Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Letter to Xtracycle

Come up with another scheme to try and get Xtracycles into Adelaide. Already have about 6 "sold" without even trying! The good people from Xtracycle have yet to get back to me!! This is what I sent them...

"Hello Xtracycle and Greetings from Adelaide, South Australia!

I recently purchased a Xtracycle Free Radical from a dealer in Sydney and finally got it built on the weekend. To the best of my knowledge of the local cycling scene, this is the first Xtracycle to live in his city. Have already ridden about 50 km on it, picking up my daughter, shopping and moving bicycle parts. I bought the Xtracycle to replace an original Adelaide long bike, an extended wheel base bike that I have been getting around on for about a year, but which is a bit heavy and cumbersome.

I have quite an interest in developing cycling, sustainable transport and options that allow people to live car free or car light. I would like to develop a local market for Xtracycles and believe that there is a good deal of interest particularly through the local Bicycle User Groups and Permaculture people that I am involved with.

I have an idea to develop a direct distribution scheme, where a coalition makes a bulk purchase of Xtracycles and accessories and hold a install-a-thon weekend. I could effectively run this scheme through the Bicycle Institute of SA or my own consultancy business. However, I would like to keep the scheme essentially not for profit, mainly designed to develop cycling culture and cargo bike usage.

My question is whether Xtracycle the company would be interested in distributing directly to such a purchasing coalition? If so what sort of quantities would need to be ordered (10, 20, 50 units??), and also of course, what sort of dollars taking into account shipping etc would be anticipated for bulk orders.

At this stage I am developing the ideas and local interest to give such a scheme life, would intend to use my machine as a demo bike and promotional vehicle to 'sell' the idea and get commitment to the coalition.

Let me know what your thoughts are at this early stage as I would be interested if this is something you have done previously, or would hold appeal to develop further markets for your products based on the culture of developing community and local exchange and community capacity building.

Best Regards,

Jeremy Miller"

Xtracycle Finally Built

Big thanks to Peter Good, my long term cycling friend and expect mechanic who helped me with some of the mechanicals and getting the bike built up. Also, Kevin Clark from Clarks Cycle on Magill Road for help in selecting the right parts and doing everything at a really nice price!

I have been riding the bike for two weeks now and it is really amazing. There were a few teething issues, mainly the wheels from my old bike were really too worn out to be used, so I recycled a front rim off one of my hard rubbish bikes that just needed to be trued up and went a brand new Alex wheel for the rear from Kevin who also helped set uo the brakes. I have added a set of Zafel mudguards since the photos were taken which have already proved invaluable. The only other real teething issue is that the FAP bolt keeps working loose (not dramatically, but needs to be tightened every few days, which is not right). Will fix this shortly.

Have taken my daughter to school twice this week, and she loves it! And yes, the Footsies for her feet make a big difference. I'll post new photos soon with the bike as it is now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

It is here! Finally it's here!

My Xtracycle arrived yesterday! So excited! Still waiting on the Footsies but they should be here in the next couple of days.

All I have to do is build it. The donor bike needs new cluster, chain, brakes and levers, headset and wheel bearings as a minimum re-build. Eventually I plan to build a new wheelset for it using Velocity Cliffhanger rims as recommended by Lynn in Sydney.

I was so excited I took pictures

The frame..

Complete kit