Big Dummy is one of those cargo bikes that seem to be getting so much attention lately. Actually, the Big Dummy has been around for quite a while now. It’s built around the Longtail standard design platform, which means that Xtracycle or Surly accessories can be added depending on what you want to carry, or you can build your own to meet whatever hauling needs you have. However, being a dedicated single-piece frame instead of an add-on to an existing bike, it’s more stout and resistant to torsional flex, and this makes it ride better and last longer than longbike add-ons.
Like all our frames, it’s made of steel and sports lots of little touches that you’ve come to love in a Surly, like clearance for bigger tires and common component sizing. Figure on being able to carry about 200 pounds (90kg) of cargo. The load weight, and how it’s loaded, will affect the handling somewhat. Also, plan on using gears, especially as cargo weight increases. This may seem obvious, but as you get comfy with it you’ll use your full range of gears as never before.
The parts kit is good quality, and suitable to loaded as well as unloaded riding. It’s got a 3x10 drivetrain, Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, Shimano Deore hubs, derailleurs and shifters and 26 x 2.1˝ Continental Town & Country tires. We’ve outfitted it with our own Surly bags, deck and rails kit…everything you need for the majority of stuff you might carry, like groceries, shovels, bags of charcoal or mulch, guitars, lamps, mannequins, whatever. Bags, deck and rails are all designed to improve on previous offerings and work together to make sure your stuff is transported with safety and stability.
The beauty of the Longtail standard is that it is an open design, meaning you can find other stuff to fit the system. Xtracycle in particular makes a lot of great stuff to expand what you can haul and how you can haul it, and many people have manufactured their own plug-in pieces when their needs outstripped what was available. Get creative, and get hauling.