Looking for a Sport-Utility Bike
by Byron on May 10, 2007 at 10:05 PM
I’ve been out riding and talking to lots of people recently about Bettie and thought it’d help those looking for a sport-utility bike to collect links to our posts, videos, and resources, into one place.
(that’s Todd Fahrner and Bryan Rhoads having fun)
See the updated review on Bettie 2.0. and note that Bettie 1.0 has been retired.
Bike Hugger Bettie
Bettie is a Bike Hugger project to build a sport-utility bike with a Karate Monkey 29-incher frame, Stokemonkey, and an Xtracycle.
Bettie is based on Cleverchimp’s Super Monkey. We completed the project in late 2006, as a design study, and will iterate another version called Bettie 2.0 in Fall of 2007.
All posts about Bettie are tagged as such and you can find more by Googling. Besides all our posting, Treehugger, Make Magazine, and other blogs have posted about Bettie. We’ve also uploaded videos of our adventures with Bettie to Google.
A sport-utility bike (SUB) is a variety of load-carrying bicycle pioneered by Xtracycle who invented the FreeRadical, a hitchless bike trailer (it attaches directly to the frame instead of with hinges). Wikipedia thoroughly explains the Xtracycle in an entry, including their history, and even links to Bettie.
Longtail Bikes are another rev of SUBs that extend the frame, instead of a Free Radical, to hold luggage, cargo, a family, and even help farmers and merchants in Africa. Longtails are like a tandem with cargo in place of a stoker.
Stokemonkey is an electric motor assist kit for SUBs that adds amazing cargo capacity. Bettie is built with a Stokemoney so we can carry hundreds of pounds of cargo in hilly Seattle. For people that have seen Bettie, it’s the spinning red thing you’re all wondering about.
Surly’s Big Dummy
At Interbike 06, Surly announced the Big Dummy, the first production bike designed to carry passengers and loads without sacrificing speed and maneuverability. Bike Hugger broke that story and will build up Bettie 2.0, as soon as we can get our bike hugging hands on a Big Dummy.
Electric motors, blenders, music, and more are now available for SUBs and that’s just the beginning as more people choose a bike-centric lifestyle.
Where to buy?
You can buy directly from Xtracycle and their dealers and direct from Cleverchimp (maker of Stokemonkey). With Surly’s Big Dummy announcement, it was also announced that QBP would stock and ship Xtracycle’s products and accessories and that’s going to increase availability. Check with your local bike shop. One of the biggest dealers of SUBs is Aaron’s Bicycle Shop in West Seattle.
As of May 25th, 2007, Stokemonkey sales & marketing are on hold.
SUBs, Longtails, and Bettie are easy to find online. There are Flickr collections, Google Video, and lots of bike blogs. Also check the Roots Radical Yahoo Group.
SUB owners are very proud of their bikes and happy to talk about them at length. If you see Bettie, a Supermonkey, or eventually the Big Dummy, stop and say hello.
A Juice Peddlin’ Rig
by Byron on May 10, 2007 at 11:30 AM
On Flickr and from The Juice Peddler is a photo set featuring Tonya Kay; a raw-food-athlete, superhero, dominatrix dance performer, trained aerial stuntwoman, who can use her bike to blend you up one kick-ass smoothie. Check Rock The Bike for more on blender bikes, sport-utility bikes, and the spirit of the bike.
Chain, Chain, Chain
by Byron on May 10, 2007 at 4:26 AM
A chain broke on Bettie earlier this week while taking my daughter to school. Luckily my cat-like reflexes prevented a crash and we coasted back home. I got the chain fixed with a SRAM power link. That’s a simple invention that works amazingly well – no chain tool required.
