Xtracycle Clone from Junk Parts
City Bikes, Cargo Bikes, Utility Bikes; all the rage in these hard times. Sometimes just putting a milk crate on your rack isn’t enough. But who wants to shell out the bucks for an Xtracycle just to make those grocery store runs? No need, just grab a couple of cheap bikes and a hack saw and you can come up with what we have created. This entire project was built from low-end junk accumulated at the Bike Oven from donations.
The “Receiver” bike must be complete and working; a mountain bike makes a good candidate. The “Donor” bike need only be a frame, preferrably a smaller size than the Receiver bike. Hack saw the Donor as shown, leaving only the rear triangle and the top tube, which may have to be hacked if it does not line up properly with the Receiver, see photos. No welding is necessary, all you need is a hacksaw, a hammer to flatten the ends of the tubes to be bolted up, a drill, and a few standard wrenches. The one or two frame bolts required are available as standard hardware items.
The bottom bracket of the Donor bike bolts right up to the Receiver’s rear drop-outs, using the original cups, and a standard solid rear axle along with its nuts and spacers. The Donor’s top tube connects to the Receiver’s seat post binder bolt as shown. If it does not line up perfectly, saw the Donor top tube and bolt up in a similar manner.
Connect two drive chains together and fabricate a chain idler (from rear derailleur parts) to support the top run if it drags anywhere on the frame. The rear wheel, rear brake, and rear derailleur from the Receiver move back to the Donor frame.
Just hang whatever bags or baskets are handy to the top tube of the Donor frame and you are in business. The long wheelbase and low central load position of the complete bike make hauling heavy loads much more stable than a regular bike with a high rack-mounted load. As the project progressed, I found some aluminum wheels in the junk pile and mixed and matched the axles and bearings to come up with a suitable set as seen in the final photo’s. New cabling was done for safety and the increased length requirement. I left the various different colors on the assembled bike so it would not look like something a thief might want. But if its stolen, you just get two more junk bikes and make another.