Getting some Kickback!

11 03 2010

Xtracycle Kickback

My Surly Big Dummy hasn’t seen any upgrades for a long time. One thing I’ve wanted was a centre stand.  The one I want is Val’s uber sweet Rolling Jackass Stand, but at $350USD I just never seem to get it high enough on the priority list to pull the trigger. Xtracycle makes this Kickback stand shown above and at $140USD I’d be willing to buy one one if I didn’t consider the design seriously flawed.

What’s wrong with the Kickback?

  • you can’t use the Kickback with Footsies to support a passenger’s feet.
  • every time you want to install or remove the Wideloader side racks you have to remove and reinstall the Kickback.

As an apartment dweller I have to remove all my Xtracycle attachments every time I go in and out of the building.  Even if you have a garage do you really want to ride a 4’+ wide bike when you have no cargo load on board? So the Wideloaders really need to come off regularly.  The Footsies are a great way for passengers to feel more secure when riding on the back of your Big Dummy.  I use them a lot.  So you have to ask yourself why would Xtracycle build a product that makes one of their useful accessories impossible to use and another useful accessory a pain to install/remove?  I still haven’t figured that out!  Especially considering that Val’s design is totally compatible with the whole Xtracycle accessory line up.  Go figure!

So my Big Dummy has been rolling centre stand free for two years.  Its poor side mounted kickstand has taken a beating and it has fallen over a few times when loading/unloading. I was hoping Xtracycle would redesign their stand to mount like Val’s and allow for full compatibility with their other accessories.  However, it seems that hope was in vain.

Recently Dylan decided his Kickback stand was not particularly useful to him and was generous enough to let me have it for less than half price – thanks!

Why spend any money on a product I’m so down on?

  • I want to confirm that my assessment of the Kickback is accurate.
  • I want to confirm how useful a centre stand is so I can justify buying one of Val’s.
  • I’m hoping that 2010 will be the year of the garage for me.  If I don’t have to install/remove the Wideloaders twice per ride I think my ability to use the Kickback will be greatly improved.
  • Someone will take it off my hands for what I paid for it so it’s a risk free transaction.

Photo: Nathan Thompson

The photo above shows Val’s Rolling Jackass stand installed on Nathan Thompson’s Big Dummy. Notice the cunning design doesn’t mess with the attachment points for the Footsies or Wideloaders. Great job Val!


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16 responses

11 03 2010
jnyyz

Hi Vik:

I bet you’ll change your tune once you find out how useful the kickback is. If you really want the footies to work with the kickback, just a little longer tubing would do it. You might even be able to get away with just relocating the mounting holes for the wood parts on the existing tubing.

One tip: make sure that there is grease on the part of the feet that go into the steel kickback frame. Mine corroded in place after one season, and I can’t adjust the height anymore.

http://jnyyz.wordpress.com/

11 03 2010
reuben

i get major chain rub on the kickback while riding due to the higher chain path with the rohloff hub (using the rohloff tensioner).

for the time being, i attached a piece of plastic to the kickback to reduce noise and any damage to the paint-job. in the long run, i may get one of the terracycle chain idlers to reroute the chain — but a $100+ fix for the annoyance has kept me from taking the plunge so far.

11 03 2010
Bob

The Kickback is a purtier design, for sure. I don’t see why Xtra doesn’t redesign it for use with Footsies (or provide redesigned Footsies for use with the Kickback) — seems like a straightforward mod. Just use longer insertion posts that Footsies can be mounted over. Someone with a Kickback should give it a try and post some pics!

11 03 2010
thelazyrando

Thanks for the comments guys…I have no doubt a centre stand would be useful…I’m just not impressed that the folks that made the Footsies and Wideloaders which both work pretty well…then made another useful accessory that compromises the use of the first two. Generally that’s why you buy from the same manufacturer so they have designed stuff to work together.

Seems kinda strange that Val was able to come up with a simple solid way to mount his centre stand that doesn’t interfere with any Xtracycle accessories nor the Rohloff chainline.

I also know there is a way to make things work, but if it is a pain, complicates day to day use of the product and you have to go to the trouble of DIY mods to your Xtracycle parts that seems like a poor design solution.

11 03 2010
thelazyrando

Reuben – I hear you about the Rohloff…if I have the same issues and I assume I will given the similarity in our BD’s I’m not going to invest in the TC idlers…I’d rather pony up the $$$ to Val and get one of his stands so I can go back to using my Big Dummy without any hassles.