Breaking the chain reminded me of the one other time I broke a chain. It was during the 1995 Mt. Spokane NORBA. I was nearly dying, suffering like a dog, flying down a fire road, into a hairpin, up a goat trail, shifted hard, and the chain snapped. The 4 dudes that were behind me quickly passed me and my day was done. In a panicked state, I fumbled with the chain tool for 10 minutes or so, put it on backwards once (wrong way through the pulleys), and then for what seemed like an hour later it was back on the bike.
I chased like a MOFO, with the hope that someone flatted ahead, or one of their Tioga Disc Drive wheels (scroll down to see it) exploded, and keep up a frantic pace until the woman’s field arrived. After the initial humiliation, it was very pleasant to ride briefly with Juli Furtado. She was the smoothest rider I’d ever seen. Like a machine, she rolled up with a few girls, chatted briefly (they probably thought I was near a heart attack or something), and just motored on by.
Later, at the finish, that disaster of a race was forgotten and I was determined to not take 15 minutes to fix a chain again. Sidenote: That was the race that Jerry Markee won the sport/expert field and got a seatpost as a prize. When the official handed him the post, he looked inside of the tube and said, “is there cash in there.” For years, that was the seat post joke.
I also remember a ride where we caveman’d a guys chain with a rock to get it back together. Then one time Randy Coleman’s chain broke during a ride, fell off the chain ring, through the pulleys, and flipped up into his Vento wheels, wrapped around a spoke, and he came to a near immediate stop.
What chain stories do you have? Or the worst ever mechanical?
Kozmo Messenger Bag
by Byron on May 09, 2007 at 10:11 AM
Marcus couldn’t be happier than scoring a Kozmo messenger bag off of eBay. I’ve seen these treasured bags in Seattle and San Fran. I don’t know more about their history, other than they were used by Kozmo messengers and last forever. I also periodically miss Kozmo and their tragic dotbomb. It sure was nice being able to call someone up to deliver fight club, a bag of chips, a pint of ice cream, and show up on a scooter wearing that cool bag.
by Byron on May 09, 2007 at 7:23 AM
There’s a joke in the cycling community that bike shops should include marriage counseling with a bike purchase or even offer up some advice with a cup of joe. Maybe set up a marriage counselor network for all them relationships gone bad when the bike becomes a priority as shown in this photo.
I’d think long and hard about putting my bike on the couch – choose wisely with your bike priorities. Unless of course, I was single and the boys were coming over with a case of beer to admire my new sport utility bike.
Another Sport Utility Bike
by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 3:30 PM
I was running errands on Bettie yesterday, dropped off more Clip-n-Seals, then to REI for an order, and rolling through the Stadium District, I passed another Sport Utility Bike.
It was a moment.
He waived, I waived all excitedly, blinged the bell, both smiled, and went about our day on our bikes.
For more Sport Utility Bikes, check this related flickr search and the Xtracycle gallery. The photo is from murrayneill’s photostream.
Basso Blood Bags on Ebay
by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 10:24 AM
Used Basso blood doping bags (empty and clean for re-use) have appeared on eBay. Check it before they get pulled or sell and the related el dope story from Cycling News
Photo of the Day: Erck
by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 6:38 AM
Erck in New Zealand …
Get Married, Quit Your Job, & Bicycle the World!
by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 6:02 AM
Erck.org is a a blog about how James and Sara Welle, “got married, quit our jobs, and bicycled around the world.” Sounds good to me! Well, we’re already married, but have cycled parts of the world and have lots more to ride.
Erck.org was outfitted by Elliott Bay Bicycles, one of our sponsors, and started their journey earlier this year. Inspired by the book, Miles from Nowhere they’re riding New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, China, Russia, Eastern Europe, and South America.
They’re somewhere in Cambodia now, are not divorced, and like our trip to Beijing, are seeing a totally different world.
Over 2,000 comments and counting
by Byron on May 07, 2007 at 6:29 AM
The deadline for the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan has been extended until 5 pm, May 18th, 2007. Get your comments in now; especially in light of the pressure the plan is under from Stone Way businesses.
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