My synapses have been firing for...well, actually almost 39 years now...but recently the electrical activity in my brain has taken on a new shape: fat cargo bike.
I'm thinking about changing my blog to fatcargocyclist.com. Do you think Elden would mind?
Anyway, back when I was haunting Salvagetti in anticipation of getting my own FreeRadical kit, Scott suggested that we could build the Cannonball up as a fat cargo bike. It sounded completely plausible, and I would loved to have built such a contraption at the time, but the economy got me down, man! That, and, I wasn't sure if I wanted to limit the versatility of the bike. I wanted a bike that could also be a nimble commuter.
I opted to go for the conventional Xtracycle build and ended up with a fine bike. The Cannonball X has been all I dreamed of and more. I don't ride it as much as I did the first year because sometimes a short bike is just easier. But when I need it, nothing else will work.
So when I started jonesing for a faster bike I picked up the "vintage" '86 Bianchi, and I've been pleased with it's quickness. When I want to mountain bike I reach for my Cannondale Trail SL2. Sometimes though, while the X doesn't exactly replace the function of the sporty road bike, I have often wondered how it would fare as a longtail mountain bike.
The mental conundrum is this: suspension. The Xtracycle is long and rigid. Taking it on trails would make for a teeth chipping ride. Sure, fine, fire roads and double track wouldn't be out of the realm of reasonable with knobby tires. But even still, the gap between cargo bike and mountain bike is still a bit wide.
Of late, as my interest in fat bikes has grown I've pondered how the Cannonball would ride as a fat cargo bike. Ding! Ding! Ding! The suspension quandary is solved! Front AND rear suspension for a cargo bike! Hallelujah!
I've been toying with the idea. There is no funding, nor has their been a formal development submittal made to the approval committe. BUT, I think the feasibility study is all shorn up (minus the financials), and we'll be dreaming long and hard in the weeks and months to come. I'll need to go back to Salvagetti and brainstorm this with Scott. There may be clearance, gearing and dishing issues.
I know what you must be thinking: a longtail mountain bike?! How could you take something nigh on 8 feet long on singletrack. Well, I admit, Jeffco Open Space waterbars would be impossible to navigate, but I think there are plenty of trails out there that would be lots of fun. And the head-turn factor would be worth it.
Through Derrick Purvis' blogI discovered this lad in Scotland that has converted a Yuba Mundo into a fat cargo bike: Moray Fat Bike
Could we combine this: