Xtracycle Freeloaders [2010] and Flight Deck…

2 11 2010

My baby's got bling...

My Surly Big Dummy is one of my favourite bikes.  It has not seen the kind of love it deserves from me.  I ride it and put it away – wet, dirty, unmaintained.  *sigh*  =-(  Well I decided to upgrade my Big Dummy a bit to show it that I care. Putting a kickstand a few days ago was step one.  Then I went all out replacing the ratty Xtracycle Freeloader bags with a new set of the 2010 version.  Not stopping there I also replaced the beat up Snap Deck with a 2010 Flight Deck.  I don’t think my Big Dummy knew what hit it.

Naked...

Here  is a rare naked shot of the rear of my Big Dummy.  I contemplated cleaning the filthy parts that were exposed for the first time in years, but the lazy side of me decided since I was just going to cover everything up again so why bother?!

Freeloaders buckle on...

The new Freeloaders buckle on.  This works just fine.  It makes them a bit easier to steal, but you’d have to know your way around an Xtracycle to know how to get them off.

I had to DIY the lower bag straps...

The lower bag straps [front and rear] are designed to work with the newer Big Dummy/Freeradical design that has some bolt on attachment points that mate with the plastic buckle shown above.  My Big Dummy was one of the first made and it doesn’t have this feature so I used some zipties to DIY the buckles to my frame.  This works fine and I don’t really see any need for quick or frequent removal of these bags – unless you are stealing them!

Big Dummy bagged...

The new Freeloaders are made of tougher waterproof material compared to the previous version.  The quality of construction is excellent and the design remains similar which means they are still very functional.  There is a large inner pocket in each bag that I use to store my tie down straps,Long LoaderFootsies, Wideloaders, etc..  My only complaint with these bags is they are not available in black or woodland camo to go with my MASH 4077 theme.  The grey colour I went with isn’t bad and you can also get them in blue and a burnt red colour.

Flight Deck upside down showing Super Hooks...

The 2010 Flight Deck is made of heavy duty plastic.  It comes with a set of Super Hooks.  Why are they super?  Well when tightened down they actually hold your deck to the bike without extra straps.  The old Snap Deck would pop off at the slightest bump unless you strapped it down.

New and old decks...

The Flight Deck bolts on easily and looks nice.  It has handles at both ends which is useful for a passenger if your bike [like mine] doesn’t sport stoker bars.  It has lots of holes pre-drilled so you can mount a kid’s seat securely or any other DIY project you have in mind.  It should be a lot more durable than the wooden Snap Deck it replaces.  It is also very secure once installed.

My Big Dummy looking spiffy...

Overall I’m quite pleased with both products.  They represent clear upgrades to the items they replace.  While not cheap they seem to be worth the asking price and should deliver years of service.

Good job Xtracycle!

PS – let me know when we can get the Freeloaders in woodland camo…=-)

PPS – I also finally took care of the awful bar tape on my Dummy’s H-bars.  I can park my Dummy with other bikes and not be ashamed!


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12 responses

2 11 2010
Rick

Thanks, Vik! We’ll keep you posted on any camo special runs in the future. ;)

2 11 2010
Sean Ralph (Megan's Dad)

Vik:

There is a retrofit kit for the older Dummy’s (like ours)

http://www.xtracycle.com/retrofit-kit.html

I do like your workaround though ;-)

2 11 2010
thelazyrando

@Sean – thanks for the tip. I don’t see a need to remove my Freeloaders ever, but it’s nice to know if I want to de-ghetto my BD I have options….=-)

3 11 2010
Sean Ralph

You are pimpin the Rohloff though ;-)

9 11 2010
Dylster

Thanks for takin’ the leap on those new bags, Vik. I ‘early-adopted’ on that new deck, but I’m holding out on new bags ’til I hear more guys like you sing their praises. And, of course, there’s a BLACK option. Cha!

9 11 2010
thelazyrando

@Dylster – Ya I wish they came in black, but I figured I’d be waiting a while for that to happen.

22 11 2010
Jojo

Hey, Where’d ya get the groovy rear triangle bag?

23 11 2010
thelazyrando

@JoJo – that bag rocks….I got it from Scott at Porcelain Rocket:

http://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/big-dummy-frame-bag/

23 11 2010
David Dannenberg

Vik,

Nice write up. New freeloaders are on my Xmas list. I recently installed superhooks on my wooden snapdeck and love them.

Tell me more about the nifty triangle bag between the seat tube and those other tubes…

Thanks

David

24 11 2010
thelazyrando

@David – have a look here:

http://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/big-dummy-frame-bag/

Scott at Porcelain Rocket made that sweet bag.

24 11 2010
theporcelainrocket

JoJo and David,
Drop me a line at theporcelainrocket@gmail.com and I will give you the scoop on the frame bags!

Thanks Vik!
Scott

6 03 2011
Charlie NC

Yes dig the triangle bag. I have the recycled plastic top deck and really like it.
The handles come in good allot.

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