Pedicab upgraded

The new parts have been installed. The Maxxis Hookworm tires fit in the front forks (that was a concern), but there was a different, and unexpected issue.

Brad calls me and informs me that the new handlebars aren’t going to work because there isn’t enough straight bar in the grip area. It is too short. He says he’ll just use the old bars that were on there. Well, I greatly dislike those crappy mountain bike bars, so this is not a good outcome. Brad’s taking up his wife’s garage with the Pedicab, and so waiting until tomorrow is also not a reasonable option. So, I pack up the kids and we go to Bob’s Bicycles just before they close. They have bars that look like the ones I bought, but are longer in the grip area. These worked.

Brad got everything put on the new bars, including the new trigger shifter on the right and the Ergon grips. He mounted up the tires, which are slimed and have Kenda downhill tubes (26″ x 2.4″-2.75″) inside. The tubes are a crazy 2.25mm thick. These came in a Giant brand box, but are available in a Kenda box, a Pyramid box, and who knows who else’s box.

Here’s a video showing the current state of the Pedicab:

I still need a different saddle on there, and the back is making noise which I’m sure I’ll address later. The grips are great. The new handlebar is a massive improvement, and trigger shifters are nicer than the stock setup of grip shifters in my opinion.

Brad has the Shimano 21 speed system dialed in nicely, which is much appreciated. The poor shifts were annoying, and the chain drops were not fun. Those days are over.

Mom is letting me borrow a 10 year old Garmin GPS, and it had a new handlebar mount, which I took out and installed on the handlebars. I’m still not sold on GPS for pedicab use, but I’ll give it more time.

Rickshaw and Pedicab Sunday

Four rides today, three on the Rickshaw and one on the Pedicab:

  • I rode the Rickshaw to pick up Faye Faye from Winco, and we both headed back. Fun. Managed to circle the fountain at the Grove along the way.
  • Faye and I went to Bikes2Boards on the Rickshaw to look for some thick tubes for my Pedicab, but they didn’t have the size I wanted, unfortunately. They had a size up, though.
  • Bryce and I went to Albertsons for hamburger buns on the Rickshaw.
  • Bryce, Faye, and myself were on the Pedicab while Kelly rode along on her new (to her) Nirve three speed cruiser.

Kelly said we rode about five miles on the Pedicab evening ride, and the Rickshaw odometer is reading 235.55 miles, or roughly 12.5 miles over the last five days.

Tonight’s Pedicab ride was interesting for a variety of reasons. It was the first time we had two child seats on either one of the rides. The Main Street has seat belts. The child car seats are designed to lock in from seat belts, and the Pedicab is wide enough to hold two seats. Problem solved.

Brock standing while Bryce and Faye are in child car seats strapped to the Pedicab in June, 2010

Very near where the picture above was taken, a grazing deer was just on the other side of the fence from the path.

Deer near the rail bridge, Boise, Idaho
Oh, deer!

And yes, we climbed the rail bridge path off the Greenbelt all the way up to Orchard, The first bench climb for the Pedicab, at least with this Rickshawala at the helm. I was geared down and going slow. Three straight days of riding and my legs are getting soft.

The chain came off twice, always while shifting. I can’t wait for Brad to start in on the Pedicab tomorrow. Each time I mentioned to Bryce that Brad was going to fix it correctly (as opposed to me just getting the chain back on). After we came home tonight, Bryce was quick to point out that Brad has tools, and he’s going to fix the Pedicab.

Bryce and the Pedicab see the Boise Greenbelt

The Pedicab has nice new parts. Unfortunately, they haven’t been installed yet. It needs them. Well, new parts or not, it was time to ride today, farther than I intended when I left. That happens sometimes.

Bryce and I headed out on the pedicab, which it turns out has seat belts, so mounting a child seat is cake. I decided to give it the Boise Greenbelt test, something you’d never want to with the Rickshaw (I know from experience). Well, it handled the root bumps and sideways grades with ease. The inclines were also nicely handled. There’s advantages to having 21 speeds.

We rode out to the Warm Springs Golf Course leg of the Greenbelt, and stopped for food and drink. After that, I decided we’d go to Bown Crossing. So, we kept heading down the Greenbelt until the bridge was in sight. It appears there’s a nice new bridge where you turn off to go to the Bown area, but I don’t know for sure because the bridge was not open. But, there’s a steep (by rickshaw standards) dirt incline to the Warm Springs Avenue. No way I’d try this with the Rickshaw, but the Pedicab can probably handle it fine. I drop it into the lowest gear, and I do lose traction in the drive wheel a few times, but I make the climb. Now up, there’s a short jog and another connection through the dirt. This time, it is downhill and far from perfectly even. Again, a scary proposition with the Rickshaw, but the Pedicab handles it wonderfully. The brakes are fantastic.

