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Thread: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

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    Default Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    My never-ending quest for a favorite errand bicycle continues. Iíve ridden long-tails, built a sorta ďmid-tailĒ thing, owned a couple front-loading cargo bikes, and ridden regular bikes with all kinds of racks. Pros and cons and all of that. One type of bicycle that I havenít ridden, however, is the Cycle Truck-style. As such, Iím going to build myself one.

    After reading what I can about their design, Iíve come up with the following (pertinent dimensions displayed):



    Iím fairly well versed on front-end geometry (or, at least I understand how each dimension is figured and how they relate to one another). With this design, I attempted to balance the bikeís head angle and fork rake with the resulting trail/flop values and center-of-gravity for the load.

    My eyes tell me that this looks like a bicycle thatíll handleÖ bicycle-like. That usually translates, Iím finding! If anyone with experience, however, has observations about front-loaders like this, Iíd love to read them. If not, no worries. I shall report back down the road regardless, when/if this machine doesnít kill me.

    Happy Monday.

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    I'm alive! Phew!

    Finally got this one built up enough for a test ride. Don't mind the unfinished fillets and parts-bin-let's-just-see-how-this-thing-rolls-around build.














    I realize there wasn't any interest in this thread, but I promised to report back. So here you go. I built this exactly as designed, above. (Less--of course--the Steps mid drive. I decided to build up a "regular" version first, so that I could tweak geometry if needed. The "e" version is next...)

    In short: I'm in love!

    At speed with a load, the bike is really stable. Hands free, arms out, saddle between the knees, grinning fun. Unloaded, however, the steering is a touch light for my taste. I may shorten up the rake or steepen the head angle just a bit on V2. I could live with it as is, but I think I can improve the unloaded handling some. Other than that, this monster handles really well. I'm especially surprised at how well it handles ultra-low-speed maneuvering. I'm not able to track stand on my regular porteur-style commuter (with a front load jostling about), but this bike is a different thing. Sweet!

    Anyway, there you go. Cycle-truck. We'll see how it holds up while I build the e-version.

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    EDIT: I meant *slacken* up the head angle just a bit... Can't find the Edit button.

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    That is really cool. I'd love to have something like that for hauling stuff around.

    How much weight do you think you could put in that front basket before it became 'too much'?

    Jeremy Maclennan
     

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy View Post
    It's beautiful. Great work. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the followup.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by darkmother View Post
    How much weight do you think you could put in that front basket before it became 'too much'?
    I threw the pictured basket on there just so I could test the frame with a decent load. Call it 25 pounds. My plan, though, is to build a detachable platform that would mount directly to the two cantilevered tubes. I may mount an even larger Wald basket on top of that--for groceries and such. Really though, I wanted a bike like this more to carry bulk than weight. Large boxes to UPS, etc. That said, if my jump-up-and-down-on-it-to-see-how-strong-it-turned-out-test says anything, I imagine those tubes would (will?) hold more weight than I'd ever want to pedal around. They're stout. I likely won't test their limits anytime soon!

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    That looks great - what did you use as seat-tube?
    Joe Rowing
    Blacklab Bikes

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklabbikes View Post
    That looks great - what did you use as seat-tube?
    It's straight gauge .035 (31.8), shimmed to fit a 27.2 post. I thought about sleeving around both junction points for good measure, but on this version decided not to. I think for v2--the one I'll keep and ride indefinitely--I will do that. Any reason you ask? Always curious...

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Nice work! They're infinitely useful. I traded a DiAcro No. 2 to Joseph Ahearne for one of his and now it's my wife's main bike. I've loaded the basket up with 50lb and it rides great. I used to throw pillows and a blanket in the basket and stick my kid in there to take her to pre-school. It was honestly my favorite way to haul kids because you get to talk with them so easily. These days, my wife just throws her bags in it and commutes to work. The only downside is that it's a pain to store in a small house/shed/garage due to its size.
    Sean Chaney
    www.vertigocycles.com
    a peek behind the curtain

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by VertigoCycles View Post
    Nice work! They're infinitely useful. I traded a DiAcro No. 2 to Joseph Ahearne for one of his and now it's my wife's main bike. I've loaded the basket up with 50lb and it rides great. I used to throw pillows and a blanket in the basket and stick my kid in there to take her to pre-school. It was honestly my favorite way to haul kids because you get to talk with them so easily. These days, my wife just throws her bags in it and commutes to work. The only downside is that it's a pain to store in a small house/shed/garage due to its size.
    Cool! I ripped off Joseph's design(s) as best I could without going over there to bug him in person - ha. And yah, my 3-year-old daughter already asked me, "Where do I sit?"... Thanks for the compliments.

