Checking out the new Xtracycle EdgeRunner

This isn’t a review–I love all cargo bikes equally and have trouble getting a feel for the nuances of a bike during a short test ride; this is a “yay new bikes to admire and ride!” story with a couple items of interest at the end.

We saw the new bikes last Saturday while in Portland for the DRT, but I was too busy saving the world to do any test riding. The bikes were in Seattle on Sunday at the soon-to-be G & O Family Cyclery while we were headed back to town, but I was able to check them out on Monday at Ride Bicycles, my bike’s birthplace.

The head badge is very pretty:

Xtracycle EdgeRunner head badge

The kids and I were most taken with the Hooptie and didn’t pay close attention to anything else about the bikes. Other than trying (and failing) to sit in the Wheelha.us family’s Hooptie, I have no experience with one. My six-year old was very excited about sitting backwards when we rode the white ER. That pretty panel on the X2 bags is removable and customizable.

New EdgeRunner with Hooptie

Then they both sat backwards when we took out the blue bike. This one is the original ER with its deck lower than normal. And it’s the same bike Hum of the City reviewed. And now it has a Yuba Bread Basket–I totally want a frame-mounted basket on one of my bikes some day! This was the first time I biked with one, though, and I fully expected to crash as I hear one can become mesmerized watching the basket. Fortunately, I stayed upright. A frame-mounted basket can carry lots of weight with no change in steering, though the load can’t be higher than the handlebars without getting in the way. Currently, my steering gets a little wonky if I put lots of heavy stuff in my front basket.

Older EdgeRunner with Hooptie and Bread Basket

Here’s a panda shot photo comparison of the different deck heights:
Left: My bike with 26-inch rear wheel
Center: New EdgeRunner with deck over 20-inch wheel, but three-inch gap for battery for three inch difference
Right: Old/custom EdgeRunner with deck super low over 20-inch wheel for six-inch difference

Panda shots: Big Dummy, new ER, old ER

But the true purpose of this post is two-fold. First of all, Xtracycle is planning another tour of the new EdgeRunners later this year. I’m sure they’d love to be contacted with suggestions of local bike shops in your area to host them :) And second, after talking to Robert I realize Mr. Family Ride may not be the only person with an aversion to 20-inch wheels and there’s help for that–so I must share!

Here’s Robert from Xtracycle who toured with the bikes. He’s super cool.

Robert from Xtracycle

He had a Surly Big Dummy before he started working for Xtracycle, but it was stolen. They suggested he use the company EdgeRunner and despite his little-wheel misgivings, he obliged and loved it…after a short two-week adjustment. Apparently “Unless you want to ride over logs in the wilderness” it’s fab. He suggested Mr. Family Ride email him (I have Robert’s email if you are in a similar situation and would like professional help) about it so I’m working on that happening. When I brought it up, though, Mr. Family Ride became appalled that my bike has 26-inch wheels rather than 700cc so that’s step one.

Kona cargo bikes have 700cc wheels and I know many people have trouble managing the weight of two kids on the back of a Kona Ute due to its deck being just a little bit higher than my FlightDeck over its 26-inch wheel. But these are all just random numbers to me so I took a picture of my bike next to Jennifer’s Kona Ute at farmers market yesterday. Yup, noticeable difference.

Kona Ute 700cc wheel next to Big Dummy 26in wheel

Here’s a sweet little video Xtracycle put out about the EdgeRunner today: Ross Evans Talks About EdgeRunner

And one last picture, Christiaan of Ride Bicycles test riding my bike. Not nearly as funny as when he took a spin on my toddler’s 12-inch bike, but still worth sharing:

Christiaan on my Big Dummy

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4 thoughts on “Checking out the new Xtracycle EdgeRunner

  1. That bike was a lot of fun to ride. I guess a review besides the one from Hum of the City won’t happen until someone gets their hands on it. I didn’t know the flap on the X2 is customization. The things I would put on the side of my bike.

  2. Great post. Bummed that I missed the Seattle demos, but I contacted Robert and put Tacoma on the map for future Xtracycle tour stops. There’s a post on Xtracycle’s blog about how to chop down the rear racks. I think I’m going to do it!

    • I’m so glad Xtracycle will make it to Tacoma next round! Heed the advice to leave a couple inches–Robert said something about super-super-low being a little squirrelly if you hack all the extra inches away. I think the site is pretty specific about what you should do. Can’t wait to read the TBR post about it :)

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