We make it across the bridge and to Bown and then head back on the other side of the river. Some headwind picks up, and I’m far from fresh as well, but we keep going. The Greenbelt is closed due to flooding at the Park Center Bridge, so I turn around, stop, and hang around with Bryce on the back for few minutes. It’s time to go again, and we cross the Park Center Bridge on the nice wide sidewalk area. We continue to head home, and I want to rest, and I want to eat. So, off to Carl’s Jr. for some more food and drink. Rested and fueled, it’s time to continue heading home, so we do. Not long after, the chain drops off while shifting. I fix it in front of NNU Boise and then go in to wash the grease of my hands. Then we’re off again, and we make it home. Total trip was about 15-16 miles judging by what Google Maps reported.

Shortly after we pull up, Kelly and Faye appear and Kelly takes this picture.

Bryce, Brock, and the Pedicab in 2010

Like the Rickshawalas I saw in India, this Rickshawala also likes to hang out on the back of the ride sometimes. We hung out for a while, and then it was time to pack the Pedicab away.

Some conclusions from the ride:

  1. The Pedicab is very capable. Inclines, declines, sideways grades, bumps, you name it. Far, far better performance than the Rickshaw. I climbed the Friendship Bridge between Boise State and Julia Davis starting from a stop and the Pedicab and myself handled it very convincingly. As mentioned above, in the area around the Bown Crossing bridge, I did a climb and a descent in the dirt and both went quite well.
  2. The handlebars, tires (especially the knobby on front), grips, twist shifter on the right, and seat are crap. Also, the 21 speed needs to be set up. Thankfully, Brad will be dialing all that in next week and installing the new parts. I have a fix for everything but the seat in the works.
  3. Bryce seems to like riding as much as I like being the Rickshawala. It was another great Father and Son trip.
  4. I don’t think I’ll be finishing that seat assembly for the Rickshaw. Just strap in the seats to the Pedicab and all is good. Time will tell, but the problem looks solved.

Faye Faye rides for pizza

Faye, Pizza, and Rickshaw

I show pictures on this blog with Bryce on the back from time to time, and indeed he does get to ride often. But, my daughter Faye Faye also gets to ride. Today, Bryce rolled around downtown with me, and when we got home, it was time for pizza. So, I called in a Papa Murphy’s pizza order and Faye and went on the trip. Faye loves riding on the Rickshaw.

Current mileage on the odometer: 223.98, so I’ve put up about 20 miles on the Rickshaw so far this season. Considering the rain we’ve had and the miles the Pedicab has taken, not too bad.

Craigslist Boise bikes section strikes again, and again…

The bikes section of Boise craigslist has no mercy. First, there was the Coker Monster Cruiser late last year. Then, the Main Street Pedicab. This week brought more from two different sellers. My wife picked up a Nirve Lahaina 3 Speed, and then last night I bought the Wald rear rack/baskets assembly. Here it is on the Schwinn:

1995 Schwinn Classic Cruiser with a big Wald basket rack on the back
Ready to haul!

There’s barely enough room in the side basket for a gallon of milk, but it works. My MBA bag fits in one side, which is nice. I may not go back to ever having a box on there, I don’t know yet. What I do know is this thing weighs in at over 7 lbs. and has some hauling capacity. The real test is use over time, and it’ll be getting that over the summer. So far, a neat rack. They’re around $40 – $50 new I believe. This one is used, with a few bent basket bars which I’ve straightened, but nothing severe. Cost: $10.

I did lose my LED tail light that I modded and mounted to the old Swiss clamp rack, but we had a Bell tail light sitting around that no longer had a mounting bracket, so I took it. Two zip ties later and it appears to be reasonably mounted to the new rack. The Bell LED tail light is much brighter than the one that is on the old rack.

With the Wald rack on there, the Schwinn (my lightest bike) should be weighing in at over 50 lbs now. The Roadmaster is still heavier, and closer to 60 lbs. Who knows what the Coker weights in at, but it has to be more than the Roadmaster is.

Component weight

Tires and BryceThe new parts are in. As you can see, Bryce has inspected the new Maxxis Hookworm tires. I asked him if they were Bryce approved, and he nodded yes.

Something that shows up a lot in cycling-related blogs is concerns about weight. Road bike guys go crazy about weight. It makes me giggle when I see a road bike person that has clearly spent some money on their light ride but could drop 20 lbs. from themselves, but I digress.

The 2003 Main Street Pedicab Classic is my sport rickshaw. It’s notably lighter than the Rickshaw I’ve had for half a decade now. It’s also more capable (stability, high speed handling, brakes, gearing). So, when I went to order parts, was I thinking “How much is that going to weigh?” No. I’m more concerned about function and look, in that order.

Still, this a cycling blog, so I should weigh parts at least once, right?! Why not. Here’s a few:

Component Weight each Qty. Total
Maxxis Hookworm Tire 2lbs 6oz 3 7lbs 2oz
Wald 5 inch rise handlebar 1lbs 8oz 1 1lbs 8oz
Ergon grip 2.9oz 2 6oz (rounded)

I’m not taking the shifter out of the packaging to weigh it, so there you go. Three tires, handlebar, and grips weigh in at nine pounds.

