When they’re not working at Calhoun Cycle, Marlin and Jon are busy building Utilitarian Transports Cargo Commuter Bikes, made by recycling old steel MTB frames, extending the head tube and steerer tube, and adding a handmade front rack:
We take the retrofit candidate, inspect it, famesave it, and reinforce it (only if applicable). We then extend the head tube and add a sweet hand made front rack to the new headtube and frame of the bike. This brings the size of the front wheel down to a 20″. (or 16″ or 26″ etc.) We replace the old fork with a smaller one designed for the new front wheel, extend the steerer tube, and after all that we paint it, build it, and test ride it.
Attaching the rack directly to the frame provides the rider with a few nice things:
- Having the rack lower creates more carrying capacity and makes for a more stable ride.
- The 20″ wheel is stronger and can handle loads better.
- One can keep a close eye on their load while riding.
- Seeing how the rack doesn’t move when you turn the handlebars, there is no heaving when turning with big loads. (up to 150 pounds)
The rack was designed to hold one of those big rubbermade contaners with the lid, but we’ve used everything from old suitcases to pails, or just piling the stuff on and tying it down with old inner tubes.