11 03 2010
thelazyrando

Bob – I agree they should just redesign the Kickback.

You can’t just use longer tubing on the Footsies – even if you did the real problem with the design of the Kickback is that it uses the same front holes you need for the Footsies and Wideloaders. So even if you DIY the Footsies so they work every time you want to switch between Footsies and Wideloaders you basically have to remove and reinstall the Kickback as well! Kinda sucks that you can’t use your centre stand at a time when keeping the bike standing upright would be ideal!!!

People have suggested to me that I should just leave the Wideloaders in all the time, but riding a bike that’s 4’+ wide all the time just so I can pick up a box now and again is pretty crazy and doesn’t make you real popular on narrow roads or bike paths…;-)

11 03 2010
Bryan

I love love love my Kickback. It is hands down the best upgrade I’ve made on my Xtracycle. I don’t have footsies and rarely use my wideloaders but I can understand your concerns. The way the Kickback sticks out though you can rest your feet on it. Not as wide/nice as footsies but doable.

I am however a bit bummed that my new Big Dummy will require a new Kickback. I thought I just needed a different plate thingy for it but it sounds like that may not be the case. I also wasn’t aware of a possible Rohloff issue. Will have to look into that as I just can’t stomach $350 for that other one.

11 03 2010
thelazyrando

Bryan – are you planning on keep your Xtracycle rigs or taking them apart to equip the BDs? It would be nice to just move Kickbacks across to the BDs if you aren’t keeping the Xtra’s, but it looks like you need the 2010 Kickback…You might be able to DIY and convert them….it’s just the part that the BD frame sits on that’s different…there were adapters floating around a while back…not sure if you can score one or not…I’d call Xtracycle HQ and see what they say.

11 03 2010
Dylster

Vik:

Per Reuben’s issue with chain rub, you’ll notice on the Kickstand I’m sending you that there’s a fat little chunk of heavy duty rubber zip-tied to the ‘stand for that very issue.

Dylan

11 03 2010
thelazyrando

Sweet Dylan…I figured you’d have it covered!

12 03 2010
Bryan

Current plan is to move the Xtracycle addons over and try to sell the FreeRadical and bike separately. I’m not sure easy that will be though. Might be better to try to sell it as an Xtracycle.

12 03 2010
thelazyrando

Bryan – you might find someone who has a damaged Freeradical and just needs the sub-frame, but I don’t suppose the odds aren’t super high, but worth a post online.

Selling the Xtracycle kit as a unit would be a lot easier, but you’d have to compare how much you’d get for the used unit vs. the cost of buying another Long Tail Kit for your BD @ $250.

I guess it depends if you want to get the BD rolling for the least $$$ or if you’d like to have new 2010 Freeloaders for the new rig.

You may also have some luck selling the Xtracycle + bike all assembled to someone who wants a turn key cargo bike at a decent price.

13 03 2010
Val

For another comparison of the two stands, look here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=5501351&postcount=31 For ongoing commentary on the Rolling Jackass, check these people out: http://civilizedconveyance.blogspot.com/ The are well worth checking out in any case, as they are excellently righteous folk.

8 04 2010
Tim K

Selling the FreeRad alone is an option, but you won’t get a ton — some friends just bought one on CL.

The ala carte market is fairly limited – there aren’t a lot of people sitting around with broken freeradicals. Xtracycle is so good about warrantying the units that you’d really have to eff one up to be stuck w/ replacing it out of pocket.

2 11 2010
Sean Ralph (Megan's Dad)

I have a Kickback, Wideloaders and Footsies for my BD. I rarely use the Wideloaders at all and now run folding footpegs that clamp onto the front vrack uprights for my passenger. I found that my little ones couldn’t reach the footsies anyway, especially when I have cargo in the freeloaders.

Personally, my only issue is the silly return spring thing on the kickback. I have broken it once and I find the stand rattles around a fair bit when going over bumps.

In terms of the little feet – I torqued them in tight and them shoed them over with the little rubber feet you use for canes and walkers. They were about $5 for a pair at the drug store. They work a treat.

That said, Val’s stand is uber sweet…

24 08 2012
Brynnen

How have people fixed the return spring/elastic on the kickback when it breaks? Mine just broke for the second time (first repair was just with adding a rubberband). Ideas or tips to cool videos of the fix? Thanks in advance…

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