Looking for a Sport-Utility Bike

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.

bettie_swingbridge.jpg

(that’s Todd Fahrner and Bryan Rhoads having fun)

Update

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.

Sport-Utility Bikes

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

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

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.

An Aftermarket

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.

A community

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.

Say Hello

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.