Let’s compare to some road bike component weights I grabbed from Weight Weenies:

Component Weight each
Maxxis Hookworm Tire 2lbs 6oz
Maxxis Xenith Equipe Legere 148g (5.2oz)
Difference in Weight 2lbs 0.8oz


Component Weight each
Wald 5 inch rise handlebar 1lbs 8oz
Kestrel EMS Pro/SL (42 cm (c-c)) 175.7g (6.2oz)
Difference in Weight 1lbs 1.8oz

So, notably less weight for both. Sure the road bike parts are also far smaller, but the priorities are different. Still, my handlebars weigh over three an a half times what the road bike ones do, and each Hookworm tire weighs about seven and a half times what a road bike tire from the same company weighs.

Road bikes don’t have the added weight of a third wheel, let alone passengers. The priorities are different.

Parts on order

As noted before, the (new to me) 2003 Main Street Pedicab (MSP) Classic has seen some battles. I decided to throw some more money at it, which I suppose makes it officially a hobby.

Here’s the parts I ordered, and the plan:

From Bike Stop:

Details Name Unit Price Quantity Total
LD8752 Shimano STX Right Rear Shifter (Pod) $11.95 1 $11.95
33036 Wald MTB High-Rise Handlebar #803, Black, 25.4 $12.95 1 $12.95
HT1700 Ergon Performance Grips Small $29.95 1 $29.95
Special:  – Price Match $-6.96   $-6.96
  Sub Total: $47.89
  Shipping: $11.99
  Grand Total: $59.88

The price match was on the Ergon grips.

From Main Street Pedicabs:

Qty Name SKU Each Subtotal
3 26 Maxxis Hookworm Tire MAX_HT $26.99 $80.97
Subtotal $80.97
Shipping: UPS Ground $15.30
Tax Total $0.00
Grand Total $96.27

MSP has very competitive prices and they were quite helpful on the phone when I called. I probably paid a little extra in shipping since I didn’t get everything from Bike Stop, but MSP earned my business. Company founder Steve Meyer is who I spoke with. Here’s a video with him I found on YouTube:

…and here’s an article about MSP:

So, my ride just got way more expensive, but it’ll be nice. I think I’ll be glad I went with trigger shifters on both sides (there’s already one on the left) rather than returning to a stock twist shifter setup, and the Ergon grips look like they’ll be nice. The handlebars are almost the same size as the new stock MSP ones, but I wanted black. I still haven’t figured out a saddle yet, but I’ll get there.

Introducing the (new to me) Main Street Pedicab

Here’s the 2003 Main Street Classic Pedicab I picked up used earlier this month. It’s the same as when I got it, other than I removed one of the two New Belgium stickers from the back. This ride will change over the next year. It’s getting new tires, handlebars, grips, and a shifter as part of stage one. It’ll likely have a new seat by the end of the season as well. I may work out some of the cosmetic ends in year two.

As mentioned in the video, this pedicab has seen some action, and is hardly sitting stock. The wiring is a mess, the handlebars are likely not original, the RockShox front fork is not stock, and it seems very likely the crank arms and left shifter have also been replaced.

The tires are two 35 PSI knobby cruiser tires on the back and one extra knobby mountain bike tire on the front. The mountain bike tire is extremely annoying. It vibrates, is noisy, and clearly does not belong.

Here’s a link to the manufacturer’s page for the “Classic Pedicab”, which is what mine is:
» Product page

For added amusement, see the Road & Track Magazine, which reviews automobiles, had some fun reviewing a Main Street Pedicab earlier this year:
» R&T review

Here’s the Road & Track “Data Panel” for the Classic Pedicab in the same style they’ve used on cars for years now (PDF format):
» R&T Data Panel

Cycling for recycling

I hauled glass in for recycling today on the back of the Rickshaw. Here’s a picture:

Rickshaw loaded with glass to recycle
Loaded up with glass and ready to go

Rickshaws certainly can haul things besides just people, and in fact I saw a few rickshaws doing cargo duty when I was in India last year. It worked out pretty nice for me today, and I’ll likely do this again.

I would like to clarify that just because I used a cycle to recycle, that doesn’t make me a hippie. I’m a recent MBA graduate. I don’t think I’m allowed to be a hippie anytime soon, if ever.

Odometer reading: 215.96 miles.

What a Tuesday! (part one)

I wake up Tuesday morning knowing there was going to be some Rickshaw action for the day. Not only was there a new ride to look at (see part two), but me and the Rickshaw had an appearance in the afternoon at McMillan Elementary. Mom and friends were making a presentation about China at the school, and as a special bonus, a whole bunch of kids (about 40 in all) were getting a ride in the process. The kids loved the Rickshaw. Here’s a pic of the last ride of the day, with the final student and their teacher on the back. I took a short leg on the school’s loop walking path this time:

Rickshaw at McMillan Elementary
Rickshaw at McMillan Elementary on Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It was interesting. I typically hauled three of the seven-year-olds at a time. The kids enjoyed it. We put a raised platform on the foot grate so the kids had a place for their feet. Everything worked out well. It was fun, and I wouldn’t mind doing another school presentation in the future.

Total mileage for the day (for the Rickshaw) was about 3.5 miles. The fun per mile rating was crazy high.

(Backdated to day of event. Actual post date: May 9, 2010)