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    That’s a nice looking cycle truck! 20” front end geometry seems more like a mystery compared to full size wheels. I made a couple dozen 20”wheel bikes over the years for myself (a hobbyist) and have gravitated towards less fork offset/lots of trail. I think the last one worked out to about 70mm trail, 15mm offset, about 71 degree head. Good slow speed hands-off, good at speed, and with some weight up front. It doesn’t seem to have any of the nervous or wandering handling characteristics typical of some small wheelers. I suppose the best way to find out what you like is to make a fork with a number of slots for the front wheel and try em out��

    Drew Devereux
     

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cargonaut View Post
    That’s a nice looking cycle truck! 20” front end geometry seems more like a mystery compared to full size wheels. I made a couple dozen 20”wheel bikes over the years for myself (a hobbyist) and have gravitated towards less fork offset/lots of trail. I think the last one worked out to about 70mm trail, 15mm offset, about 71 degree head. Good slow speed hands-off, good at speed, and with some weight up front. It doesn’t seem to have any of the nervous or wandering handling characteristics typical of some small wheelers. I suppose the best way to find out what you like is to make a fork with a number of slots for the front wheel and try em out��

    Drew Devereux
    Thanks for the feedback, Drew. The more I ride this one, the more I'm leaning toward increasing the trail as well. There's something about the load being attached to the frame (and the front wheel being small and naturally skittish, obviously), that is telling me to reduce the rake quite a bit. Time to start on v2, for sure. I appreciate the thoughts!

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cblandford View Post
    It's straight gauge .035 (31.8), shimmed to fit a 27.2 post. I thought about sleeving around both junction points for good measure, but on this version decided not to. I think for v2--the one I'll keep and ride indefinitely--I will do that. Any reason you ask? Always curious...

    -Chris
    Just idly planning something simmilar
    Joe Rowing
    Blacklab Bikes

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Nice build! What wall thickness did you use for the long steerer?

    thanks, Brian
     

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by claritycycler View Post
    Nice build! What wall thickness did you use for the long steerer?

    thanks, Brian
    Thanks. For this one, I used the entirety of the beefiest steerer from Nova. Take that for what it's worth (which is nothing, because I don't know anything). For the next one, however, it was suggested to me that--if I needed a longer steerer--I could use .095" straight gauge. So I may do that for v2... that one is going to an e-cycletruck anyway--not worried about weight at all.

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cblandford View Post
    .....For the next one, however, it was suggested to me that--if I needed a longer steerer--I could use .095" straight gauge......

    -Chris
    I'm extremely tall, long steerers(as long as the Nova) are the norm for me. Hobby builder, I've been using 1.125, .083 wall with no issues, I weigh 240+- so probably would work for your application, might save close to .5 lb by going with the .083.

    Btw, your finished bike in Friday picfest #549 is very elegant/beautiful. The v-2 of your cycle truck(in the same post) has really taken on a great new direction, like it alot and looking forward to the end result.

    regards, Brian
     

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Hi,
    I built a very similar bike a few years ago, I still use all the time (with a rear Bafang motor hub). For the geometry I used 70 degrees HTA, and a 36mm rake for a 315mm long fork. It handles very well, even on fast downhills. I just find it bit more nervous when it's heavily loaded. The main issue I found so far is that the load on the front rack has a tendency to bounce a lot (it can really be a problem when carrying fresh fruits, etc...).
    32550796384_bf86bbf74f_k.jpg

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    Default Re: Cycle Truck-style design. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by claritycycler View Post
    Btw, your finished bike in Friday picfest #549 is very elegant/beautiful. The v-2 of your cycle truck(in the same post) has really taken on a great new direction, like it alot and looking forward to the end result.
    Thanks! More photos here, if you're interested: Personal Tourer | The Bland Bicycle. The next cycletruck is almost done. Just a few (like 30) fillets to file. I'll post a photo here when I'm done.


    Quote Originally Posted by edelbikes View Post
    Hi,
    I built a very similar bike a few years ago, I still use all the time (with a rear Bafang motor hub). For the geometry I used 70 degrees HTA, and a 36mm rake for a 315mm long fork. It handles very well, even on fast downhills. I just find it bit more nervous when it's heavily loaded. The main issue I found so far is that the load on the front rack has a tendency to bounce a lot (it can really be a problem when carrying fresh fruits, etc...).
    32550796384_bf86bbf74f_k.jpg
    Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Makes sense about the heavy, bouncing load. I'll be curious to see how my electric-assist version with an integrated basket handles weight. Fingers crossed.




    -Chris

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