im - 10/06/2006 09:26:00 PM
Friday, October 6th, 2006
The Big Dummy came back from Vegas late on Tuesday. It was photo'd as a complete bike, then stripped to be photo'd as a frameset for our catalog and website files. Photos and tech information should be available elsewhere on this site very soon. Please be patient. In the mean time, do a Google search for "Surly Big Dummy" and you'll come up with all sorts of images of the built bike accompanied by opinions and observations galore.
The Dummy came home with me tonight mated to the left side of my Xtracycle
via the Wideloader. The Stokemonkey
battery and my messenger bag served as ballast on the other side. It seemed appropriate that this new frame should be transported by its predecessor. I simply slid the front of the Wideloader through the rearmost tube of the Dummy and into the front crosstube of the FreeRad until the sprung retaining pin snapped into place. A toe strap cinched the front crosstube of the Dummy to the rear of the Wideloader and two bungies kept the V-Racks from ejecting themselves from the Dummy in transit. Yeah, it's confusing if you aren't familiar with Xtracycle components. But if you do understand, it's absolutely mind-blowing stuff. Be careful with this powerful information.
I'll build up the Big Dummy again over the weekend with parts that fit me and my riding style, so I can start using it in the next couple of days. The Dummy will be my primary mode of transport for the next 500+ km. Kenny and Swervy will ride it, too. Skip and Snacky will probably wait until they have sample frames in the husky size. It's time to find weak points and any handling shortcomings before the next round of samples is produced. When the new samples arrive, we'll collectively torture the framesets and make any final adjustments to the geometry, tube spec., and braze-ons before they go to production. That's how this game generally works. We push our frames to their limits in the real world before they are available to you. Testing machines simply cannot duplicate all of the stresses that a bicycle frame will have to endure in a typical or not-so-typical day of riding. As soon as a usable pre-production mount is available from Todd at Cleverchimp, I'll install my Stokemonkey on the Big Dummy. I've really grown to love this electric assist system. I removed the sidehack from my Xtracycle on Sunday night, and I have been rollin' on two wheels since. As you'd guess, the Xtracycle is quite a bit faster and more agile without the outrigger. The Stokemonkey moves it along at a good clip
typically 32k-36 kph on the flats with moderate pedaling. My broken ankle is healing well, and I can ride a bike without the motor assist, now. But it's really fun to utilize the Stokemonkey to go fast on a long, stable rig like the Xtracycle, so I have no reason to remove it at this point. My son Noah digs the speed, too. He's the boss, and he says it has to stay. Who am I to argue with a three-year-old?