Sunday, November 2, 2008

Xtracycle KickBack Centerstand or Footsies, but not both...

All Photos: Xtracycle Inc.

The one product I was most interested in from Xtracycle's newly released accessories was their centerstand called the KickBack. At $140 the functionality of having a robust stand that would make my Big Dummy more stable when loading/unloading seemed like a worthwhile investment.

The first hiccup was that the stand came with a bracket [small black piece top center in photo above] that fits the Freeradical frame tube, but would not fit the much larger oval tube on the Big Dummy. Xtracycle has since come out with a Big Dummy specific bracket so make sure you order the correct version of this stand. I was pretty happy to see Xtracycle quickly resolve the issue as I was not prepared to take the chance of damaging my Big Dummy's frame.



My renewed enthusiasm was dampened when I realized you can't use the Xtracyce Footsies and the KickBack at the same time. My passengers really like the stable platform provided by the Footsies so I'd hate to give them up. The Xtracycle site notes that passengers can put their feet on the stubs that stick out horizontally when the KickBack is mounted, but that doesn't seem like much of a platform when compared to the Footsies.


So I'm back to looking at what other options are out there for a centerstand for my Big Dummy. Val Kleitz is selling a very nice centerstand that will work with either the Surly Big Dummy or the Xtracycle Freeradical. His stand will not interfere with mounting any Xtracycle accessories so you can have Footsies as well as a centerstand. The downside to Val's stand is the cost of nearly $400.00.

Update: Jeff's comment to this post reminded me that I should mention that you can use Wideloaders with a KickBack installed, but one person who has tried using them together has said installing the Wideloaders is a bit of a PITA and suggested that removing/installing them frequently would get old fast. I could probably live with that if that was the only issue.

8 comments:

jeffy said...

Looks like you can't use it with wide loaders either. What were they thinking?

Vik said...

I've read a post from someone who installed a KickBack on their bike and you can use a Wideloader, but they described the installation process as a bit fiddly and suggest it would get old fast if you had to install and remove the Wideloader frequently.

Although that wouldn't be a showstopper for me as I use my Wideloaders sporadically I agree that it would have been nice to have a stand designed to seamlessly work with the other Xtracycle goodies.

Vik said...

Rick [from Xtracycle] posted this response about using KickBack with Footsies and Wideloaders on the Rootsradical Group. I figured it might be useful for those folks on the fence about getting a KickBack:

"Hey Vik and Everybody,

Regarding Footsies & KickBack. we've thought about getting Footsies to
work with the KickBack, but the axle cuff requires Footsies to be
raised off their insertion tube a few millimeters to clear it. Then
you run into the issue of having no support under the plank (big toe
region) if you run the footsies w/o your KickBack. Personally, I
don't see anyone regularly taking the KickBack off, so that might be a
mute point anyhow. Either way, modify at your own risk/loss of
warranty, yada yada yada.

Regarding WideLoaders, we were planning on releasing a video of
WideLoader installation, but decided that your questions need a visual
explanation in addition to the text below. Watch the video online
here: http://vimeo.com/2146082 . We're enjoying our first rains here
in the Bay, hopefully your area is getting the weather it needs too.

The first thing of note, if you try swapping out the axles (the black
posts with the spring button that go into the FreeRad/Big Dummy) with
WideLoader, you'll have a MUCH easier time with KickBack in the "ride/
up" position. Either lean your bike against a stable object or have a
friend hold it.

Installing WideLoaders:

1) Get KickBack into ride/up position and stabilize bicycle against a
wall, or stable object. Make sure your XC is unloaded, you can do it
loaded, but might make things more difficult.

2) With KickBack up, depress the axle spring button and remove the
axle. Only do one side at a time.

3) Insert and depress the spring button on the WideLoader, inserting
the forward post first into the axle bushing just inside the front
bridge tube (depends on whether you're rockin' a FreeRad or a Big
Dummy since the BD has a flush tube while the FreeRad has an angled
tube face and will require a second depression of the spring button to
enter the front bridge). You may need to maneuver the axle bushing to
line up with the front bridge hole, this is why we suggest doing one
side at a time since KickBack is being held up by the other side.

4) Insert the rear tube of the WideLoader into the rear bridge, it may
pop out if the front tube is not far enough in.

5) Now you should be able to push in the middle and get both spring
buttons to pop through their holes. Again, if you're using KickBack
on a FreeRad, you will need to depress the spring button a second time
to get it to insert in the front bridge. If you're experiencing a
tough time, the tubes may be binding against the frame, to rectify, be
sure you're inserting the tubes as evenly as possible. Attach the
Velcro straps to your FreeRad/BD frame.

6) If you need a WideLoader on the other side, just repeat steps 1—5.

7) Store your axles in a safe location, we like to use our zippered
pouch in our FreeLoaders since they're easily accessible when you want
to remove your WideLoaders.

Removing WideLoaders:

1) Remove cargo on Xtracycle. Un-Velcro the two straps on the
WideLoader sling (not doing this can lead to massive frustration!).

2) Put KickBack into ride/up position and stabilize against wall or
stable object.

3) Working one side at a time, depress spring button on front bridge
and pull out about 1". Depress rear spring button and pull out till
clear of rear bridge. Sometimes the front may want to slide back in
and snap into place. If this happens, deep breath and be sure to pull
it out a bit further the next time.

4) Once rear is clear of tube, let the rear of the WideLoader rotate
down and slide out the front tube.

5) Insert KickBack axle, spring button end first, with white marking
line lined up with spring button hole on front bridge. Ensure spring
button is fully engaged through hole.

6) Repeat steps 1—5 for other side if needed.

Cheers,
Rick & Xtracycle"

gregclimbs said...

Vik,

Why not just unbolt the footies from the stubs and bolt them to the wideloaders outside of the kickstand?

You would be dedicated to the wideloaders, but aren't you already anyway?

g

Vik said...

Greg I have to remove anything mounted on the side of my BD to get it into my apartment. So adding a kickstand that complicates this process is a problem. I also would not want to have to use wideloaders every time I wanted to use the footsies. That makes the BD rig too wide for casual cycling and would be a real PITA.

It's too bad they couldn't have designed a stand that works more easily with their existing accessories. After all Val's stand does and it isn't even an official Xtracycle product.

Jon Rollason said...

I wasn't happy with the way the footsies worked with the Big Dummy anyway, so ended up bolting them on, thusly:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27975539@N08/2977351775/

This is compatible with wideloaders, and therefore presumably with the kickback also.

Sean said...

I have footsies and wideloaders and just bought the kickback. It's a bummer that the footsies don't work, but I use them less than I use the wideloaders and that is actually very little. My usual rear passenger can't reach them anyway, so I've been using inverted bar ends clamped on the vrack as footsies instead, and these would clear the kickback.

Anyway, the kickback hits the correct pricepoint IMHO.

Gripes...use some loctite or epoxy on the plastic feet threads and upgrade the return spring with something from the hardware store. The included cateye clamp was too small for the Big Dummy chainstay and it shipped with an Xtracycle "taco dressing" instead of a Big Dummy compatible one. Other than that, it works well

Aaron said...

You could always just buy a Rolling Jackass Centerstand
http://www.rollingjackass.com
It makes the Xtracycle version look like a toy! Sure it is more money, but the Xtracycle ones break and bend. The RJC will last forever! I have had one for 5 years!