-34 tooth freewheel on a twenty-six inch wheel. 22 (front) divided by 34(rear) equals .647. This result times twenty six(wheel diameter) is a 16 final ratio.

    Yes, I am getting a little geeky. The engineer is surfacing and calculations do not lie.

    The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

    Take your tools and ladder with you to work for the cost of a bagel with cream cheese (500 calories will move a four hundred pound load about eight miles). The coffee is free!

    Did I forget to mention that I like to ride my bike?

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